25+ Types of Photography To Try Today!
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, it’s likely that you haven’t experimented in every type of photography. It’s worth exploring different types to discover the ones you like and the ones you don’t. With that said, there are so many different “genres” of photography, it can be tough to know exactly what’s available.
That’s why we put together this massive guide covering over 25 different types of photography. In this guide, you’ll learn what exactly each type of photography involves and what gear you might need to get started. You’ll also find multiple examples for each type, so you can see what others have done and if you might want to try that type out for yourself. Follow along:
Abstract photography can result in incredibly-looking shots, but in theory, it can be tough to work. However, there are some easy ways to capture abstract photos.
One option is to move the camera around and give yourself a nice blur. This is easy to do in Shutter Priority mode. In this mode, you can set your shutter speed to 1/10th of a second or slower—offering up a stunning panning blur.
Slow shutter speeds allow a lack of light to work nicely, and minimizing your ISO level allows you to avoid overexposure in your shots. Circular items like flowers can truly shine with something simple like camera wiggling.
When it comes to lenses, variety is nice—but to start out, go with an 18-50mm or 18-135mm and tinker with different focal lengths on the same subject to see what you get.
Aerial photography is generally used for capturing properties or city landscapes. Sometimes, an owner will need photos of the property from high above and may need to see if that property is a home, a building, or just land.
When it comes to a camera body, investing in a full-frame camera will ensure you capture a high-fidelity, wide image. Because these photos are taken from high above, you will want a long-range zoom lens – something like a 70-300mm lens is perfect.
You can capture aerial photos from a helicopter or by using a drone. If shooting from a helicopter or plane, make sure to avoid having your lens touch the window pane as that will transfer the vibration of the vehicle directly into the camera. Buying a circular polarizing filter will help reduce any visible haze or glare in your photos.
Photographing buildings may seem simple but there are a lot of little things that can determine whether or not your shots come out as you envision them. You have to be sensitive to the direction of light because it can increase contrast and shadows and cause your camera to expose the scene incorrectly.
Architecture photography can also include capturing specific details of a building (inside or out) to show a specific design or pattern.
Going with a wide-angle lens is usually perfect for shooting buildings. A 14mm or 10-24mm are good options if you want to capture a wide space or entire building. A zoom lens can be helpful if you want to narrow in on a specific area of a building.
Owning a telescope allows you to see the stars and thus see the world in a whole new way.
While just about any DSLR will work in theory, you’ll likely invest in wide angle lens with a wide aperture. This enables you to shoot faster exposures, allowing for better image fidelity and minimal noise. Either a 10mm, 12mm, or 24mm will work fine. A tripod is needed to ensure crisp images, and if you are shooting while hiking, consider a carbon fiber tripod to reduce the weight of your pack.
A remote shutter also allows you to avoid shaking by activating the shutter without a physical button press on the camera itself. In terms of core equipment, you will need a telescope alongside your camera and will also need a T-Ring and T-Adapter to connect the DSLR to the telescope.
Being able to take photos of a young baby is something that parents look forward to doing. While the first photos of a newborn may be done with a phone, it’s natural to want to take some photos with a higher-end device.
If you want to focus on the baby, using a 50mm will work nicely. For a baby’s eyes, you should avoid using a flash. So be sure to shoot in well-lit environments only.
6. Black and white
Black and white photography is an art, and seeing a black and white photo adds a sense of timelessness to every photo you take. One of the biggest aspects of black and white photography is the composition of the shot (composition is important in all photos, but with this type, you have far less to rely on). There are no vivid/bright colors to distract from poor composition.
Most DSLRs can shoot in a monochromatic mode and it’s far better to shoot in RAW mode to bring out the highest level of details in your images. Combining black and white photography with something like street photography is a lot of fun and allows you to bring out the beauty of the world.
A mixture of nude photography and landscapes, a bodyscape photo focuses on showcasing the shape of the human body. The key to bodyscape photography is to have an image in mind since shooting will require extensive planning and meticulous attention to detail. You have to know what you want before you shoot it, and if you have multiple people involved, that adds more variables to the equation.
Depending on what you’re trying to do, a 35mm lens should work at capturing a wider scope of the body, while a 50mm lens will put more attention on one part. Having stark contrast between skin tones and the background is also a way to make bodyscape photos pop off the screen.
Concert photography, much like any event with arenas or stadiums involved, requires a bit more planning. For both sports shooting and concerts, you’ll want to make sure you know the building’s rules for cameras.
Some venues will ban the use of interchangeable lens-cameras (unless you have a press pass), which limits you to point and shoots.
If you are close to the stage, then a 50mm can be a good choice. For shots of the entire bandstand, then a 35mm is ideal. If you are further away, then go with a 70-200mm lens.
Event photography is incredibly popular and something that a lot of companies do in order to showcase corporate events. Things like trade shows, special dinners, anniversaries, and other celebrations all benefit from having high-quality photos taken.
Environments and their layout will dictate what gear you need. If you plan to take a lot of portrait photos, make sure to bring both a 50mm and a 35mm lens. Going with a wide aperture is usually best. This will allow you to blur the background and make subjects stand out.
10. Fashion photography
Fashion photography is a great way to capture the action on a runway or capture the stunning beauty of a model showcasing new attire.
There are a few key lenses to consider if you’re shooting fashion. A 35mm prime lens will give you wider-angle shots, while an 85mm is going to be better for closer shots. A 50mm lens is solid too and allows you to bring the environment into your shots.
For versatility, a 24-70mm is outstanding. This focal length allows you to get wide-angle and shorter telephoto shots. A versatile lens like this allows you to capture crisp shots without having to bring a monopod with you.
As anyone who has ever passed by a fast food restaurant can attest, a well-taken photo can make any food look outstanding.
When it comes to food photography, prime lenses are typically your best bet (they can provide more light and detail). A good 50mm f1.4 lens is fantastic and a great way to get a bit of distance between yourself and the food yet still get a crisp shot. A wide aperture will also provide a blurry background, allowing the food to stand out more.
Landscape photography is a great option for anyone who likes to travel, hike, or simply be outdoors.
For super-sharp shots, a 14-24mm f/2.8 is a solid choice. This wide-angle lens will allow you to capture an entire landscape. For capturing shots from far away, a zoom lens like a 70-200mm is a good option.
It’s also a good idea to carry a tripod when doing any type of landscape photography, as this will allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds (to capture details in dark areas, make a body of water look still, or to shoot in the evening or early morning).
13. Lifestyle photography
Lifestyle photography is all about capturing life and its moments. For example, a family enjoying a picnic or a person playing in a field. All of these things show off just what it means to be human.
Anticipation is a big part of lifestyle photography. If you have someone jumping rope, then you know there will be a jump above the rope. By beginning your shots before the event, you give yourself plenty of coverage and can snag that perfect shot.
While you can use a flash, it is generally better to shoot outdoors with natural light. When it comes to gear, a solid 24-70mm lens allows you to blend both zoom and a low enough f-stop to blur out your background and make subjects stand out.
Macro photography is the process of taking super-close-up photos. For example, you might capture fine details of a flower’s petals or a person’s eye.
A short macro lens is good for crop sensor cameras, and a 50mm lens at a 2.5 f-stop will allow you to capture crisp images. A 40mm will work as well, and be better if you’re going to be closer to the subject.
Medical photography isn’t for the faint of heart – but does provide a valuable resource. Medical photos allow for illnesses to be documented alongside surgeries and procedures to remedy them.
For ultra-crisp photos of things like wounds to show damage, a prime lens is ideal. For something like a deep wound, using a zoom lens like a 24-70mm will allow you to get a shot of the wound from far away and then up closer to see the true impact of the wound on the body.
While smartphones may be an easy way to take medical photos in a pinch, they will be unable to provide much zoom in these cases. Depending on your settings, a flash may also be needed if you are documenting something in a dark room or simply need more detail in the shot.
Microphotography is a highly-specialized form of photography. It involves taking photos using a microscope and requires extra equipment compared to other forms of photography. Normally, a T-adapter is needed to allow you to shoot photos alongside a microscope. You will also need a T-ring to attach the T-adapter to the microscope.
On average, a T-ring will cost about $60 while a T-Adapter costs anywhere from $45 to around $80 on the low end with higher-end options costing $200 or more.
Cat photos have gone viral many times over and what pet owner doesn’t love taking photos of their pets?
Animals have their own way of doing things and that means you can’t always count on your pet to be the most cooperative subject. If your pet allows you to get up close to them with a camera, then you should be fine with a shorter-range lens. A basis kit lens like an 18-55mm will work fine. You do sacrifice image quality with kit lenses, so if your pet is friendly, then going with either a 35mm or a 50mm should work well.
Anyone looking to make it as a photojournalist should consider investing in a full-frame camera. If you are just starting out or are at a low-end blog level for journalism, then you can get by with a crop sensor camera. But, make it a good one.
Something like the Canon 77D or Canon 80D will work nicely and won’t set you back too much (relatively speaking). A 24-70mm is a good lens option that provides a decent range in order to cover a variety of situations (your shooting environment and/or subject may change rapidly).
It’s definitely a good idea to invest in good glass since a journalist can never count on having a second chance to take a photo.
Portrait photography is one of the most user-friendly forms of photography out there and a great choice for a beginner because it involves shooting still subjects. When it comes to portraits, a prime lens is always a good choice. This type of lens will give you a wider maximum aperture, making it easier to add light to blur out the background behind your subject.
There are a variety of lenses you can use for portraits. A 24-70mm f/2.8 can provide a solid blend of zoom and maximum lighting. If you are shooting in a studio, then a 50mm may be best. This lens will allow you to have consistent results among all of your photos.
20. Product photography
Product photography is another seemingly simple type of photography to get into. You can typically get started with a basic lighting kit. However, achieving proper lighting on products can be trickier than it looks. A certain amount of staging should also go into taking professional products photos (ex. Adding props or positioning a dress shirt so that the lines flow just right).
When shooting against a backdrop, make sure to set your white balance manually so that colors and tin are consistent across all of your photos.
Nude photography can be a touchy subject, but at its core, it is artistic. When it comes to proper gear for nude photo shoots, an 85mm prime lens works nicely and gives you fantastic sharpness. You can also use a 50mm lens and get a fair amount of detail, especially if you have a f/1.4 lens to blur out backgrounds.
A 70-200mm lens is also great to use if you want to bring out the detail of the body itself. Capturing something like goosebumps on an arm or belly can be stunning and easily captured with this type of lens.
If you are shooting someone in the nude, be sure to keep the room warm and comfortable. Setting up a home studio with spot lighting or even using a sharp contrast with something like the body against a black background can be stunning too.
22. Real Estate
Real estate photography is an intricate art form and something that requires a lot of instinct to do well. Every house is different and if you’re shooting in less than ideal conditions, you have to be very selective with the gear you bring.
Using a full-frame is certainly what you want if you’re in a high-end housing development, and a nice 18-105 lens would work perfectly. This lens gives you both wide angles and can zoom when necessary.
Sports photography is one of the most popular kinds of photography and also one of the most difficult. The fast speed of athletes, and in the case of team sports like baseball, basketball, soccer,and football, the balls themselves makes it challenging. However, shooting sports can be thrilling, especially when you’re a fan of the sport.
The gear you need will vary depending on the sport, venue, seating, and lighting situation. A flash may not always be permitted, and be sure to get permission from either the event organizer or the arena before bringing a DSLR.
An 18-135mm lens can allow you to get wider shots for things like soccer and football, while also having a healthy zoom range. If you’re going to be in the stands and far away from the action, then a 70-300 lens may be best. If you aren’t sure where you’ll be, then an even more versatile lens like an 18-300 might be perfect.
24. Stock photography
Stock photography encompasses a wide variety of subjects, so it’s important to have a jack of all trades approach to your gear. Versatility is key and as a result, having something like an 18-135mm or an 18-300mm lens is ideal. This allows you to get pretty much any kind of photo you want (within reason).
An 18-135mm is going to be solid for sports, portraits, buildings, and products. For things that require a bit more zoom (ex. like a sports photo taken from the nosebleed seats), then an 18-300mm would work well at both capturing the entire field and some player action.
Street photography is a fantastic way to capture local culture and the people who make it great. Prime lenses, much like with portraits, are the best overall way to capture the beauty of the subject. They typically provide more light and capture more detail. This can be helpful when capturing details like the cracks in a wall or pavement.
The standard go-to lenses for street photography are the 35mm and 50mm. 50mm is perfect for tighter shots, while 35mm is better when you want to capture more of the environment.
Travel photography is another popular type of mainstream photography. Everyone enjoys a good vacation and what better way to savor the memories than with high-quality photos?
For family vacations where you want to capture the whole family in the frame, a good wide-angle will work wonders. While most cameras will come with an 18-55mm lens, kit lenses can lack detail and sharpness. For the best results, you should look at using a prime lens.
A 20mm lens with a 1.8 aperture is a fantastic choice. If you want to get a wide variety of shots with a single lens, then either an 18-135mm (on a Canon) or an 18-140mm (on a Nikon) are ideal. These lens ranges will provide both wide angle and telephoto zoom shots, enabling you to capture pretty much anything.
Underwater photography is tricky but doable. It is a good idea to take some scuba diving courses so that you feel comfortable when shooting underwater. Diving with someone is also a smart choice, and be sure to learn your equipment above ground.
Underwater, you won’t have perfect visibility and you will need to know where things are within a moment’s notice. When it comes to proper underwater photography, a higher-end GoPro can work nicely, but it will be limited in settings and image quality.
For pro-grade shots, something like the Backscatter Canon 5D Mark IV will work nicely (an underwater camera housing).
Wedding photography is another extremely popular type of photography, especially for freelance photographers. Nearly anyone who gets married wants the occasion documented with high-quality photos. Thus, hiring a wedding photographer is considered one of the biggest parts of the planning process.
There are many things to consider if you are shooting a wedding. You’ll likely need to capture a variety of different shots (like portraits and action shots of people dancing) in multiple lighting situations (outside, in a reception hall, etc.). Having a versatile zoom lens or multiple prime lenses will ensure you have the coverage for each situation.
A 50mm f/1.2 is ideal for getting shots of the bride and groom on their own and to blur the background out. Spacial awareness is important too, and if you don’t have much room to work with, a 24-70 f/2.8 lens is an alternative.
Wildlife photography can be a risky game if you aren’t careful. The biggest key to safety is to keep your distance and make sure to use long zoom lenses whenever possible. An 18-300mm lens is fine for getting a mixture of your entire environment as well as animals.
If you know you’ll be quite a distance away, then going with a 200-500mm or 80-400mm lens is great. Image stabilization is a must for wildlife because without it, you will likely have blurry photos.
Picking the Right Type of Photography
Ultimately, what you decide to shoot comes down to personal preference. If you’re the outdoors type, shooting landscape or wildlife photos might be a good fit. If you love music, then maybe concert photography.
You really just need to get yourself out there and experiment with every type of photography you can and decide what feels right for you. There is no right or wrong decision, and experimenting is ones of the reasons why photography is so much fun!
Let us know in the comments below what types of photography you shoot, or if you’re a beginner, what types you’re most interested to try out!