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60 Types of Photography You Need to Know

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There are many different types of photography. Understanding which category a photo falls into will develop your photographic knowledge.

We’ve made a list of 60 different types of photography. You can familiarise yourself with every photography niche.

a woman holding a camera and taking photos

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Abstract Photography

You won’t find an immediate association with abstract or conceptual photography images. This type of photography stand out from the object world.

The use of photographic equipment, processes or materials is important. They are what make these images possible.

An expressive abstract image with a pattern of blue and red light

Adventure Photography

Anything adventure, photographed in the outdoors, goes in here. This is a niche photographic area. It includes stunning landscapes and challenging shooting conditions.

A dreamy adventure photography shot of a girl on the ocean at sunset

Advertising Photography

Advertising photography captures items for posters, billboards, or adverts in magazines or newspapers. The internet is also a huge platform for this type of photography.

Product photography is similar as it is about selling a product. Advertising photography continues by showing a brand or service. Sometimes, they can be situational images

A photography studio set up with lights and plants infront of a white backdrop

Architecture Photography

Architecture Photography involves photographing buildings and structures. They are accurate representations of the subjects, captured using specialised cameras and techniques.

An architecture shot of the exterior of a multi roofed, modern building


Astrophotography records objects in the night sky. Stars, satellites, and planets are no exception. Even black holes, if you have a telescope long enough.

It includes Deep Sky, which is the capturing of faraway subjects using a telescope. Wide Angle (Milky Way) and Time-Lapse (star trail) photography are also included.

If you’d like to try astrophotography, check out our Milky Way Mastery course!

A stunning astrophotography shot of a circular pattern of star trails in the night sky

Black and White Photography

Black and white photography is the act of capturing a scene without colour. Here, you capture the scene in black and white or convert it during post-processing.

This also covers low key monochrome images that use lighting in a minimalist way.

a black and white photography shot of an atmospheric forest

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography captures intimate and romantic images of subjects. They take place in a bedroom or dressing room environment.

Boudoir shots can be a gift to a partner on the occasion of an engagement or wedding.

romantic boudoir photo of a girl sitting against a bed

Candid Photography

Candid photography is the act of capturing subjects without their knowledge. This is helpful in event or street photos, where you want to capture reality.

You can be sure of unposed subjects, resulting in real scenes and facial expressions. Documentary photography and photojournalism become stronger when the scene isn’t falsified.

a candid shot of a crowded street scene

Cityscape Photography

A cityscape is a representation of the physical aspects of a city, metropolis or urban area.

This is the urban equal of a landscape. They can show a city during the day or at night. You can incorporate many different techniques and perspectives.

Stunning cityscape photo at night

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography requires taking pictures for commercial use. They can promote or sell a product or service.

Here, photographers are often commissioned or paid beforehand. Examples include photographs for corporate brochures, menus, and leaflets.

shadowing commercial photo of a man holding a pepsi bottle

Crystal Ball Photography

Crystal ball photography is capturing a scene by using a crystal ball.

You can keep them close to your camera, or place them further away towards the edges. Be wary though; the scene will appear upside down.

NB: It will burn your hand on sunny days. Trust me. 

cool crystal ball photo capturing a cityscape

Documentary Photography

Documentary photography is for chronicling events or environments.

These types of photography shots tend to be relevant to history and historical events. The images focus on everyday life.

A woman holding a baby on a cloudy day

Drone Photography

Drone or aerial photography is the action of photographing from an airborne object. This can include but are not exclusive to helicopters, planes and drones.

These images get photographed from up-down. Or they utilise an angle to create abstract or realistic images of the landscape.

Aerial photography of a beautiful and clear beach scene

Editorial Photography

Editorial photographs are images captured for use in newspapers and magazines.

These are candid images and can incorporate fashion, sports, and event photography.

editorial fashion shoot of a model in a white dress posing outdoors

Event Photography

Event photography is photographing guests and scenarios at any event or occasion.

These include weddings, product releases, parties, carnivals, corporate photography and live concert photography.

a crowd cheering at a concert or event

Family Photography

Family photography is the act of photographing a family in portrait situations. The images show the relationship between those you shoot.

They can be staged and posed, or candid images to reflect the atmosphere and mood. They are for the family themselves to enjoy.

beautiful close up family portrait of a mother and son

Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is the act of photographing displayed clothing and other items. It can happen in studio conditions or at the live catwalk and fashion shows.

The images are for editorial or advertisement uses.

models and photographers backstage at a fashion show - photography types

Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography is where the photographer is the artist. Here, capturing the subject is not the primary purpose.

Fine art images can be artistic statements. They have a stronger concept than the same image photographed in a traditional style.

Fine art shot of white flowers on a dark surface with dark background

Fish-Eye Photography

A fish-eye photograph comes from using a super-wide-angle lens. This means focal lengths between 8mm to 16mm.

These images come out very distorted, especially towards the edges. Use it for something that calls for it.

Fish eye image of a DJ at a night event

Food Photography

Food photography is a niche area of still life photography. In this area, we concentrate on food, ingredients, styling and food-related scenes.

This is also a niche of commercial or editorial photography. The images here become advertisements in magazines.

colorful overhead food photography shot

Forced Perspective

Forced perspective photography is fun to make and to look at. With a forced perspective, the viewer sees a different angle from the subject.

You can use this with any kind of photography, as long as you have control over the perspective of your scene.

Image of a man sitting with a guitar on his lap, holding a book with a man's face on it. It looks like it was his face due to the perspective.

Glamour Photography

Glamour photography is like portrait photography, usually with female subjects. Boudoir photography is the closest genre. It uses erotic poses which range from clothed to nude images.

They could be for advertising or a style of portraiture. They are more often than not seen as a little seedy. Done well, they can produce some beautiful images.

A girl posing elegantly on a rock formation

Golden Hour Photography

Golden hour photography refers to the hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise.

This is when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. The sunlight isn’t as harsh as other times of the day and gives off a warm tone.

beautiful beach scene at golden hour

Head Shot Photography

Headshot photography is a genre like portraiture. The difference here is that the photographer only goes for headshots.

A headshot is a typical shot of the head and bust. But it can go as far as a torso shot with folded arms. Images such as these are for professional use. Either for online purposes or as a portfolio shot for actors.

Head shot of a man

High Dynamic Range Photography

High Dynamic Range or HDR photography has been a new trend for the last decade. It was a process that many film photographers used in printing their images.

With digital photography, you take 3/5/7 or even 9 images across a range of different exposures. The idea is that by stitching them together, you get detail in the highlights and shadows of your scene.

This is something you can do in Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and a slew of other editing programs.

Nighttime image of a bridge with lights

Indoor Photography

Indoor photography refers to images captured inside. Here, the photographer needs to use camera settings or gear to help account for the lack of ambient light.

Indoor photography is like interior photography. These are without a specific editorial or commercial aim.

An interior photography shot of a cosy living room

Infrared Photography

Infrared photography refers to an image where harnessing the infrared light is important. It can take place with analogue or digital photography.

The infrared light passes through to the camera sensor, blocking other visible light.

You will need a filter for these kinds of shots. Or you can create it using post-processing software.

Infrared Photography of a sprawling Cityscape at sunset

Kinetic Photography

Kinetic photography is all about movement. Not the subject, but your camera. Moving your camera while you shoot a scene can provide an interesting and creative image.

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is one of these. Here, you throw your camera up in the air as it records a long exposure. The result can be a string of lights, perfect for multiple exposures.

Light used to create streaks in the air

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is the capturing of nature. They can be man-made features or the disturbances found in physical areas.

These can include trees, nature, deserts, and beaches. They focus on the outdoors during specific seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter).

Sunsets and even night photography are also popular in this genre.

stunning shot of boats on a turquoise sea with a mountainous landscape behind

Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle photography is a genre that aims to capture people in real-life situations. They tell stories, rather than to show an obvious set-up.

These images are often staged as much as a fashion shoot. They show scenes and items for editorial or commercial uses.

Here, we present these types of photography subjects in a more natural, believable way.

overhead shot of a person drinking tea and eating cereal while looking through a magazine

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is capturing a scene with a long shutter speed setting. This allows you to capture stationary elements while blurring or obscuring moving elements.

These types of photography shots are possible during the day or night time.

long exposure shot of a lonely looking tower on white water and against white sky

Macro Photography

Macro photography refers to photographing tiny subjects up close. Here, we use specialised lenses or photographic equipment. A true macro image comes from enlarging a subject bigger than its 1:1 ratio.

The most popular macro subjects are insects and flowers. But there is so much more beyond that.

a macro shot of water droplets on a leaf

Milky Way Photography

Milky way photography refers to photographing the milky way. Here, we use a camera that works well in low light conditions while allowing us to keep a high resolution.

One trick to try is including landscapes in the foreground of these images.

beautifully colored seascape photography at night

Minimalist Photography

Minimalist photography captures a scene using the least amount of visual elements. These types of photography components can include color, texture, lines, and forms.

minimalist photography of a white arrow in a white wall

Mobile Photography

Mobile, or smartphone photography refers to all photography captured using your mobile phone.

And when we say all, we do mean all. From fashion to food to macro, your phone is a versatile tool.

a person holding a smartphone to take photos of buildings

Multiple Exposure

Multiple exposures have made a come back in the last decade as a creative photography theme. The photographer layers images in-camera or with editing software.

Here you get two (or more) scenes in one image, full to the brim with detail. You can use digital or analogue methods by layering negatives or going over an already shot film.

Black and white closeup of a woman's face and a wider portrait of her. The two images merged.

Newborn Photography

Newborn photography is the capturing of a newborn baby. This can be with or without other members of the family.

This is one of the only types of photography where safety is the number one element. The photographer handles the safety and welfare of the subject.

sweet close up newborn baby photography portrait

Night Photography

Night photography refers to all photography taken at nighttime. You need to use different camera settings, techniques, and gear to capture low lit scenes.

They can incorporate long-exposures and time-lapses.

Astrophotography is also possible with such specialisations as light-painting.

spiral light painting at night

Panorama Photography

A panorama photography shot is one that shows a large field of view. The photographer can do this in many ways. Either they use their mobile phone to record a panorama. Or you can stitch many images together.

By stepping away from wide-angle lenses, you stop any distortion entering your scene. Then you are free to show up to 360° of your scene.

Panoramic shot of a tropical beach

Pet Photography

Pet Photography is the act of photographing pets in a portrait manner. Examples of these could be photographing cats, birds or horses.

cute pet portrait of a brown dog outdoors

Photo Manipulation Photography

Photo Manipulation is all about photo editing software. Photographers can take a few shots and then manipulate them in Adobe Photoshop.

It takes time to darken and lighten areas, and use other adjustments to make parts of the scenes pop. The photographer can create a fantasy world, one which viewers have never seen the likes of.

A photo manipulated with many butterflies in the air


Photojournalism is the act of communicating news using photographic images. The primary use of these images is in magazines, using an editorial platform. They also incorporate still life, candid photography, documentary and war photography.

Travel, street, portrait, and architecture genres cross-over to make photojournalism possible.

a photojournalist shot of three monks walking down a street

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is the act of photographing people. Here, we look at their physical expressions and features. These include self-portraits and silhouettes.

close up portrait of an old man

Prism Photography

Prism photography is much like crystal ball photography. You capture through a prism-shaped glass element.

This creates a texture at the sides of your image, distorting areas that would otherwise be boring.

A girl standing infront of neon lights, distorted with the use of a prism

Product Photography

This branch of commercial photography captures objects for advertisement uses. You may find product shots in catalogues and brochures, or online.

Product photography includes jewellery and food images, to name a few.

a product photography shot of a pineapple and product bottle on a wooden chopping board

Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography is capturing a property for commercial or editorial reasons. Here, lighting techniques and the use of camera gear are very important.

This genre includes interior photography. This is where we only capture the inside of the house.

An interior photography shot of a luxurious dining room

Scientific Photography

Scientific photography isn’t a creative field as such. It is a way of record keeping. These types of photography could document new discoveries. They can also show the human body in abstract ways.

It is an all-encompassing genre and can range from portraits to macro images of cells. This is a specialised field. Technical ability is more important than the creative element.

Close up of a petri dish

Seascape Photography

Seascape, or ocean photography is a niche of the landscape genre. Here, the sea or ocean is the main focus. Other possibilities are boats, islands or rock formations and cliffs.

Coastal photography is also included in this genre.

serene seascape with an island in the distance

Social Media Photography

Social media photography is the act of sharing your images on social media platforms. They include but are not exclusive to Instagram and Facebook. These images can be editorial, still-life or fashion photography, to name a few.

They can also be part of commercial campaigns. All types of photography have the capacity to be social media photography images.

three people on smartphones standing outside an airport

Sports Photography

Sports photography is the act of photographing all kinds of sports. These can be fast-action sports, such as car racing and airshows. They can also be more relaxed, such as yoga photography.

Different sports need different camera gear, lenses, settings, and techniques.

sports photography action shot of a martial arts fight

Still-Life Photography

Still-life photography is the act of photographing inanimate objects to create a scene. Food, floral or product photography is an example of still-life photography.

a still life of four glass bottles holding flowers

Stock Photography

Stock photography is one of the fastest-growing photography business ideas out there. The photographer captures images for websites that sell their images for them.

Companies, photographers and bloggers buy these images to use on their own site. It’s cheaper than having to capture the image yourself.

This is an all-encompassing genre. It includes portraits, weddings, advertising shots, and landscapes. Anything that is sellable is on the stock photography websites.

Close up of a motorbike tyre

Street Photography

Street photography refers to images taken on or from the street. Looking at the everyday lives of people in public places is the general focus. This is also known as urban photography if the primary location is an urban or city setting.

This genre incorporates portraiture, architecture, and candid photography.

candid street photo of a woman standing in front of a stone wall

Tilt-Shift Photography

You can use tilt-shift photography with large-format cameras. This is down to the focal plane and the film planes being independent. You can change the focus not only horizontally but also vertically.

It removes the parallax errors found from photographing buildings. This genre can be very creative. From a high vantage point, you can make buildings look tiny a model village.

Tilt-shift image of a city from above

Time-Lapse Photography

Time-lapse photography is a succession of images of the same scene. The purpose is to show the scene in a state of fluctuation. These images will show all changes in a scene through the created video.

These take place during the day or nighttime (incorporating both is a ‘holy grail’).

Spectacular time-lapse photo of a planet moving through space

Travel Photography

Travel photography documents an area or location through the application of photography. This incorporates portraiture, landscapes, street, and nighttime photography.

National Geographic and professional photographers such as Steve McCurry made this genre famous. They use both color and black and white.

serene travel photo of the canals in Venice at sunset

Urban Exploration Photography

Urban exploration or urbex photography is the act of photographing abandoned places. This genre incorporates architectural and interior photography.

This type of photography is exciting due to its dangerous and ambiguous legal nature. Research is vital in this niche.

Interesting urban exploration shot of the interior of a multi leveled abandoned building

War Photography

This involves photographing armed conflicts and their effects on places and people. It is a form of documentary photography and photojournalism. The resulting images are for editorial use.

atmospheric documentary photo of a girl walking through destroyed buildings

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography includes all activities relating to weddings. It will encompass portraiture, family photography, posing and even drone photography.

They can be black and white images, and include specific props and gear, such as a photo booth.

Beautiful wedding photography of the bride and groom holding hands in front of a sunflower field

Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is about documenting animals in their natural habitats. Specialised equipment such as telephoto lenses are essential.

Wildlife photo of a mother and baby elephant in their natural habitats


This 60 types might be a lot to take in. We suggest you come back to this article as it collects the main genres of photography.

If you are a beginner, you are going to find loads of new ideas among these. Getting to know these types of photography is a nice start of this beautiful hobby.

But as a professional photographer, you can get inspiration here as well.

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