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Understanding Photography Genres and Its Categories


limits. It isn’t constrained by the ideals of artistry or creativity anymore. Instead, it has turned into a highly vibrant and dynamic platform within which a massive variety of visual possibilities can be digitally explored. 

However, when it comes to adopting photography as a career, one is often faced with the arduous challenge of choosing amongst the different genres of photography. How do you determine which type of photography should you actually pursue? Would it be wise to specialize in the awe-inspiring landscape photography, or would developing candid portraiture be a better decision?   

If you too have been wondering which photo genre would suit your signature style the most, compiled here is a detailed list of all major photography genres, understanding which can help you grasp their nuances in a professional, effective, and efficient way – 

**Aerial Photography **

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The concept of aerial photography as a separate photo genre was first introduced by the French photographer Gaspar Felix Tournachon, in 1858. He clicked a beautiful picture of the village Petit-Becetre from atop a hot air balloon, thus beginning the era of high-altitude, top view pictures. Since then, this photography genre has grown by leaps and bounds. At present, planes, helicopters, and drones are used by most photographers to click aerial photos.

**Wedding Photography **

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Being a photography genre that commands a lot of respect, wedding photography is known far and wide for its ability to capture the most festive wedding moments and turn them into a lifelong, memorable affair. People usually leave no stone unturned to hire a good wedding photographer who can click different types of photos and make their big day an event to remember. This genre is generally defined by multiple close-ups, long-view, and candid shots. 

**Portraiture **

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Portraiture is a specific type of photography that deals with both the subject and its character. As a photography genre, it aims to bring out the essence of a person’s personality and emotions. Be it corporates, families, or celebrities – portrait headshots have become quite commonplace for all sorts of occasions these days. However, not all photographers are equipped to click nuanced portraits. Getting a portraiture right can often take a lifetime of serious work. 

**Landscape Photography **

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Also known as environmental or scenic photography, landscape photography is a photo genre which specializes in clicking natural pictures. It captures the surrounding environment in its best possible form and lends it a more grand yet intimate outlook. It can further be categorized into storm photography, sun photography, seascape, urban landscape, and mountain view. These types of photos are usually clicked with long shutter speed and a focused, singular lens. 

**Sport Photography **

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Sports photography, in itself, is the most preferred photography genre for sports enthusiasts. It involves clicking close-up pictures of major sporting events using long lenses, zoom-ins, and quick cameras. Being a high-action, fast-paced style, it requires capturing moments at the higher shutter speed and a greater ISO than usual. Most pictures clicked as a part of sports photography are used for publication, advertising, promotional, and marketing purposes. 

**Wildlife Photography **

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Considered by many to be a sub-category of landscape photography, wildlife photography has developed into a separate photo genre quite recently. To put it simply, this photography genre is an extremely challenging pursuit that requires photographers to capture animals in their natural habitat. You might have to lie low for hours together, waiting for animals to reach a certain location. This means that you won’t just have to be technically sound but also pretty quick on your feet. 

**Food Photography **

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The rise of food photography as a distinct photography genre has begun with the emergence of social media. Previously, it was categorized under the genre of commercial/documentary photography. The primary aim of this type of photography is to click appealing pictures of delicious food items. Whether the food is served at a restaurant or a family gathering, a food photographer aspires to capture different eatables in their natural colors, flavors, and styles. 

**Architecture Photography **

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Architecture, whether interior or exterior, has a well-defined look and feel to it – precisely what photographers specializing in this photography genre intend to capture. Architecture photography doesn’t just deal with the shapes, structures, or colors of buildings; instead, it also deals with the management of multiple horizontal and vertical lines. These types of photos have to be clicked in natural light with a stress on the element of design. However, in most of these cases, any skewed angle or tilted camera can cause instant image distortion.

**Macro Photography **

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Macro photography is a lesser-known but highly appreciated form of photography genre that has carved a niche for itself today. Fundamentally, it focuses on making small objects/subjects appear larger than they are. The objects used for this type of photography are usually insects and plants. Clicking macro photos requires expertise in using magnifying lenses. If used properly, it can enable the most exotic colors to be captured.

**Fashion Photography **

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Out of the many different genres of photography, fashion photography has managed to capture the highest amount of worldwide attention. As a photography genre, it basically focuses on creatively glamorizing the subject so that it can look visually appealing and exciting. Fashion photography requires the perfect combination of lighting, location, and styling, coupled with a vast amount of teamwork, to generate the ideal picture. 

The Way Forward 

As times change, more and more photography genres will enter the visual ecosystem, thus making it possible for photographers to compose, create, and capture images in a plethora of attractive ways. This wouldn’t just turn this field into a highly sought after professional discipline, but it would also fill the portals of photography with unlimited creative opportunities. 

If you dream of becoming a professional photographer, you will need to gather proper knowledge, gain great exposure, and seek valuable experiences. The best strategy to do so would be by enrolling in a course that teaches you both, the techniques of capturing perfect visuals and the art of exploring different photography genres. If you are on the lookout for such a place that will refine your skills while aiding you in becoming a professional photographer, you can register here.

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Updated: Dec 30, 2019