Top 10 Photography Genres

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Photography is a highly influential and powerful visual medium, which creates a lot of impact on the viewers. Be it in the News papers, TV, Online, etc. The content is highly complimented by the photographs. The very live example is this article itself which has equal number of photographs along with the content. As the famous quote goes,” A picture is worth a 1000 words”

Photography is a vast field that reaches all the age-gruops of the society. So basically photography is known as the visual documentation of events and some memorable moments (personally).  Along with the growth of technology the evolution in this medium radically and proved very beneficial to all. In olden days photos were the symbol of excitement and cameras were symbol of status. Now photography is accessible to all irrespective of what medium it is. People around the world use different styles of photography. But if we classify in general ; Commercial photography ,Artistic photography, Technical photography are major sub divisions. Apart from these, there are so many genres/types of photography, out of which we list top ten

10) Light painting:

Light painting

It is one of the most interesting kinds of photography. Photography itself is playing with lights. But light painting is something where the photograph looks like a design. Here the camera’s exposure is set in Bulb mode and the light painting is done to hand held lights. Use of tripod also plays a key role, but one has to make sure that the frame is fixed. The light painting photographs are very attractive and as said earlier give an expression of a design. It is something little unusual from reality and it depends on photographer about how he/she balances the subject and the mix of light painting in a photograph. This is a very challenging type of photography.

9) Sports photography:

sport photography

It is known that everyone would love to see the photographs of the players. This genre has been the most economical, there are so many still photographers appointed for many international matches irrespective of any game. It is more about freezing a moment when it comes to sport photography. It does come under photojournalism as many work in the context of covering the event rather than a hobby. These photographs are really relished and are documented. In this genre, the joy, anger, spirit and sportsmanship is seen in the photographs rather than beauty, story etc. It is used for advertising purpose as well.

8) Street photography:

street photography

It is the capturing of human activity in those particular outdoor surroundings. Street photography is not about capturing the street rather it is capturing the soul and life of those streets. Most of them are candid moments (refer point 1). Street photographs are lively and have a story and moment in it. Many photojournalists are street photographers. It falls under both professional and a hobby genre as well.

7) Bokeh Photography:

bokeh photography

“Bokeh” is a Japanese word, which means blur or aesthetic beauty of blur.  In simple, the creative usage of blur parts in a photograph which looks very color and glorious is what Bokeh photography is all about. It is very easy and exciting once you know how to get Bokeh photograph. If you want it in the form of lights (heart, diamond shaped lights) a little home work is needed. But this has been the most creative genre which creates a sense of attraction even at the out of focus portion in a photograph.

6) Portraiture:


The photographs which have high emphasis on the mood of the subject and the facial expressions are called portrait photographs. Here subject eyes are keenly directed towards the camera aperture which gives a feeling that subject is in direct eye contact with the photographer later viewer once it is published. It can be of solo subject or family photographs, basically it came from the portrait painting which was highly on demand before the invention of camera. Portraiture usually tells a story and subject’s mood is clearly noticed through the eyes.

5) Floral photography:


It is a simple and colorful type of photography. The name itself reads, it’s about the photos of different flowers.  Although it may not seems all that difficult but it’s a genre of macro-photography and sometimes it’s tedious task to find the good colorful blooming flowers with a complementing natural light, for which one has to wait for a particular time of the day. Most of the amateurs photographer prefer to go for floral photography, most of these photos are used for medicinal and botanical studies. It is the most highlighted sub branch of nature photography.

4) Studio Photography:

Studio photography

How many times you have gone to studio to take a passport photograph in the studio? It is the basic indoor photography, where in indoor fashion, food and product genres are also seen. Studio photography includes even wedding and portraiture photographs as well. Here group of professionals combine and build a studio which is completely meant for economical gain. Many big studios are meant for fashion purpose. When it comes to indoor food and product it is useful for advertising purpose.

3) Food Photography:


Food photography is commonly seen in all the places. It is high in demand due to the advent of advertising. It does need some skill as it depends on photographer to show the group of food products and different varieties of food in a pleasant and attractive way. This is one of the most common category, as it can been on all our food products. This genre is very commercial and at the same time aesthetic as well. Many professionals and even amateurs go for food photography which is easy, economical, professional and creative too.

2) Wild life photography:


Wild life photography is the most challenging and adventurous type of photography. One needs to have telephoto lens to capture the animals in the jungle. Many aspire to be a wild life photographer, but it is risky and equally thrilling as well. It is again meant for both as a professional or a hobby as well. Some are paid very high when take on such projects e.g.: National Geographic, Animal Planet etc. Many amateurs go out for adventure trips and try wild life photography just as a hobby. But this genre has a lot of scope, money, creativity and risk factor in it. Photographs are used for zoological studies as well. Remember, the photographer must be very patient, alert and sometimes a stalker while  capturing the wild animals.

1)  Candid photographs:


Capturing the photographs of the subject, where he/she is clueless about the camera and photographer is called candid photography. Here the subject is not looking directly into the camera he/she and is completely unaware of the photographer. Most of the photographs we see in the news papers, books and many historic pictures are candid. The photographs display the natural expression of the subject.  These are generally seen in wedding photographs. It even comes under the rubric of photojournalism. Sometimes it is called secret photography, generally in sting operations. It is very difficult to categorize this genre of photography as it is almost seen in all subject based photography genres. All sorts of emotions and expressions are seen in these photographs. Sometimes these candid photographs really captures the ‘honest’ moment ,that can be shocking and too hard to take. Example is Kevin Carter’s Vulture photograph.

Conclusion: Leaving these genres apart there are so many genres like, architecture, travel, nature, aerial, land/cloudscape, panoramic, aquatic and many more. But these are some exceptional types which are accepted by universal photo lovers. Though we are social beings we often find ourselves isolated and lonely, and it is in our genes to live together in a family and society. The photography world brings all of us under one shelter. No matter the type of photography that it is, the point is to have fun, and to be able to look back on our images and remember important moments in our life. And get nostalgic and learn something.


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