23 Classic and New Photography Styles Explained

photography style cover

Do you think you know all photography styles? Discover classic and brand-new styles you’ve never heard of in this article. In this article, the WeEdit.Photos experts explained what makes each genre stand out, as well as mentioned photographers that could inspire you. Make sure to find out more about the specific traits of each genre to create a professional portfolio and develop your personal brand.

1. Portrait

Photographers to inspire: Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, David LaChapelle, Mario Testino, Mark Mann

Being one of the most popular photography styles, it allows photographers to capture what makes a person or a group of people unique. You can either ask your model to pose or capture spontaneous shots. Besides, this genre allows experimenting with various types of lighting and portrait background ideas. You can take either full-body or close-up photos.

brandon woelfel portrait photography style

Photo by Brandon Woelfel

Some portrait photographers specialize only in taking maternity photos and pictures of newborn babies, while others prefer taking family pics. Regardless of the area you work in, you can experiment with various techniques to take more unusual pictures.

portrait retouching by weeditphotos

If you have never used photo editing software for photographers before, but you want to give your pictures a more polished look, make sure to address WeEdit.Photos. Our experts will tweak colors, retouch the skin, and clean up the background within the shortest time possible. We can make your photos worthy of glossy magazines’ covers.

2. Wedding

Photographers to inspire: Marnix de Stigter, Julien Laurent-Georges, Leandro Donato, Mario De Luzio, Pedro Alvarez

Wedding photography is a genre that usually includes photos taken during an engagement, wedding reception and ceremony. Sometimes, photographers also add photos taken during the honeymoon to a wedding album. To make their pictures more unique, they use a variety of creative wedding picture ideas. For instance, they can capture “trash the dress” pics.

chris and ruth wedding photography style

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography

While you can find a lot of traditional wedding photos, many photographers have recently started working in the photojournalistic genre. The latter approach allows them to capture more candid images without asking guests and newlyweds to pose.

chris and ruth wedding photography style

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography

3. Street

Photographers to inspire: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Saul Leiter, Robert Doisneau, Vivian Maier, Fan Ho 

Photographers who practice street photography prefer working in public areas to capture urban life as it is. They don’t stage their photos and often take candid shots to show how people move around the city and live their lives.

petricor street photography style

Photo by Petricor Photography

Professionals who take such types of pictures capture everything they see without focusing on a specific theme. If you are interested in this genre, you need to consider the laws of the country where you are shooting. In some countries, you need to ask for consent before taking photos of people in the streets.

vivian maier street photography style

Photo by Vivian Maier

4. Fashion

Photographers to inspire: Julia Hetta, Giampaolo Sgura, Cass Bird, David Roemer, Lina Tesch

Fashion photography requires a high level of professionalism and advanced skills. Fashion photographers take photos in studios and various locations. They capture fashion shows, presentations, and other events.

To make their photos stand out, they use a variety of creative photo manipulation ideas. Depending on your skills and experience, you can capture either haute couture events or take photos in retail stores to promote clothing items that are being sold there.

angharad bailey fashion photography style

Photo by Angharad Bailey

5. Landscape

Photographers to inspire: Kilian Schönberger, Tiffany Nguyen, Lina Kayser, Dustin LeFevre, Christian Schaffer

This genre of photography involves capturing natural landscapes. They might also include people, animals or beautiful buildings. However, a photographer should focus on the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

max rive landscape photography style

Photo by Max Rive

In such photos, you can see magnificent seascapes, mountains, forests, and other breathtaking landscapes. Using tripods, you can stabilize your camera and take panoramic photos to capture all the beauty of a specific place.

marco grassi landscape photography style

Photo by Marco Grassi

6. Instagram

Photographers to inspire: Lindsay Adler, Chris Burkard, Jimmy Chin, Eva Kosmas Flores, Dylan Furst

Instagram is not only the most popular social media network for photos, it has long become a genre that sets new trends and impacts other genres. The most popular Instagram trends involve taking photos with a focus on one color and desaturation of other colors.

Photo by John Adams III

Besides, many photographers add flares and reflections to their pics. Instagram photographers popularized some film photography trends, such as adding noise to photos. They often take pictures in relatively unknown locations to create unique content for their followers.

Photo by Monica Figueras

7. Underwater

Photographers to inspire: Thomas Peschak, François Baelen, Todd Winner, Fan Ping, David Doubilet

Underwater photography involves taking photos when scuba diving, swimming, or snorkeling. Some photographers also use underwater vehicles and special cameras designed for this genre. Using professional equipment, you can capture photos of the underwater world and marine life as well as people swimming in the depth of the sea or ocean. However, you will need to use a special waterproof camera case  to protect your equipment.

zena holloway underwater photography style

Photo by Zena Holloway

8. Aerial

Photographers to inspire: Jordan Hammond, Albert Dros, Karl ‘Shakur’ N., Peter Yan, Stian Klo

By using aerial photography techniques, you can take photos of picturesque locations from a bird’s eye view. They can be taken by drone operators. Besides, you can take them from a helicopter or plane.

amos chapple aerial photography style

Photo by Amos Chapple

It’s important to understand that in many locations, the usage of drones is strictly regulated, which is why you need to get a certification first and ensure that you aren’t shooting in a restricted area. You can work in different photography styles to make your images more attention-grabbing.

Aerial photos are usually taken for artistic purposes or for promoting various touristic destinations. They are also used by cartographers, archaeologists, movie producers, environmental activists, and other professionals.

helder silva aerial photography style

Photo by Helder Silva

9. Macro

Photographers to inspire: Adam Gor, Javier Rupérez, Andrey Savin, Hans Thomassen, Jamie Price

Macro photographers take mesmerizing close-up photos of plants, insects and other small objects with beautiful patterns that aren’t visible from afar. Some of them also experiment with close-up photos of food and natural textures.

ihsan yildizli macro photography style

Photo by Ihsan Yildizli

To do macro photography, you need to purchase macro lenses that allow taking pics with a stunning level of detail and achieve a deeper depth of field. Besides, such lenses gather more light. Using extension tubes, you can capture subjects that are at a far distance. It will make it look as if you were standing close to them.

petar sabo macro photography style

Photo by Petar Sabo

10. Wildlife

Photographers to inspire: Franz Lanting, Marina Cano, Marsel van Oosten, Suzi Eszterhas, Sandesh Kadur

Wildlife photography is all about capturing animals in their surroundings. You will need to use a specific type of camera gear depending on the subject you are going to shoot. Photographers often use tripods and remote shutter releases as well as telephoto, wide-angle, or macro lenses, which allows them to capture moving objects and take clear photos.

jo-anne mcarthur wildlife photography style

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur

To take even more attention-grabbing pics of animals in their natural habitat, experienced photographers set up camera traps that are triggered by motion. It allows them to capture photos of animals without disturbing them. Such photos often get published on the pages of popular magazines, such as National Geographic.

sasint wildlife photography style

Photo by Sasint

11. Product

Photographers to inspire: Lucas Zarebinski, Nori Inoguchi, Harold Ross, Peter Belanger, Timothy Hogan

This sub-genre of commercial photography involves taking photos for ads. Product photos are used in catalogs and posted on eCommerce platforms to make listings more informative. Their main purpose is to show a product in the best light.

david newton product photography style

Photo by David Newton

To ensure that your product photos meet all the modern requirements, it’s better either to use a white background or remove it altogether using any background removal tool available online. Besides, you can use the ghost mannequin technique to make photos of various clothing items more appealing.

amanda campeanu product photography style

Photo by Amanda Campeanu

12. Lifestyle

Photographers to inspire: Jon Luvelli, Robert Frank, Arthur Fellig, Bruno Barbey, Werner Bischof

This genre is perfect for those who want to capture candid moments of happiness. You can take photos of people in different situations to show how they live their lives. The difference from the documentary genre is that photographers often need to ask people to pose, however, the overall scene should look unstaged.

mark delong lifestyle photography style

Photo by Mark Delong

13. Still Life

Photographers to inspire: Evelyn Bencicova, Suzanne Cummings, Marcel Christ, Bas Meeuws, Anne Hoerter

Still-life photography focuses on beautiful inanimate objects. You can capture photos of natural objects or man-made ones. There are two different sub-genres of this genre, artistic and commercial. You can take still-life photos that will be used for promoting products. Photographers take pics of food, plants, household items, and other objects that allow them to create a well-balanced composition in the frame.

margot pandone still life photography style

Photo by Margot Pandone

When doing still-life photography, photographers capture groups of objects. To ensure that all the elements in the frame are well-lit, you need to discover more about the lighting for still life photography and learn how to arrange objects in the frame. By mastering basic rules, you will be able to take stunning pics even without using professional gear.

garreth paul still life photography style

Photo by Garreth Paul

14. Food

Photographers to inspire: Laura Muthesius, Mowie Kay, Lenka, Marc Haydon, Louise Lister

Photographers who specialize in food photography take photos of delicious dishes and products. This type of photo includes images that are used for promoting products online, but they are also used in restaurant menus and cookbooks. To take high-quality photos, you might need to work together with a professional food stylist and art director. You can also invite another stylist who specializes in props.

olimpia davies food photography style

Photo by Olimpia Davies

To take more appealing photos, you might also capture pics of various food substitutes made of artificial materials. Such products look almost the same as original dishes but can last longer without melting. Remember that it’s also important to learn how to edit food photos in Photoshop to give your pictures a professional look.

olimpia davies food photography style

Photo by Olimpia Davies

15. Architecture

Photographers to inspire: Berenice Abbott Carol, McKinney Highsmith, James Austin, Julius Shulman, Sergio Castiglione

People who are interested in architectural photography shoot buildings, architectural elements, and various constructions trying to capture the beauty of urban landscapes. If you are interested in this genre, you can also take stunning pictures of bridges, barns, warehouses and other objects that catch your eye. When taking such photos, you need to pay attention to framing and capture lines and patterns to structure your frame.

adam mork architecture photography style

Photo by Adam Mørk

When trying to capture the details of buildings, you need to pay attention to lighting. For instance, if you need to take photos outdoors, make sure to learn about various techniques that allow you to work with natural light.

Using a tilt-shift lens, a tripod, and a panoramic head, you can take more professionally-looking photos. Photos in this genre will be useful for investors, architects, designers, and other professionals.

griselda duch architecture photography style

Photo by Griselda Duch

16. Event

Photographers to inspire: Chris Lusher, Ralph Alswang, Stephen Green, Darrylee Cohen, Christian Oth

Event photography techniques will be useful for those shooters who often work during various events and need to capture guests and various activities. This genre includes photos in different photography styles taken during weddings, birthdays, conferences, concerts, and other family and public events.

benjamin arthur event photography style

Photo by Benjamin Arthur

Photographers can either take personal photos capturing the strong bond within a family or group of similarly-minded people, or take images that can be used for promotion purposes. Many of them shoot at fast shutter speeds to capture moving guests or other participants of events.

andy paradise event photography style

Photo by Andy Paradise

17. Travel

Photographers to inspire: Frauke Hameister, Robert King, Pedro Quintela, Adam Desjardins, Chris Henry

This type of photo will appeal to avid travelers who enjoy exploring the world and capturing pictures of different locations across the globe. It was popularized by National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler. These days, there are a lot of photographers who take travel photos and publish them on Instagram.

andy vu travel photography style

Photo by Andy Vu

Strictly speaking, this genre encompasses elements of several genres. You can use elements of portrait, landscape, architecture, urban and night photography to take attention-grabbing images. To work in this genre, you may need to get a comfortable camera bag, lightweight and compact tripod, as well as memory cards and batteries. Don’t forget about getting insurance and buying a rain cover as well since it might be impossible to predict weather conditions when working outdoors.

andy vu travel photography style

Photo by Andy Vu

18. Sports

Photographers to get inspired: Neil Leifer, Hy Money, Aaron Chang, Camilla Rutherford, Richard Heathcote, Chris Burkard

Sports photographers usually work during sports events trying to capture athletes during the game and take photos that show the genuine emotions of all participants of such events. These professionals often work for sports magazines. They also know how to create a perfect photo for an ad promoting sportswear.

brian powers sports photography style

Photo by Brian Powers

To work in this photography genre, you need to learn more about AF, find out how to choose the right timing, and experiment with shutter speed to capture moving objects in the frame. Sports photographers prefer using long telephoto lenses as they allow them to zoom in on their subjects.

jan kasl sports photography style

Photo by Jan Kasl

19. Astrophotography

Photographers to inspire: Vincent Bouchama, Sean Parker, Navaneeth Unnikrishnan, Manuel Dietrich, Wayne Pinkston

This genre usually involves capturing pictures of celestial events and bodies in all their beauty. For instance, you can take landscape photos and capture the stars in the sky or focus on shooting solar and lunar eclipses.

stefan liebermann astrophotography style

Photo by Stefan Liebermann

If you are serious about astrophotography, you will need to purchase professional tripods, remote shutter releases, star trackers, wide-angle lenses, and telescopes to capture all the details. When shooting at long shutter speeds, you can take photos of stars, shoot time-lapse pics, and create artistic light paintings capturing star trails in the sky.

yifan bai atrophotography style

Photo by Yifan Bai

20. Night

Photographers to inspire: Bill Schwab, David Baldwin, Robert Brook, Andy Frazer, Christopher Hubble

To do night photography, you need to learn how to take photos at night. You can take pictures of the starry sky, take photos during open-air concerts, capture city skylines, take photos in industrial areas or on the roads, shoot lakes, brightly illuminated amusement parks, or fireworks. Regardless of your subject, you need to learn how to use various techniques to ensure that there is enough light in the frame.

marcus wendt night photography style

Photo by Marcus Wendt

Most photographers take photos at a long exposure and use time-lapse techniques. Besides, you can try creating a light painting or experiment with spiral photography. To achieve the best result, you can’t do without professional gear. Make sure to use tripods, shutter release cables, flash units, and special camera lenses that can be used in poor light conditions. In addition, you may need to learn how to edit night photos in Photoshop to emphasize the most important details.

marilyn mugot night photography style

Photo by Marilyn Mugot

21. Pet

Photographers to inspire: Alicja Zmyslowska, Natalie Große, Claudio Piccoli, Anne Geier, Kaylee Greer

Pet photography involves taking photos of cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, and other pets. It is somewhat similar to portrait photography as it allows a photographer to capture each animal from up close. Shooters often add various props and accessories to the frame to grab the attention of an animal and make it pose for a photo.

anne grier pet photography style

Photo by Anne Grier

When doing pet photography, photographers work both in the studio and outdoors. If you don’t have any experience in this genre yet, you can try taking photos in a park nearby or other locations.

anne grier pet photography style

Photo by Anne Grier

22. Real Estate

Photographers to inspire: Michael Kelley, Richard Caplan, Bree Hunter, Aubrey Antis, Jonathan Kissock

Real estate photography is a popular genre that makes it easier for people to sell their properties. Such photos are often posted on the websites of real estate agencies. Photographers usually take photos of interiors and exteriors to make listings as informative as possible.

scott basile real estate photography style

Photo by Scott Basile

To succeed in this genre, pay attention to lighting and experiment with different techniques. Photographers need to use extra light sources to take nicely-looking photos. Using wide angle lens and a tripod, professionals can fit all the important details in the frame and take clear shots. It’s also essential to use advanced techniques, such as exposure bracketing in photography.

scott basile real estate photography style

Photo by Scott Basile

23. Documentary

Photographers to inspire: Madoka Ikegami, Arthur Lumen, Allison Dinner, Jorge Chavarria, Javier Arcenillas 

Documentary photography allows photographers to capture life as it is, be it candid moments of everyday existence or pivotal events in history. It’s suitable for people who need to capture a story of a specific object or an event seeing as it unfolds in front of their eyes. They can take various types of pictures in a variety of locations.

maxim dondyuk photography style

Photo by Maxim Dondyuk

Photographers can take documentary photos in any location, such as busy city streets or areas of conflict and violence. Many professionals prefer taking black-and-white photos when working in this genre. Some shooters also take portrait photos to capture the reaction of a person to an event.

maxim dondyuk photography style

Photo by Maxim Dondyuk

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