51 Different Types of Photography You Can Capture Today!

types of photographyFrom the first-ever recorded photo taken in 1826, the art of photography has now taken on so many new dimensions.

So whether you are just starting out, or have many years of experience under your belt. Here are 51 types of photography that you can start capturing today!

Well, maybe except for #37 (see below). Let’s get stuck in!

51 Different Types Of Photography In 2023 (Genres + Images!)

1. Landscape Photography

A classic art form, landscapes are one of the most common types of photography. You also see landscapes in other art, such as oil painting.

It’s a rather broad term, encompassing some other sub types. Just about anywhere a person may go, there will likely be subject matter for landscape photography.

It’s also a great way to bring back vacation souvenirs in a non-destructive way. “Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.”

At many national parks, removing natural objects is actually illegal, but photograph is often encouraged.

2. Portrait Photography

Another classic art subject, there are several sub types of this genre as well. A portrait may be spur of the moment, or it could be completely planned out in specific detail.

When someone takes a good picture of a person, the subject is often pleased. Go beyond the snap shot level.

Make it your aim to provide people with a pleasant view of one of their favorite subjects. Someone’s favorite subject just might be themselves!

If the number of selfies on social media is an indication, anyways. A good portrait, even a simple unplanned one, is sure to satisfy.

3. Architectural Photography

The earliest known photographic image was an architectural image. It took so long for Nicéphore Niépce to expose the image that you can see directly sunlight falling on both the East and West walls!

Architecture can be imaged abstractly, as a study in light and shadows, or basic and straightforward. All of it can be rewarding.

4. Wildlife Photography

A great image of a wild animal in an exotic locale can capture the imagination and attention of viewers.

This is one of those types of photography that may involve much skill, endurance, and planning to capture just the right shot. It can happen at the spur of the moment, provided you are prepared for it.

A weeks-long jungle trek or a weekday afternoon at a local zoo can both yield excellent photos. Look for tips online like this one.

5. Wedding Photography

Mention professional photographers and this is probably one of the first types of pros that come to mind for most people.

As a profession, this can be very demanding. The end results are typically full of joy, however. Hard work and dedication pay off for those sticking with it.

You can also try it out for fun. Just be careful not to interfere with the paid professional.

6. Commercial Product Photography

The end use of the photo could be an online auction, or it might be a national print ad. The need for technically perfect and visual appealing product images is huge and likely always will be.

Commercial photography can be done on location or in a studio of virtually any size.

Products from luxury cars to trendy clothing items to basic kitchen utensils sell best when consumers visualize the product.

A huge industry surrounds the entire process of advertising, photography is major part of that. Here is a video with some tips to get you started.

7. Sports Photography

This type of photography encompasses parents watching their sons and daughters playing soccer to professional photographers on the sidelines of the Superbowl.

Similar to wildlife photography, sports photography is best accomplished by photographers who are familiar with the subject and skilled enough to capture the action as it’s happening.

Good sports photography doesn’t always have to center on action. A skilled photographer can tell a story from before the action to afterwards.

To learn more, check out my guide on the best sports photography cameras.

8. Stock Photography

This would also include micro stock. Of all of the different types of photography for making money, this is one of the most varied.

Basically, anything that sells is fair game for subject matter. The monetary amounts per sale are on the small size, but the beauty of stock photography is that sales can add up over a long period of time with many purchases.

9. Real Estate Photography

Of the different types of photography for making money, real estate photography is among the fastest growing and busiest.

A lot of different skills are necessary for success in this genre. Wide-angle photography, HDR, flash photography, twilight photography, all need to be mastered in order to present the property in the best light to prospective buyers.

10. Street Photography

Though street photography has been around since the start of photography, it really came into its own with the advent of what were called miniature cameras.

In the 1920s and 1930s, 35mm rangefinder cameras were considered miniature. Today’s digital imaging lets you get really small.

The Decisive Moment” is the defining concept of street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson wrote the book on street photography. No, seriously, he actually did write the book!

11. HDR Photography

Some types of photography cause a whole lot of discussion pro and con. HDR is definitely a hot topic among serious photographers.

HDR is High Dynamic Range photography. HDR can look very natural, like what our brains interpret the scene before our eyes to be.

Plus, HDR can also look somewhat unreal. Some subjects can look very interesting processed in HDR.

Where HDR really helps is in real estate and commercial photography. Rendering details in the highlights and shadow area to be visible and natural appearing can enhance the visual appeal of the subject.

Whether you want a natural look or an artsy feel, HDR can be fun and rewarding. Here’s a good article.

12. Panoramic Photography

Using digital cameras, stitching together multiple frames in order to get a very wide-angle view is easier than ever to do.

Depending on how many frames you shoot and how wide the lens is, you could get a 360 degree spherical image showing an entire area.

Some point and shoot cameras and smartphones have automatic modes for simple panoramas.

A specialty tripod mount called a nodal mount is what’s used for the high detail large panoramas.

13. Nude Photography

Popular as a fine art form, nudes are a somewhat tricky subject for some photographers.

Nudes are differentiated from glamour photography in that nudes are generally more abstract or at least focused on the form and shapes of the human body as opposed to any erotic imagery.

Workshops on nude photography are a good way to break into this artsy genre. Local camera clubs are a good source for these workshops.

14. Long Exposure Photography

A tripod-mounted camera can achieve some very interesting effects, even in broad daylight.

Images that have something in motion, such as clouds or water, can make a special effect that can change the way you see everyday subjects.

Long exposures also work for extreme low light scenes. If you want an image of a black cat on a coal pile at midnight on a moonless night, long exposure techniques are what you would use.

Additionally, you can see my post here on cameras for nigh photography.

15. Macro Photography

Taking something very small and having it fill the image frame is a form of macrophotography.

The details of an electronic circuit, or the face of a colorful bug, or the inside workings of a piece of machinery, all of these can be subjects for macrophotography.

Macro images can enhance a listing of jewelry for sale. Postage stamps and other small documents are good subjects for this interesting photographic genre.

If it’s small and you get close enough to make an image filling the photo frame, you’re pretty much engaging in macro photo work.

To learn more, see my post on the best macrophotography settings and tripods.

16. Newborn Photography

Not just newborns, but any infants. It’s a form of portrait photography, but with some very important needs.

Just sticking a camera and flash in a baby’s face won’t get you or the parents a memorable infant portrait.

A pleasant temperament, some creative props use, and good lighting can enable you to create a photo that will leave parents wanting to use you again.

17. Event Photography

I separate weddings and events in my lists. Because weddings are a very special type of event with their own rules and needs.

Other events need to be photographed, too. A corporate luncheon, an awards ceremony, or a holiday party can fall under this type of photography.

It’s not simply candid photography, documenting an event can often be a great way to earn extra money as a freelance photographer.

18. Concert Photography

I also list concerts separately from general events. With concerts, you will often to deal with very difficult lighting, a lot of distractions, and fast-changing subject matter.

There have been some amazing pictures of live performances publicized in magazines or online sites. Be careful of copyright issues, both your own and the bands.

19. Boudoir Photography

A specialty niche of portraiture, the boudoir is one of the fastest-growing types of photography for hire.

Boudoir photography can be a simple session or a full production with hair and make-up artists, wardrobe changes, and well-lit sets.

Slightly different from straight glamour photography, boudoir images are popular as gifts for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, or as part of a wedding album.

The image used may be private or for wide distribution. A good introduction for anyone interested.

20. Food Photography

Not your basic lunch selfie posted on social media, good food photography can be a restauranteur’s best tool to grow their business.

The techniques involved are similar to commercial product photography, but with some specialty imaging requirements added in.

For instance, you may need to make a dish look piping hot or a beverage appear bubbly and refreshing. This is another fast-growing and busy freelance niche.

21. Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography can be virtually any subject. What makes it fine art is how it’s presented.

We’re not talking about using Wal-Mart photo lab or our own bargain-priced all-in-one printer. A fine art photo often is presented as an archival quality print, acrylic or metal print, or printed on canvas.

Fine art tends to be very selectively processed with the final display medium in mind.

There is as much variation in fine art photography as there are photographers online.

Take a little more time shooting and post-processing, spend a little more for premium printing, and see what end up making as fine art.

22. Abstract Photography

While we’re on the subject of artsy stuff, let’s look at abstract. Again, almost anything can be made abstract.

Shooting patterns of shadow only, or reflections in a puddle, or doing some extreme post-processing image manipulation can be a form of abstract photography. Art is in the eye of the beholder and in the mind of the creator.

23. Astrophotography

From the Moon (Earth’s natural satellite) to a planetary conjunctions, to deep sky objects, astrophotography can give you hours of photographic enjoyment.

This is one of those types of photography that involves much more than exposing and then viewing the image. A lot of research and planning goes into a successful astronomy photoshoot.

It also requires some careful photo techniques. You won’t be able to just whip out a smartphone and get an awesome image.

Tripods, special mounts, and filters for specific wavelengths of light are among some of the specialty equipment used. Once you get it all down, astrophotography can be a very rewarding hobby. You can learn more here.

24. Drone Photography

Generally speaking, you’ll need a drone to engage in this genre. A drone can be simple and small, with a low to medium resolution still or video camera.

It could also be a large machine that is capable of holding a professional series camera or camcorder, and many choices in between. The great thing about drones is the out-of-the-ordinary perspective you can get from a high vantage point.

Plus, real estate listings with a high view stand out from the crowd. As do overhead views of places and objects we are familiar with on the ground. Drones don’t have to up above our heads to be useful.

A video camera on a drone can give a nice traveling eye-level viewpoint, too. Be sure to comply with local regulations and restrictions.

25. Black and White Photography

In this world of digital imaging and smartphone snapshots, B&W tends to get overlooked. But, both in digital and analog film photography, black and white imaging can deliver an outstanding work of photographic art.

While many cameras have a B&W mode, shooting in RAW and post-processing to black and white allows for creativity, freedom to change or enhance contrast levels, and generally a more presentable work of art.

Additionally, just about any subject can be used in black and white.

Besides looking great, B&W photography can teach a serious photographer a whole lot about light quality, contrast, exposure, and composition. Hey, if it was good enough for Ansel Adams…

26. Photomicrography

Much like astrophotography, photomicrography requires some specialized equipment and techniques.

Also similar to deep-sky imaging, photomicrography opens an otherwise unseen or unexplored world of images to fascinate viewers.

Equipment can be as inexpensive as a simple digital sensor on a basic microscope or as sophisticated as a university research lab’s scientific equipment. Check this out.

27. Pet Photography

It’s a portrait. Of an animal. And this is another one of those types of photography that can go from a fun hobby to a full-time freelance career in a heartbeat.

You can do it in your home studio or on location. The important factors are being a good portrait photographer and loving pets.

Being able to react quickly to capture poses and expressions is essential. Unless the pet is a turtle.

28. Photojournalism

As a career, the photographers engaging in this are a special combination of news hound and spur of the moment photographer.

While a news worth picture can be very basic, it’s often the event and how it captured that makes the difference between a snapshot and actually capturing the significance of an event.

It’s no wonder that most agencies hiring photojournalists require a degree in the field. To get started, see my list of the best cameras for journalism.

29. Aerial Photography

While many have gone over to using drones, there is still a need for aerial photography. Aerial photography can be low-level or done from many thousands of feet up.

As part of your vacation pics, seeing some interesting views from the airliner you came in on can enhance your album.

30. Candid Photography

Unplanned, but not unplanned for. The best camera for the photo is the one you have on you and ready to shoot. A lot of events, such as weddings, are asking for candid shots.

Unposed, natural, spur of the moment. A smartphone can be employed here, but so can a full-blown professional system camera. Just be ready to take a picture.

Some wedding photographers like to have a second shooter for capturing all the fun in and around the event.

Candid photography is also useful for vacations, family events, and street photography.

31. Firework Photography

Step one, fireworks. Step two, camera. There you have it. Actually, there’s a little more involved. Here’s another very fun type of photography that benefits greatly from a little bit of advanced preparation.

Finding a good vantage point is one of the more vital aspects. Tripod use and good exposure technique are important as well.

32. Lightning and Storm Photography

Since lightning usually comes in a storm, I’ll list these together. Storm photography is linked to storm chasing for a lot of people.

If you are into storm chasing, to get that eye of the hurricane shot or the F4 tornado bearing down on an abandoned barn, please be careful.

Things can turn very bad very quickly. Lightning photography with a remote release is a great thrill when you capture that perfect image.

33. Fashion Photography

A form of commercial photography, fashion photography uses models (usually) to display the clothing, jewelry, shoes, or accessories being featured.

Knowing good lighting techniques is important, as is being able to direct models into just the right pose or position.

Generally rather fast-paced, fashion photography is a world of its own. Sometimes, the fashion photographer themselves has become the celebrity being featured in an ad campaign.

If you want to try this type of photography out for yourself, local photo club workshops are often a good place to start.

Or, ask family and friends to be your subjects. Even if you don’t become the next Richard Avedon, you might have fun!

34. Underwater Photography

Under the sea lies another mostly unseen world of beautiful potential photographic subjects.

Using underwater housings or specially made underwater photo equipment, you can bring to the surface the wonder and beauty of the natural world underwater.

Well, I guess you could also take pictures while staying in an underwater hotel.

Single-use film cameras are still available that are usable in 5 to 15 feet of water. Some small point-and-shoot cameras are usable down to about 33 feet.

Specialty cameras like the Nikonos or housing for SLR and mirrorless cameras can follow a diver even deeper.

Some special training or certificates may be necessary for some deeper dives, but a simple underwater point and shoot used while snorkeling on vacation offers awesome results.

35. Action Camera Photography

Made hugely popular by the GoPro line of action cams, this genre of photography is perfect for active sports people. An action cam can be mounted on a helmet, on bicycle handle bars, or even on a dog.

Useable in either video or still picture modes, bringing along an action cam is a must-do for thrill-seekers, too.

Hang gliding, extreme surfing, cliff diving, and parachuting from the stratosphere are some things I’ve seen action cams used for.

36. Time Lapse Photography

All you really need is a camera and some way to keep it stationary, and you could go do this right now.

Simply point your camera somewhere, and make a series of exposures at intervals of time. Some current cameras have a time-lapse feature built into them, or you could use a remote control that has intervalometer functions.

Some ideas for time-lapse images are a flower opening up, clouds moving across the sky, a construction project’s progress, or an eclipse of either the Sun or Moon.

37. Satellite Photography

This is a little difficult for the average photographer to get into, but if you happen to find yourself on the ISS, by all means, give it a try.

The world at night is a fascinating look at the planet we live on, compiled from many satellite images. Satellite photos also assist meteorologists in weather forecasting and storm tracking.

Google Earth lets us plan our trips to the perfect place to take photographs, showing us a bird’s eye view of almost anywhere on the planet.

So, you may not be able to take these photos, but photographers sure can use them.

38. Still Life Photography

In the art world, still, life has been a popular subject among painters. Those same subjects also look good as photographic images.

It can be very relaxing to engage in this type of photography. All you need is some stuff, a camera, and time to let your creative juices flow.

It’s also quite useful as a training method for lighting, composition, and post-processing methods.

39. Smartphone Photography

Often called in the media iPhonography, there are other phones that have cameras in them, like Android models.

You may have heard it said that the best camera for any given photo is the one that you have on you and is ready to go.

That’s where camera phones, or phone cameras, excel. They are always ready, always with us. A lot of us anyways.

Despite what some people loudly believe, a phone’s camera is limited by the sensor size. You can’t change the laws of physics, Captain!

Still, with the current crop of smartphones, you can get some pretty amazing results. Apps are available for all sorts of post-processing, too.

Now, if only someone would take a selfie with Bigfoot or Nessie. This is the ultimate guide on iPhone photography.

40. Instant Photography

Edward Land revolutionized consumer, professional, and scientific photography when he invented the Polaroid film system.

Even though digital lets you see an image file right away, there is still an appeal to holding physical prints in your hand.

Several new brands of films and cameras have come out for consumer use that is making instant photography popular again. If you’ve got an event coming up, see my list of best instant cameras here.

41. Travel Photography

Encompassing several different types of photography, travel photography can be an exciting hobby or a lucrative pastime, or both!

I’ve seen some self-published travel and photo books that are absolutely stunning. I’ll be doing one myself as soon as I get the time!

42. Forced Perspective Photography

Forced perspective imaging can turn what may appear to be toys into a beautiful works of art.

It is also the style of photography that lets you slam dunk the full Moon or lick the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It is easier to do than you might think at first, but it requires a mastery of several skills in the art and craft of photography.

43. Tilt / Shift Photography

Related to forced perspective in some instances, tilt/shift can also be extremely useful for architectural and tabletop photography.

It requires some specific equipment and a good knowledge of basic photographic theory.

44. Tabletop Photography

A sub-type of product photography that can be done in with little extra equipment in a very limited space.

Especially useful for selling via online auctions and other websites. Here are some ideas for how to do it.

45. Infrared Photography

To be clear, IR photography is not thermal imaging. It is imaging optically via wavelengths of light beyond the range of normal human vision.

There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Post-processing a RAW file is one way. Using specially modified digital sensors or film manufactured for IR, along with optical filters is another.

Thermal imaging isn’t really a photographic process, but it is still a lot of fun to do. Also helpful in the construction industry. It isn’t IR photography, though.

46. Photo Booths

Great for parties and events, a photobooth can be made from items found in your house plus a camera and a computer. You could build one for very little money.

Provide it for free, rent it out, or sell onsite prints for fun and profit.

47. Pin Hole Photography

An excellent project for school kids or a great way to learn about the theories and science of photography, optical properties, and light itself. You can buy the pieces or make them by hand.

48. Light Painting Photography

Photography is drawing with light. Why not take a literal approach? Set up a camera on a tripod in a dark place, open the shutter, and use a flash, sparkler, or flashlight in order to create images of the light itself.

49. Social Media Photography

Encompassing almost every type of photography, optimizing your images for engaging a global online community can advertise your brand anywhere people can access the internet or cloud.

To get more growth, check out my post on the best photography hashtags!

50. Dental Photography

A very specialized genre of imaging, dental photography is why we now have ring lights. Digital cameras are perfect for this since the dentist can see the patient’s needs instantly.

51. Personal Project Photography

Whatever interests you, whatever challenges you, make it your own personal project. In that way, you will enhance your skills, your creativity, and your art.

Photography is a great hobby, and an awesome way to make a living. Whether it is for light fun, as a serious hobby, or as a profession, photography is very rewarding.

Final Thoughts

I love photography! It’s a wonderful thing to have a job that brings a person so much enjoyment.

Even though there may be some challenges and a lot of hard work, even tedious work at times, Photography is one of those professions that let you take time off from photographic work by doing more photography.

That’s because there are so many types of photography!

You don’t have to employed in a photographic job to enjoy several types of photography.

Whether just a beginner or dabbler in the art and craft, or heavily invested in time, passion, and effort, there is a type of photography that appeals to that person. Sometimes several types.

A photographer can be deeply involved in one or more types of photography as either a job or the main interest, and yet still find other avenues of creativity within this rewarding art form.

For instance, a wedding photographer may see landscape photography as a form of recreation. Or someone good at producing beautiful close-up images of nature might find architectural subjects an interesting hobby.