Imagine 💡

Create 📸

Inspire ⭐

Photography genres

Photography is a powerful medium that captures and preserves moments, memories, and emotions that can last a lifetime.

From capturing stunning landscapes to creating vibrant portraits, photography offers many opportunities to explore various genres, niches, and styles...

Photography genres

1. Portrait photography

Portrait photography is one of the most common photography niches.

Portrait photography is the art of photographing a person or a group of people with the goal of capturing their personalities and stories into a single frame. With the rise of more advanced smartphone capabilities, most beginners turn towards portrait photography as their intro to photography.

There is something about capturing a genuine expression from an individual that allows us to gain introspection. It is for this reason that portrait photography has remained one of the most popular photography types throughout history.

Portrait of a girl near neon lights
Example portrait

2. Landscape photography

Landscape photography is another common photography niche and type.

Landscape photography is the art of photographing the outdoors with the goal of bringing the viewer into the scene. With the advent of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and the rise of better smartphone technology, landscape photography has also increased in popularity.

Landscape photo of trees near a lake.
Example landscape photo

3. Street photography

Street photography is the art of capturing a candid moment of a subject in its current environment.

The subjects are often living beings such as people or animals. The difference between a street photograph and a regular portrait photograph is that in portrait photographs, the subject knows they will be photographed.

There are “street portraits,” however, that combine the two concepts.

Street photo of a street in Japan.
Example street photo

4. Headshot photography

Headshot photography involves a portrait picture focusing on the person’s face. Headshots are very popular when in need of a new profile picture for one of many public digital profiles that we now use on a daily basis.

Headshots and portraits can be quite similar, but I like to make the distinction that a headshot usually only includes a photo of a subject from their shoulders to their head.

A portrait can be of a subject’s whole body. The way I like to think of it is that a headshot can also be a portrait, but a portrait isn’t necessarily a headshot.

Headshot of a man in a suit.
Example headshot

5. Still life photography

Still-life photography is the art of capturing an inanimate subject in a created setting. The particular arrangement and lighting in still-life photography are what separates a professional still-life photographer from an amateur.

Still-life photo of flowers in a vase.
Example still-life photo

6. Food photography

Food photography is a type of still-life photography that focuses on food as its subject.

Food photo of a chocolate cake.
Example food photo

7. Sports photography

Sports photography is the art of capturing events and moments during sporting events. Sports photography is often considered a branch of photojournalism.

Sports photo of two motorcyclists on a track.
Example sports photo

8. Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography is the art of capturing various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat and environment.

Wildlife photo of a lioness.
Example wildlife photo

9. Macro photography

Macro photography is the art of capturing an extremely close-up image of a small subject, such as insects, flowers, etc. Macro photography often accompanies a macro lens, which allows you to capture these larger-than-life images.

Macro photo of a red flower.
Example macro photo

10. Event photography

Event photography is the art of capturing moments, guests, and occurrences at an event or occasion. Event photographers are often needed when there are parties, music events, or any other gatherings where the moments will want to be remembered.

Event photo at a concert.
Example event photo

11. Fashion photography

Fashion photography is the art of capturing a subject in a certain set of fashion items, such as clothing or accessories. Fashion photography is often found in fashion magazines or websites such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, etc.

Fashion photography is similar to portrait photography; however, in fashion photography, the main attention should be on the clothing or fashion items instead of the subject’s expression.

Fashion photo of red head girl on a rooftop.
Example fashion photo

12. Newborn photography

Newborn photography is the art of capturing newborn babies. Since newborn photographers are dealing with babies, safety is the #1 priority.

The plus side of newborn photography is that you’ll often have the parents as your assistants, and they can hold up and pose the baby!

Photo of a newborn in a bed.
Example newborn photo

13. Photojournalism

Photojournalism is a form of journalism that focuses on capturing images that will help the narrative of a news story. At its core, it's about telling a story through an image.

People taking photos in a temple.
Example photojournalism photo

14. Stock photography

Stock photography is the practice of capturing photographs with the sole intention of licensing them for use. Stock photographers upload their images to Stock Photography Websites and, in return, make some money from their images.

The relationship is mutually beneficial. People use stock photographs for their websites, and stock photographers take photographs for the money.

Stock photo of pink flowers on a tree.
Example stock photo

15. Documentary photography

Documentary photography is the art of capturing events/images that are significant to history and everyday life.

Documentary photography and photojournalism are similar, but the main distinction people make is that documentary photography is often deemed long-term, whereas photojournalism is often associated with breaking news images that will be shown in newspapers, on the news, etc.

Workers shoveling sand.
Example documentary photo

16. Weather photography

Weather photography is the art of capturing the weather on a given day through a photograph.

To be a great weather photographer, you also need to be able to read and understand particular weather conditions, such as storm patterns. You must also know how to use tools such as radars to follow the weather and stay safe.

Photo of lightning in the sky.
Example weather photo

17. Night photography

Night photography is the art of capturing images outdoors at night.

Night photographers often capture subjects that illuminate the dark sky of night. Examples of subjects of night photographers include the stars, city lights, or other bright lights.

Photo of Japan street at night.
Example night photo

18. Architectural photography

Architectural photography is the art of capturing photographs of buildings or other architectural structures with an emphasis on their lines, curves, or patterns.

In order to capture a successful architectural photograph, the image should be aesthetically pleasing.'

National centre architecture in Beijing.
Example architectural photo

19. Astrophotography

Astrophotography is the art of capturing astronomical objects and particular areas of the night sky where celestial events occur.

In order to be successful in astrophotography, you’ll often need the right equipment, which includes telescope lenses and certain camera filters. The images that are captured, however, are truly out of this world.

Stars in night sky by house.
Example astrophotography photo

20. Wedding photography

Wedding photography is the art of capturing wedding events and the special moments that occur on the day.

Wedding photography is often considered the most stressful type because you are capturing someone’s “big day,” and there are many moving parts. The upside is that wedding photographers often can make a lot of money due to the grandiose nature of the event.

Married couple kissing in front of wooden door.
Example wedding photo

21. Travel photography

Travel photography is the art of documenting the area, landscape, people, and culture around you. Travel photography is often done when one is currently “traveling” and wants to document the moment around them.

Travel photo in Switzerland.
Example travel photo

22. Underwater photography

Underwater photography is the art of capturing images while underwater.

In order to successfully capture underwater photographs, you will need a good waterproof camera and often need to have experience scuba diving, swimming, or snorkeling. The subjects of underwater photographs are often the sea life in the water.

Underwater photo of a clownfish.
Example underwater photo

23. Aerial photography

Aerial photography is the art of capturing images from above, with either the photographer in some type of aircraft or using a flying object, such as a drone, to take the photo.

The images that are produced from aerial photographs are often used in cartography, land planning, environmental studies, conveyancing, movie production, or even espionage.

Aerial photo of a church.
Example aerial photo

24. Boudoir photography

Boudoir photography is a niche of photography that highlights and embraces the intimate and sensual beauty of one’s body. Well, let’s start with what Boudoir itself means. Boudoir is a French word that refers to a woman’s private dressing room.

Simply put, it is a cherished place she has to herself with a more playful, provocative look, with nudity that is implied rather than shown. However, creating Boudoir photos requires a thoughtful approach to the subjects’ bodies, clothing, and personality.

To those who are having their picture taken, boudoir photography is fashionable or glamorous, but to the photographer, there is a crucial difference. Fashion models are professionals with experience in photography, but with boudoir photography, many subjects do not have the experience.

Because of the style of photography, they are uncomfortable, and they might not know how to pull off even the most basic poses of Boudoir photography. Thus, Boudoir sessions require photographers to possess certain directing, posing, and communicating skills.

There are as many styles of Boudoir photography as there are photographers. From classical looks that are dramatic, luminous, or playful to vogue images with the addition of vintage, pin-up, maternity sessions, and fine-art nude ideas.

With these many ideas of Boudoir photography, there is also a required skill set for the photographer to communicate with their clients. From researching different photographer portfolio websites for some inspiration to operational and technical prep. The key to success in Boudoir photography depends on the photographer’s clear vision of what their model wants and a touch of what the photographer can offer.

Boudoir photo of a woman behind glass with water on it.
Example boudoir photo

25. Lifestyle photography

Lifestyle photography is the art of capturing images of people in real-life events and telling a story through that image.

Lifestyle photography is similar to portrait photography in the sense that it is planned; however, lifestyle photographs are a bit more candid and should aim to capture and document a real-life event.

Lifestyle photo of a woman doing yoga.
Example lifestyle photo

26. Pet photography

Pet photography is a niche within the broader category of animal photography that focuses specifically on capturing images of pets. The goal of pet photography is to capture the personality and unique qualities of pets in a visually appealing and memorable way.

Pet photographers often work with various animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and other domesticated animals, and may specialize in certain breeds or types of pets. This type of photography may be done in a studio, outdoors, or in the pet owner's home. The resulting photos can serve as cherished keepsakes and beautiful works of art.

Pet photo of a cat laying in grass.
Example pet photo

27. Commercial photography

Commercial photography is a genre of photography that is used to create images for commercial purposes. The main goal of commercial photography is to promote or sell products or services.

This can include images for advertising, marketing, and branding purposes. Commercial photographers work with various clients, including businesses, corporations, and advertising agencies, and may specialize in different niches such as food, fashion, or product photography. They may work in a studio or on location and use specialized lighting and camera techniques to create images that meet their clients' specific needs. The resulting photos are used in various media, including print ads, billboards, websites, and social media.

Commercial photo of an airplane on the runway.
Example commercial photo

28. Automotive photography

Automotive photography is a niche within commercial photography, focusing on capturing images of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles.

The goal of automotive photography is to create visually stunning and impactful images of these vehicles that showcase their unique features, design, and performance. Automotive photographers may work with various clients, including car manufacturers, dealerships, and individual car enthusiasts.

They may shoot in a studio or on location, using specialized lighting and camera techniques to capture the desired effect. The resulting photos may be used for advertising, editorial, or artistic purposes.

Automotive photo of a car near a hillside and tent.
Example automotive photo

29. Concert photography

Concert photography is a type of photography that focuses on capturing images of live music performances, including concerts, music festivals, and other events.

The goal of concert photography is to capture the energy, emotion, and excitement of the performance in a visually stunning way. Concert photographers must work in low light conditions and be skilled at capturing fast-moving performers and dynamic lighting effects.

They may use various camera equipment and lenses to capture the desired effect and may work in various venues, including stadiums, clubs, and theaters. The resulting photos are often used in promotional materials, music magazines, and other media related to the music industry.

Concert photo with neon lights and crowd.
Example concert photo

30. Cityscape photography

Cityscape photography is a type of photography that focuses on capturing images of urban landscapes and cityscapes. The goal of cityscape photography is to showcase the unique architectural features and character of a city, as well as its energy and vibe.

Cityscape photographers may shoot from various locations, including high vantage points, rooftops, and bridges, to capture the best views of the city.

They may use a variety of camera equipment and lenses to capture the desired effect and may also use techniques such as long exposure to create stunning visual effects. The resulting photos are often used in tourism, real estate, and other promotional materials related to the city.

Cityscape photo with a boat on a lake with a bridge.
Example cityscape photo

31. Fine art photography

Fine art photography is photography focused on the aesthetic, beauty, and meaning.

While a fine art photographer may choose to sell their works of art later, it isn’t the commission or utilitarian aspect that the photographer focuses on when setting out for a fine art photograph.

Fine art photography often revolves around the photographer/artist themselves. Exploring how the photographer sees a scene and how they are able to capture a composition based on how they view the world.

Many fine art photographers also implement a certain color grading technique in post-production that mimics the color grading of classical fine art paintings.

Blue waves with orange sunset.
Fine art photo example

32. Jewelry photography

According to Statista, the value of the global jewelry market is close to 230 billion USD.

Starting from small-time craft jewelry shops to globally reputed brands, humans naturally love adorning themselves with beautiful ornaments.

These days, a jewelry business is nothing without its photography. Digitalization has enabled people to purchase all luxury goods right from home, making jewelry photography very important for visual attraction.

When it comes to jewelry photography, a lot of the tips are similar for general macro photography:

  • Use a macro lens
  • Use a tripod
  • Keep your subject (jewelry) clean
Red ring jewelry.
Jewelry photography example

33. Editorial photography

Editorial photography is a unique form of visual storytelling that involves capturing images to accompany written content or stand as standalone pieces with a creative or narrative concept.

This genre encompasses various styles and approaches, including fashion, food, and photojournalism.

Similar to an author crafting a compelling story through words, an editorial photographer weaves together visuals to engage and captivate the audience. To understand editorial photography better, let’s imagine it as a puzzle, where each image acts as a puzzle piece that contributes to the overall narrative.

Like the diverse shapes and colors of puzzle pieces, different genres within editorial photography offer a variety of styles, themes, and moods. For example, a fashion editorial might focus on evoking emotion through striking images complemented by minimal text, while a food editorial might showcase the beauty and artistry of culinary creations.

Just as each puzzle piece is essential for completing the picture, every image in editorial photography plays a crucial role in conveying a story or concept.

You can most likely experience the power of editorial photography when you look at magazines.

Editorial photography example of girl in suit.
Editorial photography example

34. Corporate photography

Corporate photography is anything that involves photography that’s related to promoting a company’s product and services. Every business needs visual content to lure in potential customers. With the goal of selling and branding, corporate photography can use various subjects such as animals, buildings, facilities, or even nature.

As long it promotes its brand, it will work! For example, let’s use Nike’s advertisements. Their ads evolved and used various subjects starting from; shoes (obviously), models, and even nature. Although it may seem that they are just taking pictures and slapping a quote on them, you cannot deny that their message is strong.

Creativity paired with their “magic mantra” brings an insanely sharp edge in the fight for sales. Their success inspired other brands to start using corporate photography and even incentivize photographers to make more stunning pieces.

It can also improve a company’s image to market more sales. A common example of brands promoting themselves as supporting PRIDE, especially the last Sunday in June. Which often works in the business’s favor.

Corporate photography example of Nike shoes.
Corporate photography example

Why should you find a photography niche?

Finding a niche has many benefits. One of them is that you won’t be competing with everyone.

If you decide to try to become an expert in five different styles of portrait photography simultaneously, you may find yourself in the situation of being a “Jack of all trades but master of none.”

Another major benefit to finding a niche is that it will make it easier for you to describe to customers and people what it is that you do and what products/services you offer. This is important when it comes time to write or brainstorm your business plan, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

How do you find the right photography genre?

Now that we’ve covered all the different types of photography genres and touched on the importance of finding a genre let’s dive into how you would find the right genre/niche for your photography business.

It’s important to note that this is regarding picking a niche for your photography business—in other words, how you will make money with your photography. If you want to enjoy all the photography niches in your free time as a hobby, that is great!

Let's dive into how to find the right niche for you.

1. Research all the niches out there

The first step in finding the right photography niche is researching and knowing all your options.

You need to know all the different types of photography niches so you can start to consider which ones sound interesting and align most with your current skill set.

If you dwindle it down to a list of 3-5 niches that sound interesting to you, do some more research on each niche, watch some YouTube videos of people in that niche, check out the different photography educational creators in the different photography niches, then narrow it down even more until you’re left with 1-2 niches!

2. Evaluate your interest

The second step to finding the right photography niche is to evaluate your interests.

Take note!

A big mistake I see many people make is wanting to immediately dive into Wedding Photography because it pays well, although they may hate shooting weddings. Why would you do this to yourself?

I can’t speak for you, but the reason I got into photography is that I enjoyed capturing moments and the artistry behind photography. If I didn’t, I would find another way to make money. With all that being said, evaluate your interests.

Example questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Do you like photographing outdoors? If yes, then maybe look into the options that mainly involve outdoor photography and maybe stay away from indoor event photography or studio photography.
  • Do you like working with people? If yes, maybe look into portrait, event, or street photography. If not, then maybe stick with product photography, night photography, wildlife photography, etc.
  • Do you love working with a lot of equipment? If yes, look into photography niches that require the latest and best gear, such as astrophotography or aerial photography. If not, maybe stick with a niche that requires only 1-2 pieces of gear, such as outdoor portrait photography or street photography.

3. Evaluate your current skill set

The third step is to evaluate your current skill set. Although some might disagree, I believe certain niches require a sort of “prerequisite.”

For example, with street photography, I think it’s best to first hone in on your portrait photography and landscape photography skills so you can develop basic composition skills and knowledge of lighting and shadows.

The same goes for wedding photography. I think it’s best to hone in on portrait and event photography skills before attempting to photograph a wedding, where the stakes are a bit higher.

Evaluate your current skill set and be honest with yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a photographer will help you determine what areas to focus on before diving into a particular niche.

So, what if you’re a beginner wanting to dive into a niche with no current skill set? This is where knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important.

If you know this is your weakness (that you don't know anything yet), then you can take the necessary action to improve upon that weakness such as being a second shooter for someone, reading up on that photography niche, and tips to improve, watching videos, taking an internship, doing a couple shoots for family and friends to “get your feet wet,” etc.

It’s hard to know the next course of action if you don’t know where you are currently at.

4. Narrow it down

Once you research all the niches and evaluate your interests and current skill set, it’s time to narrow it down.

Remember I mentioned writing a list of all the particular niches that interest you? Well, now it’s time to narrow that list to 1-2 niches that you will want to focus on. Once you have narrowed your list, it’s time to move on to the next two steps.

5. Research competition

The fifth step when choosing a photography niche is to research the current competition within your area.

To find the current competition in your area, go to Google and type in “ [insert photography niche] + [location].”

These are good keywords to check and see what competition you have in your local area. For example, if you want to dive into the portrait photography niche and live in New York, you would type in “portrait photography in New York” or “portrait photographer in New York.”

If you live in Austin, Texas, you would type in “portrait photographer in Austin, Texas.”

Once you have done that, take note of everyone who is ranking on Google and showing up in the GMB (Google My Business) map pack. I recommend seeing everyone who is ranking on Google up to page 3. To find those showing up in the GMB map pack, click here and note everyone showing up.


It’s important to know who your competition is so you can see how they are branding themselves as a photographer, positioning their service, and gaining insight into profitability and price metrics.

When on the competition’s website, you should look at four things: their about page, their services/products pages, their portfolio, and their price page.

Side note: If you don’t have a website set up for your business, you need to do so ASAP. Here is a guide on creating a website.

About page

Their About page will reveal how they are branding themselves and how they are positioning their service (what makes them unique).

Service/product page

Their service/product page will reveal the type of sub-niche they have (if any). For example, if they are a portrait photographer, you may find that they only shoot indoor portraits.


Their portfolio page will reveal the level of quality that they deliver

Price page

Their price page will reveal the going rate in your area for the type of photography niche you are in. You can then cross reference this with their portfolio. If the quality level of their work is similar to yours, then you can be confident that you can charge the same or a bit more for your own services.

On the note of pricing, let’s dive into the next step.

6. Determine profitability

The 6th step for choosing the right photography niche is to determine profitability. Money is the lifeblood of companies. As mentioned, when researching competitors, take note of the average price your competition is charging and then work out the math.

Calculate how much you want to make a year to be profitable, then calculate how many photoshoots a month it would take to make that based on the going rates. Of course, you will also have to factor in taxes and stuff but there are just rough estimations for right now.

If you get to step 6 and do not like the profitability, the competition, or your overall confidence in that niche, then start over and go from steps 1 - 6 until you feel confident.

Once you accomplish step 6, it’s time to move on to the last step.

7. Put it on paper

Once you’ve accomplished all the previous steps, then it's time to put it on paper so you can lay out a game plan for your business.

It’s time to create your business plan, which will lay out each stage of starting and managing your business. This plan will serve as your roadmap for structuring, running, and scaling your photography business. Within the business plan, you will also outline marketing strategies, the products/services you plan to offer, and your revenue model.

The process of creating a business plan will give you further insight and vision into your business and what it will take to become successful in the photography niche you have chosen.

© 2024