#Back to the Roadmap


The majority of my photos are landscape and a few pictures I made on the street, but there are many types of photography. This page will describe some of the most common types.

  • Portrait

In portrait photography you capture people and their personality. This is done by family shots or in a shoot where you photograph one single person. Since you need to capture the personality of your model(s), getting to know them is important. However there are times you photograph a person you’ll only talk to for a minute (i.e. when you meet an interesting person on the street). In this case try to capture what attracts you to this person. Knowing what composition makes a good portrait is essential in portrait photography. Another skill you need is to make people feel comfortable around you.

  • Landscape

This is probably the most accessible type of photography. All you need is a camera and a piece of nature (and ideally a tripod and wide angle lens). You might think that the more spectacular the scene (like a mountain or waterfall) the easier it is to make a beautiful picture. But since your camera doesn’t show depth, your picture might turn out flat, while your scene is a nice deep canyon. So you need to know how to create depth using composition and despite a beautiful scene, you need a clear subject.

  • Wildlife

Wildlife photography is a very challenging sport (yes, I wrote sport). If you plan to photograph wild animals, you need to know their behavior, how to approach them and be very patient. Professional wildlife photographers sometimes wait for days on a dirty and cold spot to capture that perfect moment when a wild animal walks by.

White Stork

A White Stork in the meadows of Loosdrecht, The Netherlands. I saw this Stork feeding at the same place for a few days in a row and decided to capture it. Sneaking to get closer and not getting noticed was a nice hunting experience.

  • Street

Taking pictures on the street is not street photography. In this type of photography you need to tell a story, and if it involves people, you can’t be shy and you need to involve this person. You can overcome shyness by practicing, just talk to a lot of people and it will be easier to approach strangers at one point. But there are some things to keep in mind when shooting on the street. How do you cope with homeless people, or fighting people? Photographing in public places is allowed in most countries, but for a homeless person the streets are like his or hers living room. And how would you feel if a stranger would take a photo of you while you are at home? Emotions are very delicate and you need to respect people showing strong emotions like anger or sadness.

Let's sit, not walk. Put your phone away and let's talk.

Let’s sit, not walk. Put your phone away and let’s talk. A photo I made in Amsterdam, when I saw this girls sitting back-to-back.

  • Minimalism

One of the other types of photography is Minimalism. This is a form of art where you capture a minimal set of elements to tell a story. The essence of a story is captured in a small proportion of a canvas or photo. Taking a photo with just one or two elements is not enough to create a beautiful minimal photo. Lines, high or low contrast, complementary colors, or using black and white are important tools to create powerful yet simple photos. Click here for 39 amazing examples.

  • Sports

Photographing people who do sports is not sports photography. Just like all other types of photography the story makes a photo interesting. It can be difficult to get close to the action, so a long lens is needed. To capture the quick dynamics of the sports a useful method is called “panning”, this takes some practice. Panning is where you follow the subject with your lens with a fairly slow shutter speed and take a series of pictures, to get a blurred background, but a sharp subject.

  • Still life

Just like in painting, capturing still life in photography is were you take photos of lifeless objects in an attractive setting. The most difficult part of photographing still lives is creating a great light that makes the scene interesting to look at. Practicing and gaining knowledge on how to use flash and natural light is important. Some examples on still life can be found on 500px.

  • Travel

There are many adventures who like to travel. Some of us are lucky enough to travel professionally. They get payed to travel to far countries and capture that country. They capture the landscapes, the people, the flora and fauna. And all these pictures tell a story about the country. So travel photography is a combination of many types of photography and you need to be a “multi-disciplined” photographer who can connect to strangers, even if they don’t speak their language. It is helpful to speak different languages and essential know the cultures of the country you visit.

A traditional Greek house in Ano Volimes, Zakynthos.

A traditional Greek house in Ano Volimes, Zakynthos. I photographed this during a vacation in 2013. This typical house is one of the few left after a heavy earthquake in 1953.

  • Lomography

Lomography is analog form of photography where you shoot from the hip. You shoot what you see without looking tough the viewfinder and wait for the result when you develop your film. Read this link for the ten golden rules of lomography.

  • Stock

When your primary intent is to sell photos, stock photography is an option for you. This are commercially attractive photos, mainly of daily objects. I feel a lot of photographers don’t enjoy this, but trying some “table top” photography can improve the way you use light really well! This is one of the most productive types of photography as you are mainly “producing” photos.

  • Fashion

As a fashion photographer you work with models and/or items. Where you try to capture peoples personality in portrait photography, you try to capture the “personality” of fashion items like watches, dresses, jewelry, shoes or make-up. Sometimes you’ll be working with human models, but also with animals or lifeless objects. The main focus should always be the fashion piece (except maybe for artistic reasons).

  • Wedding

Capturing the most important day in a couples live is a big responsibility, yet seeing a pleased client is very rewarding. Being a photographer at a wedding is hard work. You have to be there when the bride is getting dressed to capture the “behind the scene shots” (usually at 4 or 5 am), you have to be ready for the big moment, you have to be there for the family photo, and at the party or reception. And afterwards you need to edit and deliver photos. It is recommended to have a second photographer, to get the most out of the occasion. Also be sure you have a back-up camera and lots of storage! Wedding photography is a mingle of many types of photography!

  • Nude

Nude photography can be portrait or fashion photography, or an art project. You respectfully create a photo where beauty of the model is central. Feeling comfortable around naked people, and don’t let them feel naked is essential (besides the obvious photography skills). Don’t make your model wait too long for you to set your camera, and if they need to wait, hand them a robe.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Update: Types of photography – Join the poll! | Luvo

  2. Anonymous

    Reply

    To me photograghy means a lot of intererests…..so the two we are limited to vote on are just a mall piece of my real intentions……

    Maarten

    • Reply

      Hi Maarten, Thank you for your comment. I partly agree. However most photographers have a few specialties, while they can have all-round interests. And within these specialties there can be a big diversity of subjects. E.g. in street photography you photograph people, still life, or abstract photos.

      But these all-round interests aren’t specialties, therefore I limited the poll to two choices.

      Happy Sunday and kind regards,
      Tieme

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