33 Creative Types of Photography to Inspire Your Next Shoot

33 Creative Types of Photography to Inspire Your Next Shoot

Photography is a fascinating art form that has the power to capture memories, emotions, and moments in time. There are many different types of photography, each with its own techniques, equipment, and styles. Each type requires a unique skill set and approach, from landscape photography to portrait photography.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just getting started in the world of photography, understanding the various types of photography can help you grow as an artist and improve your skills.

Types of Photography You Need to Know

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular types of photography and photography styles you should know and give you a glimpse into the captivating world of capturing images.

Abstract Photography

 Abstract photography is a fascinating and creative genre of photography that focuses on capturing images that are not always recognizable as traditional photographic subjects. This type of photography typically showcases unconventional angles, unique lighting, and unexpected textures that abstract the subject matter.

Abstract Photography
Abstract landscape

Abstract photography often incorporates elements of surrealism and expressionism, transforming ordinary subjects into abstract works of art.

Abstract photographers can create stunningly beautiful and dynamic images that challenge the viewer’s perception of the world around them by using color, pattern, form, and texture. 

Whether you want to experiment with different techniques or simply enjoy viewing striking and thought-provoking images, abstract photography deserves your attention.

Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is a type of photography that involves capturing images from above, typically by using an aircraft, drone or balloon. This type of photography can be used for various purposes, from capturing stunning landscapes to surveying construction sites.

Types of Photography: Aerial Photography

Aerial photography has become increasingly popular in recent years as technological advancements have made capturing high-quality images from the air easier and more affordable. The use of drones has made aerial photography more accessible to amateur photographers and hobbyists, while professionals continue to use aircraft and specialized equipment to capture unique and striking images from above. 

Aerial photography provides a unique perspective on the world and allows viewers to see familiar places from a completely new angle.

Architectural Photography

Architectural photography involves capturing images of buildings, structures, and other architectural designs. The aim of this type of photography is to highlight the beauty, design, and unique features of the building or structure.

Architectural photography can vary based on the structure’s style and the angle from which it is shot. Some photographers focus on capturing the intricate details of a building through close-up shots, while others opt for wider shots that showcase the entire structure in its environment. Different styles of architectural photography include abstract, black and white, and aerial shots, among others. 

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In many cases, architectural photography is used to showcase and promote the work of architects, designers, and builders.


Astrophotography is a photography niche that captures images of astronomical objects, celestial events, and the night sky. It requires specialized equipment such as telescopes, cameras, and lenses to capture images of celestial objects like stars, planets, and galaxies. Astrophotography requires the photographer to have a good understanding of astrophysics and astronomy and a good knowledge of photographic techniques. 

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The genre focuses on the beauty and mystery of the universe and allows us to explore the cosmos in an impossible way with the naked eye. Astrophotography is a constantly evolving field, and technological advancements have allowed us to capture more stunning and detailed images of celestial objects than ever before. It is a challenging but rewarding genre that allows photographers to explore the beauty of the universe and share it with others.

Black and White Photography

Black and white photography is a genre focused on capturing a subject’s essence without the distraction of color. This style of photography has been around since the advent of the camera, and it continues to be a popular choice for photographers today.

Black and white photography focuses on light, shadow, texture, form, and composition. It allows photographers to convey mood and emotion in a way impossible with color photography.  Fine art photography, portrait photography, and architecture are areas where black and white photography is particularly popular. 

Black and White Photography
Black and White Landscape photography

Even though color photography has become the norm, black and white photography still offers a unique and timeless appeal that cannot be replicated.

Candid photography

Candid photography is a type of photography that captures moments in a natural and unposed manner. It involves capturing people in their everyday actions and emotions without any direction or intervention from the photographer.

Candid portraits focus on people’s expressions and emotions, often conveying a sense of spontaneity and authenticity.

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Candid street photography captures everyday scenes and people in public spaces, depicting the realities of daily life. 

Candid photography can be challenging as it requires the photographer to be able to anticipate and react quickly to capture fleeting moments. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding, as the resulting images often convey a sense of truth and spontaneity that is hard to achieve through posed photography. Candid photography can create powerful images that tell compelling stories and convey a sense of intimacy with the subject.

Cityscape Photography

Cityscape photography is the art of capturing the beauty and essence of city life through the lens of a camera. It involves taking pictures of buildings, streets, and other urban features that are unique to a particular city.

Whether taken during the day or at night, urban photographs can be used to showcase a city’s skyline, streetscapes, and landmarks, allowing viewers to see and appreciate its distinct character.

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Different techniques, such as long exposures, panoramic views, and HDR imaging, can be utilized to create stunning cityscapes. Photographers specializing in urban landscapes have a keen eye for detail, composition, and lighting and know how to capture the vibrancy of a city to make it come alive in their imagery.

Whether photographing a famous landmark or the hustle and bustle of a busy street, cityscape photography is a way to capture the energy and excitement of urban life.

Composite Photography

Composite photography is a popular genre and type of photography that combines multiple images to create a cohesive and visually stunning final product. This type of photography requires a keen understanding of digital photography and graphic design, as the photographer must know how to blend and manipulate different images seamlessly.

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The beauty of composite photography lies in the artist’s ability to create something beyond what was originally captured in any single photograph. Whether it is creating a surreal landscape, blending images of people to create a unique portrait, or compositing different elements to create a scene that never existed, composite photography allows for endless possibilities and creativity.

It is a challenging and rewarding type of photography that continues to gain popularity among artists and enthusiasts.

Contemporary Photography

Contemporary Photography is a genre of photography that encompasses the current trends, styles, and practices of photographers today. It involves using new technologies, techniques, and concepts that reflect the current cultural and social landscapes.

Contemporary photographers use various techniques such as digital manipulation, mixed media, and alternative processes to create their works. This genre also includes a diverse range of sub-genres, including many various types of photography such as documentary photography, street photography, architectural photography, conceptual photography, people photography and fashion photography. 

Contemporary Photography

Overall, contemporary photography is an exciting and dynamic field that continues to evolve and push the boundaries of what is possible in the medium.

Documentary Photography

Documentary photography is a type of photography that captures real-life events and situations to tell a story through images. This style of photography is often used to present a social or historical message and can range from capturing everyday life to significant world events.

Documentary photographers usually aim to capture reality in an objective way without staging or manipulating the images. This type of photography requires a keen eye for detail, as the photographer needs to be able to capture those decisive moments that tell a story.

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© Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother

Documentary photography has become increasingly popular as it allows viewers to experience a slice of life they may not have otherwise seen. It also creates a record of history that can be passed down through generations.

Editorial Photography

Editorial photography is a type of photography that incorporates the art of telling a story through visual images. It requires a skilled photographer to capture the essence of the message and convey it through their photographs.

Editorial photography is often used in journalism, magazines, and other media outlets to illustrate news stories or feature articles. The purpose of editorial photography is to evoke emotion, provoke thought, and inspire action. It is a powerful tool that can bring attention to important social, political, and environmental issues.

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A good editorial photograph should capture the viewer’s attention and make them curious to learn more. Editorial photography requires technical and creative skills to produce images that can effectively tell a story.

Event Photography

 Event photography is the art of capturing fleeting moments and special memories during a particular occasion or gathering. It is a popular genre of photography that requires skill, technique, and creativity to capture an event’s mood and atmosphere effectively.

Whether it is a wedding, corporate event, or social function, event photographers are responsible for documenting the highlights and emotions of the day. Their lighting, composition, and post-processing expertise ensure that the images they produce tell a story and evoke a sense of nostalgia. 

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Event photography is essential in preserving the cherished moments of our lives and enables us to relive the magic of the day long after it has passed.

Family Photography

Family photography has always been a valuable way of preserving memories and capturing precious moments. It is the art of capturing the unique essence of a family, from the dynamics between parents and children to the intimate moments shared between siblings.

A family photograph captures a moment in time that can never be repeated, making it a timeless keepsake that can be passed down for generations. Family photography sessions can be captured in various settings, from a studio environment to the great outdoors.

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A professional family photographer can create a comfortable atmosphere, enabling the family members to relax and be themselves, creating candid and natural images that truly reflect who they are.

Whether it is a family portrait or a snapshot of a fun activity, family photography can freeze a moment in time and serve as a reminder of the joy and love shared within a family. Being able to look back at these images can evoke emotions and memories that will last a lifetime.

Fashion Photography

 Fashion photography is one of the oldest types of photography and has been around since the camera’s inception. It is a type of photography that centers around displaying clothing and accessories and is often used in advertising campaigns and editorial spreads.

Fashion photography, much like portrait photography, attempts to capture the essence, personality, and style of the subject. It is a dynamic field that requires a keen understanding of the latest trends, lighting techniques, and creative vision.

Fashion Photography

Over the years, fashion photography has undergone several transformations, from highly stylized images to more naturalistic, candid, and lifestyle photography styles. Nonetheless, it continues to be an outgrowth of the art form and remains a highly respected and enduring genre of photography.

Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography is a genre of photography that focuses on creating images that emulate the style and emotion of traditional art forms, such as painting and sculpture. Artists use fine art photography to explore their own unique vision while still working within the boundaries of traditional genres.

Fine art photographers strive to create aesthetically beautiful, meaningful images that capture a moment in time. Their work may be abstract or representational, but ultimately it should evoke an emotional response from the viewer. 

Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many artists using it as a means to express their creativity and explore new and innovative ways of capturing the world around them. Whether through landscapes, portraiture, or still life, fine art photography offers a unique and powerful way to communicate ideas and emotions through visual imagery.

Food Photography

Food photography is a popular genre of photography that focuses on capturing images of food. It is a specialized field that requires experience, creativity, and knowledge of techniques that enhance the appearance of food.

With the increasing popularity of mobile photography, food photography has become more accessible to the masses.

Food Photography

While traditional product photography emphasizes the appearance of a product, especially in advertising, food photography is more about making the food look as appealing and appetizing as possible. People are drawn to images that showcase food’s colors, textures, and presentation. 

Food photography can be considered its own genre of photography, and practitioners seek to highlight the beauty and artistry that go into preparing and presenting a meal.

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography has emerged as one of the most popular types of photography, focusing on capturing the natural world around us. This genre of photography involves capturing images of beautiful landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to sunsets over the ocean.

This type of photography often emphasizes the natural beauty of a location, with a focus on the colors, textures, and unique shapes. Nature photography can also play an important role in landscape photography, with a focus on flora and fauna of the area.

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Ultimately, landscape photography is one of the genres that appeal to photographers who are passionate about the natural world and want to capture its beauty in imagery for others to appreciate.

Long Exposure Photography

 Long exposure photography involves taking a photograph with a longer than usual exposure time. Night photography often uses this technique to capture star trails or cityscapes with car light trails. Astrophotography also uses it to capture faint objects such as galaxies and nebulae.

A long exposure can create unique effects, such as motion blur of moving objects or streaks of light in the sky. This technique requires stable camera support, such as a tripod, and often a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. 

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography can result in stunning and creative images but requires patience, careful planning, and a good understanding of the camera settings.

Macro Photography

 Macro photography is a genre of photography that captures close-up images of small objects or living things. It offers a unique perspective and lets us see details we would otherwise miss.

This type of photography requires specialized equipment, such as a macro lens or a set of extension tubes, to allow the photographer to get incredibly close to the subject while still maintaining focus. The images created through macro photography can be stunning and captivating, revealing the beauty of the natural world in intricate detail.

Macro Photography

From insects and flowers to food and textures, macro photography allows photographers to capture a whole new world that is often overlooked.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is one of the oldest types of photography, and it is all about capturing the essence of a person. It is a form of art that requires an understanding of light, composition, and communication.

The goal is to create a visual representation of a subject that will evoke emotion and connect with the viewer. Great portrait photographers tell a story and speak to the subject’s personality and character.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography can be used for many purposes, such as business headshots, family portraits, or even artistic expression. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever for photographers to capture stunning portraits that will stand the test of time.

Every portrait has a unique story to tell, and portrait photography is the art of capturing that story in a single image.

Product Photography

Product photography is a subcategory of commercial photography that focuses on capturing images of products to be used for advertising, product catalogs, websites, or other marketing materials. The main goal of product photography is to present a product in a way that will appeal to the consumer and therefore make it more likely to be purchased. To achieve this, photographers must consider various technical aspects, including lighting, contrast, texture, and color.

A well-executed product photograph will showcase the product visually compellingly while also communicating its features and benefits to the viewer. Creativity, attention to detail, and a good working knowledge of photographic techniques make for successful product photographs.

Product Photography

Images can be taken indoors or outdoors depending on the type of product being photographed. A well-executed product photograph can help a business achieve its goal by engaging consumers with a memorable image.

Pet Photography

Pet photography has grown in popularity in recent years as more and more people are treating their pets as members of their family. It is a type of photography that involves capturing the personality and characteristics of pets through photographs.

Pet Photography

Pet photography differs from family photography because it solely focuses on the pets rather than including the entire family. It requires a different level of skill and patience from a photographer, as pets can be erratic and unpredictable. However, when done correctly, pet photography can produce stunning, heartwarming images that capture the joy and bond between pets and their owners.

Pet photography aims to create timeless memories that owners can cherish for years to come.

Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography is a specialized field that involves taking high-quality images of properties that are for sale or rent. The main goal of real estate photography is to showcase the property’s best features and make it more appealing to potential buyers or renters. The images must be clear, well-lit, and visually represent the property’s size, layout, and condition.

Real Estate Photography

Professional real estate photographers are skilled in capturing the best possible angles and lighting to showcase the property in its best light. They also utilize a range of equipment, such as specialized lenses and drones, to capture stunning aerial shots of the property and surrounding areas.

Real estate photography plays a crucial role in the real estate industry, helping agents and brokers attract more clients, increase sales, and highlight the value of the properties they represent.

Newborn Photography

Newborn photography is a special type of photography that focuses mainly on capturing the first few weeks of a newborn’s life. This genre has become increasingly popular in recent years as more parents seek to capture the precious moments of their child’s infancy.

This type of photography often involves capturing intimate moments between the newborn and their family members, creating beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Family photography is also an important aspect of newborn photography, as it helps to capture the love and bond between the newborn and their family.

Newborn Photography

Whether it’s through posed or candid shots, newborn photography is a unique and heartwarming way to document the early days of a baby’s life.

Nature Photography

Nature photography is a type of photography that captures scenes of the natural world. It includes various genres such as landscape photography, aerial photography, macro photography, wildlife photography, and even underwater photography.

This genre of photography is another popular type that has gained immense popularity over the years as people have become more inclined toward exploring the beauty of the natural world and documenting the beauty of the environment.

Nature Photography

Nature photography can be challenging and rewarding, allowing photographers to experience the natural world uniquely and share their awe-inspiring images with others.

Night Photography

Night photography is a fascinating genre of photography that captures the beauty of night landscapes and cityscapes. This genre adds a sense of mystery and drama to the photographs, making them visually appealing. 

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This genre of photography is challenging, but it offers unique opportunities for photographers to experiment with different lighting conditions and camera techniques. Overall, night photography is a captivating genre that showcases the beauty of the night and challenges photographers to push their creativity to new heights.

Seascape Photography

 Seascape photography is popular photography type that focuses on capturing the beauty of the sea and its surroundings. It is considered as a branch of landscape photography and is a popular genre among photographers due to the vast array of subjects and compositions that can be captured.

Seascape Photography

Seascape photography involves capturing different elements of the ocean, such as waves, rocks, cliffs, and the sky, in the same frame. It requires both technical skills and artistic vision to capture the essence of the sea and its surroundings. 

Whether taken at sunrise or sunset or during the day or night, seascape photographs have a timeless allure and can showcase the beauty of nature.

Sports Photography

Sports photography captures action, emotion, and the sheer spirit of athleticism. It involves capturing images of athletes or sports events using specialized camera equipment and techniques.

A good sports photographer must have quick reflexes, agility, and expertise in split-second framing shots to capture the right moments. One of the most challenging aspects of sports photography is dealing with constantly changing conditions, such as changing lighting, weather, and unpredictable movements. It requires creativity and technical expertise to produce a successful sports photo that captures the essence of the sport and the athlete.

Sports Photography

Sports photography is an essential aspect of sports journalism, providing viewers with a visual record of important matches, tournaments, and other significant events. It is also an artistic expression that can inspire and excite people around the globe.

Still Life Photography

 Still life photography is a type of photography that involves capturing the beauty and essence of inanimate objects. It is a genre that dates back to antiquity, when artists used to paint still life compositions, but with the advent of photography, it has become a creative branch in its own right.

Still Life Photography

Still-life photography involves objects such as fruits, flowers, books, and even mundane items like shoes, that are photographed to capture a particular mood or story.

An accomplished still-life photographer can portray everyday objects in a new and striking way that highlights their interesting details or textures. The photographer can manipulate the lighting, composition, and arrangement of objects to create a visually stunning picture that can be both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally evocative.

Stock Photography

Stock photography is the collection of images or photographs that can be licensed and used for various commercial purposes. These images are usually clicked and stored by photographers in large archives, often accessible via online platforms, and can be bought by businesses, advertisers or individuals who need them for promotional or marketing purposes.

The stock photography industry has grown rapidly due to its cost-effective nature and ease of accessibility. With a vast array of images available online, choosing the perfect photograph for your needs has never been easier.

Stock Photography

Additionally, stock photography offers an easy way for photographers to make extra income by simply uploading their photos to a stock photography website. This helps them reach a wider audience and earn royalties on every sale of their photographs.

In conclusion, stock photography is a useful tool for businesses and a profitable opportunity for photographers.

Street Photography

Street photography is a photography genre that captures candid and unposed moments of everyday life in public spaces, often in urban environments.

It is an important subcategory of documentary photography, as street photographers aim to capture authentic, spontaneous moments that reflect the realities of a particular place and time.

Street Photography
Old Montreal, Saint Paul Street during snow storm

In addition to its documentary aspects, street photography can also incorporate elements of architecture photography, as photographers focus on capturing the unique characteristics of a city’s buildings and landmarks. Furthermore, as street photographers often photograph people, the genre can also be considered a form of portrait photography, though the portraits are typically unplanned and unsolicited.

Overall, street photography offers a unique perspective on the world, capturing urban life through a camera’s lens.

Travel Photography

 Travel photography is a type of photography that involves capturing images of different places, people, and cultures around the world. This genre requires a creative eye and the ability to capture unique and compelling moments that tell a story.

Travel Photography

Travel photographers must be versatile and have the skills to deal with various lighting situations and weather conditions and be able to adapt to different cultures and environments. Travel photography focuses on documenting different cultures, traditions, and landscapes, allowing viewers to experience new places and moments, and promoting a sense of wanderlust and curiosity. 

It also offers an opportunity for photographers to showcase their creativity, skill, and passion for capturing the beauty of the world around us.

Underwater Photography

Underwater photography is a specialized genre of photography that involves capturing images of objects and creatures that are submerged in water. 

It is a challenging and unique photography type requiring special equipment and skills. To take photos underwater, photographers must use waterproof cameras, special housings, or dive with underwater cameras. They must also be comfortable working in deep water and thoroughly understand scuba diving equipment and techniques.

Underwater Photography

Underwater photography can be used for many different purposes, including scientific research, art, and commercial photography. It is a great way to explore the beauty and diversity of the ocean and raise awareness about the importance of preserving our underwater environments.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a specialized genre of photography that captures the most important day in a couple’s lives. It is an artful and creative process that requires a photographer to capture every moment of the wedding ceremony and the reception.

Wedding photography is about taking beautiful images and capturing the emotions and feelings of the wedding day. A skilled wedding photographer can turn ordinary moments into unforgettable memories that will last forever. They work closely with the couple to create a personalized photography plan, capturing every detail of the ceremony and the reception.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is an investment in capturing the special moments of one of the most important days in a couple’s life that will be cherished for years to come.

Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography is an incredibly rewarding and breathtaking form of photography. Capturing animals in their natural habitat is a beautiful sight to behold and helps raise awareness about wildlife conservation.

Wildlife photography requires patience, knowledge of animal behavior, and an understanding of the appropriate camera settings to use. This type of photography presents unique challenges, with factors such as distance, lighting conditions, and unpredictable animal behavior making capturing the perfect shot difficult. However, the rewards can be immense, with images that capture the beauty and majesty of the natural world becoming treasured works of art.

Wildlife photography

Some wildlife photographers specialize in taking photographs of specific animals, while others focus on capturing the habitats or ecosystems in which they live. Regardless of one’s focus, wildlife photography is a superb way to appreciate the wonders of the natural world while also contributing to preserving and protecting our planet’s precious wildlife.

Types of Photography | Final Thoughts

Photography is an art form that offers limitless possibilities to explore and capture moments. It’s a varied and multifaceted field that has a lot to offer. There are many types of photography that you need to know if you’re considering a photography career or simply want to expand your horizons. Every kind of photography incorporates different techniques, equipment, and subject matter, from portraiture to landscape, wildlife, and street. 

Understanding these different types of photography will help you choose which area of photography you would like to specialize in, ensuring continued growth and development in your career. So, whether you are interested in artistic photography, journalism, or commercial photography, explore the different types of photography and find your niche.

There is no right or wrong way to practice photography, and each type has its unique style. As photographers, we should continue to explore new techniques and ideas to keep growing and improving our craft. Anyone can become a great photographer with the right combination of creativity and knowledge.

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by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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