Understanding Photo Genres


Photographic genres can be divided into four basic categories – Creative, Editorial, Retail and Personal

Creative Genres

  • Fashion
Chad Syme via Eliza Coupe

Chad Syme via Eliza Coupe

Fashion photography is an insidious profession. In art, it is what sex-appeal is to love. Artifice can be a dangerous thing; when misapplied, the results are vulgar and tawdry. Its correct use depends on instinct. It is up to the fashion photographer to create an illusion. In doing so, he is not behaving with dishonesty, but when properly invoked, the result is not merely an illusion; rather, it makes the observer see what he wishes to see. (C. Beaton and G. Buckland, The Magic Image, 1975)

Since its inception in the 1880s, the fashion photograph has generated criticism. Some photographers consider it too commercial, an impure application of the art form. It has sometimes been dismissed as frivolous and criticized for promoting negative stereotypes. Yet it has generated some of the most widely recognizable, provocative, and enduring imagery of our time. / http://www.answers.com/topic/fashion-photography /

  • Still Life

Still life photography is all about capturing objects on camera that are deliberately grouped together to create a particular composition. This form of art requires the photographer to have an excellent sense of composition and lighting. A photographer in this case, can create different textures and use objects that add interest to an otherwise normal composition. / http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-photography.html /

  • Fine Art


Fine art photography is all about visuals that resemble a work of art. These are highly creative images that have an abstract appeal. Therefore, these photographs can be equivalent to an artist’s expression on canvas. This genre of photography is not restricted for commercial purposes, but could be used for creative pursuits as well. A fine art photographer should have the ability to look beyond the obvious settings. / http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-photography.html /

Editorial Genres


We have identified many more Editorial genres than Creative genres. Editorial genres tend to be governed by a far stricter code of photographic ethics, particularly in genres like photojournalism and scientific photography where a minimum of retouching would be allowed, and then is done primarily in the service of ensuring clarity for the scene. This is because these genres make claims that what has been captured accurately reflects the situation or event as it was witnessed. But among these genres there is a wide deviance in terms of the ethics expected.

  • Travel Photography
EARTH -photographs from my continuing travels around the planet

Navid Baraty –
photographs from my continuing travels around the planet

Travel photography involves capturing images of a particular landscape or even people from different countries. A photographer captures various traditions and customs of different places. / http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-photography.html /

  • Photojournalism
Ron Gessel"Chinatown Kuala Lumpur" Malaysia

Ron Gessel
“Chinatown Kuala Lumpur” Malaysia

Photojournalism is all about telling a story about a particular event or incident through a single photograph. This genre of photography is used mainly by publications to represent the latest news. In this case, the photographer’s visuals and the writer’s story should complement each other. For example, if a writer is making a specific mention of a particular location in the story, the photographer can find innovative ways to capture the same on camera. Photojournalism can be further classified into:
Documentary Photography: Here, the photographer has to present an image that best represents the incident being spoken of, in true form. In this case, press photographers usually submit their images to the concerned publication. However, recently, press photographers from all over the world have started displaying their works at exhibitions as well.
Street Photography: This is all about capturing candid images of public places or even people in their natural element. A photographer, in this case, requires the skill to mingle with people and capture the best frames, without being conscious of people around. Henri Cartier-Bresson used the technique of wrapping the camera inside his handkerchief. Of course, one also has to consider the legal issues, as there are many places where this type of photography is prohibited for security reasons.
Celebrity Photography: Celebrity photography is all about capturing celebrities from various fields. Various media houses use such photographs – from publications (magazines, newspapers) to the online media. In this case, there are various ways of approaching the subject. In the first instance, celebrities are shot with meticulous planning in a studio or at an outdoor location, where the styling is well planned for; this includes the clothes, make up, and the accessories. Apart from this, photographers who specialize in celebrity photography also need to capture them at various functions or press conferences. Whereas, there is a third type of celebrity photography known as the paparazzi. This is about capturing celebrities on camera without their consent. These photographs are exclusive and often fetch a premium price for all photographers.
Sports Photography: This genre of photography is dedicated completely to capturing the best images in action, for any kind of sport. A photographer, in this case, should have the knack to capture stunning images on camera with great speed. There are many photographers who have dedicated themselves completely to this segment. These photographs are mainly used by publishing houses and other branches of media. / http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-photography.html /


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