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Different Kinds of Photography

written by: Annette Pope•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/23/2011

No two people have the exact same interests, and no two photographers will have the same type of creativity. Luckily, there are plenty of different kinds of photography niches to choose from, allowing anyone with a camera, passion and creativity to express themselves photographically.

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    Photography is a creative outlet that is becoming more and more popular these days. With the relative affordability and availability of photography equipment, anyone interested in expressing their creativity though images can. There's a camera for every level of photographic expertise, and many different kinds of photography, with various sub categories within. Every photographer is sure to find a niche he or she likes, through trial, error and natural interest.

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    Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

    The most “real” form of photography are photojournalism and documentary style. These two niches involve recording facts and telling stories with your images, which are then used for news stories and historical documentation. The photos are typically shown as-is, and not edited in any way to alter the facts involved or show a more aesthetically pleasing image.

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    Sports Photography

    An exciting, fast moving photography niche, sports photography involves capturing action scenes and highlights of various sports games. The photographer must know the rules of the game, and be alert and vigilant in order to capture the images that will show the best of the game.

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    Macrophotography can be a subcategory of other niches, as well as the sole focus of a photographer. This kind of photography literally focus' in on small objects, showing great detail. You've no doubt seen examples of macrophotography in animal magazines, such as extreme closeups of small tree frogs or tiny insects on a flower.

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    Glamor, Boudoir and Nude Photography

    These are all various categories within the same niche—that is, personal beauty shoots. Each uses the human body in artistic ways, using the body's natural curves, light and shadow to emphasize beauty. The poses for these types of photography generally fall under the more flirtatious, sexual or playful types.

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    Art Photography

    Perhaps one of the most subjective of the different kinds of photography, art photography involves taking and selling images as fine art pieces. The subject matter of this style varies wildly depending on the personal tastes of the photographer, and can actually be a subcategory of other niches, such as portraiture or landscape photography.

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    Portrait photography can run the gamut from business to family to pets. The goal of portraiture photography is to capture the personality of the subject. The style of the photography can vary, from simple, look-at-the-camera-and-smile poses, to more candid, informal imagery.

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    Wedding Photography

    Wedding photography is probably one of the most popular kinds of photography, and involves capturing the events and emotions of a couple on their wedding day. The style of photography varies depending on the personal taste of the individual photographer, but the goal and focus of this niche is to follow the couple as they marry, recording the scripted and unscripted moments that occur during this very special occasion.

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    Commercial and Advertising Photography

    Commercial and advertising photography are two very similar niches, in that the photos are used to inform or sell a product. Commercial photography usually involves photographing buildings, employees or other company workings to use in company correspondence and other informational pieces. Advertising photography involves photographing a product or scene in order to sell a product.

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    Travel Photography

    Travel photographers use their skills to capture the look and feel of a specific area or location. These images are typically used in tourism brochures or documentary pieces to advertise the area and entice new visitors.

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    Landscape Photography

    Just about every photographer has at least one image in their collection of a beautiful sunset or colorful field of flowers. This is landscape photography, and isn't necessarily limited to photos of vast fields or lakes. Landscape photography can encompass many different types of shots and scenes, including the quintessential open field, or even a bustling city block.

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    Stock Photography

    Stock photography, sometimes called microstock, involves taking photos specifically for the purpose of selling them for others to use as they please. These photos are typically non-descript—no brand names or specifics allowed—and useful for adding to articles, blog posts or even larger advertising campaigns.

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    This is just a small sampling of the different kinds of photography, and each photographer views each niche differently, thanks to their unique creative eye. Follow your passions, your interests and your knowledge to find the photography style and niche that allows you to best express yourself, and you may one day find yourself as a highly sought after master!

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    References: Types of Photography - Types of Photography -