38 Different Types of Photography (2021)

As photography is diversifying its avenue, don't settle for less. We've gathered different types of photography just for you.

More people pursue more careers in photography now than ever before. This domain grows as new niches and specializations are developed every day. So, if you feel that one photographer fulfills all your requirements, you are highly mistaken. Different types of photography need different professionals. 

Here’s the article for you to learn more about the subject and hire the right kind of photographer this time. 

Aerial Photography

The first photography type that we are dealing with, is aerial photography. It refers to taking pictures of people and places from above, that is, from an aircraft, hot-air balloon, kite, drone, or any other aerial vehicle. Either the photographer holds the camera or it is mounted. Furthermore, it may either be automatic or controlled remotely.

The angle of photos is the most distinct feature of this photography. The camera could be vertically above or on a low oblique angle.

The uses of aerial photography:

Aerial photography is one of those types of photography that have found use in research and academia. Experts in the field of archaeology, architecture, and environmental sciences use this technique to capture images for their research and other works. 

Cartographers also opt for aerial photography for the same reason. Moreover, various government and non-government bodies need to click pictures from above to plan land use, military strategies, and flight routes.

However, the field is becoming more mainstream nowadays. The movie industry, commercial advertising, and even regular people opt for aerial photography. Drones are a major factor behind this change.

How much money does an aerial photographer make?

Because of its popularity and widespread use, aerial photography offers huge learning and earning scope for photographers. They can make around $43K a year on average and probably even around $60K.

Architectural Photography

The name architectural photography is pretty much self-explanatory. It refers to capturing the pictures of an architectural structure, typically a building in a way that the picture serves its purpose. 

Here, photographers try to portray the interiors and exteriors of buildings in a way that is pleasing to the eye and aesthetic in its feel.

When capturing the exterior of a building, they try to make use of the nearby features like the correct lighting, roads, and even the nearby open spaces. Interior photography, on the other hand, requires more control of perspective.

Various photographers have found more specific interests in this specialization like contemporary, gothic, postmodern, Victorian, and classical architecture types.

The uses of architectural photography:

Architectural photography finds application in various commercial shoots, especially of hotels, schools, and party halls. Several real estate companies (and sometimes regular people who want to sell a house) hire for such photoshoots. Companies also show office premises on their websites to build trust. 

Also, when a building is being constructed, architectural photographers find work in relaying the examples of the specifics to everyone involved such as architects and designers.

How much money does an architectural photographer make?

An architectural photographer earns around $30K to $60K a year on average. However, novices may take home only $15K a year and experts may make as high as $85K a year. 

Automotive Photography

As the name suggests, automotive photography is the art of capturing cars, jeeps, and other vehicles in a way that the pictures highlight their best features. These features include the beautiful body of the car, dashboard, and probably woven seats. This kind of photography involves taking photos of luxury, bulky, and mainstream vehicles when they are still or in motion.

Here, the right background helps to highlight the automotive and makes sure it does not seem out of place. For instance, compact cars are better shot in the city while SUVs click better in open fields. Also, while you might see a family in the picture of a bulky car, the luxury ones boast well-paid models.

The main focus here is to capture the style of the car. The photographer has to work and create the best external environment to photograph the vehicle and make it look appealing. Lighting, location, and technique should be used to beautify the star of the show.

The uses of automative photography:

These pictures find their way into car magazines, journals, and a dealer’s gallery. Several manufacturers and even car sellers hire photographs to show the best deal to their customers. They understand that it’s not the car but the photographer’s expertise and enthusiasm that counts. Some photographers are so much into cars that they photograph them for artistic purposes.

How much money does an automotive photographer make?

While most automotive photographers earn around $45K a year, around $60K comes within the highest range. $27K is towards the lower end of the scale.

Astrophotography

No, no, no! Astrophotography is nowhere close to astrology. However, you may compare it to astronomy.

Astrophotography involves capturing heavenly bodies like nearby planets, stars, galaxies, and nebulae using exclusive equipment along with a specialized camera. Sometimes, drones and satellites may be launched to take such pictures. Also, since this type of photography involves the photographer spending hours pointing the camera at the night sky, it usually involves people with a passion for the subject of astronomy.

The uses of astrophotography:

Strangely, astrophotography is not about clicking eye-pleasing images of the night sky for a magazine or a high school journal. The art has found its use in the field of professional astronomical research so much so that one can say that the advent of the former has revolutionized the latter. Some also consider astrophotography to be a subdiscipline of astronomy. This is mainly because it needs special equipment, techniques, and expertise on the part of the photographer.

Various sky surveys, star classification, and even a few extensively beautiful galleries are gifts of astrophotography.

How much money does an astrophotographer make?

Although a professional astronomer might make anywhere between $40K and $100K a year, astrophotographers are often not paid well. They are usually astronomers interested in photography or professional photographers who are fascinated by the beauty of the night sky. They don’t make a living out of this profession but consider it as a hobby or a source of extra income.

Baby and Children Photography

Children are the epitome of innocence. They are young, beautiful, uncaring, and full of zest so much so that the company of smiling babies and joyous children brighten our days. As such, clicking them is absolute bliss; that’s what baby and children photography means – absolute bliss.

This type of photography typically comes under portrait photography. It involves clicking pictures of babies and children being themselves; it involves capturing their smiles and happiness in a few photographs that they (and their parents) can cherish for a lifetime. 

However, there is no denying the fact that managing young children and grown babies is tough. A professional baby and children photographer has to take care of their health, tantrums, and moods. Also, since one can’t use cosmetics on them, They have to focus more on lighting, backdrop, and props.

The uses of baby and children photography:

Photography is the best way to document one’s life and, one has the resources to do so, why shy away from it? 

Parents hire professional photographers to capture the beautiful phases of their children’s lives. They realize their little ones will soon grow up to be hard-working adults with little time to enjoy their lives. 

These photographs serve as a gift for that time and professional photographers ensure that the memories are as clear and fun as possible.

How much money does a baby and children photographer make?

The earnings of a baby and children photographer greatly vary depending on the kind of employment, the other types of work they do, and their levels of expertise. Also, since one photographer can specialize in more than one type of photography, it is difficult to calculate the earnings of a baby and children photographer. 

However, according to the 2020 report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a photographer is $41,280. 

Boudoir Photography

The word ‘boudoir’ refers to a woman’s private dressing room. As the name suggests, this is one of the most artistic and intimate types of photography.

Boudoir photography involves clicking sensual, romantic, and even erotic images of the subject in a private setting, usually a bedroom or a dressing space. Here, the subject’s expressions, physical features, and gestures are highlighted.

Typically, women model in these pictures. However, nowadays, men and even couples have started going for boudoir shoots. Moreover, boudoir photography has been overlapping with other niches like maternity, vintage, and even certain areas of fine art photography. Also, while boudoir photography seems similar to fashion or glam photography, all these types of photography are fairly different. 

Firstly, a boudoir shoot is done for private purposes. Also, the subjects here are not everyday models, but regular people who may be incapable of pulling off easy poses.

The uses of boudoir photography:

The main purpose of boudoir shoots is to make people feel beautiful and empowered about themselves. It is a good way for them to celebrate their bodies and self-worth.

Sometimes, professional models opt for a boudoir photoshoot to build their modeling portfolio.

How much money does a boudoir photographer make?

Boudoir photography is growing so fast that it has become one of the most profitable types of photography. However, a boudoir photographer may earn anywhere between $17K to $80K a year depending on their expertise and the kind of work they do.

Birthday Photography

Birthday photography comes under the niche event photography. It is one of the most widely recognized types of photography. 

Birthdays allow us to connect with our loved ones, and professional birthday photographers understand this. They make sure to capture the moments of happiness and bond between people. They focus on expressions, gestures, and personalities as well as the background and props. 

Here, photographers need to blend easily with the hosts and the guests to take candid pictures. Also, they take a few posed shots of people with their families and friends while making sure that everything is about the birthday person. Therefore, despite being one of the milestone-oriented types of photography, birthday photography overlaps with event and portrait photography.

The uses of birthday photography:

The purpose of a birthday is to mark a milestone. This beautiful occasion celebrates everything the person has achieved in the past year and will achieve the next one. Therefore, one day marks the beauty and joy of two years. 

Besides marking growth, birthdays give people an opportunity to connect with their loved ones. So, to preserve the memories of the day, people opt for birthday photography.

How much money does a birthday photographer make?

A birthday photographer usually earns around $25 to $100 an hour. However, a few top ones may charge $250-300 an hour. 

Also, since most of the birthday photographers are also into other areas of event and portrait photography, one cannot calculate their annual income.  

Cake Smash Photography

Cake smash photography celebrates a child’s first birthday. It refers to taking pictures of a beautiful kid smashing a cake and creating a mess in the process.

One of the weirdest types of photography, cake smash involves letting an around 11-month-old baby have their first taste of sweetness with little interference from parents. As a result, the baby gets covered in cream and photographers capture that beautiful mess. These photos can then be put on the birthday invitation card and sent to friends and relatives. 

While this niche overlaps with the baby, event, and even portrait photography, it has developed into a unique charm in recent decades.  

This niche has its own sets of troubles. While handling kids is usually difficult, cake smash makes it tougher because of all the arrangements and mess. Here, one has to take care of props, clothes, backdrop, etc. only to see most of the things soiled. So, cake smash photographers are typically sorted and good at handling babies. They are creative and know a lot about kids.

The uses of cake smash photography:

Cake smash portrays a good event in one’s life. It marks the end of the first year of hard work for the parent and immense growth for the kid. The event celebrates their first sugar experience in a fun and glorifying manner. 

How much money does a cake smash photographer make?

Most of the cake smash photographers make around $2.5K per month. However, one must remember that their exact pay cannot be calculated because of the pre-specified reason.

Fashion Photography

One of the glamorous types of photography, this niche involves displaying clothes, accessories, and other fashion items. Here, pictures show models wearing pieces created by designers to display them.

Although fashion photographers have to capture the dresses, they have to put enough effort into selecting the right models. Also, location and aesthetics play a major role in having a dress stand out discreetly. 

While ramps in fashion shows sound amazing, many dresses are photographed in their more natural environment. For instance, punk clothes are better photographed outside vintage houses.

Sometimes, photographers have to travel to exotic locations to click a few pictures. 

Thus, there is high scope of creativity and experimentation with location, make-up, props, etc. This is why fashion photography involves immense coordination between stylists, creative directors, event managers, and models.

The uses of fashion photography:

The purpose of fashion photography is to display the clothes of designers and brands. These pictures will then find their way into websites, social media handles, magazines, etc. Several fashion shows also hire photographers for this purpose. 

How much money does a fashion photographer make?

While most of the fashion photographers make $43K per year, there isn’t a large range here. A fashion photographer’s salary typically falls between $35K and $50K.

Commercial Photography

This kind of photography is to showcase a product such that it ensures business. 

Here, one must remember that the term product includes goods, services, and even people. Yes, professional headshots are as much a part of commercial photography as a cosmetic box.

Commercial photography can be defined as any kind of photography done for commercial purposes. Therefore, if I shoot a building to increase tourism, it is commercial photography.

Here, the photographers are allowed to get as creative and artistic as they want to. However, they must adhere to public opinion. 

Anything that might stir someone may backfire. Also, a commercial photographer’s main job is to please the audience. This is why most commercial photographers are great marketers. 

The uses of commercial photography:

The purpose of commercial photography is to ensure the sale of a product. Yes, it is more about marketing than art. 

These pictures will make their way onto websites, social media handles, brochures, and catalogs. Many are displayed on billboards to please people and build brands.

How much money does a commercial photographer make?

While the earnings largely vary in these types of photography, a commercial photographer makes around $50K on average. 

Drone Photography

Drone photography uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to capture images and videos. These drones may be automatic or remotely operated.

Although an avenue of aerial photography, drone photography has recently become popular as one of the types of photography. This is mainly because, owing to their smaller size, lower cost, and amazing features, drones. have enabled capturing visuals that would have otherwise been impossible. 

However, many countries have restrictions regarding the areas where drones can be flown so a drone photographer needs to be thorough with their research.

The uses of drone photography:

Since drone cameras may come for as low as $100, several commercial photographers have started offering these services for weddings, real estate selling, and other purposes. Drone photography is one of the types of photography that have found application in various research fields like cartography, archeology, environmental studies, and policy mapping. Many movie and serial producers also use this technology.

How much money does a drone photographer make?

Drone photographers make around $50K a year on average. Although a few of them may be making over $90K, most earn around $27K to $55K.

Documentary Photography

As the name suggests, documentary photography deals with capturing real-life people and events such that the images document a story. This type of photography is typical for cultural and historical avenues.

Documentary photography may overlap with various other types of photography, including event, portrait, and street among the others. 

However, it is different from them in its capacity of telling stories. 

Yes, photojournalism serves the same purpose but it is more real-time and deliberate and documentary photoshoots, which are more elaborate. 

The uses of Documentary Photography

This type of photography documents stories. Experts use these pictures to talk about different social, cultural, and historical happenings around the world. Sometimes, government and non-government organizations use such expertise to promote the stories of their land. 

More often than not, documentary photography is a way for photographers to indulge in the areas of their choices for hobby or academic purposes. 

How much money do documentary photographers make?

Documentary photographers make around $46K on average. Their earnings range between $27K and $73K.

Event Photography

Event photography involves capturing the spirit of an event. Here, photographers click pictures of people attending an event to document the vibe and occurrences. The occasions suitable for event photography are weddings, naming ceremonies, meals, parties, birthdays, and even funerals.

Usually, capturing events requires one to take candid shots and probably a few posed ones. So, in the case of these types of photography, the hosts and attendees must be comfortable with the photographer in question. 

The uses of Event Photography:

The purpose of event photography is to document important occasions in one’s life. These shots have a sentimental value attached to them; that’s why they are kept as souvenirs. 

How much money does an event photographer make?

Since event photography is one of the most employable types of photography, it does pay well. While a student may charge around $50 to $100 an hour, an expert can easily earn $200-500 each hour. This is why event photographers make more than $87K on average.

Family Photography

Family photography is one of the oldest types of photography out there. It involves capturing a group of close-knit individuals in a way that brings out the beauty of their connection. The tender sentiment behind the posed or candid photos matters the most.

Nuclear families are usually photographed in a studio or any other area of their choice.

Sometimes, photographers aim to take candid and fun pictures of the family, especially during an event like birthdays or weddings; this is when family photography overlaps with the wedding, children, and even newborn photography.

The uses of Family Photography:

While family photographs are usually taken for the personal gratification of the people involved in the picture, they are sometimes used for commercial purposes as well. For instance, family car advertisements use this avenue. 

However, one has to make sure that the models in question blend together. Otherwise, the pictures will end up looking superficial and unemotional.

How much money does a family photographer make?

Generally, family photographers do both events and portraits photography. This makes calculating their earnings from this niche difficult. 

Food Photography

Food photography is one of the most amazing and creative types of photography for one to get involved in. It refers to clicking pictures of food such that it leaves the viewers craving it.

A professional food photographer is usually closely related to cooking, plating, and styling the food. They work with chefs and business owners to ensure that the pictures produce the desired effect. Also, they know the obscure techniques of making food look more beautiful and picture-perfect.

In these types of photography, the background is of paramount importance. It has to be such that it blends but shouldn’t be highlighted more than the food. Moreover, props like napkins, clothes, and ingredients matter in the picture as much as the angle of clicks does. Therefore, a food photographer has huge scope to experiment with. 

The uses of Food Photography:

The commercial purpose of food photography is for F&B businesses and food bloggers. 

With so much competition out there, it is difficult to distinguish oneself and build a brand. Also, the food business thrives on triggers and impulse buying. That’s why professionals collaborate on food styling, photography, and branding to ensure great clicks. 

How much money does a food photographer make?

The average earnings of a food photographer are around $41K a year. The amount typically falls in the range of $36K to $44K. 

Graduation Photography

Now, we come to one of the more milestone-oriented types of photography. 

Graduation is one of the biggest milestones in a person’s life, and graduation photography aims to capture the happiness of that day.

Instead of clicking their kid’s pictures themselves from the seating area, parents may hire a professional photographer. The photographer clicks all the kinds of memorable pictures that the graduate would want to cherish. The photographer captures the students with their certificates, group pictures with their classmates, professors, and family.

A kind of portrait photography, graduation photography is one of the types of photography that have emerged recently.

The uses of graduation photography

Graduation is a big achievement for any student. It marks the day when years of hard work lead to something better, something bigger. Students and their parents have the right to enjoy the day without feeling burdened about pictures. That’s why people hire professional graduation photographers, who, in turn, go home content with the knowledge that they are making a difference in someone’s life.

How much money do graduation photographers make? 

A freelance graduation photographer can earn around $36K a year. Their earnings vary according to their experience level and skills. Also, several graduation photographers take up other types of photography so we do not have the most accurate data. 

Interior Photography

Interior photography involves capturing the pictures of a building from the inside. These buildings may be residential apartments, 

office spaces, plazas, or hotels. 

This area of photography is all about angles and composition. The photographer tries to capture the interiors of space in a way that appeals to viewers and looks realistic at the same time. For this, they may also have to work around the room and experiment with different perspectives unless they find the right fit. 

Here, lighting is the toughest aspect. Photographers have to use the perfect blend of sunlight and artificial lights in the room. 

The uses of interior photography

Interior photography finds widespread use in real estate selling or during the construction of a building. This is when this avenue intersects real estate and architectural types of photography. 

However, because of the unique level of expertise required to photograph indoors, interior photography has developed as a whole new domain. 

Sometimes, brands also hire interior photographers for their promotional campaigns. Moreover, interior designers and architects might also employ this technique for academic purposes.

How much money does an interior photographer make?

Since most interior photographers also opt for other avenues of architectural photography, we cannot compute the sum they earn through interior photography. 

Industrial Photography

Industrial photography involves capturing industries and their equipment in action. Here, industrial businesses show their products, services, and manufacturing processes working efficiently.

An industrial space doesn’t stop operating for a photoshoot. So, the photographers should plan and come prepared to shoot in a working environment. Here, they focus on the efficiency of manufacturing and branding. However, since employees form a major part of the industries, these types of photography have also started focusing on workers on the site.

Therefore, as much as efficiency and processes matter, satisfaction and spirit also do.

The uses of industrial photography

These pictures go onto a company’s website, social media handles, and brochure. Their purpose is to engage customers and ensure their trust. This is how businesses build a powerful online presence and deliver the apt message. In other words, industrial photography is mostly undertaken for branding purposes.

How much money does an industrial photographer make? 

An industrial photographer earns around $38K per year. 

Landscape Photography

How does a day outdoors feel? Just think about it – gardens, beaches, forests, mountains, or any other place you like. Beautiful, right?

This is what landscape photography aims to capture – beauty!

Landscape photography is one of the types of photography that aim to capture beautiful scenery outdoors. It involves taking pictures of natural features like mountains, beaches, deserts, rivers, and ponds and also of man-made gardens, farmlands, and orchards. However, many landscape photographers super-specialized in any one type, that is, either man-made or natural landscape photography.

More often than not, landscape photography overlaps with wildlife and even some areas of portrait photography. However, its main aim is to capture the landscape in all its glory; therefore, it focuses less on people or animals. Also, since there is a tremendous scope to experiment, the photographers can use living beings and props to get the best pictures.

The uses of landscape photography

The purpose of this kind of photography is to document the outdoors in a way that evokes emotions. These pictures commercially serve the purpose of beautifying magazines and journals. 

However, they also find uses in research-based fields; they help experts study different kinds of landforms and the changes in due course of time. This way students can understand the effect of change in seasons on different geographical phenomena.

How much money does a landscape photographer make?

Most landscape photographers earn around $50K a year. However, their earnings may range from as low as $10K to as high as $288K.

Lifestyle Photography

You must have seen brands and people promoting sustainable lifestyles on the internet. That’s an example of this unique avenue.

Lifestyle photography seems like an area of portrait photography. However, it has a completely different domain. It captures the life of people, including their routine, habits, food, and health status. 

Lifestyle photographers artistically document people’s ways of life to tell a story or to inspire. They capture their real-life events and milestones such that the pictures serve their purpose. 

Usually, these types of photography involve candid photos to produce the desired effect. Here, it’s best for the subjects to have little to no makeup. So, the photographers have to focus more on backdrop, props, and lighting. They may also use different prompts to capture the natural reaction of the subjects.

The uses of lifestyle photography:

Only in recent years have people begun to realize the meaning and significance of one’s lifestyle. So, while several lifestyle pictures are taken for personal use, their usual purpose is to inspire people to live better. They also promote certain lifestyles. 

Sometimes, brands, businesses, and production houses opt for lifestyle photography for promotional campaigns. 

How much money does a lifestyle photographer make?

A lifestyle photographer makes around $42K a year on average. However, like other types of photography, their experiences and expertise strongly affect their earnings.

Macro Photography

Usually, photographs are prints of large objects on a small piece of glossy paper. However, that’s not the case with macro photography. 

This is one of the unique types of photography that involves taking extreme close-ups of small subjects. Here, subjects may refer to insects, flowers, or leaves. They might also be water droplets, food, geometrical patterns, eyes, or jewelry.

One term to know here is ‘reproduction ratio’. It is the ratio of the size of the subject on the film plane to its actual size. This kind of photography requires specialized lenses with a high reproduction ratio such that 1:1 is the minimum allowed.

The uses of macro photography:

Besides capturing beautiful appealing images, the technique of macro photography allows one to study the miniature parts of an organism or object, which they otherwise could not. Therefore, macrophotography finds application in various academic and research fields. 

How much money does a macro photographer make?

One cannot figure out the exact amount made by a macro photographer but it varies enough depending on the level of experience and credibility. 

Maternity Photography

 Maternity photography involves clicking pictures of a pregnant mother. It typically documents the journey from the good news to the baby bump and then turns into newborn photography.

While the subject does not require much assistance in the initial months of pregnancy, maternity shoots conducted after 7-8 months of being pregnant involve considerable efforts on the part of the photographer.

The mother should be comfortable and be in good health. The photographer needs to see that the shoot location has nutritional supplements and medicines ready. More often than not, maternity photographers are the people who feel deeply connected to babies and motherhood.

The uses of maternity photography:

Pregnancy is a magical time. Although the mother has to go through stressful changes and health issues, most women seem to miss their maternity days after the birth of the baby. Maternity pictures are for those days.

These pictures are also a good way to celebrate motherhood and help the mother deal with stress and insecurities. Maternity photography documents her journey in an impactful way.

How much money does a maternity photographer make?

Maternity and newborn photographers make around $28K a year on average. However, they also specialize in other types of photography to supplement their earnings.

Newborn Photography

Newborn photography involves clicking pictures of newborn babies. These infants are typically 2 weeks at the time of the shoot. 

Yes, it is difficult for parents to photoshoot their newborns, but the experience is joyous. Just think of the beautiful photos of infants sleeping in the comfort of their parent’s arms. Visualize them wrapped in mushy blankets.

Beautiful, right?

Although an avenue of baby photography, newborn photography has lately emerged as one of the types of photography. This is because of the sheer skills and expertise required to handle newborns. They need to be cared for and protected during the shoot. Since they are vulnerable, they might develop allergies or fall sick. So, it becomes the duty of a newborn photographer to ensure the safety of the baby.

Also, it is the responsibility of the parents to choose the right newborn photographer. Moreover, the photoshoot should be held in a secure environment. 

Since siblings, parents, and sometimes even extended family members join a newborn photoshoot, this area overlaps with other types of photography.

The uses of newborn photography:

The purpose of newborn photography is to capture a baby’s life in the initial weeks.

Babies tend to grow fast and would soon be well-grown kids. Then, their parents might miss their younger days. Newborn pictures serve as a reminder of those tender days. This is also a good way to document one’s life right from the very beginning. 

How much money do newborn photographers make?

Newborn photographers make around $28K a year on average. However, they are usually also involved in other types of photography. So, calculating their earnings through newborn photography is difficult.

Party Photography

 Parties are like escapes from the everyday mundane existence. They are full of fun, excitement, wildness, and energy. Party photographers aim to capture that.

A part of event photography, party photography has developed as one of the types of photography. This is because of its unique nature and requirements.

While regular event photographers can be seen and noticed, party photographers tend to blend better with the crowd. In the case of an adolescent or young adult crowd, a friend does the job in exchange for a few bucks or a couple of beers. However, at bigger parties (or let’s say where the older crowd dominates), professional party photographers are invites.

They blend with the crowd and take amazing candid and posed shots of people enjoying themselves. No matter what the occasion is, fun and perfect pictures are assured.

The uses of party photography:

Party photographers give everyone at the party a chance to enjoy themselves without worrying about pictures. Professional photographers do this job and give them amazing memories to cherish.

How much money does a party photographer make?

Since a typical party photographer is involved in projects related to other types of photography, one cannot figure out their earnings from this niche. 

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is all about people. It captures individuals, their emotions, and their natural reactions. A good piece of portrait photography documents the personality and the apt mood of the subject(s).

This photography type involves taking candid or posed shots; they may be close-ups or full-body images. Self-portraits, professional headshots, and even silhouette photography come under this niche. Many a time, portrait photography also overlaps with event shoots, family shoots, and even newborn photoshoots.

No matter what the case is, its main aim is to focus on people’s personalities which are most evident by their expressions. This is the reason portrait photographers try to maintain a calm and relaxed environment. They keep the backdrop and lighting to the minimum so that the subject and the viewers remain focused. Sometimes, the bokeh effect is also used for this purpose.

However, some kinds of events and wedding shoots might focus more on backgrounds to capture the essence of the moment.

The uses of portrait photography:

The goal of personal portrait photography is to create keepsakes and heirlooms. These pictures visually document the personality and mood of people at the moment. They should be cherished and handed down. 

Professional portrait pictures like headshots and posed images are for the identification of people. 

How much money does a portrait photographer make?

A freelance portrait photographer may make anywhere around $35K to $100K a year. Their earnings depend on their levels of expertise and experience.

Pre-wedding Photography

Prewedding photography involves clicking pictures of couples two to three months before the actual wedding day. These pictures can be any way the couples want; serene, adventurous, romantic, or crazy.

While weddings are usually photographed around a familiar group of people, pre-wedding shoots are just for the couple. Here, couples celebrate their bonds and connection. They ponder over their relationships and realize how they are together. They check how comfortable they are in front of the camera and with their photographer.

Nowadays, prewedding shoots have become a norm so much so that they have emerged as one of the types of photography. Several studios offer complementary prewedding shoots or include them in the wedding photography package.

The uses of pre-wedding photography:

The prewedding shoot is a good chance to click some amazing pictures with one’s partner. Here, couples are more relaxed and open than on the wedding day. Also, they can get as creative as they want.

These shoots also allow them to get comfortable in front of the camera and with their photographer. No couple wants to have an awkward relationship with their photographer(s). Prewedding photography gives them a chance to know each other and blend.

How much money does a prewedding photographer make?

Usually, prewedding shoots are included in wedding packages. So, it is difficult to assess the earnings of a photographer from prewedding shoots. However, most wedding photographers earn between $40K and $60K a year.

Product Photography

Product photography is a form of commercial photography. It involves taking pictures of products typically for commercial purposes. These products may be dresses, accessories, pens, tables, or even plates of food. So, product photography overlaps with other niches like fashion photography, food photography, etc.

However, the intention here is usually to portray things in an appealing but realistic manner. Photographers can be artistic, but a sense of realism is important to make a product sell. They also try to appeal to emotion with their pictures, the kind of emotion that people would pay money for.

The uses of product photography:

The purpose of product photography is to make something sell. These pictures have to adorn banners, hoardings, and advertisement campaigns of brands and businesses. They go into the brochures and catalogs and even stay on websites and social media handles. They also help in the branding of these companies.

How much money do product photographers make?

Generally, product photographers make between $40K to $50K a year. The amount varies for freelancers and more skilled photographers.

Proposal Photography

“Yes!”

Who doesn’t like hearing this word? It’s an expression of affirmation, validation, and sometimes extreme joy.

Such is the case of proposals – it’s an expression of affirmation, validation, and sometimes extreme joy.

Proposal photography aims to capture these exact emotions. It involves capturing the moments of anticipation, surprise, and happiness. However, since most of the proposals are surprises, proposal photographers have to also hide and capture the scene leading up to the actual proposal. Also, everything for the shoot should be planned. Speed and improvisation are the key here.

The uses of proposal photography:

Proposals are huge occasions. They mark the affirmation of love and the beginning of a completely new kind of relationship. They celebrate a couple’s relationship. Therefore, proposal photography captures forever cherished moments.

Although this avenue overlaps with portrait and event photography, proposal photography is unique in terms of sentiments. It is about awe, charm, grace, and most of all love.

How much money does a proposal photographer make?

 Usually, proposal photography or a surprise engagement photography package costs around $400. So, proposal photographers can earn a lot based on the number of clients they get. However, since most of them are involved in wedding and prewedding shoots, one cannot compute their exact earnings from proposal photography. 

Real Estate Photography

As the name suggests, real estate photography is another of the commercial types of photography. It involves clicking pictures of houses for selling purposes. These pictures find a place in an estate agent’s catalog or listing service from where they will reach multitudes of house buyers.

Real estate pictures involve the clicks of both interior and exterior of these homes. The photographers must click beautiful but natural pictures such that they look “liveable”. 

This is how real estate photography differs from architecture and other types of photography; it is more about business than art. The place has to be warm and welcoming, but also neat and functional. The picture has to attract people.

The uses of real estate photography:

Real estate photography tries to make a sale. The purpose of these pictures is to strike a chord in the minds of viewers so that they get ready to check out the building, be it for residential or business purposes. These pictures have to appeal to the masses. 

How much money does a real estate photographer make? 

A real estate photographer charges around $75 to $150 per shoot. Their average annual salary is around $60K a year with most of their earnings falling between $31K and $45K. 

Sports Photography

Sports photography is one of the liveliest types of photography. It captures the movements and stillness of players, their expressions, and their zeal. It portrays the spirit of the game in the most beautiful form. 

Sports pictures visually document the players’ emotions during the game and the finesse and grace with which they play. They incorporate other dimensions like the stadium, the crowd, and the players’ coaches and families. They portray passion and even nationalism in the case of international games. 

However, be it a professional sports tournament or a group of amateurs playing in the school ground, there is a sense of belongingness to one’s team. This can be captured well in sports photographs. 

Sports photographers develop their interests over time and align with one or two games of their choice. 

The uses of sports photography:

The purpose of sports photography is to capture the emotions and spirit of the game. It aims to make us a part of the game so that we feel our spirits bathe in its glory. It gives us a memory to cherish.

Parents want the pictures of their children playing as souvenirs for the future. When the government and non-government bodies opt for sports photography, they are advertising and popularizing the sport. Therefore, sports photography serves a variety of different purposes. 

How much money does a sports photographer make?

Sports photographers usually earn well. Most of them make around $35K to $60K per year.

Still Life Photography

Still-life photography is pretty much the opposite of portrait photography. Just like the latter deals with capturing people, still-life photographers click inanimate objects. These objects might be natural like flowers, grass, plants, etc., or artificial like desks, pots, and vases.

Here, the objects are arranged in a way that they appeal to the eye. Everything including lights, backdrop, selection, and arrangement matters.

Still-life photography is all about creativity. So, lighting and arrangement matter more than gears and techniques. This is why this type of photography appeals to amateur photographers and experts alike. 

The uses of still life photography:

This photography is for artistic, personal, or commercial purposes. Still-life photography beautifies the pages of magazines, the landing pages of websites, and social media handles. It is about beautifying. 

That’s why various product advertisers use still-life imagery to build their brands. Their catalogs, magazines, and even billboards display artistic brightness.

How much does a still life photographer make?

On average, still-life photographers make around $49K a year in the United States. 

Street Photography

Street photography, as the name suggests, involves capturing streets. These may be urban roads, highways, or rural dirt roads. So, even if the name contains the word ‘street’, the art may not involve it. 

Here, a photographer tries to capture public places, people, or even a specific moment. Street photography is all about timing, creativity, and portraiture.

While most of these photographs are candid and have been captured at the right time by the photographers, some of the shots might be staged. This is where street photography often seems to be mingling with documentary photography. However, both are inherently different in their way of capturing and purpose. Also, street photography isn’t very direct in its message.

One thing to remember here is that street photography isn’t allowed by every country. Some countries’ laws restrict it so street photographers need to be aware.

The uses of street photography:

The purpose of street photography is to portray life at a place. It captures the vibe of a particular location. Sometimes, especially when people are in it, this kind of photography captures emotions and makes viewers relate to the environment. 

Several agencies use these types of photography to popularize a city or lifestyle at a particular place. Moreover, some brands take the help of street photography to build their promotional campaigns and deliver their message.

How much money does a street photographer make?

The average salary of a street photographer in the United States is around $36K a year. 

Team and Office Photography

 Team and office photography is yet another of the unique types of photography. It involves clicking pictures of people working together.

These images are generally formal and composed. They aim to demonstrate professionalism, friendliness, and the approachability of the team. While this avenue of photography includes taking group pictures of the team working in the office, it also deals with capturing professional headshots of a company’s employees.

Lately, many studios have started providing these services. They understand corporate behavior and provide the required facilities. The photographers also realize that each company gets a photoshoot done for different purposes; their job is to cater to those purposes.

The uses of team and office photography:

These pictures typically adorn the company’s websites, social media handles, and brochures. They build the trust of partners, clients, and investors in the team and therefore in the business. Team and office photography is one of the types of photography that help in branding.

How much money does a team and office photographer earn?

 The median earnings of a team and office photographer is similar to that of regular photographers that is, around $41K a year. 

Travel Photography

Travel photography refers to documenting one’s journey through it in a virtual tour-like way. It involves capturing buildings, natural areas, art, history, and culture of a place.

Travel photography overlaps with various other types of photography like architectural, food, landscape, street, and sometimes even portrait photography. However, here the photographer aims to satisfy their desire for travel and creativity to the maximum. They keep things natural and candid, except a few posed shots of locals.

The uses of travel photography:

Travel photography satisfied personal and commercial uses. Vloggers generally use this photography to increase their popularity. Also, governments use snippets of travel photography to run ads and boost the tourism of a place. Moreover, various brands use these beautiful pictures in their promotional campaigns.

No matter what the use is, the main purpose of travel photography is to satisfy one’s desire for travel and photography together. 

How much money does a travel photographer make?

A travel photographer’s average annual salary is around $45K. It may lie anywhere between $17K and $100K depending on the skills and experience of the photographer. 

Underwater Photography

Underwater photography involves capturing images while underwater. Here, the photographer may dive deep into the water to scuba dive or snorkel and click pictures. They may also use an underwater vehicle or lower a specialized camera from the surface.

Here, equipment and expertise are of paramount importance. While photographers need expensive gear to capture underwater pictures, they must have the skills to handle the dangers of the ocean world.

Also, underwater photography is one of the types of photography that are difficult to master. Location, time of the day, equipment, etc. impact the pictures. So, the photographers need to be sure of their game while undertaking these expeditions.

The uses of underwater photography:

Underwater photographers capture beautiful pictures of the oceanic world, including its animals, plants, rocks, and the deep dark waters. While many pursue this as a hobby, underwater pictures have found uses in many academic and research fields. They are important to study the changes in the oceanic landscapes over time and their impacts.

How much money do underwater photographers make?

Underwater photographers can make anywhere between $10K to $287K a year with a median salary of around $51K. 

Vacation Photography

Vacation photography is one of the not-so-popular or emerging types of photography. It involves hiring a professional photographer to click one’s pictures while on a vacation. They click ‘framable’ and ‘postable’ photographers with their professional equipment and style.

Also, vacation photographers are usually locals who have done this before. They are familiar with the ways to capture great shots with great poses. Many vacation photographers also know spots, where you might relax and get some amazing clicks.

While vacation photography overlaps enough on travel photography to confuse people, the former focuses more on the spirit of vacation than the spirit of travel.

The uses of vacation photography:

Vacations are beautiful; each one has a different story to tell. However, most people don’t end up with very good pictures from their vacations. Also, the photos may get lost in the cloud storage.

Vacation photography services save one from these problems. They can easily enjoy their time and leave all the candid and posed shots on the photographer. Also, all the pictures will be saved and protected in a drive by the photographer.

These pictures will then be keepsakes and souvenirs. Thus, this photography is a good way to preserve memories.

How much money does a vacation photographer make?

 Although a vacation photographer’s earnings vary greatly based on their experience and expertise level, they can make around $37K on average. 

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is one of the biggest commercial and creative industries. It involves taking pictures of the ‘big day’, pre-wedding shoot, and sometimes even honeymoon or ‘trash the dress photographs. Also, some customs have days-long wedding traditions with a photographer present on each day. All these factors contribute you have to hair making this industry one of the most lucrative in the world.

Besides this, wedding photography is one of the most creative types of photography. One can experiment with so many themes, customs, designs, and factors. Each wedding album is different and has a spirit of its own. Also, since people are excited about wedding shoots, the photographers get a lot of creative help from the clients.

While some couples opt for more posed shots, others prefer to keep things candid and sometimes even low-key. While some couples want extensive days-long destination photoshoots, others prefer short adventurous sessions. Thus, wedding photography is fun for both the photographer and the client. Some photographers have even figured out the specific kinds of weddings they want to cater to.

The uses of wedding photography:

Weddings are one of the most important days in people’s lives. They mark a huge milestone in their relationships. Wedding photography spark joy in the people.

How much money does a wedding photographer make?

 On average, a wedding photographer makes anywhere between $40K to $60K a year. However, since it’s a booming industry, several top-class wedding photographers make $100K a year. 

Wildlife Photography

One of the most adventurous types of photography, wildlife photography involves photographers lurking in the wilderness to capture one amazing shot of the woods and its species. It portrays wild animals in their natural surroundings.

Besides being dangerous and scary, this avenue of photography requires knowledge and stealth on the part of photographers. Wildlife photographers are usually in love with the woods and understand animal behavior. They know when and how to approach different kinds of species to capture beautiful photographs without getting killed in the process.

Some parts of wildlife photography intersect with landscape photography. However, the former is more about animals than the forest.

The uses of wildlife photography:

Wildlife photography captures amazing pictures of animals and birds in their natural habitat. These punctures make their way into animal journals and magazines, and interest wildlife enthusiasts. They could be for commercial purposes (as in a promotional campaign) or to raise awareness about the condition of a particular species.

Several academic types of research also require wildlife photography. Therefore, this is one of the most useful types of photography in the field of animal research.

How much money does a wildlife photographer make?

Wildlife photographers make $28K on average. However, this field of photography provides the most job satisfaction. 

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