19 Types of Photographers – Which One Are You?

There are many types of photographers and photography styles, especially in the freelance workforce. The variety of styles and categories can be based on the camera used, interest, and of course, purpose. If you are into photography and are thinking of being a freelance photographer, it is best that you explore the different styles of photography so you can decide on what type of photographer you will be.

Camera Types Photographers Use

camera in grayscale

The fundamentals of photography are pretty simple—your subject and your camera. With the advancement of technology, there are now different types of cameras a photographer can use. In choosing which of the different types of photographers you want to become, you also have to consider the equipment or camera you have or want to use.

1. Digital Camera

Digital Photography is the most common style of photography because of the many conveniences of a digital camera. Most, if not all, photographers, whether professional or hobbyist, use this type of camera. If you are a newbie, the digital camera will assist you in taking photos with its automatic focus function. But if you want to manipulate the shot, simply put it in manual mode.

The technology behind the digital camera has taken photography to a new level. First, you are no longer bound by a certain number of shots depending on your roll of film. The photos save on memory cards and if it becomes full (it usually takes hundreds of photos to fill up a card, depending on the storage size), simply change the card. No more risk of exposing the film! Second, it is adaptable to different tools you can attach or link to, like flashes and lenses. Some photographers even connect their cameras to their laptops; whatever the camera captures, the computer displays it within seconds! No need to wait hours just to see the result of your shot.

Third, digital cameras are so universal that you can buy parts wherever you are. Simply go to a camera shop, and they will probably have a tripod or lens cover that fits your specs. And lastly, digital photography has more post-processing options. Editing photos are easy if you have the right software.

2. Film Camera

Analog cameras or those that use rolls of film to capture the shot, are still popular. Actually, the trend is coming back again. Photographers are finding the waiting game (in developing the film) exciting. Because photography is an art, these analog photographers consider their once-in-a-lifetime shot their true work of art. Without any manipulation, whatever they capture is final. And that, for them, is their art.

3. Drones

Indeed, technology is incredible. Now, with drones, you can easily capture photos from way above the ground. Need a picture of the mouth of a volcano? Use a drone! Want to capture a stampede from a safe space? Use a drone. It does take a lot of practice though before you can get a perfect shot, but still, you can produce really incredible photos using drones.

4. Smartphones

And, yes, of course, the smartphones. Who would have thought that the camera specifications of a phone would be a huge selling point? Smartphone innovators have incorporated camera features that are almost identical to professional digital cameras. Social media content creators mostly use these smartphone cameras because of their convenience. Just browse through photo-sharing apps, and you’ll see how professional smartphone-captured photos look.

Types of Photographers

If a picture paints a thousand words, then make it your goal to always make sure your photographs are speaking to your audience. It is a visual art, after all.

There are different types of photographers, mainly categorized according to their subject. In choosing which one you want to specialize in, you must also master your subject. While it is true that there are certain rules in photography, such as the rule of thirds, as an artist, you can always break away from this. The important thing is that you have communicated the message you want to impart to your audience through your subject and the overall composition of the photograph. Determine the subject you are most interested in and see what type of photographer you can be.

Portraiture Photographer

portrait photographer

There are almost 8 billion people in the world. And with different cultures, races, and ages, people are probably one of the most fascinating subjects for photography.

Portraiture or portrait photography is one of the oldest and most common types of photography. As a portrait photographer, your aim is to capture the personality and emotions of your subject, using lighting direction and backgrounds. You may want to have a more specialized genre so you can be easily identifiable to clients looking for that particular style.

1. Headshot Photographer

Headshot photographers focus on the human face and how their personality will be communicated with few to almost no props or backgrounds. Usually used as profile pictures, as a headshot photographer, you must naturally bring out the character of their subject.

2. Boudoir Photographer

Boudoir photography involves women wearing lingerie or sexy outfits. It gives an intimate and sensual feel, so you should emphasize the curves and shape of your subject’s body. As a boudoir photographer, you should always be sensitive to how your subject may be feeling towards the photoshoot. Make sure your subject feels comfortable and safe.

3. Glamor Photographer

As a glamor photographer, your aim is to highlight your subject’s beauty and charm. This time, your subject may appear alluring and sexy even with full clothes. The secret is in posing your subject. In a glamor photo shoot, your subject is usually in full make-up and an outfit they feel brings out their most beautiful features. Your aim is for your subject to see themselves in their most beautiful and charming moment. Your subject might be thinking: This is how I will look if I am on a magazine cover.

4. Baby and Child Photographer

Many parents want to capture each and every milestone of their children. So they hire photographers to take photos of their babies or young kids. This is a very challenging profession as children are usually tricky to instruct into a pose and babies have a schedule of their own. Imagine doing a photoshoot of a sleeping newborn, then suddenly, she wakes up. The photo shoot will be delayed until the baby sleeps soundly again. As a photographer for babies and children, you should always consider time, location, and props to make the shoot easier to manage.

5. Family Photographer

A Family portrait is very important to your client. These usually are framed and shown to every visitor in the house. So you should know how to bring out their best smiles. Know the family dynamics so you can suggest how they will be positioned and what the tone of the photo will be. Is this a fun or formal shoot? You have to be extra patient too, because these may take several shots, as group photos are pretty tricky. Do not miss out on a family member not smiling or who has looked away the second you clicked your camera.

Events Photographer

People will always want to remember the most special occasions in their lives. As an events photographer, you must capture these milestones and events in their lives. A good events photographer must have an eye for the most unique and special moments during an event.

6. Wedding Photographer

Every couple wants a good wedding photographer. As a wedding photographer, your photos should show how special and romantic the event is. You also have to capture the guests’ reactions and emotions. In documenting this event, you will not only focus on the couple but also on the wedding itself—the bridal dress, the venue, the flowers, and even the cake!

7. Concert Photographer

Probably one of the most challenging events to cover is a concert. The audience area is dark, the stage is full of bright lights, and there is movement everywhere. If you want to pursue being a concert photographer, make sure you have the right equipment, especially camera lenses, so the lighting will not be a problem for you.

8. Sports Photographer

As a sports photographer, first and foremost, you must understand the sport itself. The actions are quick, and you should anticipate what will happen. Once a punch has landed, and you missed it, you cannot recreate it again. Sports photography shows both winning and losing moments. The triumph, the heartbreak, and the actions on the court or ring.

Nature Photographer

photographer on top of mountain

Nothing can compare to the adrenaline rush of capturing wildlife, right? Being able to take a clear and perfect photo of a jumping whale or a dog catching a frisbee is pretty mind-blowing.

9. Wildlife Photographer

Capturing wildlife in their natural habitat takes a lot of patience and skill. Well, it also needs expensive equipment. You see how those National Geographic photographers do it, right? You will patiently wait, camouflaged in your corner, with just seconds to take that shot.

10. Pet Photographer

Pets are considered family. So pet owners expect the photo of their pets to be as good as a human portrait. If you love taking pictures of animals, then this could be for you.

11. Landscape Photographer

Your goal as a landscape photographer is to have jaw-dropping photos. Whether you use a digital camera or a drone, you should show the beauty of your subject in its grandest form. In landscape photography, you feature nature at its finest, the sun setting, the great mountains, or waves hitting the rocks.

12. Underwater Photographer

Underwater photography may be for you if you are in for an adventure and love the ocean. You just need to have the right camera and equipment to capture amazing underwater photos. Oh, and of course, you must be a good swimmer.

13. Astro Photographer

Capturing astronomical events and objects is impressive. However, this is a highly technical type of photography. Your camera specifications and settings should be perfect in order to create that marvelous photo of the night sky.

Cityscapes and Structures Photographer

photographer, building

If you are fascinated with buildings, architectural structures, bridges, and even abandoned houses, this could be for you.

14. Architecture Photographer

Highlighting architectural wonders takes skill and a good eye for detail. The angles should be right, and the perspectives should leave your audience in awe.

15. Cityscape Photographer

City folks are always busy. They do not have time to stop and appreciate their surrounding. A cityscape photographer captures the image of the city in full view, like how the city looks at night with its bright lights or an aerial shot showing the rooftops of buildings.

Commercial/Advertising Photographer

Being a commercial photographer is a very profitable profession. A commercial photographer is always in demand. The downside is, you have a lot of competition. So, make sure you have the right resources for freelance photographers to help you.

16. Product Photographer

A product photographer ensures that the product is greatly emphasized. A product photographer should be skilled in plotting layouts for the items needed to be highlighted. Product photography may include food or automotive products, so you must also know how to take great photos of these. Your photo itself should sell the product!

17. Fashion Photographer

Clothes, shoes, bags. As a fashion photographer, you should know how to pose your model to highlight these items.

Lifestyle & Reportage Photographer

Lifestyle and reportage photographers capture real-life events that highlight everyday situations on the streets or anywhere else.

18. Documentary Photographer

Documentary photographers narrate the events through their photos. It may be for travel, history, or anything that basically serves to record a phenomenon or situation like wars or pandemics.

19. Photojournalist

A photojournalist tells the news through photos. It captures what is happening now and is usually published in newspapers and magazines.

Take that shot!

photographer crouching

Being a photographer is a gratifying profession. Capturing the world through your lenses and being a part of history is truly thrilling. With the many styles of photography, you may be confused about what genre you will focus on. Understanding the purpose, subjects, and aspects of how the different types of photographers translate photographs into art will help you decide.

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