Photography: which path will you take?

Photography enjoys a colourful (but also black and white and sepia) history. The first known photograph was created by Nicéphore Niépce as early as in 1816. His photograph was only temporary, but it was the start of photography as we know it. Just over two centuries on and cameras are more advanced than ever before.

Just as cameras have grown into a wide range of types, so have the people who use them. So if you want photography to be more than a hobby for you, then think really carefully about which type of photographer you’d like to be! Read on for a breakdown of some of the more popular genres of photography.

Landscape photography

Some of the most breathtaking images ever captured have been landscape photographs; these are essentially static shots of environments doing what they do best: looking mesmerising. Before you go out into the world snapping like crazy, however, you’ll want to take stock of the advice from the pros. To start with, you’ll want to make sure you’re going out on a day where the weather is on your side. Note that the ‘magic hour’ in photography is known as the period just after sunrise or just before sunset, due to the softer lighting conditions created.

That’s not to say that rain photography can’t be just as beautiful, just remember to bring a camera cover to protect your precious piece of equipment! Another point to keep in mind – landscape photography can be aided by the right kit, such as a wide-angle lens and a tripod. These will give you a greater, steadier perspective of the land.

Wildlife photography

If you want to be a wildlife photographer you need to be willing to do some serious planning. This not only involves the basic planning of travel to a location, but things like the best time of day for viewing certain animals in action, as well as the more mundane side of attaining the proper paperwork to be able to photograph the more exotic creatures our beautiful world holds.

Once you’ve done all this, however, some hugely rewarding experiences await! Start off by heading to your nearest green area and seeing which birds or other animals you can capture, if it takes your fancy then you’ll know it’s your calling.

Fashion photography

Most photographers are like wolves, out on their lonesome looking for the best shots. However, if you feel that your passion lies in being a fashion photographer then you’ll need to be a lot more collaborative.

Teamwork is key here, you’ll usually need a makeup artist, and if your images are geared towards selling an item then the designer will want to have their say in terms of the composition and structure of the photograph. Fashion photography also offers a level of pay for professionals that is quite respectable in comparison to other types.

Food photography

Believe it or not, there is a niche for food photography beyond just whipping out your phone down at the local Italian when you’re served up a tasty linguine. The art of taking pictures of food has really blown up thanks to Instagram users and food bloggers. If you reckon you can capture food in a way that stops people in their tracks then this might be the path for you.

The temptation is real and resistance to eating your subject an essential to do this job, but food photographers are some of the greatest modern-day artists, making the humble cup of tea look utterly irresistible, via some of the oddest of tricks. You can find some great tips on being a successful food photographer on the net.

Aerial photography

No, you don’t need a fighter jet to be an aerial photographer, but you will need access to some sort of airborne machine or a drone with a mount for your camera. This probably won’t be your first thought upon picking up a camera, but if you love to fly, then it makes sense. Some truly amazing shots can be captured from up in the air!

Sports and action photography

One of the more extreme paths a photographer can potentially take. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to start within striking distance of a dirtbike or rally car, you might just want to photograph athletics or field sports. The key here is to be extremely quick with your reactions, they’re called action shots for a reason!

Street photography

Where some see depressing greyness and ugly pavements, others see a sprawling and beautiful urban work of art. There’s no hidden key to good street photography, this is one of the simplest forms in terms of accessibility, just get out there and start snapping shots! There’s always creativity to be found within the mundane.

Pet photography

“D’aaaawwwww”. We know that may be your first reaction, but there’s a serious market for pet photography and for good reason, people are crazy about their pets and so having a lovely set of photos is more important than ever! If you have a pet of your own, you have an easy starting point for getting into this form of photography.


If you often find yourself looking up at the sky and admiring the stars on a clear night then astrophotography may be your calling. Don’t worry, you don’t need access to a high-power telescope (although it could definitely make for a great asset if you choose to pursue this), it’s quite simple to take landscape pictures of the sky when the weathers on your side!


Some of the most famous photographs of all time are the result of photojournalism. Sometimes it’s true that a picture says more than words possibly could, like Nick Ut’s Vietnam War photo “The Terror of War”, which almost singlehandedly changed the wartime views of Americans and led to the banishment of Napalm as a weapon. Do you want to change the world? Then consider photojournalism.

Baby photography

If you just love those cute little bundles of joy then why not make a hobby or a career out of it? Families often hire a photographer to document the process of pregnancy right up to childbirth, so that they’ll always have an amazing set of photos displaying the creation of life.

Wedding photography

One of the more stable ventures for a photographer career-wise, people are always looking out for someone with talent to capture the best moments from their special day. If you’re just starting out as a photographer make sure to reach out via family and friends, let them know you’d be willing to photograph at any weddings for a small fee. Once your portfolio is built up wedding photography can bring in handsome sums!

Underwater photography

Imagine how cool it would be to answer the question “what do you do?” with “underwater photography”. Although it may not be the most easily accessible form of photography, it often produces some of the more breathtaking images. From serene wide angle shots of the deep blue to extreme photos of sharks and other dangerous creatures, it certainly is one of photography’s more interesting forms.

Paparazzi photography

If you just can’t keep away from the tabloids reporting what your favourite celebrities are doing in their daily lives, then it might be your calling to become a paparazzi. Just be warned, it might not always go smoothly if you overstep the boundaries of privacy and personal space!

There you have it, some of the most popular forms of photography. Are you interested in a different type of photography or do you have any tips for beginners? Let us know in the comment section!

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