Everyone who plans to engage in photography professionally, sooner or later asks himself the question of which genre to choose as the main one. The role here is played not only by the craving for a certain genre, but also by the opportunity to build a career on it.
We’ll take a look at the most popular types of shoots and explain why they’re the most popular.
Do not forget that in addition to them there are niche areas that are not suitable for everyone.
The most popular commercial genre is wedding photography. Weddings take place all the time, even during quarantine, and everyone wants to capture happy moments.
Wedding photography includes several genres: you will have to work with portraits and master event photography, that is, locations and group photos.
At the same time, wedding photography cannot be called a simple process. It’s an intense job where it’s often necessary to get the best possible shot on the first try.
A wedding photographer must be fast, move around the location a lot, carefully observe everyone around. But the main thing, perhaps, is to quickly adapt to changes. You will have to shoot indoors, outdoors, with the lights off. Also, you will have to give instructions to everyone around, while remaining as inconspicuous as possible.
Wedding photography requires such qualities from the photographer as the ability to communicate with people, self-confidence and charisma.
The best photographers are those who love their work. You should not go into wedding photography solely for money, because it is a huge stress and a big responsibility.
This direction is very similar to wedding photography. Likewise, it requires the photographer to be dynamic and adaptable. Events include everything from corporate parties and birthdays to concerts. Here, too, you will have to work with people and with different conditions. For example, concert shooting is always associated with complex lighting. Social events are likely to require additional retouching.
Again, in terms of genre, you will have to show diversity: portraits, group shots, reportage photos, all this takes place in shooting events. And everyone wants to get the most pleasant result.
The positive side is that with a confident portfolio, you can make good money on event photography. But it takes a long time to build a portfolio, and most of the time will be spent on promoting your own services.
Portraits are different: someone needs them for a portfolio, someone for a website, for a resume, for book covers. There are a lot of options and many of them require less creativity and more ability to please the customer.
There is also an alternative way to make money on portraits — shooting for commercial tasks and stocks.
Portrait photography is a good way to get your hands dirty in a comfortable environment. You will have to work with one person, and it is much easier to establish communication, learn how to interact with the model, etc. You can train on your friends and acquaintances, and over time you will notice that orders will begin to arrive.
Since portrait photography is always in demand, you will not be left without work.
One of the most difficult, but also the most profitable areas is the photography of objects for commercial purposes. Here you will come across a very established pool of photographers who work in advertising. This is not an easy task, because you will have to deal with very different things. It can be cars, jewelry, souvenirs, food, etc. And the photos will be used on websites, in advertising or in catalogs. That is, it is necessary to emphasize all the best characteristics of the subject, hiding its shortcomings.
In most cases, the work will be studio work, great for introverts. There will be an object as a model, and communication is kept to a minimum. But it is necessary to skillfully handle the light. Ideally, the subject photographer will use their own home studio, as renting is not profitable.
Often you have to shoot on the street or on the ground. There will be more than enough variety, but the conditions are not at all hothouse.
Source: New Atlas
Perhaps the most difficult career path is artistic photography. On the one hand, the photographer is free from customer requirements and rules. On the other hand, the search for agents, galleries and exhibitions falls on his shoulders. It is very difficult to get promoted and earn fame in such conditions. Only a few truly gain fame, and not all of them are able to gain financial independence. At first, artistic shooting will always have to be combined with the main work, and this will seriously complicate the task. Any other genre can lead to professional burnout, and this is extremely dangerous for an artist.
The main goal of a fine art photographer is to capture emotion in a subject, character or scene. He enters into a dialogue with the viewer.
This direction is undoubtedly attractive for photographers, but it will be much more difficult to succeed in it. This does not mean that you should not try, but you should always be sure that you have an alternative plan.
Another type of filming that can take two different paths. If you want to shoot clothes, you have to start small. First you have to work with photography for catalogs, websites and online stores. And only then, if you manage to prove yourself, you can go to a more serious level, collaborate with big brands and even film fashion weeks.
If standard shooting is more focused on portraits and working directly with the model, then catwalks are a completely different genre. It combines elements of documentary photography and event photography.
You should not count on working in the studio, many people prefer to shoot in interesting locations, including outdoors. So you have to master both the setting of light and adaptation to natural light. You will have to take a lot of equipment with you, take into account the requirements of designers and accessories specialists. You will need to work in a team, and at the very last stage you will find a lot of retouching.
We often loosely use the term architectural photography to describe the passion. But there is also a professional genre that addresses this particular direction. Architectural photography includes several types: these are shootings for bureaus and construction companies, for real estate tasks, and photos of interiors. All these branches require a different approach, but in general, it is quite within the power of one person.
The difficulties of the photographer also lie in wait for a variety of. For example, to successfully capture a building, you need to be able to capture its essence. It will be necessary to remove both elements of the external decor and general plans. We will have to look for an original approach, for example, to shoot from the window of the building opposite. But the most difficult thing is to choose the lighting conditions.
The same goes for shooting interiors. Only in this case, it is often necessary to work with a decorator, since it is he who gives the interior a spectacular look that causes a reaction in the viewer. An architectural photographer must always remember that his main task is to sell. It is necessary to take photos that can sell a service, building or premises.
It would seem that this genre is purely for fun, but it is not. From National Geographic to any travel site. Such photos are needed everywhere. In addition to the exciting part that tourism itself makes up, you will have to be able to convey the mood and atmosphere of the place where you are. And it lies both in beautiful landscapes and sunsets, and in people. That is, you will have to deal with reportage, documentary and landscape photography, and all this in very diverse conditions. One day you’ll be filming a warm seaside city, and the next you’ll be photographing the icy expanses of Antarctica. The work of a travel photographer is never easy, it is suitable for the most enduring and patient, for those who are able to get up at five in the morning and walk long distances in order to be at the right time in the right place and catch a golden watch.
Source: Light Stalking
Another popular genre that requires endurance. A photojournalist, like a travel photographer, has to find himself in a variety of places. But his work is much less connected with landscapes, and more with events, including natural and political disasters. There are many risks in this profession and it is not easy. But the probability of gaining fame by making a successful and problematic shot is much higher than in other professions. A large number of awards are presented each year for the most socially significant images.
The task of the photographer in this case is to tell a story, to make a distant problem personal and important to the viewer. This is creativity and skill at the same time, this is visual storytelling. You will have to work mainly in the documentary genre, but sometimes you will come across stories where there are portraits, often psychological ones, and architecture, and much more. A photojournalist must be able to switch between genres in order to tell a story in the most touching and effective way.
It is very difficult to start a career in this genre. This is a job for those who love and understand sports, who know anatomy and are able to react quickly. And such a photographer will also need the most modern and powerful equipment.
The biggest problem is perhaps getting enough practice. You will have to shoot amateur competitions in order to get your hands on it and build up a portfolio. Only then will it be possible to turn to professional news agencies and sports publications in order to gain access to truly serious events. But if you succeed, the job will allow you to travel and visit even the most closed tournaments, getting the best places to watch, and meet famous athletes.
Sports photography also includes promotional photos, promo shots, and more. So it will never become boring and monotonous.
There are still a lot of other genres, and with a certain skill, almost everyone can be made into a profession. The main thing is to realize how it is better to approach the implementation of your ideas. The rest is a matter of practice.