Key Photography Genres

There are four key genres of photography. A genre is a category of style, so for photography there are four main and significant genres in the industry.

The first key genre is portraiture. Portraiture is an image of a face, which shows identity of a person and shows their face in predominant detail. It captures the individual’s personality and who they are, showing themselves at their best or at an important time. Typically the image is from the waist up, or head and shoulders.

I like this genre because it captures the person and it individualises each person, showing the details of everyone and what makes them stand out. I also dislike it because typically a portrait is formed through a photoshoot so it doesn’t show the person in their normal, non posed manner.

An idea for a photoshoot could be an even number of girls and boys, showing different emotion and how it is presented through both genders. Their faces could be painted with blue and pink paint, set in a photography studio with a high shutter speed.

(Google images)

The next key genre of photography is landscape. Landscape photography is images of locations, showing the view of how it looks in that moment in time. This can include seascapes, cityscapes, countryside, and any other area that shows scenery. These photographs can not only be used to be visually pleasing to the eye but can also be used to discuss issues, such as environmental, political or social issues, such as using the photos as campaign evidence or propaganda. Say if a photographer published a photo of a littered beach, it shows an environmental issue within the picture. So landscape photography is more than just creating an aesthetic.

I like this genre because typically the photos are visually pleasing and often have calm, serene theme which is calming to look at. They are usually relaxed which has positive effect. I can dislike the genre because some pictures are unappealing as they can be too simple in my opinion.

An idea for a photoshoot could be a seaside shoot. The photographer could take a photo of the same seascape at different times during the day, from morning to night showing the development of the colours and photographic vibe. For example, they could place the camera on Paignton Pier and take periodic pictures from the view point of outside the arcades.

(Google images)

The next key photographic genre is abstract. Abstract photography is photography that is artificial that it is not likely to be identifiable. They aren’t usually based on reality and often are composed of loud patterns or imagery.

I like this genre because it has no limits and the possibilities are endless. There are little rules allowing the photographer to do what they want and express themselves in their own way. I however also dislike the genre as it is usually harsh to the eyes and are difficult to comprehend.

An idea for a photoshoot for abstract photography could be materials in the light. it could involve materials such lace in the sunlight, a light reflecting on glitter or the details of veins in a leaf. They could adjust the camera settings such as aperture, ISO or shutter speed for additional effect.

(Google images)

The next photographic genre is documentary. Documentary focuses on showing reality and moments in time. They often show moments of crisis or revelation. This genre is important because it provides the visuals to the reality going on in the rest of the world. These photographs can be used to show social, political and environmental issues or breakthroughs just like landscape photography can.

I like this genre because it provides proof of real events and moments, and the images are often moving and sentimental to view. I dislike the genre however because some images can be sad to look at.

An idea for a photoshoot could be highlighting the positive and negative aspects of our local area. The photographer could capture the positive aspects of Torbay such as the tourism, the beautiful areas such as Meadfoot and the features Torbay have to offer such as the wheel and the shops. They could also capture the negative such as the poverty and crime, and then show each positive and negative image in contrast.

(Google images)


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