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Photography Genres You Might Not Know About

Updated on July 15, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

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Granted, the vast majority of photographers make a living by taking the most common themes like weddings, events, sports, portraits and even pets.

But there are also a growing number of photographers who have gone to what some might think is the extreme and specialize in rather odd sounding themes.

Just like there are many colors there are also just as many tastes in photographs and if you are willing to pay for it, then there is no shortage of willing photographers willing to accommodate a paying customer.

These themes mainly focus on fantasy and the willingness of the clients to act and look like their fantasy heroes or even villains.

Take for example someone who has always fantasized of being like a Disney character and with the availability of costumes, make up and props basically anyone can be made to look like their favorite character, hero or even a villain.

You can pay a lot of cash to spend just one day at a Disney Park so it is safe to say that many will pay just as much to be dressed and photograph like one.

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CC BY-SA 2.0 Digitally edited to comply with TOS | Source
Digitally edited to comply with TOS
Digitally edited to comply with TOS | Source

Comic Book characters are as popular today as they were when most of us were children. The Cosplay industry draws thousands of participants every time they have a convention.

There are even those that have made dressing up a career like Yaya Han who travels the world as her favorite characters and has even had her own reality show.

These participants are truly a dedicated bunch and they are very likely to indulge themselves in some professionally made photos.

The same may also be true for regular folks who are also willing to live a fantasy and be photographed as the comic book character of their choice.

As if these photo genres are not enough here is a more comprehensive list of photographic genres:

  • Abstract photography
  • Aerial photography
  • Architectural photography
  • Astrophotography
  • Aviation photography
  • Black and white photography
  • Candid photography
  • Celebrity photography
  • Cloudscape photography
  • Conceptual photography
  • Conservation photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Endoscopy
  • Environmental portrait
  • Erotic photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Fine-art photography
  • Fire photography
  • Fireworks photography
  • Flash photography
  • Food photography
  • Forensic photography
  • Geophotography
  • Glamour photography
  • High-speed photography
  • Industrial photography
  • Kirlian photography
  • Lifestyle photography
  • Lo-fi photography
  • Lomography
  • Long-exposure photography
  • Macro photography
  • Medical photography
  • Monochrome photography
  • Narrative photography
  • Nature photography
  • Night photography
  • Nude photography
  • Old-time photography
  • Panoramic photography
  • Paparazzi
  • Photojournalism
  • Photomicroscopy
  • Portrait photography
  • Post-mortem photography
  • Senior portraits
  • Social photography
  • Social documentary photography
  • Still life photography
  • Stock photography
  • Straight photography
  • Street photography
  • Subminiature photography
  • Time-lapse photography
  • Travel photography
  • Ultraviolet photography
  • Underwater photography
  • Vernacular photography
  • War photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Wildlife photography

Historical or fantasy characters like Julius Caesar,Genghis Khan or Daenerys Targaryen from Games Of Thrones have really become popular these last few years and many love to be like these make characters, even if just for a few pictures.

Setting up a shoot featuring someone dressed up like one of these characters takes some effort and it is mainly in securing appropriate props and costumes, but it can be done and the clients usually love to showcase the resulting images.

Some of the best props are fur, weapons, some leather strapping/accessories and some creative makeup.

Digital backdrops can be quite useful too so if you are dexterous with your computer and any digital editing program you have the makings of a real "Hollywood" set.

Adding a twist to a fairy tale. Many movies and shows have put a spin in the fairy tales genre often adding a "true story" plot behind them. The same can be done through photography.

Get creative and feature any of your favorite fairy or folk tales characters while depicting them in apparent real life scenarios.

Take for instance Snow White, have you ever pictured Snow White as a seductress or as a housewife with Prince Charming behaving like a slouch?

These are usually quite fun to do and by giving yourself a creative licence, you can do most anything that pops into your head or better yet, that satisfies the customer.

After this theme comes another which is similar and that is dressing up and pretending to be royalty but more specifically, ancient ones.

Here the props can be numerous and costly if you take into account the number that might be needed including a "crown" but it's certainly a worthwhile effort.

This particular genre is one that essentially needs two basic elements to work well; the proper props and the setting; a castle, or similar looking location or perhaps even a church will do fine.

If there are ruins where you live then the setting is easier to accommodate the shoot and with some clever lighting and good angles the effect works better. In substitute of a "royal setting" many fancy gardens can work just as well.

Think this is interesting so far?

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For those willing to push the envelope even further there are those that perhaps have fantasized about belonging to the opposite sex.

Men dressed as women and vice verse may be not only a bit controversial to some but is yet another avenue for photographers willing to accommodate clients.

With society as a whole becoming more accepting of different lifestyles, this genre should not catch anyone by surprise.

Keep in mind that we are not referring to drag queens posing for the camera but regular individuals who may fancy this type of shoot for personal satisfaction or entertainment.

Next is anthropomorphism and in case you do not know what this means it is the act of attributing animal personalities or features to a person.

More precisely in regards to photography dressing up in costumes, masks and other body parts as it one were assuming the role of an animal like a person dressed like a bunny, an ape and so on.

Probably done more in fun than anything else this is a good theme for certain holidays where people might want to get more involved with Halloween for example.

This is not simply putting on bunny ears like the ones used to be worn by Playboy Bunnies, this goes a bit more in depth.

But there are other applications and organizations like PETA have infidelity taken it to the next step in their drive to end animal cruelty in all forms.

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

Dressing up like a doll is not a new theme or genre. What is new is the lengths to which some might go to look like one, take for example the recent trend to be a human Barbie or Ken doll.

This is a popular trend because there is something about a seemingly near perfect look of a doll that some want to achieve and there is no shortage of individuals willing to try it.

Finally there are mature themes that get close to more adult type scenarios but don't go quite the distance or all the way as some might say.

Bondage, BDSM and so forth. Most of this genre's shots are usually reserved for someones partner like your husband or significant other but goes a bit more deeply than let's say boudoir shoots.

Just be as tasteful as possible and offer helpful suggestion to any client that wishes to purse it. Remember hinting at nudity rather than to show it often works better.

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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