There are many different photography styles/niches to choose from. Chances are you will end up shooting at least three different ones. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones
Just like you think it would be, product photography is where you take pictures of different products. Whether it’s a bottle of whiskey or a pair of shoes. If you do end up doing product photography you will most likely try the next niche too.
Stock photography can almost be anything you want it to be. You ever see a photo of two people shaking hands? Well there you go that was most likely purchased on a stock website like shutterstock or adobe.
Stock Photography is also another way for new photographers to earn a little bit of money from selling their photos. Websites, blogs, youtube, billboards and many more need stock photos. Check out one of the many stock websites to get a feel for the type of images they sell. One thing to remember with stock photography is if there are recognizable people in your images you need a model release. Also try to leave some empty space in your photo so the buyer can place there own text.
When you think about photography niches this is probably the one everyone is familiar with. The one we all hated as kids going to sears to get the dreaded sibling photos. Today’s portrait photographers are much more creative.
Every time you pull out your smartphone and have taken a picture of your friends and family, you’ve pretty much took a portrait shot. And no I wouldn’t consider a selfie part of portrait photography. That’s what I would call self photography. Now if you have charisma and a knack for talking with people and directing them, portrait photography might just be for you. Portrait photography is also good if you would rather be inside than out.
Besides portrait photography many people also only know about landscape photography. You see photos of this niche everywhere from your doctors office to city hall. Don’t worry landscape photography isn’t just photos shot in horizontal, they can also be shot in vertical and of other subjects other than mountains.
I like to shoot a lot of landscapes. It gets me out into nature and be around the warm sun and freeze air. But in order to get those epic landscape shots you need to be willing to get out there in all kinds of weather.
Have you ever seen the storm chaser on tv? A lot of them are doing this niche. Going out and photography these extreme and harsh storms can have you land some epic shots. Now matter where you live you can do this type of photography. Everything from sandstorms, hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms and even thunderstorms.
Personally I don’t really get this type of photography. The idea of sharing every plate of food you eat on instagram for the world to see, doesn’t appeal to me. However, this type of photography can easily be done with your smartphone.
Long Exposure Photography
Long exposure photography can bring out some interesting effects. Like light streaks of cars passing by or the smooth flow of a waterfall. If you are going to doing any kind of night or astrophotography, you will be playing around with long exposure photography.
Street photography is not shooting the street. It all about capturing what is happening on the street. Someone standing on a corner or taking a photo. A person buying a hot dog at a hot dog stand. This type of photography shows the world how it truly is. No poses. It is all about capturing the uniqueness of the world around us.
Current Event Photography
This niche is all about taking photos of things happening right now that can have historical value. War time photographers can fall into this niche. Any photo they take will and has had great historical significance.
If you were around DC on January 20, 2017 for President Trump’s Inauguration those photos you took that day will have historical value. Other events that can be consider current event photography other than war or a President’s inauguration are aftermath of storms, stores that are closing (Sears, Toys r Us, ect), opening of theme parks, people at a rally.
With this type of photography you just want to make note of where you were. The date and maybe even the time. If you try to put these pictures on a stock site you will need to have the location and date since it will be hard for you to get the releases of the “models”.
Possibly the coolest and hardest niche on this list. Macro photography is all about getting up close and personal to your subject. It is usually used with an insect as the subject but it can really be anything that is shot close.
If you are trying to make a living off of photography chances are you will be shooting weddings. Wedding photography is a mix of a few different photography niches. You need to be able to shoot products (rings, cake, table settings, ect). In low light and be able to take portraits. You also need to be really good at guessing where the “action” will take place next.
I would say that this is the one niche nearly everyone tries at one time or another. Either you are trying to become a wedding photographer and make a living off it. Or a friend or family member is trying to save some money and asks you to shoot their wedding. Just remember there is no re-dos of a wedding.
Sports photographers are those men and women down on the sidelines with the really big lenses. They are out there trying to catch the moment the ball is caught, hit, dropped ect. Anyone can give this niche a try. Just go to your local high schools football game or down to the ball fields to catch a little league game.
While it seems like this may be easy the truth is it can be quite difficult. Animals much like kids don’t and or won’t sit still. Having a good telephoto lens will help them not see you. That will make your pictures look much better when the animal is relaxed and not scared or on a heightened sense of alert.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to photography niches. There are many more out there. As you can tell a lot of them can be combined so you will never truly be just a one niche kind of photographer. I look at being a photographer as being a “jack of all, master of none”.
Let me know what type of photography niches you practice. Do you do them all? Or have you mastered one?