Most of us have inevitably interacted with photography in some shape or form, throughout our lives. We see it at every turn in our lives. Documenting important memories, capturing irreplaceable moments, catching an embarrassing anecdote in one frame, photography does it all. Photography has grown into much more now.
It has become a way for individuals to capture the art of their surroundings as best they can, using their cameras. Slowly but surely, it has also become a potential career path, and many of us could not imagine the world without it currently.
Pursuing photography as a career requires an understanding of what one can do within the industry, and how to ensure quality of work. Therefore, this blog has divided professional photography into the main genres known within the field and gone on to provide you with tips on how to be the one that stands apart.
This form of photography is widely available in agencies and brands, depending on the genre or service needed. For instance, wedding photography companies are commonly found, photojournalists work for particular media companies, and many marketing and advertising agencies have in-house photographers to provide their clients with product photography services.
The various genres are placed in various professional spheres and fields, and you must remember to understand their relevant field when you choose your genre. For a better understanding, read the detailed list below.
Genres of Professional Photography
Listed below are 13 genres of professional photography, however, there are more, and some of these genres have genres within them.
- Wedding Photography:
Pre-wedding, wedding, post-wedding, you are hired to capture some of the most beautiful moments of peoples’ lives.
- Event Photography:
Fast-paced, one-shot situations are constantly presented to you. If you miss clicking at the right time, a moment lost will most probably not return.
- Portrait Photography:
This photography focuses on people. Clients hire these photographers for family portraits, to celebrate the addition of their baby to the family, or to simply capture that perfect picture for oneself.
- Product and Food Photography:
Clicking well planned, themed, and aesthetically pleasing images of a variety of products for promotion and sales, is not easy, but is widely needed. Food photography is similar, but requires a slightly different, or additional set of skills.
- Fine Art Photography:
Photography is a highly expressive form of art. Fine Art photographers capture the world around them in every way they wish to, and showcase and sell them. These can be landscape, portrait, abstract, wildlife, whichever you wish.
- Fashion Photography:
The world of fashion holds a high status in today’s world. Fashion photography allows you to capture trends for posters, billboards, online campaigns, and many other things.
- Architectural Photography:
This form of photography is a necessity for individuals and brands in the real estate field. Brochures, websites, other online platforms are heavily image-based for buying and selling property.
- Travel and Wildlife Photography:
If you love to travel and interact with nature, this is your field. You can work for magazines, websites, individually, or to sell your photography on various platforms.
Amid war, revolution, protest, and other historical events, there is always a photojournalist who captures the images we refer to in later years. A difficult, risky, and highly honorable field, this one stands in a category of its own.
- Aerial Photography:
Often used to capture events, landscapes, and sports from a top view, aerial photography is a more recent addition to the list of genres.
- Sport Photography:
In this fast-paced genre, you get the opportunity to capture people and teams at their best, and sometimes their worst. A photographer may even capture beautiful moments of friendship, or a new world record. The possibilities are endless.
Take your time when you’re trying to find the niche you prefer most. Make sure you do not rush into a particular genre. Each genre will require an investment of a certain sort. Be it in terms of equipment or the courses/certifications you need to be professionally recognized in that field. If you can, give yourself the time to try the various fields.
Tips for Aspiring Professional Photographers
Given below are four tips that all photographers that are hoping to make it professional should know and understand. To help gain profit and employment in this field, the following are crucial to establishing an identity for yourself and your work. Take note of these, for one of them, maybe what makes or breaks your career as a photographer.
No matter your field, nothing compares to a solid theoretical and practical understanding of the concepts, and technology that you are working with. Educating yourself, researching, and learning is the best first step towards making it professionally. Observe the work of, and speak with professionals in various genres of photography.
Read more blog posts such as these, and more technical ones, that explain the working of a camera, or the settings and concepts to focus on when shooting. These will help you gain a deep understanding, and therefore, a better skill set. Research is and will always be your friend in a field as versatile, and ever-growing as this.
Be up to date, open to making errors and learning from them, open to accepting criticism and feedback from more experienced individuals. Also, keep in mind the audience you are creating content for and accept feedback from them as well.
Certification raises the bar for you and your competition. There is a range of courses within the field of photography itself, as well as courses that cover a wider range of subjects within similar fields. Do your best to attain certification of some sort. Be it a crash course, a diploma or a Bachelor’s Degree.
It is essential to remember that a certificate is not essential to be a professional photographer, but certainly helps. Even more so, when you’re working with clients and they wish to see credentials beyond a portfolio.
Build a Portfolio
Having said that, a portfolio is a compilation of the work you have done up until you make it. Currently, portfolios are mostly digital and are built on websites such as Behance, and even Instagram accounts can be used as a portfolio. However, ensure that this portfolio, or account establishes a standard for your work, and highlights it appropriately.
You must ensure that everything you have done is categorized, listed, labeled, and discussed as best you can when you’re forming your portfolio. Refer to the account linked above for an example. Clients should gain a clear idea of your previous work, and what you can offer about their demands. If you use an Instagram account, try to ensure it is well themed, showcases your skill, and is visually appealing.
Work on your portfolio from the minute you begin photography for clients or events. If you have worked on multiple projects, ensure that all those that you are truly satisfied with are included.
When you have experienced a variety of genres within the field, it is always best to choose a niche and settle into it well. This allows you to hone your skills and be the master of your particular trade. This also helps you regularize your clients, and the market within which you work.
For instance, a photographer working with a fashion blogger can get in touch with other bloggers through their first client, building a network of clients. This helps the photographer work with a variety of clients, and build content range within a specialization. This visual range, but thematic constancy will be evident in your portfolio. See the Instagram account linked below for reference.
This must not deter you from trying your hand at various fields as you are introduced to or intrigued by them, but simply suggests that your focus remains on one.
As the digital world grows so do the various fields influenced by it, and in turn, the competition escalates. Creative fields such as design, photography, content writing are all growing widely and at a fast pace.
The business world, advertising, digital marketing, finance, and essentially every other field that interacts with technology is changing and getting highly competitive for agencies and brands.
It is crucial to put in effort, and attempt to create an identity for yourself, stand apart, and offer something novel to your potential clients and employees. Reading this blog and others like it are a step in the right direction, keep it going, and your work may one day be cited in an article.