Different Types of Photography

Personally, I did not know that there are so many different types of photography. For me a photo was a photo, not really caring or wondering what the real story or meaning behing the photo is. Due to my research up to this point, I’m going to look through new eyes at the images/photographs that surrounds me.

Now I will be discussing and commenting on the following types of photography: Documentary, art, science, paparazzi and fashiion.


This type of photography started in the nineteenth century, when photographers attempted to create documents of their reality. These photos included images of the people, places, and the things that existed all around them.

This type of photography has evolved so much over the years that it includes a range of styles and subjects. Some of the purposes of these photographs are to tell stories, serve as a historical document of a political or social era. Facts are also presented, so the truth about a particular subject can be brought to light.

Because of these images, we learn so much about other cultures, politics and environmental situations. This category is very broad and has the power to touch us (the viewers) by allowing us to find links of similarity between our lives, and the lives of others.

Viewer’s emotions are evoked because these photographs tend to be intense, vivid, grotesque and shocking. These elements or factors gives the photograph an emotional and sympathetic tone.

Here are some examples of Documentary Photography

This image by Philllip Jones Griffiths of the Vietnam War, evokes emotion within you. You feel the pain and sadness that those people endured. When I look at this picture and I look at the face of the soldier, it almost looks as if he has given up hope.


Art photographs are done to bring out the multifarious dimensions of a subject through the eyes of the artist. With this type of photography, a wide variety of subjects are embraced. These photographs also must have aesthetic value to be considered art. These photographs are also created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as an artist.

The way I look at this genre, is that most of the time these images are abstract, something out of the ordinary and in a way trying to make you think ‘what was the photographer thinking’. These type of photographs certainly has a deeper meaning behind them.

Here are some examples of Art Photography

This black and white photograph has great contrast. The mood that is brought out with this picture is that of someone who is dealing with the loss of someone. The way he sits in the corner enhances this message.


Did you ever wonder how doctors can see the details of our skeletons and organs? How scientists are able to see an exploding star in another galaxy? Because ot the innovations of photography all of these things are made possible.

Photography first established its legitimacy through its close association with key scientific ideas and practices. This includes objectivity, observation, archiving and experimentation. Photography especially influences scientific disciplines, such as biology and astronomy.

In a way this scares me, just to see how far the technology has developed and what we can do with it. Especially within this genre of photography, where we can see so much detail within one photograph. You can’t help to sit and admire the world we live in when you look at certain science photographs.

Here are some examples of Science Photography

In 1509-1510 Leonardo Da Vinci documented the humand anatomy, both inside and outside of the body. His drawings (over 200) shows the dissections he observed, of the human musculature and skeletal structure. It is clear theat these images were among the most accurate medical diagrams created at that point.


These are photographers that constantly follow celebrities to take candid pictures of them and sell them to magazines and newspaper. Paparazzi focusses on capturing a moment where the celebrity looks bad. For instance when the celebrity is in a car accident, drinking too much, trippingg and falling, getting angry and especially when they look overweight. The paparazzi has contacts like waiters, limo drivers, doormen and bouncers to tip them of about the celebrity’s whereabouts.

This type of photography i so competitive, that paparazzi teams are formed. With these teams they try to block/keep other teams or paparazzo’s from getting the good/right picture. In the past paparazzi would hide out in trees and bushes hoping to get lucky and get a shot of a celebrity.

Because of the value of these type of photos that is increased by the media, photographers (paparazzi) started “hunting” celebrities. This industry can be seen as aggresive, global and worth billions of dollars. Personally I think that this genre of photography is just an invasion of privacy. These people can’t go anywhere without these paparazzi following them around. Sometimes people just need that ‘alone’ time where you can get yourself back together. But these celebrities can’t even do that.

Here are some examples of Paparazzi Photography


Because of the advances in halftone printing, during the first decade of the 20th century, fashion photographs were made possible and started to appear in magazines. Fashion photographs mostly appear in advertisements and in magazines, because with this method these images reaches more people. These photographs have to present the current trends in the fashion industry.

This genre of photography is devoted to displaying clothes and fashion items. It is also said that fashion photography tends to be an indication of what beauty really is and the ideals of a given era. But today many fashion photographs seem to be about creating a story, evoking a mood or expressing a concept.

For me, it seems as if some fashion photographers are competing against each other. Just to see who can be more outrageous than the other with the way they showcase their subjects and the clothes. As this genre developed over time, it has developed its own aesthetic, in which clothes and fashion are enhanced by exotic locations and story lines.

Here are some examples of Fashion Photography

Within this picture, the subjects are posing in a very exotic way, almost animal like. There is made use of dramatic lighting and it catches the eye and keeps you interested. The use of colour on the side leads your eye into the picture. Also the way the subjects are posing, compliments and emphasizes the garments they are wearing.


The effect of photography on the Public Consciousness:

Photos surround us every day and we are constantly influenced by them. Photography is so influencive, that it can determine your mood. It is important for photographers to consider the effect of their photographs on human subjects. Photographers should also think about the message they are sending out with certain images.

Some people may understand or see the photograph in a whole different way than another. People are very easy to influence, so photographers jump at the oppertunity to find new ways to influence and effect people and the way they think.


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