10 Most Popular Types Of Portrait Photography


Portrait photography is about capturing people’s spirit and their personalities. But, sometimes, it often goes beyond a photo of a smiling person, which made it a separate genre of photography, and in this blog, we will explore more sub-genres of it.

Many photographers often specialize in just one or two portrait photography styles to polish their skills in limited areas. Only professional portrait photographers know how to tackle the different sub-genres in different themes and scenarios.

Here are ten types of portrait photography that you should know for your upcoming photo sessions.

1.      Traditional Portraits

Traditional portrait photography often depicts the subject of looking at the camera to give their best look. This sub-genre of portrait photography is usually shot in a studio with a formal backdrop because people need these photos primarily for their ID card, paperwork, visa, etc.

However, try hiring professional portrait photography services when going for a traditional portrait style because you need to look perfect in your university ID card photo, right?

2.      Lifestyle Portraits

Lifestyle portraits are the opposite of traditional portraits that capture people in an everyday environment. It aims to capture the ordinary things to get the best of everyday life. Instead of a studio, this sub-genre of photography takes place in an environment that is familiar to the subject. For example, in a particular family’s home, school, or any special place.

Lifestyle portrait pictures are not the same as in the traditional sense, but they often have a limited time to capture a series of portraits. Lifestyle photographers often direct their subjects to perform acts that look natural, like they ask siblings to jump on the bed or ask them to hug each other, etc. Most clients prefer lifestyle portrait because it resembles the real-life and real them!

3.      Candid Portraits

The best example of this genre is street photography. Street photographers often take candid photos of the people they encounter during their trips. There is no setup, direction, or posing but only reality. The photographers get inspiration from the position the person is taking. Simultaneously, light, environment, and other factors create a spontaneous shoot.

4.      Environmental Portraits

Environmental portraits are a mix of lifestyle portrait photography and traditional portrait photography. In this genre, the subject and the environment both have equal importance. It takes place in specific locations which have special meaning to the person. That location could be a home, office, football ground, cricket stadium, ballet studio, or a favorite outdoor place.

Although the location is important but environmental portraits still use posing techniques. It is not informal as lifestyle photography, and neither it’s formal like traditional photography. The professional portrait photographer use poses and lighting to work best with the environment.

5.      Fine Art Portraits

Many people argue that fine art is something that should hang in an art gallery. However, a fine art portrait can be a special edition on the walls of a family home. The artwork and artistic societies inspire this genre. Some of the fine art photographers model their portrait photography after Renaissance painting.

While other photographers get creative with make-up, posing, wardrobe, and photo editing, fine art photography encompasses conceptual and surreal portraits for the clients.

6.      Glamour Portraits

This genre is also known as beauty portrait as the subject’s beauty is the main focus of this portrait style. It often involves using professional make-up artists and planning the wardrobe for the shoot.

Glamour photography is also sensual, which is design to highlight the woman’s beauty in outdoor settings. This genre emphasizes the subject and not what they are wearing, unlike fashion photography.

7.      Boudoir Portraits

Unlike Glamour photography, Boudoir takes place indoors, such as in the bedroom, library, or any part of the home. Boudoir celebrates sensuality in women. For example, when capturing a lady through the lens while reading a book in the bedroom. The very purpose of this genre is to boost women’s confidence.

8.      Conceptual Portraits

This sub-genre of portrait photography captures ideas and concepts within a portrait image. To capture it, professional photographers often use props, locations, or photo editing to achieve the target image.

As conceptual photography encompasses ideas, it makes the possibilities endless. Perspective manipulation, levitation, wardrobe tricks, and make-up are standard in conceptual photography. Photoshop stunts and post-processing are also a part of this genre.

9.      Group Portraits

A portrait does not always revolve around a single entity. It can be a photo of couples, families, friends, and other groups together in one picture. For professional portrait photographers, taking pictures of one person is easy compared to fixing a group of people in one portrait. The more people, the more interaction will occur in the photo, and the photographer has to manage it all.

10.      Surreal Portraits

Surrealism inspired Surreal portraits to be an artistic style that feels like a daydream. Generally, surreal portraits involve Photoshop because you cannot create something that doesn’t exist in reality.  However, with the help of props, wardrobe, and other photo tricks, it can be possible to a limited extent.

Surreal portraits spill out dreams into reality, which is a tough job for a photographer, but the outcome is often stunning when done well.

In A Nutshell

Portraits capture the difference in people in every way possible while creating various photography genres and styles.

It’s important to get to know the person you take photos of! Observe what your subject is and which portrait genre best fits their personality. This way, you will capture better portraits that represent the subject in the best light.

In case you need professional photography services for your event, contact All Photos Considered for the best results.

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