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Photographic Genres to Know for a Solo Photoshoot

There are a whole lot of genres in photography from landscape to space photography, but in this article I am going to focus on the few that will help you describe your ideas for a personal photoshoot.


Most commonly portraits are taken for CVs, but they can also be casually created for dating sites, profile pictures or just for the sake of it. There are subgenres of portraiture photography - a portrait is not necessarily just a face, they can include more context, such as the sorroundings (like the workplace or home) of the subject. Portrait shots can be part of any other photoshoots.



Glamour is basically a portrait session that enhances the subjects beauty with lighting, poses, wardrobe and possibly make-up and other stylistic solutions. It is often used for commercial purposes and advertisement. It can be "sexy", but the main purpose is not to arouse the viewer.



Boudoir photography focuses on the beauty of the subject from a more intimate and erotic viewpoint. Boudoir-like photos can be seen in magazines and sometimes in advertising, but mostly it's non-models who have these taken for themselves or their partners. The setting is also more natural than in glamour photos, the models are many times photographer on beds, sofas or other indoor locations such as bathtubs.



Fashion photography focuses on the display of fashion clothing, accessory or an item, but there are exceptions. There can be fashion photos that doesn't involve anything other than a nude model and it's still considered fashion photography because the creators "brand" is the promoted entity itself.

There are many ways to divide fashion photography up, but the most useful is probably to do it by the purpose of the final product:

Catalog photography

This is basically product photography, but with a model wearing or interacting with the product - so it's pretty minimal and straightforward. It is what you usually see in webshops when you are browsing through the items.

High-fashion photography

When usually people say fashion photography, this is what they mean by it. Professional fashion models in over-the-top designer pieces and extravagant accessories, makeups or locations. Many times photographers try to mimick the feel of this subgenre for their portfolio, but high-fashion really happens for campaigns and for magazine covers and from a very high budget.

Street fashion photography

Street fashion is more laid back than high fashion and it can be achieved with much less effort, budget or prep. Models are often shot in outside locations in more natural poses and more expressive expressions. The focus also can shift from the clothing to the subject and the lifestyle, the overall vibe, but this is still not portrait photography - the images are still made to promote a brand or to advertise something.

Editorial photography

Editorial photographs usually come in sets not as individual photos and they are often paired with text too. They tell a story or convey an idea, feeling or mood through the images. It is a high effort genre than requires a lot of attention and planning often times.


Erotic photography

It could be similar to boudoir or even glamour photos, but the main objective here is to arouse sexual interest in the viewer. The spectrum can go even as far from glamour to borderline porn pictures. These images are usually taken for private use or as the final product for profit.


Fetish photography

A particular fetish or subject of a fetish is depicted in these photos. In most cases these sets are in a highly erotic, sexual context, but there are examples when it's completely detached from it (like some Shibari pictures).


Creative photography

Ok, so this is not a real genre, but the expression exists in everyday context. It is a collection of several genres that go beyond simply depicting the subject in a natural way. These photoshoots can be improvised or heavily directed, but in many cases they rely on planning, accessories, outfits and some kind of storytelling. The pictures can be purely aesthetic or convey complex ideas. In both cases it is a tool for artistic expression.


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