Photography: Types and Best Practices
Photography is a language. Artists speak it. Journalists practice it. Marketologists praise it. It is a special form of expression — it transcends barriers that spoken languages can’t.
Photography is a language. Artists speak it. Journalists practice it. Marketologists praise it. It is a special form of expression — it transcends barriers that spoken languages can’t. The word “photography” comes from Greek and literally means “drawing with light.” That is what photography is about in its essence – it is the language of light. It has its own grammar and syntax, and once photographers master those elements, they can find countless ways of expressing their vision. All they need to shift perspectives is a camera, some light, and an idea.
That is why visual imagery is so effective. Photography is versatile and it can be used to communicate all kinds of messages. It has already found countless applications in many mediums and fields. And with digital production, CGI graphics, typography, and retouch visual communicators have pushed the boundaries even further.
There are many types of photography, and since it is an ever-evolving art form, many more styles are invented every year. In this blog post, we will touch upon the most permanent ones.
We usually think of photography as of an art form and forget the role it plays in the commercial industry. Commercial photographers take photos of food, models, buildings, artifacts, and merchandise. The images they created are used for business purposes — stock photos, menus, brochures, books, and magazines. It is often complementary to the other kind of content, and might not have a meaning in and of itself. You can order commercial photography services almost everywhere, and use the images for your project.
Who is doing it?
Commercial photographers are often nameless. But whether we know their names or not, there is always someone standing behind even the most generic image. For example —- Yuri Arcurs. He is one of the most famous stock photographers in the industry. You might have not heard his name, but I’m sure you came across one of his photos more than once.
No medium has utilized the power of visual communication in the way that the advertising industry has done it. Advertisers have found a way to use every aspect of photography – be it light, angles, or blocking – to craft persuasive visuals. No wonder their images are crammed into our minds. Usually, they do not limit themselves to photography. They use retouch, CGI graphics, and animation to make the ads even more powerful.
Who is doing it?
Many ads have both literally and figuratively changed the world. And anyone has an ad they like the most – whether it is a funny or a touching one. But here let’s look at the recent example of an ad, that shows how advertisers get very creative with the medium. The “Chupa Chups: It’s Sugar-Free” poster-ad, created by the DDB Spanish Advertising Agency looks dramatic, but in its nature it is funny. I dare you to forget it!
Art photography it is where the roots of photography stem from. It has been around for more than a century and has branched off into many styles like portrait, street, or conceptual photography. But its core message has always been the same. Art photography is about pushing the boundaries of the medium by experimenting with different ideas. Most of the time, art photography does not have a commercial purpose. It is mainly focused on the exploration of the limits of the camera and the medium itself, or lack thereof.
Who is doing it?
Obviously, there are many great names, and mentioning only one feels like a crime. But since it is the format we are going with, I will name a man whose work has influenced many generations. Alfred Stieglitz is one of the founding fathers of the photography as an art form. He worked at the beginning of the 20th century, and from then his willingness to push the boundaries has transformed the photography as an industry.
The main purpose of photojournalism is capturing events, and telling stories using the images. Photojournalists have a lot of power in their hands – they can shift mindsets, and change worlds. But it is also a very challenging kind of photography. Not only they put their lives on the line, but also if they want to work in the field and have credibility, they need to adhere to a strict code of ethics. It is the type of photography that undergoes the most scrutiny. Photojournalists need to tell the truth, that is why they cannot stage and retouch their works. Yet, at the end of the day, only thanks to their work we can travel to far lands, and witness things that we would have never otherwise.
Who is doing it?
For many people, a handful of photos symbolize any given year. It does not matter where they live, who they are, or what they do – that images unite them. Photojournalists are the ones who stand behind those images. The one that stayed in my memory is a photo taken by Emanuele Satolli for TIME on November 6, 2017. It shows a living room in Raqqa, Syria after the city was liberated.
Nature and wildlife photography
Nature and wildlife are fascinating. And no one can capture the beauty of foreign lands, and wild creatures better than a photographer. There are some places that we might never visit; there are some animals that we might never see up close, but wildlife photographers give us the luxury of seeing them at a safe distance. Even more so, a masterful photographer can make some of those views look even better than they might be in the real life.
Who is doing it?
One of the wildlife photographers, whose works I like is Connor Stefanison. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is very creative with the angles and compositions, and that makes his images ever so powerful. You can feel that he loves what he does.
Of course, there are many more types of photography that we haven’t touched upon (who knows, maybe we will in the future?). And since it is a field that is far from being static, both regarding the technology it uses and its creative expressions, many more will emerge in the future. What I think ends up making photography special is how it uses all the elements to communicate with the viewer. And all you need is a camera, light, and a little bit of magic.
Within the scope of our Digitec Media competency, we offer commercial and advertising photography services. If you want a professional team to develop a concept, plan a photo shoot, and retouch the images for your project, or business contact us.