With this age of digital technology and the ever increasing advancement of photography. I thought I would touch on the main areas of photography as I see it. I am not going to cover every single type or area of photography, nor I am going to cover all techniques.

Its my intention to give you a bit of an overview of the key areas and why they are different in an aim to help you find success in your photography.

Fashion Photography

The area of fashion photography has to be one of the most popular areas of photography, yet many people still don’t understand the two key areas of this industry.

Although it can be said that pin-up, glamour and beauty can also be classed as fashion, in my view the main two areas of fashion are Advertising Photography / Advertorial Photography and Editorial Photography.

Advertising  Photography / Advertorial Photography

The main thing in the advertising area of fashion photography is that the shots should be about the clothing, shoes, or what ever else fashion you are trying to show off.

If you look at the following photograph, you can clearly see that the main focus in the image are the boots and tights, and although the model is posing in a good way, which makes the shot work, your key focus is on the clothing.


Fashion Advertising Photograph

As you can see the aim of this shot is to sell the fashion, its not about the lighting, the model, the hair or anything else.
So in short any shot that is intended to be used for anything such as an advertising campaign or an advertising article (advertorial) should be done to showcase the intended subject in such a way to highlight the fashion / product being advertised.


Now editorial photograph can be a bit tricky, as its often difficult to get the shot to be simple enough to be used as part of a story. Which is the whole essence of editorial photography, your photo is meant to tell a story, arouse the imagination, leave the viewer in wonder. Editorial shots should be done in such a way that the shot is not focusing on one thing in the picture, but focuses on many aspects, which all work together to tell a story.
If you look at the photograph below you can see it leaves you wondering, it doesn’t focus too much on any one thing. Leaving not only the end use, but the intrepretation up to the end viewer.


Editorial Photograph

Pin-Up / Glamour

Now when you hear the word Pin-up and Glamour most people immediately start to think of women with their boobs out simply on show. In my view this is not the correct use or way to see either Pin-up or Glamour, as you must remember that the word glamour is short for glamorous, and Pin-up photography is actually taken from the use of the final shots. Such as in terms of posters, calendars, etc.

One of the most famous Pin-Up models of all time was of course Bettie Page and if you look at her work it was done with an air of tease about it, it was not done in an erotic way. That is the whole essence of not only Pin-up but Glamour. Showing a model off in a way that is glamourous not sleazy.

Both Pin-up and Glamour shots can be done in a variety of different ways, wearing a variety of different clothing, although this is typically stockings, high heels, nipple tassels and in general clothes that are revealing, whether than be cleavage, boobs, bum, legs the choice is yours.

I tend to think of decent Pin-up shots in the same vein as Glamour, as both done correctly should be done to tease, so showing a bit of cleavage or wearing tassels is meant to be done is a way that produces art NOT porn, the key to this is both the outfit and the pose, for a great guide to poses check out posing secrets.

If you want to take a shot of a woman with her boobs out, then you are either getting into the realms of erotic photography or porn. Don’t try to pass off the shots as Glamour, but if the end shot makes the woman look good (and not just because she is topless), such as in lads mags then thats Glamour.

Simply put if you would be happy to hang the final shots on your wall at home then you have created art, however, if the only place you ever see your shots is either on your computer or office wall then thats not art.

To show my point if you look at the shot below, you can clearly see that, although the model is wearing very few clothes, it is done in a way that is artistic and done with the pin-up style in mind (and before my fellow pin-up togs start shouting, yes I know its not true pin-up its more fashion) whilst making the model look glamorous and not erotic or pornographic.

Pin-up style Mermaid Shoot


Now this area of photography seems to be a bit misunderstood, firstly I will start of by reminding you what Boudoir means.

“Bedroom or Ladies Private Room”
Boudoir does not mean someone in their underwear, nor does it mean sexy. In my view the best way to think of a good boudoir shot, is that its kind of like a fly on the wall shot of somewhere you would not normally get to see.

Imagine hiding in a cupboard and seeing a woman in her bedroom wearing underwear,getting dressed or simply relaxing. In short the shots you take that are Boudoir should be done with an air of sensuality to them yet not simply be a photo of someone in her underwear. You need to add feeling and the almost cheese factor to the shot to make it work, just as if you caught the lady in her bedroom undressing.
So to take a boudoir shot, don’t simply take a shot of someone in her underwear but add something to the photo by adding the “caught in the act” element to it, without adding the erotic element and you wont go far wrong.

Portrait / Beauty / Hair

If you concentrate your photography on taking head and shoulder shots, this is most commonly know as portrait, beauty or hair photography. This is a very popular area of photography as it shows off the work of everyone involved including the model and make up artist, its not just about the photographer.
Typically beauty shots are used either in models portfolio or in hair and beauty campaigns, as the level of close detail is unmatched by any other form of photography.

Close up Beauty Photograph

Now there is one thing to remember when taking close up photographs, and that is that as the eyes are the windows to the soul, they should be in focus, so start with the eyes in focus and you cant go far wrong. As for lighting, make up, hair thats for you to play with and decide what you want from your shots.

Landscape / Architectural

Ok moving away from people slightly and onto the wonderful world around us and what is Landscape and Architectural photography. This area of photography like so many is easy to do, yet hard to master.

Capturing the world we see everyday in such as way that makes your shots stand out.

So a true decent landscape or architectural photographer tends to see the world in a different light and in a different way, in most cases that means being able to see how a shot will turn out after it has been through post production. As you have probably guessed landscape photography is simply the art of taking photos of the landscape and buildings around us, whether thats in the city, the countryside or the coast.

Typcial Landscape Photograph

Final Thought

I have only attempted to touch on a few of the major areas of photography, it was not my intention to cover every area of the photography industry, but more of a point to clear up the differences between the areas of photography. Educating people on exactly what each area is and what its used for helping them to make better use of their talent and become more successful in their photography business.

So no matter what aspect of photography you choose, just make sure that you keep to that area and be the best you can be at it. After all just because a decorator paints walls, doesn’t mean he also paints boats, cars or anything else.