Understanding Photo Genres

If you are a photographer or are considering generating an income from photography it is worth paying a visit to a free online resource that we created with funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery via World Press Photo. The site was created specifically to be an open resource for professional photographers and students of photography living and working in the Majority World.

Award-winning Kenyan photographer Boniface Mwangi in his studio in Nairobi, Kenya. While Boniface has won awards for his photojournalism, like many photographers, his bread and butter comes from work that fits more into the “retail” genre. Most financially successful photographers have learnt to understand the markets for photography and place themselves and their work well within those markets.

A fundamental aim of the resource was to not just educate photographers about technical matters, but rather to assist photographers to understand the markets for their work, how to place themselves in those markets and how to deliver to those markets at the standard that will keep the markets asking for more. One of the first steps in understanding the markets for photography is to understand the genres of photography and the varying ethical expectations of those various genres. Below is a link to the discussion on the Shutha site that I trust will be food for thought. I divide photography into four basic genres – Creative, Editorial, Retail and Personal and look at the expectation in each to be fiction or non-fiction. It is in no way comprehensive, but I trust it will initiate some discussion and reflection: Understanding Photo Genres