How to Choose the right photography Style

People who have never hired a professional photographer, or had their picture taken professionally, may not realize how highly stylized it can be. Every photographer has a unique artistic perspective that they use when they perform their services. What works for one photographer may not match with your personal taste and so it is important to learn how to choose the right photography style for you. You should hire a photographer that matches your style rather than trying to make them conform to something that they don't normally do. This will help to make sure that you are happy with the results.

5 types of photography styles

Before you can make a decision on what style you like best, you need to understand what these styles mean and how they differ. Here are the five main types of photography styles you should know in order to learn how to choose the right photography style for you:


Photojournalism is about telling a story. It typically includes more candid, emotional moments with light posing as a starting point. The goal for photojournalism or documentary style is genuine feeling. A photojournalist approach keeps things as true to life as possible. That's not to say that there is not editing involved, but there is a minimal amount of post processing, particularly that of retouching. If you're wanting your photographer to slim you down and make your skin magazine perfect, then this isn't for you. This style is best for people who want to feel genuine emotion from their pictures and be as close to their memories of the moment as possible.


The traditional photography style is more formal and classical in nature. There are a lot of different poses and has a very studio feel to it. Traditional portraiture tries to convey personality through backdrops, lighting, and posing. The aim here is to capture the mood of the subject and deliver clean, posed pictures. This style requires a minimal to moderate degree of post processing and can be as retouched and edited as the photographer deems fit. All photography styles are on a spectrum so you can have super traditional photos like 2000's mall studio photos with everyone in a white turtleneck (why did we all do this??), or it can have more personality like a styled session with a set backdrop and props.


Fine art photography includes very dramatic compositions and stylized images. This is more about the framing of the photos and aims to tell a story but does not often convey serious emotion. This style is typically about the context of the photo and is more posed than candid. Fine art photography usually has a lot of wider shots that take in the entire background in order to provide context to the image. There is also a variety of layouts and compositions. These photos usually have a minimal to moderate amount of post processing.


Fashion photography focuses on the attire and look of the subject. It typically has an editorial feel to it. Think creative backdrops, outfits, and poses. This style tends to glamorize or showcase the subject or their outfit and accessories over the emotion of the subject. There is always a heavy degree of post production to guarantee poreless skin and perfect hair. You can be very creative with this style and really show-off your statement pieces hiding in the closet. Fashion photography is trying to deliver photos that are larger than everyday life.


Vintage photography relies heavily on filters and techniques to achieve that "old school" feeling. This style often uses faded colors and slight blurring to convey timelessness and give the photos feeling. A vintage optic can give photos a unique, special look that has stood the test of time. Vintage photos tend to stand out in today's world of crisp, sharp digital images. Unless your photographer is using vintage equipment, a heavy amount of post processing is necessary to achieve this look. If your photographer is using vintage equipment, then most likely no editing or retouching of any type can be done.


Learning how to choose the right photography style for you is the first step to finding the right photographer for you. The ultimate goal for you is to have an experience that you are comfortable with that delivers you fantastic results that meet your needs. I shoot with a photojournalistic approach because I want to shoot what it feels like, not what it looks like. While I do prefer to start with different poses, I use them to help you feel comfortable so that the most genuine version of yourself can come out. My goal is to provide a fun and engaging experience where we both come away from feeling like we had fun. While most photographers have a dominant style that they adhere to most often, the most dynamic photographers pull aspects from different styles of photography to develop their personal style.