Photography Industry

Photography today has changed in comparison to decades ago. Photographers are taking their talents and visions to all new levels while focusing in on targeted audiences and industries.

Many photographers unknowingly jump-start their careers from the first click of the button on their camera.

Breaking it Down – Photographic Specialities


Do you love photography and want to pursue a career in it? Let’s unpack what you can do with a camera!



In our society, we use images to communicate. Back in the ancient times, man drew pictures on cave walls and rocks to communicate. Photojournalism adopts this principle using photos to tell a story or send a message to its audience.



This subgenre of Photojournalism is viewed as bloodsuckers trying to get the million dollar photo of a celebrity or prominent person. These pseudo-photojournalists generally take photos without permission and exploit them for money. Princess Diana fell victim to their hellish pursuit when the car she was riding in crashed and killed her.

Sports Photographers:

These men and women capture the explosive moments in the many sports we enjoy today. The images puts a name with the face giving us a little glimpse into our favorite sports figure’s life.


National Geographic:

This is the creme de la creme of photojournalism, and only the elite makes it as a photographer for this prestigious organization.


Photographers go on assignment whether it be in the deserts of the Middle East or the Amazon Rainforest. Traveling the world over, their heavy camera gear is toted through airports, on buses, cramped taxis and sometimes on foot. A Nat Geo photographer has the opportunity to experience various cultures, some welcoming and some dangerous.


Their subjects may be exotic animals or the hot zone of a war infested area. They know the exact place and moment in time to take the photo. This is what sets the big dogs apart from the little ones!

News Publication (newspaper, news media):

A news photojournalist is exposed to dangerous situations when trying to catch the perfect photo for newspaper publications worldwide.


Our society thrives on negative news thus causing the demand for photojournalists to pursue and produce images that tell about the bad things in our world.


War-torn countries most always have photojournalists embedded to travel right alongside the soldiers in battle. These photographers also conduct interviews with criminals telling their side of the story. These intense moments raise the hairs right up on the necks of the brave photographers.


Artistic Photography


Photography as an art form falls into subgenres according to the industry of work. Below are just a few.



These photographers are the people behind the images in that enhance promotional or marketing text such as brochures, catalogs, flyers, restaurant menus, etc. The marrying of the image and the text produces a polished product that gives us precise information on a subject or area.



When thumbing through a magazine or publication and an image of a juicy hamburger pops right out, the photographer has captured your attention with the picture he took. Food photographers bring an

inanimate food to life in a photo!


This is considered to be a precise art form requiring photographers to have an eye to see what we don’t see in a subject. Fashion images appear in popular publications such as Vogue magazine, Bride magazine, etc. Both model and couture are captured in a way that makes the overall image a beautiful piece of art!


Freelance Photography

Being your own boss is a trending concept for photographers. Many Event Photographers fall under this subgenre or specialty. There is no structured environment and assignments accepted are solely at the discretion of the freelancer.



This is the largest genre of photographers. Capturing a moment in life or a beautiful scene is what fuels the hobbyist.

For some, having a photograph of a loved one that is gone provides a memory with a piece of time that we can remember and relive.

Photography has come a long way and with new innovations, it will continue to evolve.

Photography Shapes the World

Just as art has shaped our thinking, so too has photography. Photography has fought to find acceptance as an art form throughout history.

Is Photography a True Art Form?


Scholars of art over the centuries have argued over whether or not photography is or is not a true art form. Photography has been questioned as having the ability to create the style of expression ath art does.


Artists have been known to convey emotion, opinion, ideology, and religion which is evident in their artwork. Can this be achieved in a photograph? This is where the argument lies as to whether photography is, in fact, an art form.


The advancement photography has made through history has aroused popularity within society. Photographers have mastered the ability to capture the attention of people by translating human struggle throughout the world. One could gaze at a photograph and be engulfed with the striking honesty of an event or a subject.


The Message of a Photo


Nick Ut (Photographer) took a photo of a young girl in a Vietnamese village just after napalm overtook it. This image stirred emotions in those who peered at the photo. Anger, pity, sorrow, and compassion were only a few of the emotional reactions this photo brought out. The photo depicted a strong message of how useless this war was and the suffering that was inflicted on innocent people as a result of political prowess.

Steve McCurry (Photographer) shot what’s probably the most quintessential photo ever of a young Afghan girl. Her gaze into the camera not only penetrated the lens but Steve’s heart as well.


The camera caught the image of a twelve-year-old orphan girl at a refugee camp in Afghanistan. Steve saw the girl amidst the swirling dust sitting all alone conveying her plight ever so silently. Little did he know this photograph would appear in magazines and be the center of news.

More Than an Art Form


Photography has served as the agent for change bringing awareness of human experiences as well as the need for social progress. Photographs speak the truth of the condition of humanity in our world.


Photography has undoubtedly left a footprint within the art culture and has found its place of acceptance among those that disputed its credibility as a true form of art.



Important Contributions in the History of Photography

The modern convenience and innovations of cameras today are evident from the ingenuity of inventors and contributors throughout history. Dating back to the ancient times, there was a multitude of those whose experimentations contributed to the succession of photography.

The nineteenth century realized the harmonious joining of all of the elemental ideas and inventions of the camera, processes, and materials. Photography had entered the modern world through the wormhole!


Important Moments in History



Camera Obscura

Created Around the Fifth Century B.C.

Before photography came into being, many understood the principles behind the successful art of capturing images. Not having a method to print or develop a photograph, the art of preserving the image could be projected onto a wall or a piece of paper. The instrument they used to capture and to project the images was referred to as a “camera obscura.”



Created throughout both eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Several centuries after the invention of the camera obscura, the method to preserve and process a photo was brought forth. In 1725, it was discovered that silver salts darkened when it was exposed to light. As time passed, others built upon this discovery perfecting the chemicals needed to produce the perfect photograph.



In 1837, it was discovered that a faint image could be produced by exposing iodized silver plates to light. Using mercury fumes, the image could be developed into a photograph. This technique not only cut down the exposure time but helped to sharpen the image. Daguerre named his newly found method to process, “Daguerreotype.” His ingenuity traveled the world quickly causing the explosive presence of the photography industry and giving way to photography as an art form!



A British inventor presented his discovery of processing photos in 1841 with calotype. Sheets of photosensitive paper were exposed to light producing an inferred image that became a photograph when rinsing with hyposulphite. Although the results were not as clear as Daguerreotyping, this method was found by photographers to be an easy process and have the ability to make numerous copies from one negative.


Wet Collodion Process

In 1851 the Daguerreotypes and Calotypes were discarded after a new method was brought forward by a sculptor. This method yielded a crisper image with negatives that could be reused. Collodion (a chemical used in medical dressing) was used to coat light-sensitive liquids onto plates made of glass. These plates had to be exposed and then processed before applying the collodion otherwise the collodion would dry and harden. This process was used in producing the photos of the Civil War.


Dry Plates

A new photographic plate containing preserved silver salts in gelatin became the choice of use by photographers. Quick exposure time using these plates allowed cameras to capture moving objects. A series of studies on humans and animals in motion was done using these plates. These plates paved the way for the cinema industry.


Flexible Roll Film

The mid-1880s saw the birth of rolls of film which was lightweight and much more easy to use. This enabled photographers to take a succession of photos. The Eastman Kodak camera brought the world of photography to the hands of the consumers.



Color photography arrived in 1907 by adding dyed potato starch grains to an emulsion.

Reigning as the most popular film until 1935 when Eastman Kodak introduced Kodachrome film!


Digital Photography

1975 was the year Eastman Kodak introduced the first digital camera.


Smartphone Cameras

Photography continues to evolve as it reaches further into the future. Smartphones brought photography to the forefront of the modern age with the world’s first camera phone. Samsung presented the first smartphone camera in 2000 with a flip phone.

We have seen more innovations arise making the smartphone far more high tech savvy with photographic capabilities.

 One can only wonder what the future brings in the world of photography!