Artist Photography 101 | Types of Photographers

For an artist photography has many avenues to take, including fine art photography, erotic photography and photojournalism. As a contemporary art gallery in London, the Imitate Modern love to introduce artistically minded individuals into new categories of art. Therefore, this diary entry is all about the types of photographers you may find during your research to learn more about contemporary art or whilst trying to find the perfect piece for your home or office. 

artist photography

Types of Artist Photographers 

We would be here for weeks if we were to list every different name professional photographer artists could call themselves; however, here are some of the main categories of photography artists at the Imitate Modern and other galleries that can fit into. 

Fine Arts Photographers 

Fine art photography doesn’t focus on using a digital camera to record a subject. Instead, the best fine art photographers use their cameras to document the artist’s vision instead of simply representing the scene in front of them. They use creative expression to convey emotion and unique messages within their photography. 

One of our represented photographers, Nana del Riego, studied fine art at a university in Havana before switching her career to digital photography. 

Journalistic Photographers

Although some photojournalists are also fine art photographers, this is a more niche branch of photography where photographic artists use their skills and equipment to help people feel as though they are a bystander within the scene. Therefore, allowing the viewer to witness a specific moment in time with the photographer. 

You may enjoy our previous post, where we discuss a selection of top Latin American photographers with interesting stories who have captured moments of history through photojournalism.  

Erotic Photographers 

For every photographer, art is expressed in different ways, and although some people may turn their noses up at the slightest inclination of erotic photography, we have chosen to represent them as we believe in championing daring artists who aren’t afraid to set new boundaries. 

Nobuyoshi Araki and Mairi-Luise Tabbakh are two fabulous erotic photographers represented by the Imitate Modern. Nobuyoshi is a particularly controversial character even in the erotic photography landscape, with his art precariously balancing between art and porn. He uses the female form, bondage and sex club scene from his home town of Tokyo. Similarly to Mairi-Luise Tabbakh, Nobuyoshi shoots in black and white for a moody and casual approach. Mairi-Luise Tabbakh, however, specialised in femininity and enhancing female curves with dangerous or typically masculine props such as guns and knives. This juxtaposition of the subject with props makes Tabbakh’s photography iconic and easily recognisable. 

Fashion Photographers

One fashion photographer who also neatly fits into our next category as a popular portrait photographer represented by the Imitate Modern is David Bailey. He has one of the longest careers in this industry due to his notable work with celebrities and models, including Twiggy, Andy Warhol and even the Beatles. As you may have gathered, his work was influential and helped capture the iconic era of the 60s, including the fashion of the era.  

Portrait Photographers 

Another popular speciality for photographers is choosing people, or more specifically, their faces, as the core subject. As you may expect, this is a popular niche within contemporary photography, and many of the artists we are proud to represent at the Imitate Modern fall under this bracket. 

Tyler Shields is an American photographer who has been at the top of his game for many decades while working with celebrities and animals and using sub-themes of danger in his work. Tyler’s bold personality is evident within his portrait work as he uses blood, weapons and other props to command attention within his work.  

David LaChapelle has also worked with well-known faces, including Angelina Jolie. Before beginning his successful portrait photography career, LaChapelle also worked with the likes of Andy Warhol and has since held exhibitions across the world. 

Within this photography niche, some photo artists also choose to use themselves as the core subject in self-portrait photography. Among our represented photographers, artists such as Nana del Riego come to mind instantly for this sub-niche. Nana del Riego is a Cuban artist who is well known for her colourful work exploring the boundaries of Western art. 

Sports and Motion Photography

Sports and motion photography can be used in a commercial or artistic way. Of course, many photographers who specialise in movement work with professional sports teams to capture the players in action. However, some high-speed action specialists use their skills to capture snapshot moments of time that the human eye would otherwise be unable to capture. Other photographers also use their skills in shooting movement in a cross-over with nature photography when capturing animals such as birds in flight. 

Cody Choi is one of the newest represented artists in this category with us at the Imitate Modern. Choi specialises in the movement photography of dancers. Before turning to contemporary photography, Cody was a dancer and choreographer, so he is able to combine his unique talents for both skills in his work to create something totally spell-bounding. 

Other Types of Photography

Of course, this is just a selection of the possible types of photography. A photographers artists ability is not limited by the boundaries set by others. A photo artist could also focus on architectural photography, commercial photography, editorial photography, nature photography and still life photography etc. 

Where To Purchase Work By An Artist Photographer 

If you are interested in purchasing a piece from a collection of a photographers art for your home, office or personal gallery, our knowledgeable team at the Imitate Modern gallery in London is happy to help guide you through the process. Our gallery specialises in contemporary art, which focuses on encompasses the era of photography. Therefore, we represent a number of photographers mentioned in this post. 

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