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Home exams Key Concepts Genre Portfolio

Explain what genre means

You might discuss the relationship between photographic genres and genres in other arts fields (landscapes are often like oil paintings, (they share a similar aesthetic and depict similar content) documentary photographs are often presented in conjunction with writing in newspapers and magazines)

You might want to look at images that cross over between genres (eg. A holiday snap that could also be seen as documentary, or a portrait, a fashion shot)

You can add pages or leave them out depending on which genres you look at.  For example you might what to change the title of the nature/wildlife page to fashion and include fashion and beauty  shots rather then pictures of sparrows.

You could also add pages to a section subdividing landscape into countryside and urban or adding skyscapes and seascapes.

S T U D E N T   A D V I C E

How would you classify the photographs in the slide show above?

A glance to the left will give you some idea as to the number of genres photography has given rise to since it’s inception in the early 19th century. Clicking on the heading to the top left will take you to a huge list of further subcategories.

But first let us define what we mean by genre,

Genre, Noun.

a class or category of artistic endeavour having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.

genus; kind; sort; style.

This from,

http://dictionary.reference.com/ browse/genre

Category:Photography by genre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photography by genre.



► Aerial photography‎ (19 P)

► Astrophotography‎ (1 C, 16 P)


► Black and white photography‎ (1


 ► Environmental photography‎ (2 P)

 ► Erotic photography‎ (3 C, 10 P)


► Fashion photography‎ (1 C, 4 P)

► Flash photography‎ (3 C, 16 P)


► Landscape photography‎ (2 C, 3 P)


► Nature photography‎ (1 C, 10 P)

 ► Nude photography‎ (1 C, 11 P)


► Photojournalism‎ (5 C, 28 P)

► Pictorialism‎ (9 P)


► Social documentary photography‎ (7 P

 ► Stock photography‎ (1 C, 63 P)


► Vernacular photography‎ (3 P)


► War photography‎ (1 C, 2 P)

► Wedding photography‎ (4 P)

Here is a very wise article on the development of genre in Art Photography,

Photography, Genre and Continuity.

Roy Arden

So genre is simply a classifying system, a way of categorising works of art, like western ,horror and musical in the world of films.

Photography, like film, inherited many of it’s genres from older art forms. In photography landscape and portrait were obvious generic contenders to be taken on successfully by photography. These photographic genres remain vibrantly alive to this day as a glance at any photographic magazine will testify.