Portrait photography is a unique branch of photography that is all about capturing the diversity in people, their actions, and their personalities. But portraits that are captured often go a lot beyond just a photo of a smiling person. There are many different fundamental styles of portrait photography subdivisions in portrait photos and photographs.

Portrait photography is just not taking pictures of people at a family function. It has got far more layers into it. Portrait photographers are popular all over the world for their fabulous captures. To get a bit more creative and find the genre that simply fits into your subject, here we bring ten different styles of portrait photography you should know.

Traditional Portraits

In traditional portraits we often find the subject facing the camera. Generally, traditional portrait photography is posed. It gives a chance to the subjects to look their best. It is very often done in a studio with a formal backdrop. This genre also tends to shed some light upon the most traditional portrait composition. Often it means that the head and shoulders are cropped rather than a full-body portrait in the frame. However, that’s not always the style.

Traditional portraits are often what comes to our mind when we think about the portrait genre. This type of image has been around the scene for quite a long time. But it still remains just the same popular because the blend between posing and the aesthetic lights in the studio is quite a bit flattering.

Also, another sub-division of the traditional portraits is the formal portraits. They apply just the same posing and studio setting but in formal attire.


 This style is just the polar opposite of its traditional counterparts. Yes, it’s obviously the portrait of a person or a group of people. But lifestyle portraits engage in capturing people in a day-to-day environment, often performing ordinary things. In place of a studio, this genre operates in an environment that is familiar to the subject.  You can capture lifestyle portraits in a family’s home. Lifestyle portraits aren’t posed or taken in the traditional vibe.

A lifestyle photographer gets a limited time frame to capture a series of clicks. Lifestyle photographers often tend to direct their subjects to perform something. But this kind of direction is very much different from the ones in studio photography. Lifestyle essentially focuses on capturing life occurring all around you so that you can create some touching memories.


Environmental portraits are a mix between old-school portrait photography and lifestyle photography. In environmental portrait photography, the environment and the person both have equal importance.

This type of photoshoot takes place in some specific locations, which has a special value to the person. It is a way to give the people who view the photos clues to the person’s personality and traits.

That location could be anywhere between home, office, or someone’s favorite place outdoors. While the locations are of primary importance here, they still use the same posing techniques. It doesn’t have an informal style like that of lifestyle photography. The photographer sets up a particular pose and lighting, similar to the case of traditional portraits. The pose, lighting, background, and the person come together in a perfect environmental portrait.


You don’t need to plan for your candid portraits. They tend to happen out of the blue. Photographers don’t need to capture strangers in the frame to complete a candid portrait. But candid portrait photography is free of any kind of direction and posing from the photographer.

Street photographers often capture candid clicks of the people they meet on the road. There’s no setup for the photos from the. The light, the environment, or any other aspects create a spontaneous candid photoshoot successfully.

fundamental styles of portrait photography


Another popular style of portrait photography is Glamour photography. The beauty of the subject is the primary focus of glamour photography. It often involves planning all about the wardrobe and calling in professionals in make-up artists.

Glamour photography is sensual in many cases.


Conceptual portraits are popular as they capture a certain idea or concept within a portrait image. Photographers often tend to use props,  alter the setting, or edit the photos to achieve the required concept. Endless options reopened in portrait photography.


It is another popular aspect of portrait photography. Although, self-clicked photos, often ruin the essence of a self-portrait. When captured well, self-portraits are often gorgeous images.

Photographers use the more explaining term self-portrait on the serious portraits. A selfie is just a quick snapshot taken by you. Self-portraits don’t need much insight and planning. Capturing a photo of yourself beyond keeping a smartphone out at hand’s length is not an easy job. You can make use of a tripod to get away from that traditional selfie look with extended arms. Focusing is often a very prevalent issue in these cases. You need to maintain a Wi-fi-controlled device only if you intend to. You have full freedom to be creative all about your photos. They are highly and popular and trending all over the world.

fundamental styles of portrait photography


Portraits are revered all over the world as they capture people and their diversifying personalities and moods. Every person on this earth is born different from one another. This opens up the range for portrait photographers on a wide scale. Hence, this genre has different kinds of styles, methods, and subdivisions. To be a successful portrait photographer, you need to understand and decide your style to follow.

Understanding the subject is another important aspect of this kind of photography. Once you go through all the genres, you get confident about your version. You must follow the ground rules of the style you choose. The subject must be placed in good light as a bottom line for all kinds of photographs. Hence, it must be followed here too, to capture a beautiful portrait.

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