4 Main Types of Portraiture styles

You have all types of photographers that do different types of photography. Most of my work consists of portraiture, and ever since I owned a camera, I have enjoyed working with people in an artistic way that allows me to bring out their personalities through an image. I do enjoy other types of photography; however, my photography style may differ from other photographers. I consider my style of photography to be a mixture of candid and creative. I will be focusing on There are for main portraiture styles in this post, and you may find this helpful when you are shopping for a photographer.


This has been seen as the earliest form of portrait photography. Constructionist Portraiture involves a photographer creating or directing a moment with their subject(s). The photographer directs the subject to pose in a specific way that conveys the meaning or feeling the photographer is attempting to achieve. This style is mainly used for Advertising, fashion, studio portraits, headshots, and stock images.


Candid portraiture is used to photograph people behaving naturally or living their life uninterrupted. I love to use this style with families and children specifically because it brings out their genuine emotions. Street photography often involves candid portraiture where people in the public domain are photographed discretely.


Environmental Portraiture is used to document a subject in their environment. A photographer can combine constructionist and candid approaches to create environmental images by providing the subject with some direction but photograph moments candidly as they occur. These types of portraits use the environment and surrounding details to tell a story about the subject. The background and details are often in focus and are just as much part of the portrait as the subject themselves. The subject can make eye contact with the camera or be captured in an action. Some Examples of environmental portraits could include a craftsman in their workshop, a chef in their kitchen, or a ballerina dancing solo in their element.


While the approaches above by no means lack creativity, Creative Portraiture often refers to images that go beyond a single frame taken within a camera. Often creative portraiture combines images and other elements to create a final result, also known as composite images. This approach also applies to images that have been heavily edited, whereas other approaches may remain more or less “straight out of the camera.” Before digital photography, darkroom techniques like dodging, burning, and masking allowed for more creative manipulation of images. These days creative manipulation of an image is referred to as being “photoshopped,” referring to images that have been manipulated in some way, often beyond reality, using software such as Adobe Photoshop. This allows the photographer to be as creative as the mind allows it.