Different Types of Photography (And Which of Our Frame Styles Would Look Best With Each)

If you’re like most of us, you probably snap a lot of pictures on your cell phone  (or go old school and use a real camera!) capturing a moment that just may turn out to be an image that you want to frame as a lasting memory. And of course, there are a lot of occasions where a professional photographer is hired to give those memories a more polished look. Whether that’s the case, or you’re in charge of the lens, there are a lot of different genres of pictures, and we thought we’d take you through the basic types of photography — in addition to the one you might not have heard of but could find interesting — as a guide to choosing the right frame for each. 

That selfie you took on your most recent hike is a lot different than a panoramic view from a mountaintop. The group shot of your friends hanging at the beach is not quite the same as the photos from your more formal beach wedding. Taking a monthly picture of your baby to commemorate her growth and the spontaneous pics you took of your cat napping in the sun will have two different vibes. And you can enhance all of them by choosing the right type of frame for each. 

Indeed, photography has branched out into a bunch of different genres since the camera was invented; you know, back when you had to sit still for minutes just to get a semi-decent sepia tone photo. Since then, technology has evolved, making it easier and faster to get a beautiful photo. And it doesn’t end with cameras on phones. Now even drones are being used to get a bird’s eye view of things that were nearly impossible to capture before.

So let’s start sharing our thoughts on these different categories to give you a little extra inspiration to create a beautiful display in your home! 

Wedding Photography

Framed wedding photos

Weddings are a joyous occasion photographed by on-scene professional photographers and amateur guests alike. Photos at a wedding are a great way to keep the memories alive and relive that day every time you see them.  For this, you might want to consider the scene of the wedding and the actual moment in time to determine whether to go the classic route or to add a pop of color. The moment you are exchanging vows will have a different feel to it than a party shot of you dancing with friends and family. 

For photographs with a  more formal look, order a Black or White frame with a simple white matboard for a clean, crisp look. For pictures where you want to complement the fun factor of the day,  add a matboard (or two!) to coordinate with the colors of your wedding to give your frame that extra pop!  Or choose a metal frame for this genre, like our Hanover or Ashford frame styles. These have lots of color options, so find one that matches the color scheme of the groom’s suit as a starting point and then add some color to the matboard from there.  If you have black and white photos, a gold frame might add a little extra style while still looking classic.

Pet Photography

framed photo of pet

So, we know how much you love your pet, and professional pet photos are a thing…we get it! But most of us just catch a glimpse of our four-legged friend that makes us want to snap a picture. The trouble is, most of these could be classified as “action shots” since, let’s face it, your pet has a lot of energy. And while there is something so very sweet about your pup sleeping on the end of your bed, we are more likely to take some pics while playing fetch at the park. 

If you have a more stoic, professional, or posed shot of your furry friend, a wood frame is always classic, though we often opt for metal frames for pet photos that need a less formal, more playful vibe. Perhaps our Hanover frame in Red matches the color of their collar. Or opt for the same frame in Blue to compliment your pet’s eyes. As always, matting is optional, but hopefully you get the picture. 

Food Photography

framed food

This is a trend that took off on Instagram — or that seems to be the case, at least! Sometimes food looks as good as it tastes and you want to document its artistic appearance. This is where food photography comes in. 

If the food you are framing is colorful, a simple frame is best to keep the focus on the actual food. Try our Hanover or Ashford frame style in the satin black. Both styles are thin, and black is a great color that goes with just about anything. However, most food photography will be displayed in a kitchen or dining area. Perhaps our Ashford frame in Silver matches your appliances or our Derby in Wheat frame coordinates with your kitchen table. Using the environment you will be displaying your photo is always a good starting point in choosing a frame. 

Portrait Photography

School Photos

This is probably the oldest form of photography, dating back to the original camera that we keep bringing up! You could need your portrait taken for a school picture, a headshot for an acting gig, or a bio for your job. Whichever one applies, you’ve probably had your picture taken in this context at least once, or may need to do so now. 

For portraits, try our Hammond frame style. It’s a more pronounced frame, and it’s a good way to grab the viewer’s attention, which is what you want to do with your portrait. It’s also available in two versatile colors (Black and Silver) and in either gloss or satin. For a really fancy look, go with Granby!

Travel Photography

framed photo of sunset and lake

One of the best things about photos is is that they can bring the world’s most exciting destinations to your home.  They can also remind you of the relaxing time you spent while you’re caught up in a hectic day!  Travel photography, whether it’s a photo of a beautiful landscape, a faraway city, or a close-up of your exotic drink by the pool, this genre has the ability to put us in a different frame of mind just when we need it most.

Because the world has so many different places to photograph — and if you’re lucky you will experience many of them — what frame to choose can vary.  If it’s a natural landscape, we would almost always recommend a wood frame, as it would complement the natural look of the photo. If it’s a cityscape, try to find a hint of color in your photograph and use that for the frame. If there’s not a frame color that we offer in the photo, try looking for it in a matboard, and then coordinate your frame with that. (If you need help with matching and complementing colors, consult a color wheel.)

Family Photography

Family photos

Family photos are probably our favorite photos for good reason. It’s the people who mean the most to us, and there never seems to be a bad occasion to get one taken, either. A family reunion. Your children. Your parents’ wedding anniversary. A close-up of you and your SO. 

Family photos tend to be bright, and most are of a wholesome and cheery dynamic. Because of this, you can’t go wrong with our Derby frame in White for this genre.  It will work well with whatever hues are in the photo, draw the viewer’s eye into the picture, also just feels warm and welcoming — similar to how you’d like your family to be seen!  

Drone/Aerial Photography

Aerial photo of beach

This is definitely the newest form of photography; drones have only become available to civilians recently. Today, with their access and affordability, the possibilities are endless. Want a bird’s eye view of your home? A look at your scuba diving trip from above? Proof that you climbed to the top of the mountain? With a drone, you can get all this and more.

For drone photos, we would recommend our Bradford, Derby, and Stafford frame styles — a thicker frame that draws attention to the photo itself while giving it the weight it deserves. At 1”, 1 ¼”, and 1 ½” respectively use our Frame Designer to experiment with which size works best for your photo. 

Art Photography

Art photography

Sometimes photos are intended for and better suited for a museum or gallery than your home or office wall. If this is the case, your photo might fall into the genre of “art photography.” It could be an avant-garde photoshoot or something that has a deeper meaning.

For this, we would recommend any of our black frames — regardless of style — as they blend in the best. For the art photos that are black and white, it would complement the lack of color. For photos that have been edited in post-production, it would simply serve as a frame that wouldn’t compete too much with the photo itself. 

Final Thoughts

Framed photos on shelf

Now that we’ve explained some of the categories of photos and given our thoughts on choosing the right frame for each, we will repeat what we always say here at Frame It Easy: there are no rules! That’s what custom framing is all about. Do what makes you happy and what you think will look good hanging on your walls. 

Of course, if you need a little inspiration to get started, use our suggestions to guide you to the right frame. And don’t forget to take advantage of our Frame Designer to experiment before you hit the order button. You may have one vision in mind when you start the process and find a totally different way to go. That’s part of the fun of being your own designer.

So if you’ve gotten your photographs back from your professional photographer (or chose a few from your own camera roll!) and it’s time to start framing your favorites, we hope this helps. And if this post inspires you to take your own photos or frame the ones crowding your cell phone, our work is done here. Just remember, we would love to see your final results so don’t forget to share them with us on Instagram!

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