Animals as photo subjects: portrait or nature photography?

I was reading up on portrait photography and came up with the following:

1. There is formal and informal portraiture, as well as environmental portraiture. Formal portraiture refers to posed-for photos usually taken in a studio. Informal portraits are more casual in setting and mood. Environmental portraiture refers to photos that capture both the surroundings and the subject.

2. Portrait photography almost always have humans as subjects whether individually or in groups. I did not find any direct reference to animals as subjects of portrait photography.

When animals are photographed in their natural environment (i.e., a bird perched on a tree branch), it is easy to categorize it as nature photography. But when one takes a photo of a clownfish inside a saltwater aquarium, is it nature photography?

In the same manner, when one takes a photo of a cat at rest inside a house, is it nature photography or is it portraiture?

a family portrait

it is easy to classify the photo above as an informal portrait. But what about the two photos below?

portrait of a cat

portrait of a cat and two kittens

*Note: The first photo was scanned from a print; the second and third photos were taken with a Canon EOS 350D.


  1. zara says

    nice family pic. is that sam beside speedy? i used to posed like that when i was her age. and the hairstyle and the fashion…so nostalgic.
    do you always dressed your kids alike? kasi ganyan din mama ko noon with me & my older sister. she buys the same clothes and footwear but of different colors. btw, sam & alex are not camera shy pala when they are still kids…

  2. zara says

    pareho kayo ni mama. :D
    btw, you & speedy look like those korean couples i sometimes watch on tv. may kahawig pa nga si speedy eh. ;)

  3. zara says

    lolz! natawa talaga ako sa photo. nice one! he adores brad pitt pala. anyways, gwapo din nmn yong kamukha niyang korean actor and he also has a nice body. ;)

    P.S. you’re so blessed for having such talented kids.

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