High-resolution volumetric optical imaging modalities, such as confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography, have become increasing important in biomedical imaging fields. However, due to strong light scattering, the penetration depths of these imaging modalities are limited to the optical transport mean free path (~1 mm) in biological tissues. Photoacoustic imaging, an emerging hybrid modality that can provide strong endogenous and exogenous optical absorption contrasts with high ultrasonic spatial resolution, has overcome the fundamental depth limitation while keeping the spatial resolution. The image resolution, as well as the maximum imaging depth, is scalable with ultrasonic frequency within the reach of diffuse photons. In biological tissues the imaging depth can be up to a few centimeters deep. In this presentation, the following topics of photoacoustic imaging will be discussed; (1) multi-scale photoacoustic imaging systems, (2) morphological, functional, and molecular photoacoustic imaging, (3) potential clinical applications, and (4) contrast agents for photoacoustic imaging.