Photonic crystals, in which the refractive index changes periodically, provide an exciting new tool for the manipulation of photons and have received keen interest from a variety of fields. This article reviews recent progress in the manipulation of photons by photonic crystals. First, the article covers spontaneous emission, a fundamental phenomenon associated with all photonic devices that emit light, which now can be successfully controlled. Light emission is suppressed in areas where the photonic crystal is complete, while strong emission occurs in the areas where there are artificial defects. Next, it is shown that a very strong confinement of photons in a small volume on the scale of cubic wavelengths becomes possible by using photonic crystals, where nanocavities with ultrahigh-Q values of more than 2 million have been successfully demonstrated. Finally, photonic crystals promise to realize unprecedented types of lasers, which can produce tailored beams on demand, while keeping stable single longitudinal and lateral modes.