Neurophotonics was launched in 2014 coinciding with the launch of the BRAIN Initiative focused on development of technologies for advancement of neuroscience. For the last seven years, Neurophotonics’ agenda has been well aligned with this focus on neurotechnologies featuring new optical methods and tools applicable to brain studies. While the BRAIN Initiative 2.0 is pivoting towards applications of these novel tools in the quest to understand the brain, in this article we review an extensive and diverse toolkit of novel methods to explore brain function that have emerged from the BRAIN Initiative and related large-scale efforts for measurement and manipulation of brain structure and function. Here, we focus on neurophotonic tools mostly applicable to animal studies. A companion article, scheduled to appear later this year, will cover diffuse optical imaging methods applicable to noninvasive human studies. For each domain, we outline the current state-of-the-art of the respective technologies, identify the areas where innovation is needed and provide an outlook for the future directions.