Sub Urban Photography vs Street Photography

Suburban photography and street photography are two popular genres of photography that often get confused with each other.

Both involve capturing scenes from everyday life, but they have distinct characteristics and techniques.

In this article, we will compare and contrast these two genres to help you understand their differences and decide which one may be right for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sub urban photography focuses on capturing the mundane beauty of everyday life in suburban areas.
  • Street photography is characterized by capturing candid moments and the raw energy of urban environments.
  • Both styles share similarities in subject matter, composition, storytelling, and emotion, but also have distinct differences to consider when choosing which style to pursue.

Sub urban Photography

Sub urban photography captures the essence of suburban life, highlighting the distinctive features of suburban areas. It centers on depicting the architecture, landscapes, and daily activities within suburban neighborhoods. In contrast to street photography, which frequently showcases the fast-paced and lively atmosphere of urban environments, suburban photography offers a more peaceful and calm perspective.

What Is Suburban Photography?

Suburban photography is a genre that aims to capture the essence of everyday life, architecture, and scenes in suburban areas. Its goal is to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of suburban living through visual storytelling, often highlighting the overlooked and mundane aspects of these environments.

During my exploration of a suburban neighborhood, I came across a charming park where families were having picnics and children were playing. I seized the chance to capture genuine moments of joy and connection, reflecting the true essence of suburban life through my photographs.

What Are the Characteristics of Suburban Photography?

The characteristics of suburban photography include capturing everyday scenes and moments in suburban settings, revealing the ordinary life, architecture, and landscapes that are unique to the suburbs. This type of photography involves showcasing the essence of suburban living, including elements like neighborhood dynamics, local landmarks, and the interaction between people and their environment.

Pro-tip: To truly capture the essence of suburban life, pay attention to small details that make the suburbs unique, such as local businesses, community events, and the daily rhythm of life.

Suburban photography captures the mundane, while street photography captures the chaos.

sub urban photography

How Is Sub urban Photography Different from Street Photography?

Subject Matter: Suburban photography focuses on capturing scenes and moments in suburban areas, while street photography emphasizes urban environments and city life.

Composition: Suburban photography often incorporates more open spaces, residential settings, and natural landscapes, whereas street photography tends to feature crowded streets, architecture, and urban elements.

Storytelling: Suburban photography may convey a sense of tranquility, everyday life, and community, while street photography often portrays the hustle, bustle, and diverse interactions of city dwellers.

Emotion: Suburban photography evokes a different emotional atmosphere, often highlighting peace and familiarity, whereas street photography captures the dynamic energy and raw emotions of city life.

Examples of Sub urban Photography

Examples of suburban photography showcase the beauty and routine of everyday life in suburban areas. Photographers often capture moments on residential streets, local parks, and during community events, highlighting the mundane and familiar. A perfect illustration of this is a serene sunset over a quiet neighborhood street, captured by a photographer, evoking feelings of nostalgia and tranquility.

Street Photography

Street photography captures unposed scenes in public places, reflecting everyday life, culture, and society. It often conveys raw emotions, human interactions, and the essence of a city or urban environment. Street photographers seek candid moments, unique perspectives, and interesting characters to tell compelling visual stories. With a focus on spontaneity and authenticity, street photography celebrates the beauty of ordinary moments and the diversity of urban landscapes.

What Is Street Photography?

Street photography encompasses capturing candid moments in public spaces, reflecting the essence of daily life. It involves seizing unposed scenes, often in urban settings, to convey authentic human emotions and interactions.

Street photography is like a candid shot of reality, capturing the raw and unedited moments of the urban jungle.

What Are the Characteristics of Street Photography?

Street photography is defined by candid moments, capturing unposed subjects in public places. It typically displays raw emotions, everyday life, and the urban environment. The defining characteristics of street photography include spontaneity, capturing fleeting moments, and utilizing natural light to convey the atmosphere of the streets.

How Is Street Photography Different from Sub urban Photography?

  • Subject Matter: Street photography often focuses on urban scenes, public places, and people in action, while suburban photography captures more residential areas, domestic life, and quieter moments.
  • Composition: Street photography frequently involves capturing candid, unposed moments, whereas suburban photography may involve more staged or arranged compositions.
  • Storytelling: Street photography tends to tell stories of everyday life in bustling environments, whereas suburban photography may convey a sense of tranquility and routine.
  • Emotion: Street photography often conveys raw, intense emotions, whereas suburban photography may evoke feelings of familiarity, comfort, and nostalgia.

Examples of Street Photography

Examples of Street Photography showcase urban scenes, capturing candid moments and human subjects in everyday life. Some renowned examples include Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare” and Vivian Maier’s captivating self-portraits on the streets of Chicago. For inspiration, take a look at works by contemporary photographers such as Alex Webb and Martin Parr, known for their vibrant and visually compelling street photography. Keep in mind the importance of capturing authentic moments and unique perspectives in your own street photography pursuits.

Sub urban photography vs street photography

Similarities between Sub urban Photography and Street Photography

While sub urban and street photography may seem like two distinct genres, there are actually many similarities between the two. Both styles of photography capture candid moments in everyday life, and both require a keen eye for detail and composition. In this section, we will explore the similarities between sub urban and street photography, including their shared subject matter, compositional techniques, storytelling elements, and ability to evoke emotion in the viewer. By understanding these commonalities, we can appreciate the unique qualities of each genre and how they intersect.

Subject Matter

When it comes to suburban photography, the subject matter often revolves around mundane scenes such as peaceful neighborhoods, community events, and domestic settings. This particular style aims to capture the true essence of suburban life, showcasing the beauty and stories that can be found in ordinary surroundings.

Pro-tip: To truly capture the authenticity of suburban life, focus on highlighting the unique charm of everyday moments and interactions.

Whether it’s on the streets or in the suburbs, composition is key for capturing the perfect shot – just make sure there aren’t any pesky power lines ruining your masterpiece.


In suburban photography, composition is key in capturing the essence of suburban life. This involves framing scenes that include elements of architecture, nature, and human presence within the suburban environment. To create visually appealing compositions that tell a story about suburban living, pay attention to leading lines, symmetry, and patterns. Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your suburban photography.

Both suburban and street photography tell different stories, but they share the same goal of capturing the essence of everyday life in a single frame.


Storytelling in suburban and street photography involves capturing the essence of everyday life, evoking emotions, and conveying a narrative through visuals.

Key elements of storytelling:

  • Subject Matter: Both genres showcase the human experience amidst urban or suburban environments.
  • Composition: Utilize framing and perspective to narrate a visual story.
  • Emotion: Evoke feelings and connections through the captured moments.
  • Lighting: Accentuate the narrative by using light to set the mood.

While capturing suburban scenes, I focused on a deserted street corner. A lone figure emerged, creating a poignant narrative of solitude amidst the bustling city.

Capture raw emotion in the mundane with suburban photography, or catch the chaotic emotions of the streets with street photography; either way, you’ll be feeling all the feels.


In both suburban and street photography, capturing emotion is essential. Suburban photography often focuses on quieter, contemplative emotions, such as nostalgia or solitude, while street photography often captures raw, intense emotions like joy, anger, or surprise.

Fact: Emotions are a vital element in photography, conveying depth and connecting viewers to the captured moments.

Which One Is Right for You?

When considering sub urban photography versus street photography, it’s essential to align your choice with your artistic vision and preferred subjects.

Sub Urban Photography: Ideal for capturing architectural details, urban landscapes, and human elements within a city setting.

Street Photography: Suited for candid shots, capturing raw emotions, and documenting everyday life on the streets.

Which One Is Right for You? Consider your passion for capturing city life, your preferred subjects, and the visual storytelling style you resonate with.

What Are the Advantages of Suburban Photography?

The benefits of suburban photography include the ability to capture peaceful landscapes, intricate architectural details, and daily life in a calm and tranquil environment. Suburban settings offer a more relaxed pace, allowing for thorough exploration of subjects and scenes. Additionally, the lack of chaotic urban surroundings presents opportunities for reflective and contemplative photography.

If you are drawn to capturing the beauty of quiet neighborhoods, local community life, or the charm of suburban architecture, then suburban photography may be the perfect choice for you.

Street photography gives you the thrill of capturing life’s raw moments while also providing great material for your next art exhibit or Instagram post.

What Are the Advantages of Street Photography?

Street photography offers numerous advantages, including spontaneity and the ability to capture authentic moments in urban settings. It allows photographers to document the raw, unscripted essence of city life, while also being flexible in adapting to different lighting conditions and environments. Furthermore, street photography promotes interaction between photographers and their subjects, resulting in a sense of connection and authenticity in their work.

Decisions, decisions. Choosing between suburban and street photography is like choosing between a fresh bagel and a warm croissant – both are delicious, but it ultimately depends on your personal taste and preference.

Considerations for Choosing Between Suburban and Street Photography

When deciding between suburban and street photography, there are several factors to consider:

  • Subject matter: Suburban photography often focuses on quieter, more domestic scenes, while street photography captures the vibrancy of urban life.
  • Composition: Suburban photography may offer more controlled compositions, while street photography embraces the spontaneity of the streets.
  • Storytelling: Both genres tell compelling stories, but through different contexts.
  • Emotion: Consider the emotions you want to evoke and the visual narrative you aim to portray.

Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with your subjects – just make sure they know you’re taking a photo, not a mugshot.

Tips for Capturing Great Shots in Suburban and Street Settings

Whether you’re drawn to the tranquility of suburban landscapes or the hustle and bustle of city streets, photography is a powerful way to capture the essence of these different environments. In this section, we will discuss some tips for capturing great shots in both suburban and street settings. From mastering lighting and composition to effectively interacting with subjects and utilizing post-processing techniques, we’ll cover everything you need to know to capture stunning images in these unique settings. So grab your camera and let’s dive in!


  • Understand natural light: Learn to recognize and utilize the various types of lighting found in nature, such as diffused light on overcast days or the warm, golden light of the late afternoon.
  • Use reflectors: Enhance the lighting in your photos by using reflectors to bounce light onto your subject, reducing harsh shadows and creating a more balanced look.
  • Experiment with artificial light: Familiarize yourself with different artificial lighting techniques, such as using speedlights, softboxes, or continuous lighting for indoor or low-light settings.
  • Adjust white balance: Take control of the color temperature in your photos by adjusting the white balance settings to match the type of lighting present, resulting in more accurate and visually appealing images.

One chilly autumn morning, the soft, golden light of sunrise illuminated the suburban landscape, casting a warm glow on the quiet streets. As I captured the ethereal atmosphere, the interplay of light and shadows added a captivating dimension to the photographs, enhancing the beauty of everyday scenes.

It’s all about finding the beauty in the mundane and capturing it in a frame that will make you question your own existence.


  • Rule of Thirds: Use the gridlines or their intersections to place the main elements and achieve balanced compositions.
  • Leading Lines: Utilize natural or man-made lines to guide the viewer’s eye through the image.
  • Symmetry and Patterns: Create visually appealing compositions by incorporating balanced and repetitive elements.
  • Foreground, Middleground, Background: Add depth and dimension to your composition by including elements at varying distances from the camera.
  • Negative Space: Emphasize the subject and create a sense of balance by utilizing empty areas in the composition.

Interacting with Subjects

  • Establish rapport: Interact with subjects in a friendly and respectful manner to build trust and comfort.
  • Communicate intent: Clearly communicate the purpose of the photography and ask for permission if needed.
  • Be observant: Pay attention to body language and emotions to capture genuine expressions.
  • Give direction: Offer gentle guidance for posing or activities to convey the desired narrative.

Editing and Post-Processing

  • Upload the photos to your computer and organize them into folders based on location or date.
  • Choose a reliable photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop for editing and post-processing.
  • Adjust the exposure, contrast, and white balance to enhance the overall look of the photos.
  • Utilize specific editing tools to fine-tune the details and colors of the images.

Pro-tip: When editing and post-processing, aim for a natural look that enhances the original beauty of the scene without over-manipulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between suburban photography and street photography?

Suburban photography focuses on capturing the built-up areas and landscapes outside of the city, while street photography captures the essence of everyday life in cities, including people and urban spaces.

Can you give me some tips on how to improve my street photography?

Some tips for improving street photography include seeking inspiration from other urban photographers, deciding on a specific focus, and experimenting with different compositions and techniques.

Who are some notable street photographers?

Some notable street photographers include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorethea Lange, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Joel Meyerowitz.

What is the best lens for urban photography?

The best lens for urban photography depends on the photographer’s style and the desired shots, but popular options include prime lenses for their light weight and predictable results, and zoom or wider angle lenses for larger scenes.

How can I capture the human condition in my street photography?

To capture the human condition in street photography, try to observe and capture genuine emotions and interactions between people in urban environments. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers and immerse yourself in the city’s culture and people.

What equipment do I need to get started with urban photography?

To get started with urban photography, you will need a camera body, lens, and other accessories such as a tripod and filters. Popular options include the Canon 5D Mark III camera and either a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM or a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

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