Exploring the Different Types of Street Photography

Street photography is probably one of the more popular types of photography. It’s easy to get into; you only need a camera and the street. But even in the category of street there are several types of sub-genres. Let’s dive in.

The definition of Street Photography

According to Brittanica, it’s “Street photography, a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place.”

This could be from different angles, like showing off things you’d like to see changed, or perhaps just aesthetic stuff or small moments you think bring joy to people.

The angle from which you’re coming and the topic you choose to document influence the subgenre of street photography. Nonetheless, the definition of Brittanica for the overarching genre stands.

So, I identified the following types that fall under the street photography genre:

  • Documentary street photography
  • Candid street photography
  • Urban landscape photography
  • Street portrait photography
  • Abstract street photography
  • Street fashion photography
  • Street art photography

Documentary Street Photography

In documentary street photography, the aim is to document what happens in the street. Exciting events, signs of the times, architecture, and other things we see on the roads.

Sometimes, it’s to document for future generations how our world looks. Other times, it highlights lesser-known parts of our cities and communities.

Candid Street Photography

On the other hand, documentary street photography often focuses on specific topics and allows the photographer to interact with the subject at some level. In candid photography, there is less interaction and more observation. It can also be about several topics you encounter in the streets.

A photo series can be made around a subject or other binding factors like colors or shapes.

Urban Landscape Photography

Most types of street photography are fast-paced and require some level of stealth. For urban landscape photography, you can usually take your time and don’t need to be less visible to your subject.

In urban landscape photography, you capture the landscapes of your city or town. Also called cityscapes. Often, you’ll use a tripod for longer exposures and more depth of field.

(Environmental) Street Portraiture

In street portraiture, you go out and try to make capturing portraits. Often, they’re posed, but they could be more candid, too. The art is in finding and approaching the right subject. Often posing them on the street in the environment you found them in.

You capture the people as they are in the environment they’re in, making for inspiring and challenging circumstances to work in.

Abstract Street Photography

In this type of street photography, the hunt is on to make your photos more abstract by chasing shapes and colors in the streets. The idea is to create pleasing and aesthetic compositions of your street finds.

Street Fashion Photography

The streets could be just the backdrop for your model, or the place where you hunt for outfits. Either way, the focus is more on the fashion than the little moments you might encounter.

The photos you make can range from candids to posing people you find on the streets to having professional models on the street for you.

What type of street photography are you most interested in? Let me know which one and why in the comments!

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