16 Photos That Anyone Who Grew Up In The Suburbs Will Relate To

Photo: Michelle Groskopf/INSTITUTE
When she's looking for something to shoot, photographer Michelle Groskopf goes after the everyday, the banal, the suburban.

"I’ll shoot anything," she tells Refinery29, "But the things that stand out the most to me is imagery that triggers that feeling of my childhood."

Groskopf grew up in a suburb of Toronto in the 1980s, but as an adult, she distanced herself from her suburban background, moving first to Europe and then to New York. It was only when she relocated to Los Angeles four years ago that the markers of her childhood — strip malls, senior citizens, an air of affluence — started to inspire to her.

"[After] moving to L.A., I just kind of embraced my childhood and embraced where I come from," she says.

However, this is hardly to say that the resulting images themselves are banal. They manage to capture the ordinary while reminding viewers that if you take a moment to look around, hardly anything is truly ordinary. Groskopf compares her process to storytelling: Anything, if viewed the right way, can become a story. While her images are rooted in reality, they portray a heightened, starker portrayal of it — shot on the fly and with plenty of flash.

"When you look at my work, you’re entering my world," she says. "I’m your tour guide to this suburb in my mind."

Click through to view a selection of Groskopf's work and get a glimpse of a reimagined suburbia.

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