From Amy Touchette’s article for tuts+:
Few things are more important as a street photographer than being clear on the context, or circumstances, in which you are photographing. You have decided to use reality as your canvas, and that’s a huge responsibility. Those are real, living and breathing people and places out there, and being sensitive to their perspective while you are pursuing your photography goals is paramount.
With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be clearer on the dynamic you have set up as a photographer, better able to have conversations with bystanders and subjects in terms they will understand, and much more likely to get the photographs you are after.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when you photograph the public.