From Amy Touchette’s article “Strangers on the Street: How to Make it Go Right – And What to Do When It Doesn’t” for tuts+:
Part of what makes street photography challenging (as well as extremely exciting) is that its most common subject is people, and they’re highly unpredictable. Not only are street photographers completely in the dark about when a compelling scene might arise, they also have no idea how people who happen to be in that scene will feel about being photographed.
Figuring out how to handle an unruly subject like that is of preeminent concern to street photographers. And it’s the foundation upon which all peopled street photography is built, because the way we decide to handle strangers affects so much: our choice in cameras, locations, presence and behavior in the moment, not to mention the type of photograph we aspire to make.
All street photography that includes people as a subject has the potential to require engagement with strangers, the extent of which depends on the photographers’ process. In this tutorial, I will examine the various degrees of engagement street photography entails and discuss ways of making those interactions go well, as well as steps to take when they don’t.