From Virginia Carolfi’s interview with Amy Touchette for Photo Workshop New York:
[VC]: How did you “learn” to overcome the fear of connecting with strangers? What’s so challenging in street photography?
[AT]: I’m not sure I’ve ever overcome the fear of connecting with strangers; I’ve just gotten used to the feeling of fear, and I’ve learned that the only way to deal with fear is to press through it, to embrace it, to not deny it, but instead investigate where it comes from. Often the things we fear are the things that mean the most to us; it is like a passion radar. Not all the time, of course. Sometimes fear is telling us to get the @&*$% out of some place! But often it is not. Often it is telling us what we care about, and with some time and sensitivity, it will also tell us why we care about it.
That said, there are techniques that have helped me learn to deal with fear appropriately. But to think one will overcome it is the first misconception to correct. Turning off our ability to feel fear would be the worst thing we could do as a human species.What’s so challenging about street photography is different for everyone, but for most people it is this very topic—fear. I think learning how to communicate with strangers and understanding the role that chance plays when you’re photographing real life can also be challenging for people.