I have been asked many times how I approach people on the street in order to take photographs of them. In 2013 my friend in Germany, Hector Merced asked me to write down some of the street shooting techniques and learnings I've discovered over the years. There are thousands of online street photography tips ....... here are mine:
Street Lesson # 1 - Turn Your Subjects Into Participants
Do you know any street signs? I love your ink, can we take a photograph? Wow, your hair is great, do you have time to make some art? Walker Evans said, "Part of a photographer's gift should be with people. You can do some wonderful work if you know how to make people understand what you are doing and feel alright about it."
Street Lesson # 2 - Zoom With Your Feet
One of the best things about a 34mm fixed lens is that you are forced to get closer to your subject. Being close is a good thing You can see your image AND ( many times ) something more. Being very close makes the image personal and creates a certain energy. A zoom lens won't do this as well.