...Ken Jarecke's Featured Comment to John Kennerdell's post, below. I just put it up.
Featured Comment by Mike Peters: "As a photographer we all carry some sort of responsibility about the photographs we make. For those of us who have chosen to shoot on the street, or anywhere for that matter, the ultimate responsibility we have is to GET THE PICTURE. To get the picture we often have to override our own sense of uncomfortableness, or at least I always do, and move in and make the photo any way we know how. I take this responsibility very seriously, and this gives me a total sense of purpose that allows me to sidestep my fear. No one who sees me has any doubt about what I'm doing, either: I carry a big camera that makes a lot of noise and I work with normal and wide lenses so I'm within conversational distance. I'm never sneaky and always smile; it seems to work for me. Often, conversations break out and I get to meet people and hear their stories. It's a wonderful way to go through life. The bottom line, if you believe in your work, are comfortable in your own skin, openly act with a sense of honesty, purpose and authority, then you can be successful on the street in big cities, small towns and foreign countries."
Featured Comment by improbable: "This touches on something which gets lost in all the gear talk: a lot of the work in making certain kinds of art is in things, like getting access, which aren't visible in the final result. Maybe it's all about getting included in the circle of guys playing cards. Maybe it's having a contact inside the hospital who's sympathetic to your project. Maybe it's getting sponsored to join this climbing team. Maybe it's arranging your life so that you can spend a day a week walking the streets. I guess what I'm saying is that imagining 'how would I shoot that if I were standing there 5 seconds before' often misses the point, the hard work might be all before that, and might be mostly about non-photographic skills."