A License to Enter People's Lives

I was unware of who Diane Arbus was until having recently read Eric Kim’s article on 11 lessons he learned about street photography from her work. There’s a segment where he talks about the act of photographing strangers and how our camera is essentially a permit for us to do this and his perspective on it is one I’ve never really considered. He says:

In street photography, we are often timid to approach random strangers and ask to take photographs of them. After all, it may seem weird for us to simply approach someone we don’t know.

However consider how much weirder it would be to approach a stranger without having a camera and having a reason to talk to them. Having the camera is a license to enter the lives of others.

This mentality totally grabs everything I generally like to do on the streets and makes it seem normal. Nice!