Street photography is a peculiar genre in the ethical questions it carries with it. This thoughtful video essay examines questions that go beyond simply wondering if you should do it at all.
Almost every photographer tries street photography at some point. Most do it when they're first starting out, as it offers a veritable plethora of readily interesting subjects and requires little equipment. But as Jamie Windsor points out, the ethical questions of the genre go far beyond simply wondering if you're exploiting your subjects. I particularly appreciated Windsor pointing out the dangers of leaning on the legality of street work to bypass the ethical questions. As he points out, even if one is not explicitly intending to exploit their subjects, there's a problem of representation, namely one's ability to represent a subject they hardly know and how one deals with the disconnect of photographing people that may come from vastly different socioeconomic circumstances and how this then translates into their ability (or lack thereof) to represent their subject with the requisite empathy so as to not inadvertently exploit them. It's a fascinating subject that's well worth thinking about; check out the video above for Windsor's full thoughts.