There’s long been a debate among street photographers about the role of the photographer. Should he or she help to set the scene? Purists demand a hands-off approach, in effect that street photos should be candid and anonymous. Historically, however, some famous street photos came about through impromptu collaboration by subject and photographer.
In my view, it’s a futile debate. Amongst the photos above, dear reader, do you have any doubt which ones this photographer influenced. Of course you don’t. In my experience, there are few photos in which this distinction is not obvious.
Willy-nilly, the photographer is part of the scene. Some photos may involve him or her; others may not. The important thing is what future generations will say. What do the photos reveal about the people so recorded? What stories do the photos tell about their lives and times?