I would like to bring up an issue of principle which is connected to photographing people and portraits. One that each photographer has a different opinion and personal way about doing: Do I, as a documentary photographer, need to approach and ask the permission of my subject of photography to take their photograph, or do I “steal” the desired image without them knowing about me doing so?
The biggest advantage when we take a photo without our subject knowing about it is – Authenticity. When a person doesn’t know he’s being photographed, he acts naturally, doesn’t react upon us as photographers and doesn’t feel the need to impress. He acts exactly how he would if we didn’t notice him at all. In this article, I use the verb “steal” for a reason.