One of the best ways to create interesting images is to go to an interesting place and wait for your subject to enter the frame. Another, often more enticing method is to go where there are a lot of people. On the one hand, you have a lot of subjects to choose from. On the other, it can be difficult to make a good image with multiple subjects in the frame.
Shooting in crowded areas is a great way to ensure tons of opportunities. I liken crowded areas to a good fishing hole. Sure, there are probably other photographers who know your spot, but what’s important is to have a list of favorite places to go back to over time.
I have many fishing holes, one is the St. John’s neighborhood. There are frequent street events, people walking about and interesting subjects. One visit to St. Johns was last year, during a parade, and I kept seeing this guy, who seemed to be the star of the show, the grand master of the parade. I’m not sure what his role was, but he popped up everywhere I was. Then, after milling around the street vendors for about an hour, he appeared here. He was just standing there and the crowd sort of parted perfectly framing him for my shot. I took this one frame, which was the only one of him I took that day, despite seeing him multiple times.
Street photography can be a lot like fishing. You have your favorite spots, and sometimes they pay off while others you strike out. Sometimes you just need to go to your fishing hole, and that provides plenty of satisfaction, whether you catch something or not.