I’m by no means a travel photographer. When I travel, I’m a photographer, but really just another tourist on the street with a camera. On many trips, I’ve worried about taking a “pro” camera with me, fearing it would make me stand out. I’ve since learned that I can carry a 1D Mark IV (not that I own one) with a 24-70 lens on it and most folks probably wouldn’t bat an eye. Many tourists these days are equipped with SLRs and pro quality lenses, and usually the ones with the tiny point-n-shoot cameras stick out to me more than someone with a quality kit.
However, there is always a time and a place for a simple solution. When I visited Florence, Italy several summers ago, I stumbled upon the lady at the top of the post working on recreating a painting in chalk on the street. As soon as she noticed I was carrying a point-n-shoot camera, she looked up at me, smiled, and posed for a photo. I obliged, fired off one frame, and left her a tip. As soon as I did that, she went back to work and ignored me. Luckily, in my other hand, I had my Holga, and did a quick-fire shot. The Holga drew no attention to me whatsoever, and I captured her actually working, rather than posing.
To be sure, neither of these photos will win any award, but I much prefer the image that doesn’t quite scream “tourist photo!”