The rules for working in an urban setting are similar from city to city. Commercial work typically requires a permit, and for good reason.
However, if you’re light on your feet and you don’t have any equipment touching the sidewalk, one can skate by without papers.
For my sessions, our motion stops where pedestrians are walking. That means I have to wait for a break in the action. This isn’t just a courtesy, it’s a practical measure to get the composition right and to avoid anyone bumping into me while I hold the camera in one hand and the strobe in another.
When it all synchronizes, it looks like I own the whole block.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.