Homicide detectives say the woman and a friend were taking cell phone pictures in the tourist-packed area where the three suspects were holding signs and panhandling.
Police say the photos caused a dispute after the panhandlers demanded $1, and the victim was stabbed in the torso.
The woman later died at a hospital. She was identified late Wednesday as Christine Darlene Calderon.
Family members told the Los Angeles Times that Calderon knew the Hollywood area and sometimes spent time there with friends.
The area, which saw an increased police presence Wednesday, attracts beggars and costumed street performers who demand cash for posed pictures with tourists.
Her mother, Yolonde Tassin, told the newspaper her daughter had completed her GED and had recently registered for classes at El Camino Community College.
"Her plan was to become an engineer," Tassin said. "She didn't want to waste years. She wanted to get in there and do it right."