Great photos require building relationships.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2800, ƒ/4, 1/100

We spent time in the small village of San Benito, Nicaragua, helping the students in our Storytelling workshop on how to get access to take those photos that help you show how the people in another culture live.

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 1000, ƒ/1.8, 1/100

Now we did piggyback with a team that did a puppet show for the children in the village. They had already built relationships with the community. The puppet team gave us a considerable advantage because of all the good relationships that the puppet team had made; let us say while walking down the dirt streets, we were with the puppet team.

We also took photos of the meals Servants with a Heart had prepared back in Matthews, NC, with two little boys holding those meals. Again this helped us establish we are there to help them.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 110, ƒ/4, 1/100

After pulling up and walking down the street with cameras, it didn’t take long for many people to come out to see all the Gringos with cameras walking down their street.

I showed the students that I started with some small chit-chat with an interpreter, taking portraits of the people and showing them the results on the back of the screen.

I asked the lady how many people she cooks for and if she would show us her kitchen.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 7200, ƒ/4, 1/100

So to get good photos you must do it in stages. You are building a relationship. If you try and jump to the image you want right away rather than doing it in stages, you may shut down the connection. Take your time and get to know the subject.