Last week, National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths Belt came to Charleston,WV to speak at a National Geographic LIVE! event held at the civic center downtown. It was an intimate afair and she was able to share her insites and photography to a good size crowd, but not so big she couldn't talk and answer questions. I was surprised by how many photographers were in the crowd; there were maybe 4 -tops. most were teachers of social studies and such. I went thinking that it was going to be an extravaganza of images and "this is how you do this" kind of thing; but what I came away with was how she ( and photographers ) need to connect with their subjects. By showing people in different countires that she was "just a regular person" she was able to break thru language barriers and cultural differences to become accepted by tribes, groups, and people that cast wary eyes toward strangers. I was impressed to say the least.
The comment that we should "change our view of the world by becoming a part of it"really hit home to me- People are all basically the same - but photographers and journalist/stories shape how we see one another; and our own predjucies can color how we photograph. If we are to observe the human condition; let's at least be human when we do it.
If you'd like to visit her website and see for your self; here is her address www.anniegriffithsbelt.com
Be sure to tell her Clayton sent ya!