The importance of trust when photographing communities

CR speaks to three photographers about how you go about photographing a community you’re a part of, but also the sensitivity needed when you’re the outsider going in

As communicators and observers, photographers often use their images to depict people, groups and places. Even now, we rely on photographers to tell us about the world, and through their work we also get to know them as well. It makes sense then that sometimes photographers are keen to represent and capture where they’re from, a community they belong to or used to be a part of, or perhaps even one they live on the fringes of.

For LA-based photographer Thalía Gochez, she sets out to empower her community through her images and make them accessible. “Most of the time Black Indigenous and people of colour are broadcasted across mainstream media in such a negative, one dimensional light, but I try to challenge that narrative by making space and conversation for different multifaceted, complex, beautiful stories to be highlighted,” Gochez tells CR.

Not only creating a safe space for herself, the photographer wants her subjects to feel the same. “I think part of my purpose in life is to mirror the beauty around me through my art,” she says. “The beauty of my community is already there, I just have the privilege and honour of photographing it.”

Top: Angan-Angan Harsa, Farid Renais Ghimas. Above: Thalía Gochez