At this point, I’ve layed enough times on the living room couch enchanted by hours worth of No Reservations to realize that hardly any amount of travel is ever more worthwhile than when it’s been meticulously planned out and when you’ve had the opportunity to develop at least one connection with someone who’s indigenous to wherever it is you’re planning to visit.
I’ve never been to Brazil before although I hope to one day visit and I can only imagine how much more of an insight I would gain from the walking the streets of San Janeiro if I could somehow meetup with a local guide to show me the non-touristy areas.
This is pretty much what Brooklyn based photographer Joey L has done throughout his travels and he’s written up a detail description on how to go about doing it. 2 of my favorite pointers are:
- I always believe in hiring a guide of the same ethnic group as the people you are photographing because they are usually compassionate about the people, know them personally, speak their language, and of course the people trust that guide more than an outsider.
- After you’ve gotten home, keep in contact with your guide. Send him some photographs of himself, with his family, you together and perhaps a hand written note of recommendation. He can always use those pictures as a sort of “portfolio” so potential future clients can trust him.