The cultural context of photography changes how a person being photographed perceives the camera. I have been fortunate enough to take my camera around the world but when I am in a new place and I take my camera out of my bag, I am curious to see how it will be perceived. I have been in small Nigerian villages where I have pointed my camera a one person and 10 other people have eagerly jumped into the frame to get their photos as well. Other times, I have been chased by people with machine guns just for holding a camera (true story, maybe for another post).
I have learned to be much quicker at gauging what people feel about my camera. Even more specific than larger communities, individuals have different experiences with cameras. Within a community a person may connect photography to fame, while in the same community another person may think of photography as a threat to their autonomy and privacy.
This is a picture I took on the border of Nigeria and Niger. We were especially nervous about driving up to this post because it was relatively well patrolled and we had no idea what the border guards would think of us. Al Haji Musa was the most senior officer at this post and was really nice to us. Before I left I asked to take his picture from Nigeria with Niger in the backdrop.