In the 1970s, Teiwes' love of the people and cultures of the Southwest led her
to Arizona's many Indian reservations. By the early 1990s, she had logged thousands
of miles photographing Hopi farmers, Apache tribal chairmen, Tohono O'odham saguaro
fruit gatherers, Indian royalty, Spanish missions and Navajo hogans.
Throughout her career, she displayed an ability to forge friendships and to
keep her work within appropriate cultural contexts. Stella Tucker, a Tohono O'odham
who first met Helga at her great aunt's saguaro camp, recalled, "I think
she was just fascinated with our people, the O'odham people. About the desert,
especially the fruit harvest. She came every year to the harvest, and was almost
like family. She is just a wonderful person, a great photographer."