“You give me access and I give you photos.” That was the deal struck by Dutch photographer Marieke van der Velden and journalist Paulien Bakker, who has covered Iraq extensively. For three intense weeks, they traveled documenting a side of Baghdad that doesn’t often make the news — daily life, families, youth, people living resiliently though the conflict, the tension, the danger. There were four bombings during their stay, one at a Sunni mosque, killing 25. Armed with a Hasselblad, the women had to travel with a male “fixer” who helped them get transportation and the attention of certain male subjects. Yet, meeting two families a day, the duo felt welcome, enthralled by discussions of gender politics with the women and greeted happily by the children. See the photos, as featured on Behance and The New York Times’ Lens blog, and get closer to Baghdad.