Omar Chavez Santiago says: This is the second time that I took this [Oaxaca Photography Workshop: Market Towns and Artisan Villages] workshop, and it’s just wonderful to listen to the teachers each morning, watching all the photos from the others that really help you to get inspired, and then going out to do the daily photo shoot assignments. The workshop has taught me to appreciate more and to see the culture and traditions of Oaxaca in a different way. The most valuable thing is that I realize that the Oaxaca culture is amazing and I feel proud to be part of it. For that I’m very thankful to everyone who made this happen. Now my photos are just from people in a normal day of their life. My objective this summer was to portray all the different expressions and faces. It is not necessary to hear them talk or know them. Just by seeing their expressions, you can feel the warmth of Oaxaca and Teotitlan people.
Born and raised in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico, Omar Chavez Santiago speaks three languages: Spanish, Zapotec and English, and will begin university in Oaxaca this fall. It was great to have him take part with us and assist me with logistics and translation. He loved showing the group all the nooks and crannies of his village and Oaxaca city. One early morning at 6 a.m., before it got too hot, Omar led some workshop adventurers up the steep, rocky trail to the top of Cerro del Picacho, the sacred mountain protecting and overlooking Teotitlan del Valle. They came back and told me he sprinted to the peak while they dragged themselves up! I reminded everyone that Picacho is about 1,000 feet higher than the 6,000 foot elevation of the valley floor!
Here are Omar’s Best of Week pics. Click on each photo to get a full screen view with all the details. He is a talented photographer who shows lots of promise while capturing his culture with sensitivity and creativity.
You can participate in the next photography program in Oaxaca and immerse yourself in an amazing cultural experience. Day of the Dead Photography Expedition, October 28-November 4.