Oaxaca Portraits: Photography by Norma Hawthorne Shafer

For our culminating photography fiesta, we each chose the best twenty photographs from the entire week of hundreds of pictures we took during the Oaxaca People Portrait Photography Workshop.  What made it easier was that each day we selected our best ten photos, projected them for everyone in the workshop to see and talked about what worked and didn’t work. At each session we received valuable feedback from our knowledgeable, patient instructor, photojournalist Matt Nager, who also gave a Lightroom photo editing tutorial for those who wanted it.

In the eye of the beholder: each of us sees our world through a different lens. Though we photographed many of the same people this week, each of our photos offers an alternative image. That is what makes photography so interesting.

Norma Hawthorne Shafer, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico and Graham, North Carolina, USA

d_Jose Buenaventura, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs b_At Tierra Antigua n_Hugo_Cristobal_Danny  i_In the campo, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsk_Candelaria with Luvia, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsh_Waiting for Collectivo, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs g_Francisco y Angela, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs e_Luvia, Norma Hawthorne Shafer PhotographsMy own photography has improved over the years. This year I sold three photographs and invested in a 50mm prime lens that I tried once and put away. I forced myself to switch to it for most of this workshop week and was happy I did. I got used to moving my feet instead of a zoom lens, followed the natural light and shadows, asked people gently to turn their heads or bodies, place a hand, step up or step back.c_Ernestina, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsr_Lorenzo y Alonzo, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs  a2_Hanging Out, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsj_Norma Gutierrez, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsm_Lupita, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs f_In the hammock, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsl_Artist Studio, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsq_Fernando Sandoval, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs h_Coca Cola Man, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographsp_Antonio Camuña by Norma Hawthorne Shafero_Hugo, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs a_TukTukDriver, Norma Hawthorne Shafer Photographs

Are you interested in coming to Oaxaca for a Day of the Dead photography workshop in October 2015? Send me an email and let me know.

4 Responses to Oaxaca Portraits: Photography by Norma Hawthorne Shafer

  1. Fantastic Norma! I have been following the portraits and loving every minute, seeing people I know and those I don’t, all evoking memories and many bring tears to my eyes. Thank you the work is beautiful. Jennie

    • Ah, Jennie, so great to hear from you. We just finished a weaving workshop with Federico, and I thought of you and your comadres! I very much appreciate your heart and soul testimonial to the memory of being with us in Teotitlan. I’m gratified the photos touched you. Un abrazo fuerte, Norma

  2. Norma. as always I appreciate your work. I am in Oacaxa, got here the 10th and hope to go to Teotitilan soon. Just wondering if you’ll be around there or in the city. I’ve always wanted to take the portrait and street photography workshop, but as always because of such a low Mexico budget, if I do that I have to shortchange my total time in Mexico. I have your suggestions for getting folk to let me take the photo, but except for on the street, just if they come by, I think I am too shy. I will also want to get into a weaver’s workshop if possible, without going on a tour. Do you know of any bed and breakfast, or room without breakfast,but must have its own bath–in T. de Valle? Thanks for listening.
    Ruth Dorsey

    • Ruth, you would so enjoy spending some time in Teotitlan del Valle. You can try Las Granadas B&B in Teotitlan del Valle, they have 2 rooms with private bath. The other good one is Casa Elena where all rooms have private baths. You can find them on Google. When you are in Teotitlan you can stop in to see master weaver Federico Chavez Sosa, Francisco I. Madero #55. Before 10:30 a.m. is best. Let everyone know I recommended you to them! Someday, you’ll make it to a workshop but we don’t want you to cut your time short!

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