Day 1: Portrait Photography in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca

I organize the Oaxaca Portrait Photography Workshop based in Teotitlan del Valle to introduce experienced and novice photographers to the beauty, kindness and culture of Oaxaca’s people.  Our workshop started today.

True to experience, instructor Matt Nager returned with lots of strategies for taking better people pictures. First we looked at and discussed examples from some of the best: Yousef Karsh, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Nadev Kander, Dan Winters and Matt’s portraits. We reviewed camera basics using manual settings and covered iPhone photography tips.  Then, we took to the streets. After taking impromptu photos on the fly — asking local people for permission to photograph them (which combines both respectfulness and courage) — we went into a family home for a more formal session.

Photography Workshop: Oaxaca Luvia Lazo  Portraits_1_Best12-8 Selling Tables, Teotitlan del Valle Grandmother & granddaughter, Teotitlan del ValleJose Buenaventura, Teotitlan del Valle Lupita and Ernestina, Teotitlan del Valle Moto Taxi, Teotitlan del Valle Matt Nager, Teotitlan del Valle La Cocinera, Teotitlan del Valle In the Church Courtyard, Teotitlan del VallePortraits_1_Best12-11 Portraits_1_Best12-9Each of us will edit each day and select our ten best photos each day. Here are what I chose for today’s best. At the end of the week, we will each present our twenty best of week after a series of feedback sessions and reviewing each others’ work.

Participants this year come from Canada and the United States of America, and one is a native of northern Italy. Our local fixer is photographer Luvia Lazo who helps us with the local Zapotec language and more complex Spanish translations. It’s wonderful to have her help!


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