Arrive Friday, January 30 and leave Friday, February 6, 2015. Options to arrive earlier and stay longer! You and any camera you have are welcome!
Creating a great photographic portrait means how to connect with your subject, source natural light, and apply aesthetic judgment. Whether you are taking amateur photographs of family, friends, or interesting people you meet on your travels, or you are more adept at using a professional-type camera, we can teach you how to capture stunning images. Making great visual art also depends more on the intersection of heart, mind and eye than it does on using the “best” camera.
You are welcome to use any camera you are comfortable with: basic point-and-shoot to iPhone to professional DSLR. Our emphasis is on the photographer-subject relationship and good composition, finding the best subject and knowing how to interact with them. We offer you an amazing ethnographic travel photography experience.
We are based in the indigenous Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, where we introduce you to people whose faces show an 8,000 year old pre-Hispanic culture. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal with people you may otherwise not meet on your own! We are on location here with photographer/instructor Matt Nager to create powerful portraits. Our daily schedule takes you into people’s homes and workshops, and on day trips to local markets, and Oaxaca City.
Here are four photos by Matt Nager that give you an example of who you will meet, like Porfirio Santiago and his wife Gloria, 87-year-old weaver Secundino, and a man dyeing wool who we met along the way.
Portrait photography doesn’t need to be complicated and can create lasting memories for both the photographer and the person being photographed. This workshop will teach you the approaches needed to simplify the portrait process and make it fun!
Who should attend? The workshop is for amateurs, as well as intermediate and advanced photographers who are new to portrait photography. We strip down often overly complicated conditions to bring the photographer face-to-face with the subject. We will practice both impromptu, street photography and classic pre-arranged portrait sessions.
- Use natural light and respond to different lighting situations
- Include portraits in your travel photography
- Direct your subject through varying body positions
- Identify your own photographic style
- Find and execute portraits “on the fly”
- Practice street photography
- Use skills you learn through daily assignments
- Learn more with one-on-one coaching sessions with Matt
- Contribute to a gift for subject families and the community museum — included in your workshop fee
Each day we will discuss different techniques and review best of day images. There will be plenty of time for discussion, feedback, and sharing. We will address topics such as: How do you stay inspired? What do you say and do to sustain authentic connection with your subject? How do you prepare yourself to stay open, interested, and flexible? How do you get people to relax, be natural, and not be afraid of the camera?
At the end of our week together, we will select our best portraits and hold a group show and reception, inviting local guests. This is an extraordinary gift and cultural exchange. We will send you a complete itinerary and daily schedule after you register.
A word about equipment and experience: We will send a list of “what to bring” after you register! All levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. The techniques learned in this workshop can be applied to any camera and format. You will want to bring a USB cord to download your photos to your computer for editing images and sharing them. Optional: If you use a DSLR, you may want to bring a tripod, extra memory cards, an extra battery, battery charger, a portrait lens, Photo editing software such as Lightroom is very helpful. We use Dropbox to share and show photos, and we will send you an invitation to join for free after you register. It’s easy!
Your Workshop Leader is Matt Nager
Matt Nager is a Denver, Colorado, based portrait and editorial photographer. His love for nature and the outdoors, as well as his interest in people and culture, is central to his photography. Matt has over 12 years of photography experience. Before starting his own photography business, Matt worked with the Dallas Morning News and the Rocky Mountain News. In addition to photography, Matt also regularly shoots video and recently completed his first documentary titled: Campania In-Felix (unhappy country) which looks into the rise of health issues in Southern Italy as a result of illegal waste disposal. His clients include: DISCOVER Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Matt speaks English and Spanish, and is learning Italian. His work is at: www.mattnager.com
- 7 nights lodging
- 7 breakfasts
- 2 group lunches
- 6 group dinners
- group transportation when part of itinerary
- guided visits to local markets, artisan workshops
- 18+ hours of instruction
- one-hour private coaching and feedback session
Day One, Friday, January 30: Travel to Oaxaca and check-in to our B&B (D)
Day Two, Saturday, January 31: Learning Session, village walkabout orientation, street photography assignment, portrait session with local family (B, D)
Day Three, Sunday, February 1: Learning Session, Tlacolula Market excursion, photography on the fly (B, L, D)
Day Four, Monday, February 2: Learning Session, photo review/feedback, portrait session with local family (B, D)
Day Five, Tuesday, February 3: Learning Session, photo review/feedback, Oaxaca City photo excursion (B)
Day Six, Wednesday, February 4: Learning Session, photo review/feedback, archeological backdrops, Yagul and Mitla field trip (B, L, D)
Day Seven, Thursday, February 5: Learning Session, photo review/feedback, prepare for final best of week portfolio (B, D)
Day Eight, Friday, February 6: Depart
Lodging/Accommodations and Cost
We are based in the Zapotec rug weaving and textile village of Teotitlan del Valle. To keep this program affordable, we have selected clean and basic accommodations at a local, women owned and operated bed and breakfast posada that is part of a family compound. We offer you delicious homemade meals made with locally grown, organic ingredients.
- Base Cost: $1,195 per person double occupancy with shared bath (sleeps two)
- Single Supplement: $1,495 single room with private bath (sleeps one)
- Take a Zapotec Oaxaca Cooking Class on February 6, $70, learn to make Oaxaca mole
- Come early or stay later in either Oaxaca ($125 night) or Teotitlan del Valle ($45 night) per person
Most travel workshops of this type and length cost more than twice as much!
The trip does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and transportation to and from Teotitlan del Valle.
Reservations and Cancellations
A 50% deposit based on your preferred options is required to guarantee your spot. The final payment for the balance due (including any add-ons costs) is November 15, 2014. We request payment with PayPal only. Tell us you are ready to register and we will send you an invoice to secure your registration. After November 15, refunds are not possible. You may send a substitute in your place. If you cancel before November 15, we will refund 50% of your deposit.
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health/emergency evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least two weeks before departure. If you do not wish to do this, we ask you email a PDF of a notarized waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Hawthorne and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. Unforeseen circumstances happen!
To get your questions answered and to register, contact: email@example.com
This program is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary as necessary.
2015 Day of the Dead Photography Workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca, Mexico, is the place to be for Day of the Dead and you will capture it with your camera: parades, cemeteries, family traditions, special food and decor, markets, fiestas and faces. Follow the copal incense and marigold trail. Starts Sunday morning, October 30 and ends Thursday night, November 3.
Cost: $995 per person. Price includes all instruction, feedback sessions, personal coaching and transportation to and from Xoxocotlan and Teotitlan del Valle cemeteries. Does not include food or lodging. We will provide you with a list of hotels and B&B’s to choose the level of accommodation you prefer after you register. Then, make your own reservations directly. Come early or stay later, too. We will recommend sightseeing and other activities!
This is a hands-on photography workshop for learning and improving technique while you experience Oaxaca’s famed Day of the Dead rituals. By the end of the week, you will better use your camera for visual storytelling, photojournalism, portraiture and cultural discovery.
Your Workshop Leader is Matt Nager
Matt Nager is a Denver, Colorado, based portrait and editorial photographer. We invited him back to teach this workshop after rave reviews for teaching the People of Oaxaca Portrait Photography Workshop.
His clients include: DISCOVER Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Matt speaks English and Spanish. His work is at: www.mattnager.com
His love for nature and the outdoors, as well as his interest in people and culture, is central to his photography. Before starting his own photography business, Matt worked with the Dallas Morning News and the Rocky Mountain News.
In addition to photography, Matt also regularly shoots video and recently completed his first documentary titled: Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) which looks into the rise of health issues in Southern Italy as a result of illegal waste disposal.
This cultural immersion workshop tour offers you a deeper appreciation for the food, religious symbols, rituals and family celebrations both in Oaxaca city and in the rural Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle.
You will learn to:
During our week together, we will review each other’s work, give feedback, and offer supportive critiques. The workshop includes a mix of class instruction and being out on the streets to capture the action.
Technical topics covered include natural light, exposure, manual camera settings and night photography. We will offer optional editing sessions using Lightroom photo editing software.
Preliminary Itinerary (subject to change)
Day of the Dead Workshop Expedition 2015
Day 1, Saturday, October 30: Meet after breakfast at a central location in Oaxaca City where we will have a welcome and learning session, with a review of camera settings, exposure and using natural light. Then, we’ll hit the streets and local markets! Option is to meet up for a group dinner at your own expense.
Day 2, Sunday, October 31: We meet after breakfast. After showing your best work of Day 1, with review and feedback, we will have a learning session on night photography. At 3:30 p.m. we depart for the famed Xoxocotlan cemetery for an extraordinary Day of the Dead extravaganza. Matt is with us every step of the way for coaching and technical support. This could be a late night, so be prepared! We will stay until at least 10 p.m., maybe later! Includes transportation to/from Xoxocotlan.
Day 3, Monday, November 1: You will have the morning on your own to prepare your best of the Xoxocotlan cemetery. We will meet midday to share our work with a feedback and learning session, then get back on the streets to catch the calendas and other processions. Some may want to share an optional taxi to San Pablo Villa de Mitla for their Day of the Dead festivities that start mid-afternoon
Day 4, Tuesday, November 2: We leave for an afternoon and evening in Teotitlan del Valle after our morning learning and photo feedback session. You are paired with another workshop participant to share a traditional meal with a local host family and go with them to the village cemetery. To be embedded with a local family is an amazing cultural immersion experience to learn more about indigenous customs and traditions. We return to Oaxaca city mid-evening. Includes transportation and lunch.
Day 5, Wednesday, November 3: We meet after breakfast to share experiences and photos of the day. You’ll have the rest of the day on your own to meander and prepare your Best of Week photo presentation. We get together in early evening for a Best of Week photo presentation followed by goodbyes. Please feel free to invite guests! Then, we’ll meet for an optional group supper (expense on your own).
What You Should Bring
(Before the workshop starts, we will send you a complete packet and information guide with suggested packing list, and other useful information.)
Cost: $995 USD. Deposit to reserve your space is $500. Workshop includes:
Not Included: The expedition does NOT include lodging, meals that are not specified in the itinerary, airfare, taxes, tips/gratuities, travel insurance, liquor/alcoholic beverages and optional transportation.
About Recommended Accommodations: We will be based in Oaxaca city for this workshop. We will recommend several outstanding hotels and B&B’s where you may choose to stay, complete with contact information and estimated pricing. You can also check TripAdvisor and BookingDotCom. All reservations for lodging will be made and paid for by you directly with the hotel. You are free to choose any accommodation you prefer, from luxury to basic hostel. We will send you a list of recommended hotels after you register and make your deposit.
Reservations and Cancellations
A 50% deposit will reserve your space. The final payment for the balance due shall be made on or before August 1, 2014. We accept PayPal for payment only. We will send you an invoice for your deposit to reserve when you tell us you are ready to register.
If cancellation is necessary, please notify us in writing by email. After August 1, no refunds are possible; however, we will make every effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute. If you cancel on or before August 1, we will refund 50% of your deposit.
We require that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, and at least $50,000 USD of emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip. We know unforeseen circumstances are possible.
To register, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We accept payment with PayPal only. Thank you.
This workshop is produced by Norma H-Shafer, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary and substitute instructors without notice.
Don’t let this workshop pass you by!
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Photography, Teotitlan del Valle, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged 2015, Camera, class, course, cultural immersion, day of the dead, dia de los muertos, digital, DSLR, ethnographic, iPhone, Matt Nager, Mexico, muertos, Oaxaca, photography, photojournalism, point-and-shoot, portraiture, tourism, tours, workshop