March 7-12, 2019, Oaxaca - Photographing People & Life in Oaxaca with Amy Touchette

Photos by Amy Touchette
Photos by Amy Touchette
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March 7-12, 2019, Oaxaca - Photographing People & Life in Oaxaca with Amy Touchette


For the second year in a row, Amy returns to Oaxaca to teach this special workshop!

$600.US deposit to reserve space in workshop. Balance of $1075.US due Jan. 11, 2019

$1675.US workshop fee includes instruction, six nights lodging (private room and bath) in the city center at The Oaxaca Inn, ground transportation to and from Oaxaca International Airport, excursions out of the city, welcome dinner on Thursday and farewell fiesta on Tuesday.

Below is our planned itinerary. It is possible, but unlikely, that we may have to change items listed below due to unforeseen circumstances. The items listed below will be our main points of focus during the trip. Each day will include chances for one-on-one work with Amy and the workshop team. And life is full of surprises. We can’t predict what spontaneous magic we will encounter- we only know that we will indeed encounter it!

Thursday, March 7 - arrival, check-in to The Oaxaca Inn, and welcome dinner in downtown Oaxaca.

Friday, March 8 - head outside the city to photograph Ocotlan, a town that transforms into a dynamic market every Friday. We went in March of this year on the last day and it was one of the highlights - an amazing place. Then head to Santa Catarina Minas to visit a mezcal maker who uses traditional techniques.

Saturday, March 9 - street photography and portraiture in downtown Oaxaca, with lunch at Mercado 20 de Noviembre, one of the iconic sites in the city. Work at the Manuel Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, a workshop and gallery space named after the famous Mexican photographer. Photograph the Zocalo, Santo Domingo, and the Botanic Garden.

Sunday, March 10 - leave the city again to visit the indigenous market at Tlacolula, where barter is one of the main forms of commerce. Lunch with a Zapotec family at Teotitlan del Valle, and a visit to the women's weaving collective, where they make rugs and blankets with natural dyes they create themselves from plants and insects.

Monday, March 11 - visit the pyramids outside the city at Monte Alban. Work at the Institute of Graphic Arts in downtown Oaxaca.

Tuesday, March 12 - Photograph Central de Abastos on the outskirts of downtown Oaxaca, a labyrinth of commerce - it's the spot where produce, meat, fish, and literally anything else you could possibly imagine wanting comes into Oaxaca. It's a stimulating macrocosm of daily life.

Wednesday, March 13 - checkout of the Oaxaca Inn and bid farewell.

Some of the topics this workshop will cover are:

  • Methodologies photographers have used in the past to capture life on the street, so you can determine the approach that works best for you.

  • How to gain people’s trust—both through conversation and wordlessly, using just your presence.

  • Techniques for blending into the background and “breaking the ice” with a complete stranger.

  • What to do and say when photographing a person or place upsets someone: how to calm them while staying calm yourself.

  • How your decisions and behavior set the stage for the photographs that result: the very real relationship between cause and effect and between mind and body.

  • We will also look at the photographs you make as the week progresses (should you choose to share) and discuss the experiences you’re having while photographing in Oaxaca. 

Oaxaca is an exciting, art-filled, beautiful blend of the ancient and modern. It is a bustling city nestled in the rugged mountain range Sierra Madre del Oaxaca, and at times feels like a small town in many places. From El Zocalo, the city's central plaza, street life radiates outward toward nearby cultural hotspots such as the Centro Fotografico Manuel Alvarez Bravo , the library of the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Textile Museum of Oaxaca, to name just a few of the inspiring gems within walking distance from our headquarters at The Oaxaca Inn Centro.

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There is no place on earth like Oaxaca. With its rich blend of 16 indigenous cultures, Spanish Colonial architecture, beautiful light, and the patina of time, it is a photographer's dream location.

Oaxaca's food, famous in Mexico for being the most unique and delicious, was part of UNESCO's decision to honor Mexican cuisine in 2010 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the first cuisine to be recognized. Oaxacan markets will stun and amaze you. The Hall of Smoke in Centro, where seasoned meat is roasted and grilled to order.  Myriad fruit and vegetable markets will tempt even the most experienced foodie. Sample mamey, a Mexican fruit with magenta flesh, whose taste combines vanilla, honey, and almond - an unforgettable treat. Or try chapulines, protein-rich, delicious grasshoppers roasted with garlic, lime, and salt. If you're a fan of molé, Oaxaca is its home. Dozens of ingredients, herbs and spices simmer for hours to reveal deeply layered flavors. You'll find at least 20 varieties of molé here. Some of the world's best coffee and chocolate is grown in Oaxaca, and we will take full advantage of the opportunity to start our mornings off just right at cafes that would impress a Parisian.

Based in downtown Oaxaca—arguably Mexico's most exciting city, world famous for its food, beautiful architecture, friendly people, galleries, and cultural heritage—you’ll spend mornings in discussion with Amy and afternoons photographing in the city. We will have two excursions outside the city. Seek founder Andrew Sullivan and Oaxaca photographer Romina Hierro will also attend to facilitate the workshop. The addition of two bilingual professional photographers will ease any translation concerns students might have.