Join renowned travel photographer Nevada Wier in San Miguel de Allende, a vibrant colonial town over 400 years old and one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The streets are rich with colors, aromas, and sounds, and the endless drama of Mexican life is evident around every corner.
The workshop is designed to coincide with one of the most important Mexican traditions since colonial times—the celebration of the patron saint San Miguel Arcángel (St. Michael). This is a three-day festival starting the evening of Friday, September 29. On this night, the streets are alive with song and dance as mariachi bands play until dawn. As 3am approaches, a procession begins with larger-than-life dancing puppets made by local artists (Mojigangas). Soon afterwards, a pyrotechnic spectacle in the main plaza represents the flight of Archangel San Miguel against Lucifer. These all-night events are a photographer’s dream and worthy of staying up for.
The festival continues on Saturday with events such as a traditional show with Voladores de Papantla, graceful and gut-wrenching performances by five men. Four of them attach themselves to ropes while the fifth stands on a tiny platform at the very top playing a flute. The four roped men fall off the top and slowly spin until they reach the ground. Saturday afternoon features a unique parade between the religious and pagan where the "concheros" show their native dances to offer "xuchiles" (beautiful offerings).
On Sunday there is a parade of dancers from Zacatecas, Morelos, Veracruz, Jalisco, Queretaro, and other cities, to offer their dance to the Saint. It is three days of fun and amazing photo opportunities! A perfect event for photographers who can handle late nights.
The first two days of the workshop are intensive lectures by Nevada to fire up your creative photographic juices and prepare you for working in low light and quick action during the three days of the festival. Nevada discusses technical, practical, and creative techniques in order to make an image that elevates itself above the usual clichés. We discuss ways to approach and photograph people, as well as how to work in all lighting and environmental conditions using natural light as well as fill-flash. During the week there are group and individual critiques and great fun in the field.
The emphasis of this week with Nevada is on elevating your creative vision and expanding your photographic technique, all while remaining fleet-footed and agile. Join her in magical San Miguel de Allende during one of the most photogenic festival the city has to offer.
COVID-19 UPDATE: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC). For international trips, local laws will apply, so it is important that you confirm you will be fully vaccinated according to the countries on your trip.
Proficient in digital workflow, custom functions on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera, and a working knowledge of Adobe Lightroom (or a similar program). Participants must be able to download, select, and submit images for class each day.
Participants should plan to travel to San Miguel no later than Wednesday, September 27. Workshop check-in will be Thursday morning, followed by breakfast and a brief orientation. The workshop ends on Monday evening with a final dinner and image presentations.
Visit the San Miguel Campus page on our website for details on accommodations, meals, transportation, and more.
Enrollment for this San Miguel workshop is limited to 12 participants. Specific festival events are subject to change and availability.
For participants wanting to stay at Hotel Posada de la Aldea, double accommodations are $415 per person for 6 nights, Wednesday through Monday, (for couples taking workshops and friends traveling together) or $830 per person, single accommodations for 6 nights, Wednesday through Monday. Additional nights at the hotel can be arranged for participants; please discuss needs with the Administration Office in Santa Fe.
$2,995 (USD) includes tuition, breakfast Thursday through Tuesday, lunch Thursday through Monday, final dinner on Monday, and model/location/materials fees if applicable to the class. Hotel accommodations are not included in the package price; see details above.
Nevada Wier is a multiple award-winning photographer specializing in documenting the remote corners and cultures of the world. She is recognized for her creative and intimate approach to people.
Nevada has been published in numerous national and international publications, including National Geographic, Geo, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, and Smithsonian. Her fine-art prints are featured in numerous public and private collections; she is represented by the Obscura Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.
Nevada is a well-known keynote speaker, workshop, and seminar instructor. Photo District News named Nevada one of America’s best photography workshop teachers (2010). She is a Fellow of The Explorer’s Club and a member of the Women’s Geographic Society.
A popular workshop instructor, Nevada is also part of our Mentorship Program »
Get to know Nevada in our Inspiration Series video »
This workshop is currently full. Use this form to sign up for the waitlist, and SFW will reach out if a seat becomes available.