On Location
International Expeditions

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

with Michael Amici

October 29 – November 3, 2024

  • Package Price $3895.00
  • International Deposit $1500.00

Course Description

Oaxaca is one of the most enchanting and captivating cities of southern Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it encompasses the country’s diverse stages of history—pre-Hispanic, colonial, and contemporary—and is renowned for its music, gastronomy, handicrafts, and traditions.

One of the most important Oaxacan traditions is the celebration of the Day of the Dead, an intimate family observance where locals gather in their homes to pay tribute to their ancestors, who are celebrated with honor. It is believed that their souls return to visit, and for that reason, families prepare altars laden with their favorite food and drink, decorated with orange cempasúchil flowers. These petals also lead up to the altars, helping the dead find their way.

This workshop offers participants the chance to photograph colorful Day of the Dead celebrations, turning their lenses to family altars, sand tapestries, market scenes, graveyards full of candles and flowers, and much more. Our host in Oaxaca is the Hotel Parador de Alcalá (paradordealcalaoaxaca.mx), located on a pedestrian-only street where various comparsas (dances and parades) are held just outside the front door.

Travel photographer Michael Amici leads this workshop with assistance from Ita Gelada. Both live in Mexico and have a great understanding and appreciation for its people and culture. During the workshop week, Michael assists with group edits and leads image reviews to assist you in improving your photographic skills and creative vision. Ita handles logistics and choreographs the many activities spread over this full week. All the while, you are immersed in the beautiful light and generous people of Oaxaca—a splendid and unique cultural event perfect for visual exploration. 

Additional Information

Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs, Professionals
What You Should Know:

Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR camera. Participants must be able to download, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class each day. Experience with low-light photography is helpful.

Special Notes:

Participants should plan to travel to Oaxaca no later than 1:00 pm (Central Time) on Tuesday, October 29. Workshop check-in will be on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a welcome gathering and group dinner. The workshop ends on Sunday evening, November 3, with a final dinner; travel home should be scheduled for Monday, November 4.

Activity Level:

To get the most from this international experience, participants should be in good physical (mobility, stamina) and mental health. In general, arrive prepared for long days and seasonal weather including variable temperatures. You must be able to carry your own photographic and personal gear at all times. You are responsible for being open and honest about your physical fitness, and we reserve the right to remove you from the workshop if we find your fitness to be less than that which you have described.

Participants should be able to engage in moderate outdoor exercise for up to an hour or more at a time including walking on uneven terrain such as cobblestone walkways and roads, dirt, and loose rock. Location work is likely to include early morning and/or late evening shoots.

View Payment, Refund, Withdrawal, and Transfer Policies for this International Program.


Refer to Package Price description for details on lodging and meals.

Package Price INFO:

$3,895 (USD) includes double accommodations for 6 nights at Hotel Parador de Alcalá (Tuesday through Sunday nights—ideal for couples and friends traveling together; single supplement for solo travelers is an additional $500), breakfast daily, three lunches, opening and closing dinners, group transportation for locations, and applicable model/location/materials fees.

One-of-a-Kind, Storytelling, Travel Photography
Michael Amici

Michael Amici is an internationally award-winning photojournalist with an eye for capturing unique and inspiring moments. As a distinctive voice in the world of documentary and event photography, his desire to distill the best from the most ordinary circumstances defines him as not just a photographer, but an artist with a belief in limitless possibilities. Here he finds darkness in light and brilliance in a world often shaded by intolerance and measures the distance we keep from ourselves and allows us entrance into what it takes to persevere.

From Smithsonian Magazine to Facebook, to the wedding planning website The Knot, his clients are as diverse and inspiring as his photos.

Michael is based in San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico; he travels around the globe for photo assignments.

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