On Location
San Miguel de Allende

Festival Time in San Miguel de Allende

with Nevada Wier

September 26 – 30, 2024

  • Package Price $2995.00
  • International Deposit $1500.00

Sorry, this workshop is full. Now accepting sign-ups for waitlist.

Course Description

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 traditions, from colonial times to the present – the 100-year celebration of the patron saint San Miguel Arcángel (St. Michael). It is a three-day festival starting on Friday, September 26th that begins around 2:30 am with a long parade of enormous stars made of colorful paper around the main plaza. Afterward, the most important event is La Alborada (it roughly translates to “attack the dawn”, a pyrotechnic spectacle that represents the fight of Archangel San Miguel against Lucifer.) It begins at the cathedral around 4 am and lasts about an hour. So, be prepared for an all-nighter and serious loud, fiery fireworks. It is a fierce battle of good against evil!

The festival continues through the weekend with events such as “the blessing of the horses” where hundreds of riders amass at the Parroquía to receive a blessing from the high priest. Later in the day is the “Entrance of the Xúchiles,” a unique parade where the “concheros” show their native dances to offer “xúchiles” (beautiful offerings). 

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 will discuss ways to approach and photograph people, working in all lighting and environmental conditions, using natural light as well as fill-flash. During the week there will be group and individual critiques and great fun in the field.

The emphasis is on elevating your creative vision and expanding your photographic technique, all while remaining fleet-footed and agile. It is important that you are in good shape and willing to work late nights on your own in crowds. 

This workshop is not for the inactive. It requires a very early morning event that is not for the faint of heart as the fireworks are intense. The days are long, but there are amazing photo opportunities. This is a perfect workshop for photographers who want to experience a robust festival with Nevada as your guide and mentor.

Additional Information

Advanced Amateurs, Professionals
What You Should Know:

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.

Portfolio Required:

Please see the Portfolios section of General Information for guidelines on your submission of recent travel related images.

Special Notes:

Participants should plan to travel to San Miguel no later than Wednesday, September 25. Workshop check-in will be on Thursday morning, followed by breakfast and a brief orientation. The workshop ends on Monday evening with a final dinner and image presentation.

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.

Activity Level:
To get the most from your workshop experience, participants should be in good physical (mobility, stamina) and mental health. Come prepared for the high elevation of San Miguel de Allende, long days, and seasonal weather. You must be able to carry your own photographic and personal gear at all times, both on campus and on location. 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.


For participants wanting to stay at Hotel Posada de la Aldea, double accommodations are $440 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.

Package Price INFO:

$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.

One-of-a-Kind, Street Photography, Travel Photography
Nevada Wier

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. She 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 and 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 »

Website: nevadawier.com

Instagram: @nevadawier

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