Next to Christmas, Semana Santa is the second most widely celebrated holiday in Mexico and across Latin America. Taking place the week leading up to Easter, Semana Santa is a spiritual and festive time to celebrate centuries-old traditions. Also known as “Holy Week,” this celebration is filled with processions, altars, and passion plays expressing the full force of the regions singular mix of Catholic and indigenous religious culture. Semana Santa offers remarkable opportunities for photographers to practice their street photography skills as well as create memorable images as this colorful holiday unfolds.
San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most renowned travel destinations in the world, is an ideal place to experience Semana Santa. In addition to the traditional holiday activities, in San Miguel de Allende locals wrap strings of firecrackers around figures made of papier-mache, called Judases, on Good Friday. These Judases not only represent Judas, himself, but are also creations of political figures or other controversial personalities. The firecrackers are then ignited in front of crowds of people who marvel at the spectacle of the burning papier-mache figures.
Long-time Santa Fe Workshops instructor and a San Miguel resident for over 20 years, Michael Amici offers a local’s understanding of Semana Santa and unparalleled access to the week’s photographic activities. You spend five days with Michael taking full advantage of the many extraordinary sights and delights—from the processions and the firing of the Judases to the march of the penitents in the small community of Santa Ana. To deepen your understanding of this revered celebration, talks with a cultural expert help explain Semana Santa’s significance to the people of the region.
Experience through your senses—and your lenses—the amazing array of Semana Santa events in the beautiful colonial mountain town that is San Miguel de Allende.
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class each day.
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.