Mary Ellen Mark’s workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico is a 10-day intensive workshop for photographers of various levels. It’s a very successful and productive class that Mary Ellen has taught for 14 years with the help of a talented local photographers, Selma Fernandez and Cristina Llerena. Many students have taken the class multiple times—and some have come back more than ten times!
The first day of the workshop is a group portfolio review to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a photographer. Then Mary Ellen and Marcela will help each student choose a project to photograph each day for the duration of the class. It is essential that you work every day. Each evening, students will drop off their film that they shoot for overnight processing. Each morning, you’ll meet with Mary Ellen for a one-to-one session; reviewing the work you shot the day before. The class also meets each evening as a group to talk about how their projects are going and also to look at the work of some local artists.
The workshop is a unique combination of one-on-one critiques with Mary Ellen, shooting your own projects, and group discussions in a fascinating city. Work every day, and we guarantee that your leave Oaxaca a much stronger photographer.
The general outline of the workshop is:
1. On the first Sunday evening the class meets at a local restaurant and have your first dinner together.
2. Each student must bring his or her portfolio. On Monday, there is a general critique of each student’s work. It is held at San Agustin ETLA, a beautiful restored factory and garden outside of Oaxaca.
3. After Mary Ellen reviews their work, you’re given an individual assignment or theme to shoot over the course of the workshop. Marcela lives locally and Mary Ellen has been working in Oaxaca for 15 years, so between them, they have lots of ideas and contacts in the area.
4. Students will shoot every day for seven days. At the end of each day, your film is processed, either by a local lab that processes C-41, or by a local darkroom that will process Tri-X. Students can shoot 35mm or 120mm film – and if you shoot digitally, you’ll have contact sheets printed by the C-41 lab.
5. Each student is given a specific time to meet individually with Mary Ellen every morning. The work you have done the previous day is edited and images are selected to have work prints made. These meetings are held at the Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, a beautiful museum in downtown Oaxaca.
6. Every evening, the class comes together at the Bravo Center to discuss how you’re doing so far, and to see the work of local artists. (During the workshop, you won’t be allowed to show your work to the other students.)
7. The final critique is held on a Wednesday. This is the first time you’ll see each other's work from Oaxaca. It’s fascinating and exciting to see the images each student has produced, especially because everyone produces excellent work, and even the less experienced students are making fantastic progress in the quality of their photography.
8. We put together a book of the best images from the workshop (3 or 4 from each student.) You’ll then have the option of buying a copy of the book (about $40), which is distributed in the evening.
9. We have our final dinner Wednesday night and everyone leaves on Thursday feeling that they are returning home as a better photographer
This class is for photographers of all levels. Attendees should bring their portfolio to the class for review. Prints only, no slides. Computer printouts are fine.
Dates & Location:
The class starts the evening of Sunday and ends 10 days later, in the evening of a Wednesday. Oaxaca, Mexico is served bContinental Airlines and Aeromar among other airlines. Connection through Mexico City, Cancun, Houston, or Atlanta is usually required.y Aeromexico,
Price & Payment:
The course fee is $2,200. Payments by cash, check, or PayPal are accepted. A deposit equal to 500 USD will be required at the time of reservation. Full payment will be due 30 days prior to departure date. Payment details will be provided upon acceptance to the class.
Applications are due 45 days prior to beginning of workshop. Notification of acceptance will be made by within the following 48 hours.
Photo Xpeditions reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by 45 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 45days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee equal to 50% of your deposit will be made. Per person charges for cancellations that occur less than 60 days prior to departure are as follows: 45–60 days prior to departure: 100% of your deposit amount; 30–45 days prior to departure: 50% of the expedition cost; 30 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the workshop cost.
About the Instructors:
Mary Ellen Mark:
Has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For almost three decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Today, she is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. Her images of our world’s diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. A photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the academy award nominated film STREETWISE, directed and photographed by her husband, Martin Bell.
Mary Ellen has received many awards and grants including the Cornell Capa Award, the Infinity Award for Journalism, an Erna & Victor Hasselblad Foundation Grant, and a Walter Annenberg Grant for her book and exhibition project on AMERICA. Among her other awards are the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Matrix Award for outstanding woman in the field of film/photography, and the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for outstanding merits in the field of journalistic photography. She was also presented with honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from her Alma Mater, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Arts; three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Photographer of the Year Award from the Friends of Photography; the World Press Award for Outstanding Body of Work Throughout the Years; the Victor Hasselblad Cover Award; two Robert F. Kennedy Awards; and the Creative Arts Award Citation for Photography at Brandeis University. Nissan, and Patek Philippe.