Discover ‘The City of Eternal Spring’

There are no available registration dates at this time.

©Stephanie Routh

This class addresses story-telling with an emphasis on strong visual images. They can be portraits or urban landscapes, a slice of light or an investigation of color. This class is designed for all levels of image-makers and iPhones and DSLR cameras are equally encouraged. Our goal will be to increase our visual and narrative capacities as we investigate the city by photographing both the processions and the preparations for these elaborate celebrations.

Bring your passions to explore and to make compelling photographs! There will be hands on, in the moment, on the street instruction, as well as daily group critiques. We will discuss ways to approach people and how to deal with ever-changing lighting situations. We will help you photograph the visual cacophony of daily life by making dynamic compositions that explode with light, shadow, and color and then help you to shape those images into a compelling body of work through selection and sequence.

©Chip Kahn

Join acclaimed photographers and educators Stella Johnson and Tom Griggs. Stella is a recent Fulbright Scholar to Colombia, an educator and a passionate documentary photographer who has worked extensively in Oaxaca, Mexico. Tom has been living, photographing and teaching in Medellin since 2010. See his online project fototazo – – a non-profit site combining photography and social giving through micro-grants for emerging financially disadvantaged photographers from Colombia.

Hotels:  The hotels listed below are recommended by the faculty and are near where the classroom and field time will be spent:  

Reservations will be made in your name , if you wish to stay with the class, at the time of workshop registration, but payment will be made by you, directly to the hotels.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday evenings,  we will stay at  in Medellin.  We will transfer to in El Retiro for Thursday and Friday evenings before returning to Medellin.

©Stephanie Routh

Meals:  $10 is more than enough for an average meal, a special meal in a nice restaurant maybe $20 max for food, more with drinks. We will be eating together but going Dutch, except for a Welcome and Farewell dinner which are hosted by Maine Media.

When to arrive and depart: Arrival no later than Tuesday, April 16  in time for our evening gathering.  Departure April 22,  or stay and explore more on your own.

Visas: All U.S. citizens who do not also hold Colombian citizenship must present a valid U.S. passport to enter and exit Colombia. U.S. citizens do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist or business stay of less than 90 days. You may be denied entry if you do not have a return ticket your passport should be valid for at least 90 days after your trip ends.

Currency: The official currency is the Colombian Peso and in contrast to many of its neighbors, the US Dollar – although widely exchanged – really is not generally accepted at all.

Electricity:  Voltage: 110-120 Volts (Same as U.S./Canada)

Flights: American, JetBlue, United and others fly to Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova (MDE) airport.   Taxis and Uber are available for transport to your hotel.

©Jennifer Larson

Itinerary (subject to change)

Tuesday April 16 

  • 7 pm: Welcome dinner (Hato Viejo:
  • We will depart the hotel together and traverse to the restaurant. This is a meet and greet and a chance to talk about the week.

 April 17 Wednesday

April 18 Thursday

  • 7:00-10:00 am: Morning Photography TBA if students are interested.
  • 10:00 am: Portfolio reviews
  • 1:00pmLunch Ajiacos y Mondongos
  • 2:00pm: Go to El Retiro, an hour outside of Medellin where we will spend two nights and photograph processions and village life for two or three days.
  • 4:00 pm -8:00 pm: Children’s procession to the church. Priest has given permission to photograph.
  • Dinner in El Retiro. Location TBD

April 19 Friday- GOOD FRIDAY

  • 7:00-10:00 am: Morning photography in village of El Retiro
  • 10:00 am: Portfolio reviews
  • 2:00pm Lunch: TBD
  • 3:30-7:00 pm El Retiro processions
  • DinnerEl Retiro: Queareparaenamorarte

 April 20 Holy Saturday

  • 9:00 Return to Medellín
  • 10:00 am: Portfolio reviews
  • 1:00pm Lunch: TBD
  • 2:00pm – 4:00 Museo Casa de la Memoria
  • 4:00-8:00 PM Photography in the Medellín neighborhoods of Villa Socorro or San Javier
  • Dinner: TBD

April 21 Easter Sunday BARBOSA

  • 7:00-10:00 am: Morning Photography TBA if students are interested
  • 10:00 am:Portfolio reviews
  • 12:00 Travel to Barbosa
  • 1:00pm Lunch: TBD i
  • 4:00-6:00pm photographing in Barbosa
  • Dinner: TBD: based on where we end up after processions.

April 22 Monday

  • Departures
©Chip Kahn
Terms and Conditions for Travel Workshops
  • 1. Reservations & Payments
    A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the start date of  your workshop unless stated differently in the course description..  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
  • 2. Cancellations
    Please review our cancellation policy.
  • 3. Basis of Rates
    All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
  • 4. Insurance
    It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendation here.
  • 5. Itinerary Changes
    The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
  • 6.  Passports and Visas
    A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered.  Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
  • 7. Medical Issues
    All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.
  • 8. Liability Waiver
    Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.  Click here to download.
  • 9. Responsibility & Photography
    To ensure a safe  experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.

Header Image Credit: Tom Griggs

Instructor: Tom Griggs

Tom Griggs is a photographer, editor, educator and writer born in the United States and based since 2010 in Medellín, Colombia where he has taught between the University of Antioquia, Bellas Artes University Foundation and Yurupary, a photography institute.

He is Founding Editor of the website fototazo which offers microgrants for emerging Colombian photographers. His online collaborations with Alec Soth, Hannah Frieser, Eleonora Ronconi and Jaime Permuth have investigated South American photography. He is a nominator for the Prix Pictet and has been a jury member for Critical Mass and the Gomma Photography Grant.

Instructor: Stella Johnson

Stella Johnson is a photographer and educator known for her passionate and honest documentary projects. She received a Core Fulbright Scholar Grant to photograph in Mexico in 2003, and Fulbright Senior Specialist grants to teach in Mexico in 2006 and in Colombia in 2018. The University of Maine Press published her monograph, Al Sol: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon and Nicaragua in 2008. Johnson’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally. A dedicated educator, Johnson holds teaching positions at Boston University and Lesley University College of Art and Design. She also teaches workshops in Greece, Cuba, and Mexico. She was a 2013 finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50, and a nominee for the Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fellowship. Johnson’s work has received numerous honors including a New England Foundation for the Arts Cultural Collaborative Artist-in-Residence Grant and Julia Margaret Cameron Award.