Make strong and intimate documentary photographs, landscapes, portraits, still-lives as well as traditional ‘moment’ images.

Date:  Jan 6–12, 2019
Levels:  Intermediate, Advanced
Workshop Fee:  $1995
Class Size: 12

Image Credit: Stella Johnson

“Seeing Oaxaca: A Photography Workshop” is a photography class, yet so much more. Students will be photographing in the homes of families Stella Johnson has known for over 30 years, in villages outside of Oaxaca, a city designated a UNESCO heritage site. Students are urged to build bridges with our southern neighbors, not walls. We share our photo making skills with the village children. Students also share stories of their own lives and compare and contrast the differences with their host families. We will be staying in the city of Oaxaca and will have the opportunity to photograph there as well, time permitting.

Image Credit: Iaritza menjivar

We place students with Mexican TA’s who work as translators for them and the families. This course will also demonstrate how to respectfully gain access to subjects in foreign cultures; how to photograph the daily moments of life in a new way; and how to make strong and intimate documentary photographs, landscapes, portraits, still-lives as well as traditional ‘moment’ images.

This class is designed for all levels of image-makers and iPhone’s and DSLR cameras are equally encouraged. Our goal will be to increase our visual and narrative capacities as we investigate daily family and village life.

There will be hands on, in the moment instruction, as well as daily group critiques. 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.

This course truly offers an unforgettable experience and portfolio of images.

Image Credit: Iaritza Menjivar


Lodging:  Stella has reserved a block of rooms at Hotel Casa de Sierra Azul, a beautiful 19th century structure in the heart of downtown Oaxaca.  The nightly rate per room is approximately $100US and includes daily breakfast. Check in January 6, departure January 13.   Contact her directly to reserve but payment will be made to the hotel. [email protected]

Arrival: Plan to arrive in Oaxaca by Sunday, January 6, 2019.  The workshop begins that evening with a group dinner and introductions. The first day of classes is Monday. 

Departure: The workshop ends Saturday, January 12, 2019 with a group dinner and presentation of all participants’ work. Departure is the following day, or you can remain on to explore more of Oaxaca. 

Travel: Delta, United, American, and Aeromexico all service Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International, Mexico (OAX). Collectivos/Taxis to the city central are readily available.

Header Image Credit: Olivia Welch

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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.

  • 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
  • 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 recommendations 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.