Photography Workshop and Tour - Postponed till November 2020

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The houses of Guanajuato seem to topple down the hills that surround it in a crazy quilt of color and form. There’s no correlative color scheme. Pink intermixes with red, bright yellow, light blues, and forest green. We like the city better for its jambalaya of diverse elements.

Despite its beauty it possesses a gritty historical realness. It’s a city where people live, work, study, and play. Guanajuato is colonial city in the mountains of central Mexico that was once a silver mining town. Although it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s curiously not very popular with foreigners, who sometimes prefer the touristy San Miguel de Allende just an hour away.

Mexico is a vibrant, beautiful country filled with friendly people, a vivacious energy, amazing architecture, and delicious food. There's a lot more to Mexico beyond the stereotypes. One of the world's great civilizations, Mexico offers a tantalizing blend of Meso-american cultures, Spanish traditions and contemporary arts.

Mexico offers photographers limitless opportunities to photograph the people, culture and cityscapes.

Join Keith Skelton and Armando Arorizo for our third annual Mexico photography workshop and tour.

This is a cultural and street style photography workshop. We will be using nearly all our time from dawn into the night to shoot a variety of subjects and scenes including people, architecture and cityscapes. You will improve your skills while experiencing an amazing slice of the country. We will practice both candid and posed portraits taking advantage of natural scenes. All should return home with new found experiences. dynamic photographs and wonderful memories.

Here are some of the places we will and see and photograph. All within 1.5 hour from our home base in Guanajuato City. 


Guanajuato is a state of central Mexico known as the cradle of the country's independence. In its capital, of the same name, is the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, where the first battle with Spain took place in the 19th century. The old mining town is also famous for its cobbled and sloping alleyways, full of colonial architecture and picturesque garden squares, such as the Union Garden.  The narrow streets and alleys have given rise to a pastime called "callejoneadas". These are roving parties, traditionally held by the students of the University of Guanajuato with live musicians. The city is dotted with a large number of small plazas or squares that were built along with the churches that usually gave them their names.

Alhóndiga de Granaditas, a museum in the town city where school children fill the place in the afternoons. We will see and photograph the amazing Catedral de Guanajuato. We will wander at different times during the day, as the city is particularly stunning when washed in the yellow late-afternoon sun. We may visit the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Diego Rivera's birthplace. The city has a lot of street food and interesting markets, too. The hills around the city have amazing views as one can stack up the many colored houses with a long lens. There are also amazing views at twilight. More reasons to photograph Guanajuato HERE

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is another one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. It is home to over 8,000 Americans, Canadians and British, many who are artists.  Like Guanajuato it's recognized, along with the Sanctuary of Jesus of Atotonilco, as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. San Miguel de Allende is generally more touristy than Guanajuato but is well worth a visit. It is known for its cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial style architecture, and creative cuisine.

Reasons to photograph San Miguel de Allende HERE.

Mineral de Pozos

I first went the old mining ghost town of Mineral de Pozos with my Rolleiflex in 2006. I was  transfixed by the town which provided many photo opportunities. "if you're a painter, photographer, history geek, architecture dweeb, mineralogy wonk or just a seeker of singular landscapes, this could be the beginning of a larger adventure." Pozos was born in 1576 as a mining town which by the 19th century had as many as 70,000 people. Today the population is about 3,000 full and part time residents. 

Some reasons to photograph Mineral de Pozos HERE.

Dolores Hidalgo

Dolores Hidalgo is located almost in the middle between Guanajuato City and San Miguel de Allende. Santuario de Atotonilco is a stunning complex built in the 18th century and it's murals have earned the nickname "the Sistine Chapel of Mexico".

The Cerro del Cubilete

The Cerro del Cubilete is a 2,700 metres tall mountain-hill in Silao Municipality in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. At the top of the hill is the Cristo Rey statue.

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Armando Arorizo is a freelance Photojournalist with over 18 years of experience. He has shot everything from Presidential Inaugurations, the Academy Awards to the NBA Finals. He is currently a contract photographer with the Prensa Internacional and Agencia EFE News. He is also owner of the Perfect Exposure Gallery In Los Angeles. Born and raised in Mexico, he is fluent in both English and Spanish. He has previously led “The Art of Street Photography” photo workshops.

Keith Skelton began his career as a photojournalist moving to a career in commercial photography working since 1980. He has been leading California Photography Workshops for the last ten years teaching hundreds of adult students from around the world the skills of landscape, urban and street photography. Keith has traveled to and photographed Mexico numerous times since 1968. He is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography.


Note that there is considerable walking and steps on this tour. Please make sure you are in good physical condition and able to walk 3-5 miles a day.

We will meet in Guanajuato Mexico on the evening June 8th, 2020. The closet airport is Leon which is about one hour from Guanajuato. There will be airport pickup up until midnight on June 8th at Leon Airport.   All seven nights will spent at the same hotel Guanajuato so we aren't moving about. 

The locations we visit are all within a two hour drive from the Hotel. 


We will be staying seven nights at the deluxe Hotel Posada Santa Fe in Guanajuato City. 


Please make sure your passport is up to date!

Most major US cities and airlines have service to Leon/Guanajuato Airport (BJX).  Flights from Los Angeles can run between $350 and $450. Check Google Flights for up to date prices. 


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*Expert instruction and guidance from two experienced photography instructors. Every student will receive personal attention in whatever needs you may have including street photography, BW photography, camera skills, working with people and more. Time allowing we will process and/or study images using Adobe Lightroom.

*Seven nights deluxe hotel, transportation to/from airport and private bus to photo locations.

*Airport pickup on June 8th and drop off on June 15th.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Airline tickets, lunch/dinner, tips, gallery entrance fees to museums/ruins, and drinks. We will eat together but it is not required.

WHAT TO BRING: All types of cameras are welcome. This is mostly about street photography so you might consider smaller cameras. A variety of lenses will be used from wide to telephoto. Small tripods are a personal preference. Bring some sort of water protection for your cameras. Mobile phones (many US carriers include Mexico and Canada in their plans) Laptop or iPads if you want to do editing on location. (not required)

CLIMATE: Guanajuato elevation is 6,600 feet. The climate in mild ranging between 55-85F in June. Showers are always a possibility.  We will check the weather forecast before departure.  

Generally one should have good walking shoes, light clothing, rain jacket and long trousers.

HEALTH: Visit your health professional 4 to 6 weeks before departure to check on possible immunizations you might need. CDC site HERE. On all my travels I carry a prescription for the antibiotic CIPRO which is good in case of bacterial infection. Most doctors will prescribe for travelers.


TIPS on culture and etiquette HERE

Official tourism guide HERE

Travel Insurance is required. World Nomads is one place to buy coverage. Travel Guard is anotherLook for the coverage that includes evacuation insurance.

Workshop reservations are on a first come, first serve basis. Please provide a phone number and email address. I have training in both CPR and First Aid. However, you will be asked to sign releases forms before attending the class.

The class will be limited to 10 people. There is a discount for returning students. 

Contact with any questions.

The Workshop including hotel (single room) and transportation is $3500.   

Return student price is $3300 

Prices are subject to change depending on the number of participants.



Guanajuato Mexico

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