Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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A Huevos Guey Oaxaca

This was my sixth Oaxaca’s Day of the Dead workshop in a raw. The night before, while traveling by bus from Veracruz to Oaxaca I was a bit feverish, but deep inside I felt the strong faith that I had to go there. As they say here in Mexico tienes que ir a huevo guey :”you need to go dude no matter what”.

Lorenza and Francesca came to the workshop with many doubts and fears of not being good enough. I simply told them both that if they had enough faith in me and in themselves, their inexperience would become an asset. And so it was!

While carefully reviewing their portfolios, I pointed out what was wrong in each single image, what were the things they needed to pay attention to. Each day we were very fortunate to see some magical moments unfolding. During each editing session, I could see how each student was honing his or her own vision.

Two weeks have gone by since the very last day of the workshop, when with the same love and dedication my students and I sitting around a table decided which were the images that had managed to capture the essence of all those incredible ten intense and unforgettable days.

By the end of the morning the photographs selected were there before our very excited eyes. It was moving to see how, once again, Francesca and Lorenza, the two beginners in the class, had made that incredible leap forward: their best images were equally strong and involving as the ones the more experienced students had taken.

Baron, in his third workshop, could not believe his eyes looking at his powerful and intimate images.

In Ecuador, I had suggested to him to replace his bulky and slow zoom lens with a 35mm fixed lens. He slightly misunderstood me and came to this new adventure with a 50mm.

It was a true blessing: he got much closer to his subjects, but more than that, it was able to experience and capture some simple and yet moving moments, charged with emotions.

Tom, who had studied with me way back in Santa Fe, had come to the workshop to find inspiration and guidance. He worked really hard, overcame some technical hurdles along the way and managed to take some very intimate and profound photographs as well.

Among the many memories that will stay with me one stands out: that magical night at the Atzompa cemetery when, all of sudden, I truly felt that the deads were there with us sharing mezcal, celebrating the love and the passion that we were feeling, celebrating those encounters unexpected and surprising, strong and irrational, which are such an important part of our existence.

Ernesto Bazan

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