Oaxaca Workshop


10-day Intensive Photo Workshop

One of our most popular workshops taught by world renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark 

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Mary Ellen Mark's Workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico

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 more than 17 years. 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 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. Following each day of shooting, students will drop off their film for overnight processing or edit their images on their laptops.

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.


Outline of the Workshop

  • On the first Sunday evening the class meets at a local restaurant and have your first dinner together.

  • 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.

  • After Mary Ellen reviews their work, you’re given an individual assignment or theme to shoot over the course of the workshop. Mary Ellen has been working in Oaxaca for 15 years and is assisted by Mexican photographers Cristina Llerena and Selma Fernandez. Together they have lots of ideas and contacts in the area.

  • Students will shoot every day for seven days. Following each day, students will drop off their film for overnight processing either at the C-41 local lab, at the darkroom or will edit their images on their laptops. **There will be a limit on the number of images each student can shoot each day depending on the size of the class.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • 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 directly in Blurb. We will email instructions about it at a latter date.

  • 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. Applications, if sent separate from the registration, are due no later 45 days prior to beginning of workshop. Notification of acceptance will be made by within the following 48 hours.


Each student is responsible for bringing their own camera and equipment, including a laptop for digital shooters.  Film shooters must bring their own film since film is difficult and expensive to purchase in Oaxaca. Attendees should bring their portfolio to the class for review. Prints only, no slides. Digital printouts are fine.

terms and conditions

To reserve space in this workshop, a $500 per person deposit is required at the time of making the reservation. Deposits are due no later than 90 days prior to departure. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure unless indicated otherwise in the description of the tour or workshop. All payments must be made by credit card or wire transfer to Photo Xpeditions, LLC, and instructions for payments will be mailed upon confirmation of participation.

Photo Xpeditions reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by 60 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 60 days 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 90 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 90 days prior to departure are as follows:
60–90 days prior to departure: 100% of your deposit amount; 
45–60 days prior to departure: 50% of the expedition cost; 
45 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the workshop cost.

Photo Xpeditions reservs the right of cancelling the workshop at any time if the minimum amount of students required for the workshop is not reached. If a workshop needs to be cancelled for this reason, a full refund will be given to all participants.

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