JP Stones Photography Workshops has as its primary goal to bring together, in a 1-on-1 tuition environment, photographers with the fascinating culture and folkloric figures of Mexico and South America.
We are based on Mexico’s Pacific Coast but owned by a British (JP Stones) and Australian (Brei Barron) couple with over 25 years of Photography and Event Management Experience.
I have spent much of my life moving from one country to the next. India, England, France, Australia and the US. And now the sun drenched Pacific coastline of Mexico. Moving around so much you become aware, not just the differences in culture country on country, but how we seem to be moving towards a homogenous global culture of sorts. How ‘progress’ means the adoption of the Western way of life. I’ve always been fascinated by the cultures and sub-cultures of our society and how photography is a way to capture them both as they are but, more importantly, if that is no longer possible: as they once were.
It was this seed of an idea that grew into JP Stones Photography Workshops. An opportunity to photograph with locals who have retained their culture, customs and heritage, despite bombarding global influences.
JP is a published photographer who spent much of the first decade of his ‘lens life’ taking landscapes and cityscapes while travelling. In Mexico he developed an urge to capture the spirit, essence of it’s people that, despite global influence, have retained strong ties to their history. These salt of the earth characters can tell the story of a nation. In order to photograph the locals, JP has taken the time to get to become apart of the local community and build trusting relationships.
Deciding where to base a Photography Workshop company is no easy task. We considered Rajasthan, a culturally rich and visually arresting region of India that enthralled us on our most recent trip to India. We also spent some time in a Navaho Indian reserve in Arizona. The decision simplified itself as we arrived in Mexico, a country I’ve travelled to many times over the last decade. Puerto Vallarta is at the heart of the former Aztec Empire. The gatekeepers of it’s culture, the Azteca dancers, are entrusted their task through lineage. Generation on generation.
Bu there is far more to Mexico that Aztec warriors (and Mayan warriors for that matter!). The country gave birth to the real cowboys: the Charros. The invasion by the conquistadors infused the country with an entirely new set of cultural markers from which came Hat Dancers. The list goes on. Mexico serves beautifully as a photographic canvas for these cultural figures. Jungle, beaches and a lazes faire culture…