What an unforgettable photography experience. It has given me the opportunity, knowledge and support to create some truly amazing photos.
- David Curtis
The Spanish conquistadors attempted to destroy as much pre-hispanic culture as they could but, try as they might, they could not suppress the powerful Aztec Mitote dance. The dance has strong ties to military conflict. Aztec princes and lords, dressed in their finery, would perform the dance to relate stories of great battles past. The stories continue to this day, passed down from generation to generation. This lineage system has protected the dance’s sacred heritage and cultural significance.
Based near Puerto Vallarta, we have established strong ties with the local Azteca community. It is these ties which enabled us to develop an unforgettable photographic and cultural experience. The Aztec Photography Workshop.
Travel photography often focuses on landscapes and cityscapes, yet a country’s true heritage is its people. This workshop has been designed to help photographers, both amateur and experienced, looking to capture that unique human element of a place.
This is not just another large group photo tour. Our workshops are meticulously choreographed to ensure you walk away with a series of stunning magazine-quality photographs, a wealth of new knowledge and an experience you will never forget.
The Aztec Photography Workshop is so much more than your average photography workshop:
1. Over 3 hours of dedicated private photoshoot time with an Aztec Conchero in full ceremonial dress.
2. Take advantage of private tuition throughout the day. There are never more than 2 people in a workshop. Improve your photography, lighting and posing skills.
3. Spend half the day photographing outside in gorgeous pre-scouted locations. From lush jungle to secluded black sand beaches.
4. Full outdoor photography kit: strobe lights, softboxes and smoke machine! Everything you need to create truly magical photos!
5. Experience a side of Mexican culture most tourists never see.
Where is the workshop located?
How long does the workshop last?
What dates are the workshops held on?
How big is each workshop?
How much does the workshop cost? (USD)
Every part of the Aztec Dance Workshop is designed to help you to come away with your own stunning Conchero photos.
Once we have picked you up from your hotel, we begin by spending a few hours familiarising you with the lighting equipment and photographic techniques we will be using on the shoot.
10.30am until 2pm.
All our workshops are structured around dedicated tuition. With max workshop sizes of 2 people, you are not part of a large group. This is a tremendous customised learning opportunity. Depending on your level of experience we consider fundamentals such as composition, camera settings or different lighting setups, all specifically geared towards the upcoming photoshoot. We then discuss the potential locations we will be shooting at. We are blessed with a range of stunning jungle and golden beaches within the local area; at each workshop we consider which of our pre-scouted locations best fits the weather, models and photographers’ needs.
After this we will provide lunch.
4pm until 7pm.
After lunch we head over to our first location to setup our lighting gear, and meet the Conchero who will be modelling for us. They will give us a brief but fascinating introduction to their outfit and instruments, which will also help us when asking them to pose. Throughout the process you will be aided by your primary instructor, JP Stones. Brei Barron will also be available to help with lighting and posing the dancers, so the experience is never daunting nor rushed.
7pm until 8pm.
Lastly, we head back into Sayulita to look at the photos from the day over a delicious, and well deserved, Mexican dinner. We backup all your photos and upload them to the cloud. This gives you piece of mind that if anything happens to your camera on you trip home your photos are always accessible! Transportation back to your hotel is also taken care of.
We also offer an optional post-production half-day course. Here we take the RAW files from the shoot and, using simple to learn but powerful Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, create that perfect photo:
For more information on this please ask when your Register your interest.
Don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients had to say about this workshop:
“If you want an amazing photography experience during your trip in Puerto Vallarta, I suggest you check out JP Stones Photography website.
I am a novice photographer and the workshop was very appealing because of the one-on-one, hands on training that it provided. I learned a lot about my camera settings and how to use portable lighting and reflectors. I brought my own camera, however, JP has a camera that is available if you did not bring yours with you. JP and Brie were very kind, but professional at the same time.
The workshop began with an interactive tutorial of the camera features using ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. We then learned about the various lighting set ups. We got to work with a true aztecan model. Before the photo shoot, we developed a strategy for different backdrops and poses.
The photo shoot took place in two beautiful locations, a jungle and on the beach.
The hands on experience of the photo shoot was invaluable. I learned more about photography in a few hours than I ever did in a classroom setting. The photos I took were the most amazing shots I have ever taken. When I return to Puerto Vallarta, I will take another workshop with JP. I highly recommend this workshop if you are in the Puerto Vallarta area.”
Anson D. Chan. California, US.
“We chose to book an all day session with JP Stones Photography. During our planning phase we were very impressed with the attention to detail and description of what to expect. Brei was our immediate contact and she was very responsive to our questions and provided us with a detailed description and itinerary of what we could expect.
The morning of our activity we were picked up at our hotel and driven to their studio where we spent the morning going over some of our camera features that we had never been comfortable using. JP was extremely knowledgeable and patient and made certain that we were comfortable with the various camera settings. We then created a plan for the actual photo shoot that we would like to do with the model that afternoon.
When we arrived at the first location we met the model that we would be working with for the remainder of the day. We were quite nervous in the beginning (as this was our first shoot), however JP and Brei were fantastic at helping us to relax and to get amazing photos.
Following the four hour shoot in three different settings we were then treated to a very nice dinner where we viewed the images that we had taken.
What we liked most was the hands on approach and the ease of shooting that came from having JP as our instructor. We learned a tremendous amount about our cameras, lighting, landscape and portrait photography that we were never able to achieve in a classroom setting. Having gained this knowledge and hands on experience we were able to capture some amazing photos that our friends thought were from a professional photographer.
We highly recommend this excursion to anyone that wants a unique and memorable experience while in PV/Punta de Mita.“
Greg Stewart. California, US.
“We feel very fortunate to have found JP and this workshop. Our 18 year old son who is very interested in photography and film got to have a deep experience learning about the equipment, lighting, working with an Aztec model (Linda was fantastic!) and post-production. JP worked with us to design the experience specific for Aron and was incredibly flexible and responsive in the planning. The day was so terrific as were some amazing pictures our son took. Thanks for creating a special experience!“
Alan Gellman. California, US.
“These guys were fast with their email communication and luckily had the space to squeeze us in for a last minute booking. JP was able to fulfil our slightly unusual request to let my wife tag along for the day because we we’re on our honeymoon! It was a great experience to meet the Aztecs. The costumes are even more beautiful up close then they are from afar, it’s full of intricate detail and in perfect conditions. They told us that they make the whole outfit personally themselves. It must have taken them hours to get ready for the shoot as they were covered in body paint designs and many decorative accessories. It was a tad daunting at first because I had never worked with models before, but with JP’s patient help and encouragement I quickly relaxed and had an amazing time.
JP is both a great teacher as well as photographer and it was crazy how much better my photography became with a little guidance and professional lighting. highly recommend this workshop“
Steph Beck. British Columbia, Canada.
We have put together a comprehensive FAQ but contact us if you have any questions about this workshop. We reply to emails within 24 hours.
Our registration process is a non-binding expression of interest. It only takes a few minutes to complete, but gives us the information we need to contact you and progress your booking.
A 50% deposit is required to secure a booking. This deposit needs to be received a minimum of 1 week before the workshop. The remaining 50% must then be paid-in-full 72 hours before the day of the workshop.
If a conflict arises and you need to cancel your participation in a workshop, we will try to extend every courtesy possible and grant you a full refund. However, due to some non-recoverable costs incurred on our side this may not always be possible. As a result, we have to implement a sliding refund scale based on the amount of time we are left with to attempt to fill a vacancy. Cancellations more than a week before the start date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations within a week from the start date will receive a 50% refund, and cancellations within 72 hours are not eligible for a refund. If we have availability, rescheduling to a different workshop date is also an option.
What Equipment do you need to bring for this Workshop?
You will need to bring the following:
What is included in this Workshop?
The following is included in this workshop:
What is not included in this Workshop?
The following is NOT included in this workshop:
What level of photographer is this workshop targeted at?
The workshop is designed for anyone that wants to improve their photography while shooting the photographs of a lifetime.
While a basic understanding of photography and your equipment is assumed, the beauty of private tuition is that it is fully customisable. We can focus on whatever areas you feel your photography needs improving:
How big are the group sizes?
Group sizes for the 1 Day Aztec Workshop are never more than 2 students. This way you are guaranteed a customised experienced that will meet your interests and learning needs. It’s all about creating a low-stress environment so you can learn and have fun.
Can I bring a non-photographer to the workshop?
Absolutely, you’re welcome to bring a friend or partner. We just ask that they pay $25 to cover food, transport and other costs. Please contact us directly to discuss.
Many non-photographer spouses, partners and friends join us just to gain a greater appreciation for photography and be part of this unique cultural experience.
Can I bring another photographer to the workshop?
The workshop is designed as dedicated tuition experience and the max group size is 2 people. Please contact us directly to discuss.
Who owns the copyright for the photos I take on the workshop?
You do. Whether you take them on your camera, or on a camera you rent from us, you own the copyright for the photos. You will receive all the RAW files from the workshop.
We do ask that you let us use and edit these photos to help promote awareness of the workshops. If you have any issues with this, please tell us before your book the workshop. Thanks
Registered Name: JP Stones Photography Workshops
Owners: JP Stones, Brei Barron
Mexican Studio: 2 Calle Guasima, Sayulita, Mexico
Mobile/Cell (Mexico): +52 1 322 779 4912
Email: Contact Page
Still have some questions? That’s fine, I’m sure we can answer them.