3 Day Aztec Photography Workshop

What an unforgettable photography experience. It has given me the opportunity, knowledge and support to create some truly amazing photos.
- David Curtis
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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.

Over the course of 3 days, you will photograph different indigenous models. Learning and practicing a range of new skills in beautiful pre-scouted jungle and beach locations. On the final day, we will pick out your favorite photos and apply a range of Lightroom and Photoshop post-processing tricks to bring out the magic in them.


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.

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.

Every workshop is designed to be a 1-on-1 learning experience. Because you are not part of a large group, I can customize each workshop to your experience. From fundamentals (such as composition and camera settings) through to working with multiple lights and a model. 

1. Over 8 hours of dedicated photoshoot time with Aztec Concheros in full ceremonial dress.

2. Photograph in gorgeous pre-scouted locations. From lush jungle to secluded black sand beaches.

2. Expert 1-on-1 tuition with JP Stones on photography, lighting and posing.

4. Work with a full lighting kit: strobe-lights, wireless triggers, reflectors and a gorgeous 60” soft boxes.

5. Learn Lightroom and Photoshop post-processing techniques to make your photos really stand out.

6. Experience a side of Mexican culture most tourists never see.

Limited Availability. Reserve Now!
Workshop Details
  • Where is the workshop located?

    Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • How long does the workshop last?

    3 Days
  • How big is each workshop?

    Maximum 2 Students
  • How much does the workshop cost? (USD)


Every part of the Aztec Workshop is designed to help you to come away with your own stunning photos. The workshop is held over 3 days. The first 2 days focus on creating photos: each day includes tuition and planning in the morning and the afternoon is spent on an Aztec photoshoot. The last day is about editing: focussing on the best photos and using photoshop to make them truly magical.

Day 1

10am until 8pm (slight seasonal variations)

Day 1 starts off with an introductory chat over a traditional Mexican breakfast. We dive into the photography skills you want to improve over the next few days. Then we jump into a 3-hour tuition session to prepare you for the evening’s photo shoot.

Over lunch, we will discuss the potential locations. We are blessed with a range of stunning jungle and golden beaches within the local area. We consider which of the many pre-scouted locations best fit the weather, Aztec model and the type of photography you want to create.

At 3pm, we head over to our first location to set up our lighting gear and meet the Conchero who will be modeling for us. 

No matter what your level of experiences, this is always an enjoyable experience. JP Stones is always available to guide you and answer questions. A photography assistant is also on hand to help with lighting and posing the models. 

We finish the day’s shooting after the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.

Day 2

10am until 8pm (slight seasonal variations)

We start Day 2 with a quick Q&A over breakfast. Talking over yesterdays photo shoot is a great way to make sure there are no outstanding queries. We then jump into the today’s tuition session. The exact topics covered vary for each person, but typically we cover more advanced topic on Day 2.

Over lunch, we will discuss the potential locations. We are blessed with a range of stunning jungle and golden beaches within the local area. We consider which of the many pre-scouted locations best fit the weather, Aztec model and the type of photography you want to create.

At 3pm, we head over to our first location to set up our lighting gear and meet the Conchero who will be modeling for us. 

No matter what your level of experiences, this is always an enjoyable experience. JP Stones is always available to guide you and answer questions. A photography assistant is also on hand to help with lighting and posing the models. 

We finish the day’s shooting after the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.

Day 3

The last day is set aside to for post-production. Editing is a huge part of my photography process. It’s vital part in helping me tell the stories I want to.

We will take the RAW files from the two photo shoots and, using simple to learn but powerful Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, create that perfect photo:

  • Sharpening and Clarity (Lightroom) tips to make you images really pop.
  • Frequency Separation (Photoshop) to reduce shine and skin blemishes.
  • Liquify and Puppet Warp (Photoshop) to adjust posture and body shape when needed.

Don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients had to say about this workshop:

Amazing 1-on-1 Photography 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 were able to capture some amazing photos!

“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.

Major highlight of the trip!

“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.

It was crazy how much better my photography became!

“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.

Limited Availability. Reserve Now!
The Small Print

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 only takes a few minutes to complete and gives us all the important information we need to process your reservation. Upon receipt of your registration details we’ll follow up with you to organise payment and confirm your booking.


Deposit and Refund Policy

A 50% deposit is required to secure a booking. The outstanding amount must be paid-in-full 72 hours before the day of the workshop. Cancellations more than 60 days of the start date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations within 30 days from the start date will receive a 50% refund, and cancellations within 15 days are not eligible for a refund. Rescheduling to a different workshop or date is generally not a problem.

What Equipment do you need to bring for this Workshop?

You will need to bring the following:

  • An SLR camera. If you have a high quality mirror-less camera you should also have no problems. If you have any doubts about your camera, please contact us to discuss. We can rent out an professional level Canon 5d III if needed.
  • This workshop contains a mix of up-close portraiture and environmental portraiture. As such, we suggest the following lenses (or a zoom lens that covers the focal lengths): 24mm, 35mm and 85mm. The wider the aperture on these lenses, the better. We can rent out lenses if required.


What IS included in this Workshop?

The following is included in this workshop:

  • Lunch, drinking water and snacks.
  • Transport to and from your hotel in Puerto Vallarta or local area.
  • The use of our comprehensive travel light kit and the use of Lightroom and Photoshop on one of our computers.
  • A tripod.


What is NOT included in this Workshop?

The following is NOT included in this workshop:

  • Your flight or travel costs to Puerto Vallarta.
  • Hotels costs. Though we can, though our local partners, arrange great discounted accommodation for you.
  • Insurance. We strongly suggest you carry Travel Insurance and Camera Equipment Insurance.


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 1-on-1 tuition is that it is fully customisable. We can focus on whatever areas you feel you photography needs improving:

  • Composition
  • Technical skills
  • Lighting
  • Model direction

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 a non-photographer to the workshop?

Absolutely, you’re welcome to bring a friend or partner. We just ask that they pay $100 to cover food, transport and other costs. Please contact us directly do discuss.


Can I bring another photographer to the workshop?

The workshop is primarily designed as one-on-one tuition experience. However, we can customise the workshop for two people. Please contact us directly do discuss.

Company Details

Registered Name: JP Stones Photography Workshops

Owners: JP Stones, Brei Barron


Mexican Studio: 20 Guanabana Calle, Sayulita, Mexico

Contact Details

Mobile/Cell (Mexico): +52 1 322 779 4912

Email: Contact Page