Sunday, September 8, 2013

Everybody has a story...

“Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.” - Steve McCurry

Photographing Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration in Oaxaca City, Mexico put my skills as a travel photographer to the test. The fast paced action of the spontaneous street parades, the wild Banda bands and joyous spirit of the Mexican people made for a memorable week.

While I spent a good portion of that time behind the lens, I also found time to step out from behind it and be an active participant in the celebrations and meet the locals.

I met Alejandro, a college student, on my second evening in town and he invited me to join his group of girlfriends and dance the night away on the streets of Oaxaca.

I had a unique cultural experience getting my haircut from Carlos the barber. Although I took four years of Spanish in college, it was still a task to communicate with him to make sure I would not go bald. In the end, I still had my hair and he taught me about futbol and I shared my passion for American football.

I met Cesar while enjoying my morning coffee at a sidewalk cafe on Oaxaca’s zocalo (public square). He shared some great tips on where to photograph the best street parades and the small cemeteries, without tourists, where I could get an intimate feel for the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead.

Now that I have returned to the United States, looking at my photographs brings both happiness and sadness. As much as I cherished meeting, photographing, and understanding the Mexican people, I also know that I may never meet these people again in my lifetime.

Everyone I met on my journey had a story to tell and storytelling is the essence of a travel photographer.

Come join me on my journey....

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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