Mexico City is the most populous metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. With about 6000 residents living on one square kilometer, you will find numerous street photography opportunities, scenic and moody surroundings and a large choice of the most diverse characters. The spirit will make every street photograph look lively, telling a whole story just by looking at it. Though the city might be considered as dangerous, in most areas the inhabitants are the most welcoming and warmhearted humans one could imagine. According to other street photographers, you might even have difficulties shooting people with their natural, not-smiling, facial expression.
Street Photography in Mexico City: The best places to hit the streets
Since Mexico City is full of people, you won’t have a hard time discovering humans in photo-worthy situations. If getting inspired by aimlessly wandering around is not for you, there are a few places to hit the streets and get the best shots.
The Historic Center
The Historic Center of Mexico City might describe the capital of Mexico best. Due to the large population and bad reputation, you might expect a modern and cheerless metropolis, having nothing more to offer but skyscrapers, dirt and dangerous back roads. As a matter of fact, it’s anything but that; Everywhere you look are architectural unique buildings as a background for your street photographs.
Next to colonial churches, Aztec ruins and the best food-places, you might also get transported into past times at the Art Nouveau Hotel. Electric elevators combined with modern shopping malls and humans of all kinds describe the contrasts of Mexico City accurately.
Just west of Mexico City´s historic center, you will find the district Colonia Roma, which separates into Roma Norte and Roma Sur. Known as the epicenter of fashionable subcultures, you will surely capture the spirit of time. The distinctive night-life combined with hipster markets, cafés and bars will offer you a good basis for artsy street photographs. Especially the street art around the Tepeji street or the Mercado Roma offers artsy, yet credible backgrounds for your project.
Another place known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful baroque styled mansions and respectful people is the Zona Rosa, in the neighborhood of Juárez. By the years, it became home of a gay community as well as a new residence for Korean refugees. With its nice cafés by day and its large number of well-known bars and discos at night, the chances of getting an interesting shot or practicing your street photography skills are quite high.
The best photo galleries for Street Photographers
If you need to find inspiration for your Street Photography Course, there are a few great exhibitions and galleries to take a look at. The most popular ones are located in Roma Norte so it will definitely be worth a visit.
Centro de la Imagen
The Centro de la Imagen is probably the most popular photography art gallery in Mexico City. In order you are not only interested into street photography itself, you will enjoy free access to a whole world of artworks made by great international photographers like Rodrigo Moya. From 1950 to 1960, he captured the citizens of Mexico City in their everyday working situations. To receive an impression on Mexico City´s past, he exhibited a selected choice of his photographs in the Centro de la Imagen in 2019.
If you are looking for another gallery exhibiting photographs of Mexico´s customs and traditions, the Latitud Gallery will definitely be worth a visit. High quality photographs will offer insights to ancient, local customs, the traditional dress and more. Beside photographs, you will as well find some other pieces of traditional art like sketches, paintings and objects.
Not far away from the Latitud Gallery, you might want to go see the exact opposite of traditional art. The ALAMANQUE gallery was founded in 2016 and presents contemporary photographic art, mainly made by young artists like Manolo Márquez. In 2019, he exhibited his collection „Eres un fantasma (You are a ghost)“ in the ALAMANQUE gallery. Using metaphorical representations of language and meaning, he created urban street photographs transporting and revealing a special, provocative statement.
These and other inspiring exhibitions are the reason to definitely take a look and get inspired by the contemporary art the ALAMANQUE fotográfica gallery offers you.
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Another gallery for contemporary art is Arróniz. In the middle of an artists´quarter of Roma Norte, you will find the romantic, inconspicuous gallery, which is known for multiple exchange with other galleries and institutions from around the world. Apart from the permanent exhibitions, you will get to see more cultural offers of contemporary art in the project rooms. The wide range of different art forms provides something for every taste.
Street Photography Workshops and courses in Mexico City
Street Photography Workshop by Joshua Serret at Mexico Photo Workshops
The well-known street photographer Josh Serret will take you on a weekend trip you won’t forget easily. While exploring the streets of Mexico City, Josh will help you to improve your skills, lose the fear of shooting strangers and to find your personal creative flair. In a group of ten, you will have two and a half days for practicing different techniques and work on your weak points. At the end of your street photography workshop, you will receive professional advice by an experienced international photographer and you will have the chance to exchange experiences and critiques with your peers.
Beside the street photography workshop, Joshua also offers story telling documentary photography, one day photo walks and beginner courses. They take place several times a year and will cost you around $1800 USD to $2000 USD.
Photography courses by Michael Chinnici
The New York based photographer Michael Chinnici, who will lead your next photography course in Mexico City, is just as diverse as the experiences you will make and things you will learn and photograph in this workshop. As a passionate traveler, Michael made experiences in photographing architecture, landscapes, street and people all over the world. Starting as a child, his photographs now manage to tell visual stories and make the viewer feel a special kind of vibe.
Two times a year, he will share his unique gift for the right eye with you and lead you through the streets of Mexico City for one full week. Every day will be full of exciting adventures and great opportunities to enhance your skills in travel, landscape, architecture, street and people photography. You will visit the most important places like the historic center, different markets, downtown and many more. For $5,495 USD, Mexico City will welcome you to a 4 or 5-star hotel, local Mexican guides, transportations and three meals of the day, which you can enjoy in groups of 4 to 6 people.
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Mexico City Photo Tours by veteran Keith Dannemiller
By meeting Keith Dannemiller as the guide for your street photography workshop, you will have a real authority by your side. Publishing his photographs in The New York Times, the TIME magazine, Forbes, The Guardian and more, you can be sure to meet a veteran photojournalist sharing his profound knowledge with you.
Keith offers half-day modules of four hours, which might be combined to a full day of two photo locations he likes to call „neighborhoods“. Those routes are specially designed to show you everything the area offers. Not only will you discover the well-known tourist districts, buildings and markets but also the lesser-known sections Keith discovered over the last 30+ years. The fee for one module starting between 8am and 9am is $130 USD per person, while the full-day option from 8am until 5pm will cost you $240 USD, not including any transportation or other services.
David Colemans Mexico City Experience
The Mexican photographer David Coleman is the best teacher when it comes to Mexican culture, customs, language and of course food. Not only did he grew up in the city where you will take your street photography course, but he’s also a real guru in photography and visual storytelling. With lots of experiences in hosting photography courses, he will make the best out of your days in Mexico City. David will give you visual storytelling instructions, which you can directly apply in the best surroundings and daytime. In groups of seven he will share great amounts of profound knowledge and experiences with you. For four days he will especially teach you how to capture the collisions of traditional Mexican architectures and the contemporary art scene of Mexico City.
Beside visits to the museum, you are going to experience the shopping culture as well as the vibrant night-life. At the end of the day, David will review your images and give valuable tips. The four-day workshop will take place from the 20th to 24th of march 2020 and will cost you $3,100 USD including private accommodations, entrance fees, taxes, local guides and all permits.