Guatemala Photography Workshop and Tour – March 2016


A Guatemalan woman at Chichicastenango. We´ll see this kind of picture on March 17. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

Join professional photographer Loren Fisher as he teams up with Edgar Monzón of Guatemala for a special eight-day photography workshop and tour in beautiful Guatemala. Edgar has lived in Guatemala his entire life and has produced an exceptional photographic coffee table book on the country’s friendly people and colorful places. Edgar is very proud of his country and is excited to welcome visitors and show the many faces of Guatemala.

Edgar has created a tour that focuses on three main concepts: color, culture and traditions. It aims to portray basic aspects of Guatemalan culture so you can appreciate it as an observer. You will create images of unique moments that involve people, traditions and history.

March 13-20, 2016
Early registration by Nov. 1 is $2,879. Regular Price: $3,479.
Rate is for double occupancy. Single supplement: $750.
Non-photographers: $400 discount.

We start in the city of Antigua, which is less than an hour drive from the main airport in Guatemala City. Our base in Antigua is the Casa Santo Domingo, a five star hotel that is a converted convent. If we didn’t leave the hotel grounds we’d make amazing pictures, but Edgar has us going to photograph colonial ruins, a volcano, convents and a colorful craft market. We will travel to other towns visiting Mayan communities, a coffee plantation, meeting people in their natural environment making crafts and clothes and we’ll be photographing unique ceremonies. We will take a boat to visit towns around a large lake, where the scenery is spectacular. (See the full itinerary below).

There are few countries left in the world where people live their historic culture, where they wear the traditional clothing of their ancestors on a daily basis and not just on special occasions. Guatemala is such a place. Guatemala is a living culture, full of people enjoying their colorful environment and traditions dating back to their Mayan ancestors and the colonial period.


The Ruins Of Cathedral In Antigua Guatemala. We´ll visit here on March 14. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

As you are photographing beautiful Guatemala, Loren and Edgar will be working with you to ensure you get the best photographs of your life. We will offer tips on how to approach people, how to get candid photos, seeing and working with Guatemala’s unique light and strengthening your images with better composition. You will get instant feedback on your photography.

We will be out shooting early and staying out late to capture the best light of the day. We will take breaks for rest and dining during the day.

All of your Guatemalan arrangements will be made for you. We will meet you at the airport on Sunday and book your room in fine hotels. We will be travelling together in one van with Edgar at the wheel. He knows the areas we are visiting quite well and we’ll stop whenever a photo opportunity arises.

Being a tourist in Guatemala
You will need a valid passport but no special visa if you are staying less than 90 days. Electricity is 120V as in United States, so you don’t need special electrical adapters. All the hotels have Internet service and there is cellular phone coverage in the areas we are staying. The money exchange rate is very favorable for the tourist, right now it is 7.70 quetzales per dollar. There are areas of Guatemala that are not safe for tourists, mostly on the border with Mexico. We won’t be going anywhere near there. But like any other place, tourists can be targets, so you want to make sure you are careful and don’t flaunt your camera gear. See U.S. State Department page on Guatemala for more details. http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/guatemala.html

What is included:

  • Experienced Guatemalan guide
  • Lodging for seven nights (double occupancy)
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Ground transportation
  • Entrance fees
  • Professional photography instruction

What isn’t included:

  • Travel to Guatemala
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Non-meal time snacks and soft drinks

The palace of Maximon. The legend has it that one day while the village men were off working in the fields, Maximón slept with all of their wives. When they returned, they became so enraged they cut off his arms and legs. Following this, he somehow became a god, or perhaps prior to this he had been possessed by the god. We´ll be here on March 16 in Santiago Atitlán. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

Who should Attend:
Anyone with an interest in people and culture – your photographic experience doesn’t matter. Most of our shooting locations will be in towns where some walking will be required. There won’t be long, strenuous hiking.

Rates are net, per person, in U.S. dollars, double occupancy.
Early registration by Nov. 1 is $2,879. Regular Price: $3,479. Single supplement: $750. Non-photographers: $400 discount. Registration fee includes breakfast, lodging (double occupancy) and ground transportation. It does not include airfare to Guatemala or lunches, dinners or gratuities.

Maximum group size: 8

The itinerary

Sunday, March 13, 2016
Arrive in Antigua Guatemala (estimated time from airport 45 minutes – 1 hour). Stay at Casa Santo Domingo, a 5 star hotel. It is considered unique because it previously was a convent (www.casasantodomingo.com.gt). The hotel itself is a photographic destiny. We will meet and have a get-to-know each other session, discuss photography and talk about our week in Guatemala.

Monday, March 14
Early breakfast.
Photograph local volcano, travel by golf cart through the trails.
Mid-morning – photograph ruins of convents and colonial churches: Capuchins, San Francisco and Cathedral.
Lunch in Antigua.
Afternoon – Visit crafts market. Objective: color and people
Overnight at Casa Santo Domingo Hotel

Tuesday, March 15
Early tour through the city. Objective: doors and windows of Antigua, colonial architecture.
Breakfast at a local restaurant.
In the morning: visit to a Mayan community. Objective: lifestyle, color, activities with local people.
Lunch at a coffee plantation: Finca Filadelfia.
Afternoon – photographic tour at the coffee plantation. http://www.filadelfiaresort.com/tours-en.html
Overnight at Casa Santo Domingo Hotel

Wednesday, March 16
The whole group travels to Atitlán together in a van, leaving very early in the morning for a  2.5 hour drive. We will arrive in Panajachel, Atitlán at 7:30 in the morning.
We will travel across the lake in boat, visiting some of the most interesting towns around the lake. We will visit the communities and handcrafts of the Mayan people. Objective: photograph people in their environment and their handcrafts.
Lunch in Santiago Atitlán, one of the towns around the lake.
Afternoon, we return in boat to Panajachel.
Dinner in Panajachel.
Overnight at Hotel Atitlán. It has an excellent view of the lake and breathtaking gardens. http://www.hotelatitlan.com/default-en.html

Thursday, March 17
Breakfast in Atitlán. Then we travel to Chichicastenango very early in the morning. Early in the day, we visit its colorful market, the vegetable market and the “Masquería” (a place where masks and ceremonial traditional clothes are made). Objective: photograph people and their colorful environment.
Lunch in a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Mayan religious ceremony. This ceremony is private and we are allowed to take pictures of the Xamán (Mayan priest) and his ritual in gratitude of the Earth and Mother Nature. Objective: photograph Mayan traditions, people and their religious ceremonies.
Night: Return to sleep in Atitlán (1.0 hour travel)

Friday, March 18
Breakfast in Atitlán at the hotel to see sunrise
Then a photographic tour walking through Calle Santander. This is a very colorful street market where Mayan people sell products.
Lunch in a small restaurant at the street
Afternoon we go to San Antonio Palopó, visiting  the town and very traditional Mayan works (Telares)
Overnight in Atitlán

Saturday, March 19
After breakfast go back to Antigua Guatemala. Rest and enjoy the hotel.
After lunch we will meet to look at photos you have taken and you’ll get feedback.
Late afternoon sunset shoot.
Overnight at Casa Santo Domingo Hotel

Sunday, March 20
Sunrise shoot
Workshop ends, return to airport


A woman In the street of Antigua. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

It’s a little hot in March, about 80 degrees during the day and near 60 at night. You should have shorts, jeans and comfortable clothes, a hat or cap and some casual clothes for night. It’s very rare to have rain in March.

Breakfast each day is included, it may be after a sunrise shoot. You are responsible for other dining expenses. We will be on the move but taking breaks to enjoy the scenery and dining.

Hotel accommodation costs are included. You may want to tip the friendly service.

Photo Equipment
You’ll want to have a wide angle, telephoto and possibly a macro lens. Make sure you have lots of memory cards, spare batteries and charger and maybe a polarizer filter. I’m a tripod shooter, but we will be in lots of markets, churches and areas where a tripod may not be appropriate. But I’m bringing a travel tripod. I also suggest bringing a laptop to download your photos and a way to have a backup, either on the original cards or an external hard drive. If you aren’t absolutely sure of everything that your camera does, bring your instruction manual so I can help you fix any problems.

Payment: The full fee is required 120 days prior to the workshop.

Photo by Edgar Monzon

Young Mother with her baby in “Calle Santander”, Panajachel. We´ll see these kind of pictures on March 18. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

Deposits and Cancellations:
A $750 deposit must be paid in order to secure your space in our workshop. Full payment must be received 120 days prior to the workshop.

I must receive notice of your cancellation in writing, at which time I offer the following refunds:
120 days or more before workshop: Full workshop or deposit refund.
119 to 60 days before workshop: 50% of workshop cost.
59 or fewer days before workshop: no refund. If you must forfeit your workshop fee we will refund your full payment, minus the deposit, if I can fill your spot. I will also issue you a credit to be used on another workshop within the next year.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a workshop. Workshops are sold as a package only.

If a workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of any money paid, but I’d have to be on my deathbed before I’d cancel. But if I’m on my deathbed and need to cancel the workshop, I will not be held responsible for your other expenses, such as airline ticket, that may be associated with the canceled workshop. I suggest you purchase trip insurance to be safe, but I’ve never cancelled a destination workshop and it would take a major catastrophe before I cancel.


Atitlan Lake. We´ll see the sunrise here on March 18. Photo by Edgar Monzón.

What else you need to know:
Once you register, you will receive a packet of information about the trip. It includes a Liability Release Form that needs to be immediately returned, an Emergency Contact and Medical Information Form, a detailed listing of our hotels with contact information, a history of Guatemala, details about some of the locations we will be visiting and more suggestions for equipment and clothing.

Questions? Email Loren at Loren@LorenPhotos.com or call 802-332-6611.

Register now