Viva Mexico – A Photographic Journey – And Now an Exhibit

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In November 2019, Keith Skelton and Armando Arorizo led a group of nine photography students to Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Tlaxcala and Taxco Mexico for a cultural tour that focused on photographing the beauty and unique nature of Mexico. The results were highly impressive. Each student captured numerous unique and idiosyncratic images that will now be on view at an exhibit opening on February 15, 2020, at the Perfect Exposure Gallery in Alhambra CA.

“The group stayed at the classic Gran Hotel on the famous Zocalo, Plaza de la Constitución in Mexico City,” recalled Mr. Arorizo. “Most of the rooms had balconies and window views of the plaza and the Cathedral. Mornings started early with a walk to the plaza to shoot shots at dawn, later returning to a wonderful breakfast buffet that included both Mexican and American dishes. During the rest of the day and evenings, we walked to numerous places in city photographing street life and eating at many traditional restaurants, some being quite famous.”

Photo by Fred Prinz.

We asked some of the participants for their thoughts:

“The Photography Workshop with Armando Arorizo was absolutely fantastic,” says Susan Lambert. “Everything was very well organized, from arrival to departure, including the excellent choice of hotels, restaurants, and most of all location, location, location. We were provided many opportunities to photograph people, places and architecture that I would not have been able to do without the knowledge and guidance of Armando and Keith. Every place visited was unique and offered something different and exciting and allowed me to experience the culture and flavors of Mexico in a different and creative way. It was an amazing workshop and I returned home with some terrific images and wonderful memories.”

Photo by: Suzy Sato

“Photography, for me isn’t just about taking pretty pictures,” exclaimed Catherine Bearce. “It’s an activity that takes me to new places, new people and new adventures. Keith and Armando organized a trip that allowed me to immerse myself in photography for a number of fun and culturally enriching days. I had wanted to visit central Mexico and this trip offered the chance to see not only Mexico City, but Tlaxcala and Taxco as well. Time was spent in culturally significant spots as well as town squares and side streets. Street photography was a stretch for me personally but Keith and Armando were patient and attentive instructors. My discomfort gradually gave way to an ability to enjoy the challenge of capturing people going about their daily lives. I learned about using available light to my advantage and a few other technical tips that have helped my photography now that I’m home. Conclusion – FUN trip!”

Photo by: Catherine Bearce

Jim Kuo, another participant, also shared a memorable moment. “Shortly after arriving in Taxco I noticed a man impeccably dressed and liked the way his hat caught the morning light. When I stopped and asked “puedo tomar tu photo”, he agreed in perfect English. He went on to explain that he lived and worked in Chicago for more than 19 years, but then, pointing to his crutches, said he returned to Mexico. He wasn’t looking for sympathy, just to remember him if I ever needed a guide. I won’t forget.”

Kathleen Gerber, an avid photographer also enjoys taking photography workshops. “It puts me in beautiful and interesting settings while giving me the opportunity to improve my skills” she tells us. “I was especially interested in going on the Viva Mexico II trip as it incorporated some of my favorite things: travel, culture, interesting people, beautiful settings, etc. Keith and Armando put together an itinerary that was varied while not hurried. And since Armando is originally from Mexico City it was helpful to go with someone familiar with the language and knew the areas we visited. I had a great time and have a collection of beautiful images from this journey…I would definitely go on another photographic adventure with these two great photographers.”

Photo by: Dennis May

The show will include over 40 original custom prints from photographers Kathleen Gerber, Gary Kramer, Catherine Bearce, Susan Lambert, Brian Carusi, Fred Prinz, Dennis May, Suzy Sato and Jim Kuo. The event kicks off with an opening reception and is open to the public.

For more information contact Armando Arorizo: 213 760 2953 or armando@theperfectexposuregallery.com

The Perfect Exposure Gallery is located at 2424 West Valley Blvd, Alhambra CA 91803