Technical Skills - Creative Inspiration - Exciting Destinations

Mexico: San Miguel de Allende

Fiesta Of San Miguel De Arcangel

& Private shoots with Horses

September 23 - October 1, 2018

10 participants

(ONLY 5 Spots Left) 

SAN MIGUEL: San Miguel de Allende is a paradise of visual delights with its vivid and colorful historical buildings, old churches and beautiful Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. It has a rich cultural heritage that attracts artists and visitors from all over the world. The cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards and friendly people are all part of the magic of this 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located at 6,200 ft. elevation in the central highlands of the state of Guanajuato, about 165 miles northwest of Mexico City, it was the cradle of the Mexican Revolution in the early 1800s, to which many city monuments testify.

San Miguel is also the place, where you can find authentic Haciendas, away from the bustle of the town. Here you will experience the beauty of the natural landscape combined with the adventures the ranch has to offer.


LUXURIOUS HACIENDA: The workshop starts at one of these authentic Haciendas, where we will photograph their horses. The environment is exquisite with ancient mesquite and huizache trees, deep valleys, and a 5 star ranch. We will visit an additional ranch, where they train Arabian, Lusitanos, and quarter horses. Trainers, vaqueros and a full staff will be on hand to create some magical images of these incredibly beautiful animals.

During breaks in photographing, we will have a chance to review your images and give you idea on what else you can focus on. How do you leverage the light to create moody scenes? How do you capture the bond between the trainers and their horses? How do you photograph a herd of horses in these deep valleys? Strap yourself for a unique and exciting experience. After photographing horses at two different ranches, we will go back to San Miguel de Allende, where we will explore the beauty and magic of this 500 year old town. After photographing horses in two different ranches, we will go back to San Miguel de Allende, where we will introduce you to the friendly people and magical architecture. It will be a good introduction for the next event on the agenda: The Independence Festival.

FIESTA OF SAN MIGUEL DE ARCANGEL: San Miguel (Saint Michael) is the patron saint of the city and the fiesta is the biggest celebration of the year. It's for the locals. It doesn't draw flocks of tourists from far-flung places, but families come into town from the countryside to enjoy the holiday. On Friday, everyone stays up all night for the Alborada, which roughly translates as something like "to attack the dawn." At 3 a.m. the larger-than-life puppets known as Mojigangas arrive in the square. Around 4 a.m., another monumental fireworks display begins, featuring several Castillos.

The most incredible part of the event is the gathering of all the tribes of Mexico. For two days they parade through the streets with their feathered headdresses and unique tribal dress beating their drums to native rhythms that vibrate through the whole town. You could not ask for a better photo opportunity.

The weekend also features more conchero dancers, the Xúchiles—huge floral arrangements made of cactus fronds and marigolds mounted on bamboo frames—carried to the church and a pair of parades with dozens of floats.

The famous Voladores de Papantla, the Papantla Flyers, set up their pole in the esplanade in front of the Paroquia and perform their gut-wrenching feat several times throughout the weekend. This involves five men climbing to the top of the pole. Four of them attach themselves to ropes while the fifth stands on a tiny (like 12" square tiny!) platform at the very top and plays a flute. The other four fall off the top and slowly spin on the ends of their ropes until they reach the ground. It is graceful and lovely to watch, and the voladores' performances are always among the most popular of all September events in San Miguel de Allende.

As always in Catholic Mexico the celebration is based around a religious event honoring San Miguel and asking for his blessings. Along with the Conchero dancers the parades feature Xúchiles. These are huge floral arrangements made of cactus fronds and marigolds mounted on bamboo frames that are carried to the churches as part of the religious observations.

Truly, it's the happiest party of the year.

Are we going to be busy experiencing Mexican Horse culture and their local festival at an incredible time of the year? Just mildly put, it is a resounding Yes!

We are looking forward to hosting you in San Miguel de Allende next September and sharing an experience of a lifetime.

Craig and Oliver.
All images © Craig Lovell & Oliver Klink

Registration (September 23 - October 1, 2018) --- ONLY FIVE Spots Left
All inclusive (8 hotel nights, meals, local transportation, two instructors)

Double Occupancy: $4,500
Single supplement: $800

Deposit (non-refundable):
$600 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Balance payment due by May 31, 2018 (payable by check or surcharge with Credit Card)

If you have any questions, please contact Oliver Klink or Craig Lovell



Oliver Klink has been photographing in 109 Countries, focusing on wildlife, culture, landscape. He has visited many festivals around the world and always find unique perspectives. He has been selected as Top 50 or Top 200 Fine art photographers by Photolucida, won the grand prize at the Rayko International Photocontest in 2014, and has received “mentioned” in the Black and White Spidar Awards for the past 8 years.

Craig Lovell is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography and an award-winning international travel photographer with images from more than forty countries. He brings his many years of experience photographing indigenous cultures and exotic locations to help his students learn the ins and outs of travel photography. His 30 years as a working pro brings real life experience to his teaching methods. His images have appeared in National Geographic, Geo, Conde Nast Traveler, and countless other publications. His co-published book Nepal: The Himalayan Kingdom was well received. He is the sole photographer on 12 calendars. You can view his work at The Whats New section of his website has lots of portfolios from San Miguel!

Local staff members (drivers, helpers) who enrich our stay with the most current information, special activities, and “ways in” to places you only dream about!

- Photographing the Independence Festival with special access
- Street photography with a twist. Getting depth
- Photographing Horses in various settings (outdoor, indoor)
- Access to pure bread horses (Arabian, Lusitanos, etc.)
- Daily review of images (emphasis on “what else can I do”)
- Brainstorming sessions (theme, story telling, portfolio, hero shots)
- Post processing and workflow (efficiency, accuracy, quality)

- 9 days of guided photoshoot
- Accommodation, meals, ground transportation
- Special permits, private photoshoots, all entrance fees
- Instruction booklet emailed before the workshop

- Not Included :
- Transportation to San Miguel de Allende. Closest airport is Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO)
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Double Occupancy: $4,500
Single Supplement: $800

Deposit (non-refundable):
$600 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by June 30, 2018 (payable by check. Option to also pay by credit card)

Registration: $4,500
Single Supplement: $800

Terms and Conditions

- The workshop takes place during the Indenpendence Day Festival. The streets are crowded.
- We will walk to follow the various activities.
- We are photographing at private ranches and in valleys, where we might have dust. - We are eating freshly cooked local Mexican cuisine with lots of vegetables, soup, and local meat (not spicy).
- We are traveling on ultra-modern highways to the local unpaved roads.
- However, the photographic opportunities are incredible. It is an amazing adventure and photographic experience.

None at this time

Where: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
When: September 23 - October 1, 2018
Who: Oliver Klink, Craig Lovell, local staffs
Closest Airport: Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO) – Shuttles or taxis available for transfer to San Miguel de Allende
Accommodations: Local hotels (single or double occupancy)
Weather: 50 – 85F. Moody Sky
Cost: $4,500 ($800 Single supplement)

Workshop details for Independence Festival and Horses


9 days of guided photoshoots and reviews
September 23 - October 1, 2018
NOTE: Itinerary might change based on spur of the moment activities

Day 1 (September 23): Arrival in San Miguel de Allende
- Flight to Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO)
- Transfer to San Miguel de Allende
- Recover from jetlag
- Group Dinner
- Local Ranch or Pasada De La Aldea Hotel
- Meals (D)

Day 2-3: Horse Photoshoots at Ranch #1
- Private Ranch #1
- Early morning shoot at a beautiful valley
- Return to the ranch for breakfast
- Photoshoot at the Ranch with horses and trainers
- Sunset pictures with horses running wild
- Local Ranch or Pasada De La Aldea Hotel
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 4-5: Horse Photoshoots at Ranch #2
- Private Ranch #2
- Early morning shoot at the Ranch
- Breakfast
- Photoshoot at the Ranch with horses and trainers
- Sunset pictures at the Ranch with horses running free
- Local Ranch #2 or Pasada De La Aldea Hotel
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 6: Horse Photoshoot and San Miguel de Allende
- Early morning photoshoot at the Ranch #2
- Return to San Miguel de Allende
- Visit the quaint town (churches, main square, boutiques, etc.)
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 7-8: Independence Festival (San Miguel de Allende)
- Photograph the Independence Festival from various locations
- Street photography at its best!
- Special photoshoot with participants
- Evening photography to capture the festival parties
- Pasada De La Aldea Hotel (or similar)
- Meals (B, L, D) Includes fabulous local restaurants

Day 9 (October 1): Transfer to Airport
- Meals (B)
- Conclusion of workshop

NOTE: San Miguel has wonderful restaurants and a lively music scene. We will stay tuned to what is available and take advantage of the many activities that take place during our trip. Expect good opportunities for evening events.
We will give instruction and review your work during the workshop. Both instructors will be available to help you with your photography.
If there is enough interest we can arrange an early morning balloon ride from Coyote Adventures Workshop participants would have to pay extra for this excursion.
As San Miguel is located at 6200 feet elevation it is not a bad idea to arrive a day early to get use to the thinner air. Acclimatization is not severe here, but you might want to take it easy for a day or two.
While the itinerary is jam packed with amazing activities you can also take some free time if you wish.
Instructor Craig Lovell has owned a home in San Miguel for 12 years and is quite familiar with what is available in the town. There is also the possibility of a trip to La Gruta or Escondido the local (very nice) hot springs if we can fit this into the schedule. You can let us know if this is a priority.
Oliver and Craig look forward to having an amazing adventure with all that wish to experience Semana Santa in the heart of Mexico.

What to Bring

Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook describing what to bring, recommended camera gears, booking your flight, extra activities pre or post workshop.

Clothing: (temperature ranges from low 50F to 80F)
- Comfortable Clothes for photoshoots
- Suggest to wear neutral color cloth for the photoshoot with horses
- Knee pads (for low angle shooting)
Camera Equipment:
- DSLR (bring your camera manual), extra battery (and charger)
- Recommended Lenses:
Horse Portraits: 24-150mm
Action shots: 70-200mm
Independence Festival: 24-200mm
- Flash with diffusers (optional for indoor shooting)
Other Equipment (Optional):
- Small notepad (notes, observations, write down questions)

Photography Review Equipment (Recommended):
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Post processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, plug-ins)
- External hard drives (backup)


This is an all-inclusive workshop (transportation, lodging, meals, local guide, photo instruction). It also includes all the entrance fees to the festivals. The workshop does not include transportation to San Miguel de Allende (start and end of the workshop).

Workshop comprises...
- 9 days on the ground in Mexico
- All meals, accommodation, private car transportation
- All entrance fees
- Special access to horse ranches. Priave photoshoots
- Access to the Independence Festival.
- Coursebook and orientation materials
- Small group (maximum 10 people)
- Daily reviews (including tips on post processing, file management, idea to build portfolio)
- Two instructors, Local experts

Not Included
- Flight to Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO)
- Transportation from airport to San Miguel de Allende
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Travel Recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO) on September 23. As soon as we know your arrival time, we can pair you with other participants to transfer to San Miguel de Allende. Your return flight can be booked anytime on October 1

Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance Suggestions:

Here are a few recommendations but please browse around as services and prices vary.

• Travelex Travel Select (800) 228-9792
• Travel Guard or Travel Insurance Services
• Travel Insurance Services (Walnut Creek, CA) (800) 937-1387
• Atlas International Insurance (HCC Medical Insurance Services)
• TEN (Travelers Emergency Network) Emergency Evacuation Coverage
• Medjet Assist 1-800-527-7478

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