I rarely photograph tourist stuff. I don’t shoot sunsets or rainbows or my children’s milestone events, that as a mother, I am supposed to document. So why was I in Antigua, Guatemala during Semana Santa, where you can’t throw a tortilla without hitting another photographer?
Because, I love a good procession – be it parade, protest or penitents. These events, have a lot in common with weddings; passion, costumes, and dedication. I love the excitement and chasing the event down the street. I love the challenge of finding the exact right place to be so that the late afternoon light falls on faces in that way that makes me sigh out loud.
I am also drawn to photographing events that have to do with faith and tradition. The day I arrived in Guatemala was the day of the Procession of San Bartolo where hundreds of Guatemalans volunteer to carry a 500 year old, 7000 pound carving thru the streets for 8 hours.
While most of the weddings I photograph do not include carrying a 7,000 pound statue around for 8 hours, they do include ritual, family, community and are also quite beautiful to photograph. I am so fortunate to have found such a wonderful balance between photojournalism and event photography. They each feed the other in a really great way.
BUT, the real reason I was in Guatemala was to bring my children to visit the village where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer 20 years ago. Those photographs and that story I will save for my next blog post.
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