Experience Oaxaca’s Magical and Vibrant “Day of the Dead” Celebration… with Two Professional Photographers by Your Side

Join Photographers Shelly Perry and Bonnie Caton for an Exclusive “Day of the Dead” Stock Photo Expedition in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca, Mexico
Day of the Dead Stock Photography Expedition

October 27 – November 3, 2016
With Shelly Perry & Bonnie Caton

Dear Reader,

If you’re intrigued by the prestige of seeing your photos on billboards, in magazines, and online… if you long for a fun way to travel whenever you like and live wherever you prefer…

Whether you’re interested in a new career or just want a nice side income to supplement your travels…

Now is your chance to make it happen.

Join us this October as we make our way to Oaxaca, Mexico and experience the traditions and celebrations of “Día de los Muertos” - The Day of the Dead and learn how to take the kinds of pictures you can sell to stock agencies for a nice side-income.

Oaxaca is a Photographer’s Paradise…

Situated on the southwestern coast of Mexico, Oaxaca’s rugged terrain and isolated landscape has helped the country’s indigenous people preserve their culture, making it a perfect place for photographers to capture the true history of this region.

This October, you’ll have the opportunity to meet these locals and learn first-hand about their rich traditions, as you photograph the local architecture and native craftsmanship.

You’ll visit the small village of Teotitlán del Valle, where you can capture artisans in action as they demonstrate their talents, crafting colorful Zapotec designs in their hand-woven rugs, tapestries, and weavings.

You’ll also explore and photograph the UNESCO World Heritage site of Monte Alban – Oaxaca’s historic center and archeological site, situated on an impressive mountaintop high above the city.

This ancient Zapotec Capital offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the valleys below and is surrounded by ancient pyramids, plazas, and temples, making it the perfect place to hone your photography skills.

And best of all, you’ll witness one of the most sacred celebrations in Mexican culture… the Day of the Dead—along with all of the pre-event rituals and celebrations that go with it!

According to ancient beliefs, at midnight on October 31, the gates of heaven are opened and the spirits of deceased children come back to visit with their families for 24 hours. And on November 2, the souls of the adults who have passed on, return for their turn to visit with their families.

You’ll feel the excitement as this entire city prepares to honor the deceased with parties... elaborate and ornate altars... costume parades through the streets... and candles, flowers, and decorations across the cemeteries and the entire city...

Oaxaca is known over the world for its richly ornate festivities surrounding this holiday and you’ll find the biggest celebrations all over the city. Complete with papier-mâché skeletons and candy skulls, this gloriously eerie event provides an upbeat take on immortality and the bond of family love that is both enchanting and comforting.

And this October, you’ll have the opportunity to capture these captivating rituals as the locals pay tribute to family and friends that have passed before them during the one-of-a-kind celebration.

Whether you have little experience and modest equipment, or you’re already a talented amateur photographer, you’re sure to benefit from this expedition.

The bottom line is: With proper training, you can learn to take stock-worthy photographs that can earn you a nice passive income… all with simple, entry-level camera equipment. And this October in Oaxaca, Mexico, we'll show you exactly how it's done… while having the adventure of a lifetime!

Here’s What Past Great Escape Publishing Workshop Attendees Have to Say…

“These workshops are a wonderful opportunity to travel to a new locale and explore while learning a new skill.” – Sandra M.

“Every day was an adventure and a great photo opportunity. I can’t choose just one highlight.” – Francesca Burack

“In my case, I appreciated that the instructor zeroed in on what I need to learn and correct (composition and focus) and still teach me much more than I expected to learn… I also feel comfortable (within reason) to keep in contact and keep asking questions”. – Susan Birkenshaw

“The workshop was fun. I learned a lot… I met interesting people and I became excited about trying to make money from photography. The workshop is an excellent value and provides information that is difficult to acquire in other ways. – Susan H.

I learned more in three days than I have all year. Between Thursday’s photo shoot and Saturday’s photo shoot – it is like night and day.” – Lynda I.

“I would definitely recommend this workshop to others. It’s a great way to explore a city and one’s own creativity.” – Heather G.

“You all did an awesome job. I have learned so much in 7 days… totally priceless.” – Nelda Bernal

If you’ve ever opened your camera manual only for it to be hastily closed again out of sheer frustration…

If you long to take better photos and make a living doing what you love, but don’t have the time to go through years of Photo School…

If you dream of exploring the world and adding more adventure to your day-to-day life…

Then join us for the experience of a lifetime in Oaxaca this October, and we’ll help you transform your photo skills… and change your life.

In just seven days, you’ll learn everything you need to get up and running fast so you can start selling your photos, and enjoying the freedom, flexibility, and incredible travel opportunities that are all part of the travel photographer’s life.

Turn Your Snapshots into Cash and Your Travels into Paid Vacations Just by Using the Skills and Secrets You Learn in this Workshop

The sole purpose for this expedition is to help you sharpen your photographic skills and show you how to get your images into online stock agencies.

Instructor Shelly Perry specializes in people photography, what she calls documentary or lifestyle portraits.

After spending over a decade working in the field of social services, Shelly picked up her camera and turned her focus in a new direction. She attended Rocky Mountain School of Photography in 2003 and has licensed her photos through stock agencies since 2005. For the past ten years, she has enjoyed the freedom of working as a freelancer, able to travel the world and hone her photography skills.

Her images have been seen all over the world on music CD covers, books, magazines, catalogues, websites, ad campaigns, and even on TV. Her work has also appeared in several local Portland exhibits and gallery shows.

Shelly’s knack for photographing people will be a great asset in Oaxaca, as you’ll have dozens of opportunities to photograph the local people as they prepare for and celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Shelly will share her tricks and advice for getting the best people photos, no matter what the shooting situation… how to deal with getting model releases from people you’re just meeting -- and what to do if you can’t, so you can still sell your photos.

Photographing people is Shelly’s specialty

Shelly has an uncanny ability to connect with her subject while also composing a beautiful photograph with gorgeous light. And she’s excited to share her know-how with you.

She’ll walk you through her own processes, step-by-step, so you, too, can compose eye-catching photos that can sell as stock… and these same principles can be applied to selling photos to other markets, too, like editorial, client work, or even as fine art.

You’ll also have with you on this trip…

Bonnie Caton. Bonnie, like Shelly, didn’t start out as a Photography major in school. She started here with us at Great Escape Publishing as a just-out-of-college world traveler.

She was always interested in art, creativity, and expression, but never really knew she could make an income with her vision until she saw other people making it happen.

Eventually, she got tired of writing about all our photo successes without pursuing any of her own… and so, a new career was born. She started the Breakfast Stock Club so that members could follow her progress in online stock agencies and participate alongside her as she built an income from her stock photos.

Today, in addition to her full-time job here at Great Escape Publishing, Bonnie makes an extra $10,000 a year from her photos through stock, clients, tutoring, and more. All in her spare time.

Bonnie sells simple travel photos like these as stock:

In Oaxaca, you’ll see exactly how it’s done.

On the ground, over these seven days, with experts Shelly and Bonnie by your side, you’ll discover everything you need to:


Here at Great Escape Publishing, we’re committed to creating tours and experiences that are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. Here’s our 4-POINT PROMISE about what you can expect on this expedition and what makes us different.


You’ll be part of a small group of like-minded travelers…folks who want to explore, experience, and enjoy what’s unique and authentic about a place. The group size is just 9-10, so you get the chance to know everyone in the group, and you get plenty of one-on-one time from our staff and instructors.


It’s important to us that our accommodations match the destination. We avoid big chains like Hilton and Marriott because they’re the same around the world. And instead we opt for small, family-run boutique hotels that match the splendor of the city. Each hotel has the same level of comfort and amenities as these bigger brands, but with a lot more charm and character.

From Hacienda-style lodges in Ecuador… to luxury tent camps on the Serengeti in Tanzania… a garden inspired boutique hotel in Thailand… or a luxury boat in Ha Long Bay… our choice of lodging might just be your favorite part of the trip! And here in Mexico you’ll be staying at the Hotel Fortin Plaza.


We like to explore something the average tourist might not know about. We’ve made connections on the ground so we can visit the best sites, markets, festivals, restaurants, cafés, and villages that would be hard to find on your own. We’ll use local guides where possible instead of well-advertised companies and we’ve geared our schedule toward photographers or writers, so you can skip right to the heart of Oaxaca and capture something the regular tourist never will.


Photography tours are a dime a dozen. But try to find a tour that teaches you how to take good photos AND how you can sell those photos for a nice side income, and you’d be hard pressed.

The truth is, a lot of photographers today aren’t crazy about sharing their marketing secrets and their income-earning advice with newbies. But the photographers who lead Great Escape Publishing trips are some of the most generous teachers out there. They know that the need for great photos and great articles is only increasing—so the more people who can fill this need, the better for everyone!

On this expedition, you’ll have an expert by your side every step of the way, ready to share their professional insights and secrets to help you capture stunning images of Oaxaca you can sell again and again… and they’ll hold nothing back.

Hands-On is the Best Way to Learn

On a hands-on, boots-on-the-ground expedition like this, you’ll learn photography in a fun way… among new friends… and absorb skills faster than you ever thought possible!

With your camera in hand, you’ll draw inspiration from the world around you – capturing the local flavor, ancient architecture, rugged landscape… and experiencing one of Mexico’s most revered holidays.

You’ll return home with new skills you’ll have for life!

Not to mention all the memories you’ll make with the people you learn with, have fun with, and continue to grow with.

This is going to be the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the remnants of ancient civilizations, colonial art and architecture, and the vibrant cultural traditions. See the exuberant colors and designs of the native weavers.

Oh… and not to mention the chance to create and taste the culinary treat Oaxaca is known for… mole. During this expedition, you’ll spend an afternoon alongside a local chef at the colorful local market where she finds the spices and ingredients used to create this delectable, chocolate-based sauce. If you enjoy Mexican fare, you’re sure to savor the flavorful cuisine of Oaxaca.

And when you’re not capturing the majestic ruins of Monte Alban… meeting artisan weavers in Teotitlán del Valle… or wandering through the vibrant local market… you’ll have some time for yourself to explore the area, creating long-lasting memories that make your experience truly unique.

It’s safe to say, this small yet dramatic city will have you pointing your camera at every turn. By the time your trip comes to a close, you will be amazed at the transformation in your own photos… and so will your friends and family.

Discover for Yourself the Fun and Adventure of the Stock Photographer’s Life

You'll find this expedition fast-paced and fun, and you will really see this destination in a way you never could as a regular tourist. We have a full itinerary planned for each day and most of the workshop will be done out and about on foot, so you'll need to be prepared for high activity throughout the week.

You’ll benefit from unique one-on-one instruction on a daily basis from both Shelly Perry and Bonnie Caton, as well as during shoots and review sessions. It’s this kind of learning experience that can improve your skills in record time.

And you’ll learn about which types of subjects sell best for stock, what kind of photos you can sell as editorial stock, and other ways to make a profit from your travel photographs that might not be suitable for online stock agencies.

Almost every day, there'll be special group photo reviews, where you’ll learn what you’re already doing well and what you can do to improve your photos and bump up your success.

What’s more, every attendee will have access to pre-recorded videos when you return home that show the ins and outs of photo-editing software like Adobe Lightroom – so even your less-than-perfect shots can be improved and whipped into saleable shape.

Whether you have little experience and modest equipment or you’re already a talented amateur photographer, you’ll benefit immensely from this expedition.

Shelly and Bonnie will provide you with the insights you need to really put your camera to work for you and, once you've captured the shots you want… how to sell them.

Here's a run-down of what you can expect…

Day 1 – (Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016) Arrival Day

Flights arrive today. Relax and adjust to your new home for the next 6 days. We’ll meet this evening in the hotel lobby to go over what you can expect for the upcoming week.

After introductions and an overview of the schedule, we’ll make our way to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. This is the perfect time to start capturing the colorful local cuisine and charming colonial architecture of Oaxaca.

Day 2 – (Friday, Oct. 28, 2016) Walking tour of Oaxaca

This morning, we’ll take a half-day walking tour through the historical district of Oaxaca City. Make sure to wear your comfortable shoes.

Take note of the cobblestone streets and magnificent colonial architecture full of history and charm. Your afternoon is free for independent exploring and shooting to practice what you’ve learned.

In the late afternoon, we’ll meet for class and your first photo review session with Shelly and Bonnie.

Day 3 – (Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016) Monte Alban

Today we’ll visit Monte Alban, the once grand Zapotec capital. This archaeological site is located in a spectacular mountaintop setting about 10 miles west of Oaxaca. Renowned for being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, it was founded around 500 BC and appeared to be abandoned starting in 850 A.D. It is the most important archaeological site to visit in this area of Mexico.

With its unique dimensions showing the basic chronology and artistic style of the region, Monte Alban is a photographer’s dream. Here you will find ancient temples, ball court, tombs, and bas-relief sculptures complete with hieroglyphic inscriptions.

We’ll return to Oaxaca in time to prepare for a late afternoon class and photo review session.

Day 4 – (Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016) Teotitlán del Valle and Day of the Dead Preparations

This morning, we’ll spend half of the day in Teotitlán del Valle where we will meet and photograph native artisan weavers as they incorporate ancient pre-Hispanic Zapotec design, colors, and themes into handmade rugs, tapestries, and weaving. Nearly 15% of local families participate in the textile cooperatives allowing dignity, creative expression, and income to the Zapotec descendants.

In the afternoon, you’ll have time on your own to shoot the preparations around town for the Day of the Dead festivities. This yearly celebration begins on October 31 with All Hallows Eve, and can be traced back to the indigenous cultures. Over three days, families and friends gather to pray and remember those who have passed before them and help support their spiritual journey.

We’ll meet in the classroom this evening for photo review.

Day 5 – (Monday, Oct. 31, 2016) The Market, Cooking, and Candlelight Vigil

In the morning, you’ll have some free time on your own, then we’ll accompany a local chef to the colorful market and learn about the spices and ingredients used in the regional specialties.

We’ll make our way to the chef’s restaurant where you’ll prepare and cook a delicious lunch -- and eat it. Following lunch, we’ll have a presentation and review session.

Tonight we’ll witness and photograph the captivating candlelight cemetery vigil as families gather to remember and honor their families and friends who have died.

Day 6 – (Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016) Etla and the Comparsas

This morning, you’ll have some more free time to go out and shoot the festivities taking place in Oaxaca. In the mid-afternoon we’ll meet for a group photo review.

In the early evening, we’ll take a short drive to Etla to experience and photograph the extraordinary “Comparsas,” a wild and exotic nighttime event where costumed and masked participants parade through the town in festive chaos. Enjoy the singers, musicians, and dancers that take part in this carnival-like atmosphere.

Day 7 – (Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016) Your Free Day

Enjoy free time and do some exploring on your own in this extraordinary city that has been your home for the last 6 days. Celebrations will continue through the evening, so if you want to revisit a certain area with your camera, this is a great chance to do so. We’ll also have plenty of recommendations for other things you can do on this free day if you’re interested in museums, day trips, etc.

Day 8 (Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016) Departure Day

Fly home from Oaxaca, or extend your stay.

Note: Our workshop schedules are always subject to change due to weather, construction, and other unpredictable events. The primary focus of this workshop is on photography and areas that are good for travel and stock photographs.

Shelly and Bonnie are excited to share their years of experience and knowledge with you and to teach you how to improve your skills, especially when it comes to photographing the people and details of the area.

And they’ll share these secrets with you and our small group of 10 attendees over seven days of hands-on intensive learning you couldn’t get anywhere else.

The information you’ll gain at this workshop could, quite literally, change your life…

Pricing and What’s Included in Your Seven-Day Oaxaca Expedition

Full Price: $4,959 per person

Early Bird Discount: Save $300 with your Early Bird Discount when you sign up today.

The full price of this workshop is $4,959 but you’ll pay just $4,659* when you add the $300 Early Bird Discount and register today.

If your spouse or a guest would like to join you, he or she can do so for just $3,999.

(*Note: Additional discounts may apply. You can click through to the registration form at the link below to learn more.)

Easy Payment Plan: What’s more, if you’d like to take advantage of our easy payment plan, you can register today for just $1,600 down.

Here’s how it works:

The registration fee for the workshop includes:

Your Registration Does NOT Include:

Our Commitment to Affordability

We pledge to offer expeditions at the best possible price.

We create tours for travelers, not tourists. Folks who want unique experiences they wouldn’t likely find on their own. And we strive to make each and every expedition better than the last.

The only way we can ensure affordable tours without sacrificing these experiences, is to offer them one at a time, which means we don’t publish a yearly expedition schedule on our website.

Many other tour companies use a simple formula, designed to shuffle tourists from one place to the next. They’ll use the same itinerary year after year, without making modifications. And that’s not who we are.

To keep our prices low, and our itineraries fresh, we stay on top of the trends, deals, and best-value opportunities that we can get our hands on. This sometimes means we’ll put together a trip very quickly, and you might not have as much advance notice.

But you’ll have a great price (oftentimes $2,000-$3,000 less than what you’ll find elsewhere), and a great itinerary. That’s our pledge to you!

Please note: If you’re someone who needs more advanced notice for budgeting and planning purposes, we have plenty of trips that are announced 9-12 months in advance. But other trips require quicker planning and execution, so please understand that sometimes we announce trips with just 3-6 months advance notice.

What to Bring:

What to Expect:

As with all overseas travel, it’s recommended that you’re up to date on all routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid for travelers going to Mexico. You can find all this, as well as more information pertaining to health precautions such as safe food and water practices, and insect protection on the CDC Website.

Money: Pesos are the currency used in Oaxaca. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards are accepted for payments by some restaurants and stores. You’ll find the best exchange rate using your debit card in an ATM to withdraw cash.

Internet Access: All rooms at the Hotel Fortin Plaza are equipped with in-room WiFi. You’ll also find several Internet shops throughout the city; most charging by the hour. There is also free WiFi in some public spaces.

Electrical: Mexico is 127 volts and has a frequency of 60 hertz, using prong types A and B.

Visa Entry/Exit Requirements: U.S. citizens are required to present a valid passport when traveling to Mexico with at least one blank page for your entry stamp.


Our travels throughout Oaxaca will take place at elevations higher than most United States cities. During the trip, we’ll spend our time between 5,200 and 6,500 feet. Be prepared for possible challenges when you first arrive and begin to adjust to the higher altitude. Make sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Some participants may wish to talk to their doctor about prescriptions that can help better manage potential physical reactions to the higher altitude before traveling.

During our visit to Monte Alban, as well as our time spent throughout the city of Oaxaca, you’ll be walking up and down hills, on sometimes irregular stairs, and over uneven terrain. You should have the ability to walk comfortably for two miles and/or for an hour in these conditions.

If you are unable to keep up with the group, please understand that you might not be able to participate in an activity. If you have concerns about physical limitations, please contact a Great Escape Publishing staff member before registering. You can email us at workshops@greatescapepublishing.comhere or call (202) 370-6459.

To ensure you get plenty of time with our experts Shelly and Bonnie, this expedition is limited to only 10 people.

Again, space is limited for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I strongly urge you to sign up today. It could be years before you get another opportunity to explore Oaxaca, with such a small group of like-minded people – and, with not one, but TWO expert photographers by your side!

We’ve had a number of requests to save seats already -- this program will fill up quickly! And I’d hate for you to miss out.

So please, register here now by clicking below or if you have any questions call our office today at (202) 370-6459 (Eastern time zone) or toll free at (866) 415-1425. You can also email me at lori@greatescapepublishing.comhere.

Here’s to having the adventure of a lifetime in Oaxaca, Mexico this October!


Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

Click Here to Register!

P.S. If you can take a simple photograph, you have what it takes to become a successful freelance photographer. It’s that easy. The many successful folks who have attended a workshop of ours in the past don’t do anything you can’t learn to do.

You don’t need fancy equipment. And you don’t need to know a thing about photography to get started. In Oaxaca, you’ll get all the real-world know-how you need to turn a trip here or a vacation there into a little cash on the side… or even jump in full-time. To turn 2016 into the year you transform your life, join us in Oaxaca and learn how you can pursue your photography passions and get paid to do it…

NOTE: You may qualify for additional discounts on The Day of the Dead Photo Workshop – Oaxaca, Mexico. Click below on the Register Today button for details or call our office at (202) 370-6459 or (866) 415-1425 to find out how much you can save.

Click Here to Register!


“Shelly is very approachable and willing to share her knowledge. She is really great helping with the photo shoots”
– Pam Watson

“These workshops are a wonderful opportunity to travel to a new locale and explore while learning a new skill.”
– Sandra M.

“Shelly has extensive knowledge of photography techniques and composition. Her experience in stock and editorial photography was shared in a very clear manner.”
– Robert Horacek

“The workshop was fun. I learned a lot… I met interesting people and I became excited about trying to make money from photography. The workshop is an excellent value and provides information that is difficult to acquire in other ways. It was an excellent opportunity to try different kinds of photography.”
– Susan H.

“Shelly is very knowledgeable in the stock photo industry. She is always smiling and she loves photography and to help people get started in the right direction.”
– Terry Robinson

“This was a great way to experience unique aspects of an unknown culture. It provided us with great memories and a valuable learning experience.”
- Donna K.

“Shelly is very creative, especially with people photography; has lots of good ideas and is good at conveying them for success in stock; does stunning photography.”
– Mimi Andrews

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