Dia de los Muertos

I have been traveling to Mexico since I was a little boy, and I have a real affection for the people and the country; as someone that great up on the East Coast, their culture of family and celebration felt so vibrant and new for me; their landscape so untamed and full of color, texture and history.

My earliest memories of my time in Mexico are in San Miguel de Allende, which we started to visit when I was 7.

Fast forward a number of years, I’m in India on a project for National Geographic and I meet a woman on a train, the Punjab Mail to be exact. We get to talking and I learn she grew up in Mexico and I ask if she had ever been to San Miguel de Allende, she looks at me funny and says she’s been going there since she was 7.

Leap ahead a few more years, we’re married and now I go back often.   At some point, I realize I want to photograph people at a Day of the Dead celebration in San Miguel de Allende and once I got my permit for the town square,  I set up shop for a few nights to photograph people and costumes that I found most interesting. The same magic of the place I knew with the wonder of a 7 year-old still sparked as I captured the colorful ritual of Dia de los Muertos.

These portraits are all about the faces, which told the stories of the color, texture and history of Mexico, and I can’t take any credit for that. I just had to get myself in the middle of it. I had one battery-operated light, and we set up and searched for faces from hundreds of people walking by. My job – if you can call it that – was easy. It doesn’t get much better.