the ‘incredibleness’ that is a Jose Villa workshop

Like Jessica Claire said, you take a workshop with Jose Villa and you expect to learn a thing or two. In my case it was the latter times one hundred or maybe two. When I read that Jose would be having a workshop near Guadalajara in November I was ecstatic. I live about four hours away and to me there couldn’t have been a larger neon sign screaming to me that I had to take this workshop.

Things were going to happen at this workshop. I needed to be a part of this workshop. And so I went.

And I was surrounded on all sides by incredible talent and inspiration.

On the wedding side we had Jose, Jessica, and ‘the wedding planner’ Jill Lafleur. For creativity, vision, and the oh so needed mind and body opening throughout the day there was the unbelievably talented Karina Puente. The glam makeup and fab styling (and of course witty commentary) come courtesy of Mar of Team Hair and Makeup and Mathew Johns respectively. If that wasn’t enough super 8 filmmaker Joel Serrato was there as was Brian from Richard Photo Lab. Last, but certainly not least was Lacie who had the amazingly hard job of keeping us all on schedule and organized. Seriously I don’t know how she did it.

In addition to all of the amazing people listed above there were also 16 super talented individuals there to take part in the workshop. Watching other photographers work is a great learning tool for me. I love to see how each person’s individual style shines through the direction of their clients (or in our case models).

I walked away with so much more than I ever thought possible. One of the hardest things for me is to step back, take a deep breath, and feel where I am. Not just where, but who I am and who I want to be. This workshop was an awakening for me. I truly appreciate every moment I had with such a talented group of people and hope that you all will be down this way again soon!

Here are some of my favorites from the workshop. The first few were taken around the Hacienda del Carmen which offered some unreal backdrops…

jillianmitchell-82 josevilla_taller_2


And these were taken on the second day in a nearby pueblo.

Dresses by Claire Pettibone and hairpieces by Oh My Deer-Etsy. Aren’t they awesome? Models courtesy of Citro Modelos.

josevilla_taller_3Yay gorgeous light!

jillianmitchell-36 jillianmitchell-34 jillianmitchell-76 jillianmitchell-33Her dress just looks so rad in this one:

josevilla_taller_6These next two sets are probably my favorites from the day…

josevilla_taller_4 josevilla_taller_5The best thing about Mexico, well besides the video games, are the colors:

jillianmitchell-75 josevilla_taller_7This is a shot Jose set up and I just really dig it:


These guys had a really good energy going on. It was super easy to get great photos!

josevillataller_1And again yay for more beautiful light:

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When I get my film back from Richards I will post my shots of the hacienda…

Thank you to everyone for making this workshop such an amazing experience, but most of all to Jose for bringing us all together! I can only hope that I get the chance to work with all of you again.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes of everyone (almost… sorry Joel+Jill). I love the one of Karina playing perro, perro, gato (duck, duck, goose get it? or literally, dog, dog, cat) with the kids in one of the towns. Clockwise form top left: the amazing Lacie doing some last minute touch ups, Mar or TEAM hair and makeup whose tool belt I just need to own, Mathew Johns master styler and hilarious too, Jose showing use how it’s done, Karina with the kids, even the models wanted to see Jessica’s shots, and again Jose with some local talent.


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