Workshop: Alternative Platforms for Storytelling

Nov 1–3, 2016
Oaxaca, Mexico

With a world saturated by images, how can we better engage our audiences and use technology to enhance our visual storytelling?

Join Boreal Collective and Black Box from November 1–3, 2016 in Oaxaca, Mexico for the 2016 Boreal Bash Workshop. We are exploring the theme of “Alternative Platforms for Storytelling” through a combination of small breakout sessions, lectures and field work. Our renowned photographers, editors, and designers will share their practical, contemporary experiences of telling stories from around the globe and explore their own unique ways of telling stories.

Our workshop coincides with the Day of the Dead ceremonies in Oaxaca and participants will photograph the event with personal assignments that will push their visual storytelling to new heights. Oaxaca holds one of the richest cultural histories in Mexico, from the Zapotecs and Mixtecs up to today's ongoing conflicts with the teachers movement. Participants will join our photographers on the streets and in the communities of Oaxaca to document this event with an eye to current events.

Students will be able to select from an array of specialized breakout sessions that are appropriate to photographers in all stages of their careers. One series will codify the process of being a successful freelance photographer: making portfolios and contacting editors, executing your first assignment and tackling the often-ignored realities of getting paid and running a successful business. More advanced sections will explore the nuances of documentary photography: developing intimacy with your subjects, balancing assignment work with long-term, personal projects, and how to choose the best form to tell and distribute your stories in both print and digital media.

All participants will be organized into one of five Field Work groups that reflect their interests and desired areas of specific critique, and will have relevant assignments during the Day of the Dead field photography sessions. After two afternoons of field work, we will gather together for a personal edit of the work which will culminate in a public presentation on the final day of the workshop.

Field Work

The “Field Work" sections will be divided into five groups:

Mastering the One-Day Assignment
Street Photography
Working in Hazardous Environments
Objects / Still Life

Breakout Sessions

Session 1:

"Intro to Freelancing 1: Business Basics"
"Intimate Personal Projects"
"Editing for Web Platforms"
"Archiving and Printing Methods"
"Telling Stories without Photographs"

Session 2:

"Intro to Freelancing 2: Portfolios"
"Video and Mobile Phone Photography"
"Social Justice Photography"
"Book Publishing”
"Intensive One-on-One Photo Editing"

Session 3:

"Developing Long-Term Projects and Balancing Assignments"
"Grant Writing"
"Alternative Processes"
"Intro to Freelancing 3: Approaching Editors"
"Intensive One-on-One Photo Editing"

To reserve your spot, please send us an email at and pay your registration fee via PayPal (buttons below). 

Latin American Photographers
International Photographers

Fees for instruction (exclusive of travel and accommodations):

 - $250 USD for Latin American photographers
 - $450 USD for international photographers

Please note: In the event of a cancellation, Boreal will retain 50% of the fees paid and refund the balance.

PhotoShelter is excited to grant one lucky emerging photographer from Latin America a spot at the Boreal Bash Workshop - details here. If you are awarded the grant and have already registered for the workshop,  your registration fee will be refunded.


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