top of page

San Miguel de Allende film photography diaries; a journey into the heart.

A view of La Parroquia church in San Miguel de Allende

I got asked “why San Miguel de Allende?” a lot.  It’s not the first time I’ve been asked why I go where I go.  The truth is, I don’t have that answer.  For my adult life, travel has felt very intuitive to me — an inexplainable pull to places I’ve never been.  The only option I feel I have is to listen and go even when none of it makes sense on paper.  


Volkwagen beetle driving through centro in San Miguel de Allende

On the outside, San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque town.  The first time I saw a photo of centro, I wondered if that was truly Mexico.  It would be enough to go for the cobblestone streets, massive old doors that make you stop and wonder what’s behind, the endless courtyards, colourful buildings or bustling markets, but San Miguel de Allende is more than that — there’s a heartbeat there like I’ve never experienced in a place.  


Within a few days of being there, I could feel it very viscerally, I could see it in the eyes of people walking by.  If you’re willing to open your heart to San Miguel de Allende, if you’re willing to tune into what this place wants for you, what the land wants to reveal to you — if you’re willing to show up — it will pour so much back into your Spirit.  I came to learn later on that this land is the heart of Mexico.


This journal entry is a film photography journey of this pueblo magico — for the beautiful moments with people I might never see again, for the ones I know I will, for everything San Miguel de Allende gave me in love, friendship, career and creativity, and for the land — for the gifts, the learnings and lessons she gifted me. 


Man walking with his donkey in San Miguel de Allende

Story behind the photo:

After a week of being in San Miguel de Allende, I was wandering the streets with my camera. As I turned onto Aldama, what is known as the most picturesque street in centro, a man was walking towards me with his donkey. I asked if I could take a photo, he agreed. More people walked by and took photos, posing with the donkey. Then it started to rain and the street emptied out of tourists. Instead of leaving as well, I decided to just stand under the smallest canopy, barely keeping me and my camera dry from the rain. As I stood there, we started talking and it turns out he had spent three years living in Calgary, which just happens to be where I am from. There are no coincidences. We spent the next hour talking about Calgary, San Miguel de Allende, his journey, his family's donkey farm, Palomita (the donkey). At some point, the rain stopped and more people wandered by, but the conversation continued. Time blurred in that moment. Eventually, we continued on our own way. What a gift that connection was.


Religious artwork in the streets of San Miguel de Allende


La Parroquia at sunrise in San Miguel de Allende
A motorbike driving through the streets of San Miguel de Allende

Colourful buildings and Bourgainvillea in San Miguel de Allende

A man standing on the sidewalk in San Miguel de Allende

Birds in flight above a religious building in San Miguel de Allende
Mexican tiles in San Miguel de Allende

A mariachi band member takes a pause on the sidewalk in San Miguel de Allende

Mariachi bands in San Miguel de Allende
Mariachi bands in San Miguel de Allende


A woman at the flower market in San Miguel de Allende
Fruit market in San Miguel de Allende

Roses at the flower market in San Miguel de Allende


Story behind the photo:

I was wandering around Tianguis de los Martes, an explosion of colours, smells, sounds and tastes. It's spaces like this local Tuesday market that really draw me in when I travel. I was solo wandering with my camera and walked by this rose stall. I stopped to say hi to the vendor and take a photo of the pile of flowers on the ground. The vendor smiled at me, grabbed a bouquet and placed it perfectly on top of the roses then motioned for me to take the photo because, now it was ready.


My travels continuously remind me that people are beautiful.



Roses at the flower market in San Miguel de Allende

Potted cactus and Mexican tiles in San Miguel de Allende

A doorway in the streets of San Miguel de Allende

A courtyard fountain surrounded by plants in San Miguel de Allende
Colourful steps in San Miguel de Allende

Pedro Friedeberg art at La Valise San Miguel de Allende

Mestiz installations in Doce-18 San Miguel de Allende

Mexican tiles on the streets of San Miguel de Allende

Meeting Citlalli Parra:

What a gem Citlalli Parra is. I was introduced to her by a mutual connection. We connected immediately. She modelled for the Mexico City based clothing line, Agnes, that I shot while I was there. I also toured her home studio where we shot just for the sake of creating together. Citlalli is a textile designer that works intimately with native plants for her weaving and natural dyeing. Her journey has taken her into the 'campo' of Oaxaca with native artisans that are committed to preserving indigenous artistry techniques. I highly recommend you check out her work.


A woman leans on bricks in her apartment in San Miguel de Allende

A woman holds natural Mexican fibres
Hand-woven textile wall hanging with natural fibres

A woman stands on the balcony of her apartment

While I was in San Miguel de Allende, I was commissioned by Milk Decoration magazine to photograph and write a city-guide of this magical hub in the heart of Mexico. Writing this guide lead my already curious heart deeper into intriguing courtyards, into connecting with the locals, into the vibrancy of this place. It was a true gift. Some of the images shared here were taken for that city-guide and published in Milk Decoration Issue 46. All photos are my own.

コメント


bottom of page