Richmond, Virginia-based portrait and lifestyle photographer Cade Martin has been visiting Mexico since he was a little boy and even got married there. He recently returned to photograph a holiday that he’s been intrigued with since his first trip to Mexico: Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). On Day of the Dead, participants dress up to revel in their ancestors’ past glory and how they lived their lives. It includes shrines, food, plays, performances, and very intricate costumes. Cade set up a mobile photo booth in San Miguel De Allende to create portraits of existing faces that he finds inspiring:
I really wanted to set up a photo booth and create portraits of faces with the hopes of photographing inspiring people walking around. The faces and outfits are extraordinary and it would be neat to try and capture some of the spirit of the San Miguel De Allende festival.
The key was finding a little space to set up at the festival, which consists of thousands of people and very little room. Cade took a few weeks of pre-production before traveling and worked with a producer who grew up in Mexico City and who he’s known for years:
We went through all of the proper channels and were able to obtain the proper permits to see up in the El Jardin. We were able to have police help us with crowd control during the event so it was pretty seamless. We waited until dark to start and the the actual shooting session with each person was pretty quick.
The result is very real portraits that showcase the intense makeup and work that is put into a day so special in Mexican culture.
The project was recently featured on Huffington Post.