La Luz Workshops is an educational company specializing in photography. We design and produce learning experiences with some of the world’s leading photographic artists and industry experts.
We offer an environment where students can immerse themselves for a period of time and focus intensively on making new and better photographs, reflect on their work, generate ideas, and grow their practice.
Our company is built on a foundation of integrity, service, collaboration and community. We are devoted to personalized attention and taking care of every detail to provide the best possible learning and life experience for our students.
My name is Selma Fernández Richter and I am a photographer, educator and producer. Originally from Oaxaca, México, since 2011 I have been living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with my husband, photographer Andy Richter and our son Julien. We spend our time between Mexico and the United States.
My career began in 2001, primarily working on editorial projects for magazines. The desire to improve my photography led me to search for the most effective way to learn new skills. I found that photography workshops were an ideal way to do this. They provided an opportunity for me to immerse myself in a relatively short period of time, learn from the best teachers and photographers in the world, and apply the knowledge to my profession upon returning home. I was fortunate to have Mary Ellen Mark as my teacher, who ran an amazing workshop for nearly 20 years in Oaxaca, my home town.
A desire to continue learning kept me close to the world of photography workshops. In 2007, I started working as Teaching Assistant for the Santa Fe Workshops and National Geographic Expeditions, also in Oaxaca, where I had the opportunity to work with National Geographic photographers Kenneth Garrett, David Alan Harvey and Raul Touzon, among others. With time, I started to develop photography classes locally for advanced enthusiasts. Facilitating the learning process and bearing witness to student growth brought me great fulfillment and joy.
In 2011, I was invited to produce Mary Ellen Mark’s workshops which turned out to be the best school I could ever attend. Not only did I learn about photography, but also about her commitment to her students and her close relationship with the community. She always pushed students and staff to their full potential. I was fortunate to also assist her on assignment. Working in Oaxaca, where I was born and raised, is something that has always made me proud. I aim to share it with our students, who come from all over the world, in an authentic and intimate way.
For many years, I collaborated with Photo Xpeditions, the company who produced Mary Ellen’s workshops. I started working with photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, Maggie Steber, Tino Soriano, among many others. This work has also allowed me to get to know hundreds students, many of whom I consider friends today, which is another great part of working in this industry—you connect with a lot of interesting, creative, and wonderful people.
Grateful for all these years of experience, the natural next step was to establish La Luz Workshops, a company that truly reflects my values around photography and teaching. We are excited to work with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Finding your vision Oaxaca, Mexico, 2019 as our inaugural workshop. As a way to honor the memory of Mary Ellen Mark, and her love for Mexico, we plan on continuing the tradition of offering an annual tuition-free scholarship for a young Mexican photographer in partnership with some of Mary Ellen’s students and close friends.
Also, the workshop Your Work and its Audience: Making the Match, NYC 2019 with Mary Virginia Swanson, Elisabeth Biondi, and Special Guests will take place in May of 2019. One more workshop will be introduced later this fall for the coming year. Please check out what we have to offer. We look forward to working with you.