All images by JP Stones. Used with permission.
“Mexico has a deep and fascinating history,” explains photographer JP Stones in his email to us. “None more fascinating than the Aztecs meteoric rise to empire, and equally spectacular fall. Many Aztec traditions and ceremonies held such a vital place within Mexican culture that they have survived over 600 years through to today.” In the hippie Mexican beach town of Sayulita, a partnership has been forged between the local Azteca community and photographers JP Stones and Brei Barron. JP describes the result as a series of cinematic photos depicting a cultural movement thriving beneath the surface of Mexico’s everyday life.
Despite how deep, ancient, and rich Aztec culture is, it’s feeling the burdens of an increasingly urbanized Mexico. In fact, it’s downright almost killing the culture. “Apart from dancers that can be found performing during festivals, this incredible culture remains hidden to most visitors,” said JP Stones. “We wanted to showcase this rich cultural heritage in historically fitting locations. Away from the cities and its modern distractions, and into the wild expanses of nature that still cover much of Mexico.”
Lots of these images are shot in the jungle and along the Pacific coastline. JP’s intentions are to create a reminder of the power and wisdom these ancient cultures maintain generation after generation. And believe it or not, folks love the photos so much that they’re now hosting photography workshops where travellers can meet members of the local Aztec community and take part in a professional photo shoot.
The images in the series depict a few people from the culture and put them in very cinematic scenes in an effort to educate folks about that culture. Of course, the images are also quite beautiful.
“We hope these unique workshops will overcome cultural and linguistic barriers. Its an opportunity to see some of the true essence and spirit of Mexico,” says Brei Barron.