Mexico City fake faces and real faces

Mexico City Street Photography in Black & White

Mexico, Photo Essay

Mexico City is a street photography paradise. Before I came to this megalopolis, I assumed it would be difficult to shoot in the streets because, you know, Mexico. It has a bad reputation. I assumed if I pulled out a camera in public I’d immediately be beaten, robbed, kidnapped and then kicked and spat upon as soon as I was returned for ransom.

In reality, Mexico City is a really friendly mega-city and shooting in the streets was easy, mainly because there is so much going on that people rarely noticed me, and if they caught me taking their photo, they almost always smiled. Once, a shoe repairman caught me taking his photo, called me over to chat, and then requested that I email him a copy. In fact, Mexico might have been too friendly. Several people who saw me taking their photos stopped and posed, like this kid:

Mexico City boy

Posed photos kind of go against what I was looking for, but it beats the heck out of getting assaulted.

Below is a gallery of candid street photos of the Mexican capital. Click any photo to open a slideshow view.

Mexico City Street Photos


Normally, at this point I would make a desperate appeal for comments

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

26 thoughts on “Mexico City Street Photography in Black & White”

  1. I like the photo (second row, second from left of the grid): 2 youngsters in the foreground smiling but the 2 gentlemen in the background especially one with the gesture that probably says “I don’t understand, wth man!” Hahaha…great photos Jeff, awesome!

  2. These are all great, but I really like #24. His expression, the way he holding the wine glass and the empty table behind him really complete the scene. So many different stories this image could tell.

  3. Nice job, Jeff! I always imagine all the amazing people shots I am going to take when I am traveling to interesting foreign destinations but then somehow never manage to have the nerve to do it. Congratulations on not getting assaulted and on getting an awesome gallery of photos!

    • Thanks Alison. I bought a mirrorless camera before the trip thinking I’d use it here and there, but I’ve been using it 95% of the time. It looks like a film camera and people barely notice it, so it has made it easier to blend in.

  4. Jeff I don’t think you need to make any desperate appeals. Your posts speak for themselves. So I am curious why choose black and white? It’s very effective I am just wondering how you decide.

    • I like B&W for street photography because it is timeless and is reminiscent of the classic street photos of Winogrand, Friedlander and others. Often times in cities, there is so much color it can be distracting so the BW simplifies it. However, I do have a post coming up of color photos from Mexico City. Sometimes the color is what makes the image.

  5. J.T. Hendrix says:

    I heard the same thing about Mexico City back in 2009. I wanted to visit a new friend who lived there and was discouraged because of safety reasons. I am so thankful to see your photos and to read about your experience.

  6. Pingback: Photo Essay: Talking Hands | Planet Bell

  7. Pingback: My Favorite Places in Mexico – An Awards Show | Planet Bell

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