Does your gypsy fire yearn to travel? Does someplace challenging, unique, and culturally interesting intrigue you?

Would you like to photograph volcanoes and people, lend a hand at a teen ranch of lost boys, and take your photography to another level? 

Are you a storyteller in your heart? Are you flexible and like to meet new people? Pack your camera. Embrace life. Join us!

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Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Lake Atilán, Guatemala, surrounded by three volcanoes, emerald green hills, and promising sunsets. Our photography workshop provides you the opportunity to experience the wonder of Guatemala.

Lake Atilán, Guatemala, surrounded by three volcanoes, emerald green hills, and promising sunsets. Our photography workshop provides you the opportunity to experience the wonder of Guatemala.

A giant kite ready to fly on All Saints' Day in Guatemala. 

A giant kite ready to fly on All Saints' Day in Guatemala. 

This trip is rated as moderately light with walking on cobblestones and a boat ride. You can choose how much you want to walk; ask about options. For those wanting more action, there are many opportunities to hike further and longer. 


October 30. Pickup from airport. Meet-and-greet in Antigua. Dinner together.

October 31. Antigua. We will take a short trip by vehicle to an overlook of the city. Talk photography, discuss engaging with people and equipment for shooting. All Saint's Day celebration.

November 1. All Saints' Day. Early morning, we travel by vehicle a few miles to the Grand Colorful Kites Ceremony. It's a photo fiesta for your eyes. 

November 2. You will travel to the insanely photogenic Lake Atián and some of the towns surrounding it. It's a mix of ancient Guatemala with fishermen in dugout canoes, kayaks, and motorboats. 

November 3. Lake Region Highlands (other side of lake). Option to visit Mayan ceremony, weavers and artists, and to taste some local coffee. We will travel by boat. 

November 4. Continue Highland Lake Atiían Region adventure. 

November 5. Travel to Youth Ranch with one-hour stop at Mayan market and Mayan church. We arrive afternoon at Las Sierras de los Cuchumatanes with Youth Ranch kids.

November 6. Stay with kids in Huehuetanagno. Visit local areas of the Mam Mayan and landscapes. 

November 7. Colonial town of Antigua.

November 8. To airport for Home Flights. 

OPTIONAL: Tikal Ruins Add-On.

November 8. A night in Guatemala City where we will visit local attractions with local NGO friends. 

Tikal was densely inhabited from 600 B.C- S.D. 900.This is one of 24 major pyramids.

Tikal was densely inhabited from 600 B.C- S.D. 900.This is one of 24 major pyramids.

November 9. Morning flight to Flores, gateway to Tikal ruins. We spend a night in the colorful town of Flores where our plane lands and we make preparations for Tikal. 

November 10. Tikal Ruins The Maya civilization flourished between roughly 600 B.C. and A.D. 900 and was once the center of the Maya.We will stay at a lodge in the park of Tikal. There are howler monkeys and other animals that make staying within the park worth the extra expense. This will give us the opportunity to photograph the ruins at night. 

November 11. Fly back to Guatemala City together for our home flights. Option to stay overnight in Guatemala City or fly back the same evening.

A vista above the town World Heritage UNESCO town, Antigua.

A vista above the town World Heritage UNESCO town, Antigua.

In Guatemala, All Saint's Day and Day of the Dead are celebrated around the colorful ceremony of kites. For a photographer, it's a festival for the eyes. The Mayan beliefs include wind, earth, and fire; the kites represent an integral part of communication. The kites take from six months to a year to create, and most all community members join together in groups to make these beauties. We will walk about 30 minutes from the town to the graveyard. 

    "I learned to use my camera to make stories not just take snapshots. We engaged with local people and even ate at a Guatemalan home.

I never felt like a tourist.The Guatemala workshop is as close you can get to being part of the culture without actually living in it. 
I want to go again!"   Raelyn H.


Improve your shooting abilities while traveling in the Mayan highlands. Learn to shoot in unique and colorful cultural situations, participate in photography critiques, and savor the ancient Mayan culture. 

Throughout the week, you will be shooting and learning. You will focus on engaging or not, intentional shooting, approaching strangers, and shaping your skills

We kickstart this trip by photographing the colorful Mayan Kite Ceremony on All Saints' Day. This old tradition is a wild fiesta of color in the sky very worth the photograph. Paper-and-bamboo kites as large as a bus colorfully illustrate Maya culture, religious themes, and human rights. 

The Guatemala Photography Workshop runs from October 30 until November 8, 2017. The photography workshop is limited to 8 people.
We limit the participants in the workshop as it enables us to move with flexibility and work as a team. This photography workshop is led by Sherrlyn Borkgren. (her website is listed below)

Tikal Ruins is an optional extension of our workshop. If you are interested in going to the best ruins in Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage site you are invited to discover this with me. I will be exploring the ancient Tikal Ruins and the nearby town of Flores to add on to future trips.We'll fly from Guatemala City to stay one night in the colorful town of Flores. We'll stay the second night in the jungle at a lodge where the animals are free to roam, and we can be inside the park at night for photography. We'll also travel by boat to visit the few remaining speakers of Itza before the language disappears. Plan on three extra days and a night in Guatemala City where we will visit a local speakeasy before heading out. 

Our Purpose. We will produce incredible photography, practice goodwill towards all, and encourage laughter on our planet. Experience the heartbeat of the culture. Grasp the endless opportunities to photograph in highland Mayan Guatemala, volcano-encircled lakes, and a historic city with its European and indigenous roots.

Cameras. A digital 35mm camera with either a fixed lens or a changeable lens works. Sherrlyn mainly shoots with a Canon 7D and iPhone 7 but has also been seen toting a Sony and an Olympus XA.

However, a Laughing Planet Photography Workshop isn't about cameras or equipment. Our emphasis centers on shooting amazing landscapes, people, architecture, and engaging goodwill with those we meet.

This is part vacation for most so expect assignments to be enjoyable and fun. We will assign certain nights for open critiques. You will have the opportunity to share your images during these evenings and talk about your experiences. No matter what your level of expertise, you will leave with stronger images and many stories to tell. 

Experience the past, the present, and the future. Walk among the ancient cathedrals. Hear the ancient Mayan languages. (There are 22 Mayan languages spoken throughout Guatemala but the three popular languages in the highlands are Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil and K'iche'.)

Weather. We will visit just after the rainy season. It might be 75F at midday and a pleasant 60F at night. It is really the land of eternal spring! 

Travel Attitude. Traveling responsibly encourages us to engage with all types of people. We will observe some values from our own history and other values that are unique to this very different culture. Openness will always be extended to those who seek ways to encourage laughter, understanding, and goodwill.

Free Time. We travel to many beautiful places on this trip, but we also try to make free time for everyone. Mornings and evenings, we'll take advantage of the magic light that falls on Guatemala for photographing. 

More Information? Contact us at

Cost. $2,600 for 10 Days. 
Included: Photography instruction, airport pickup, in-country transportation, all hotels (double occupancy–we'll try to match solo travelers). Private rooms are available at additional cost. We'll have two lunches with a Guatemalan family during our stay in Antigua. Breakfasts are included at the Youth Ranch. Lunch ($6) and dinner ($8) are made by the kids. 

You will be picked up at the Guatemala City Airport and transported to our reserved hotel in Antigua for our first day of meet-and-greet and an evening meal. We stay October 30 to November 2 at the hotel before we travel onward. This gives you time to explore Antigua and take a side trip together for a vista overlooking the town. 

Not included: Airfare, tips, drinks, or anything beyond what is mentioned here.

***Ask us about Early Bird and Previous Traveler Specials! 

Write to Sherrlyn directly at

You can see some of Sherrlyn Borkgren's journalism work here