My fast dwindling group of photographers have been a busy lot these past couple of weeks. Despite the fact that my once 28-strong team has now been slashed to a mere 11, the remaining participants are proving to be dedicated and interested. Such was my prediction.

Sadly, the street called back to it’s begrimed embrace some of the faces you see in the video below – Pablo and Horacio – and one of my girls, Brenda, did not show up again for a second session after I heard she ran away for a weekend’s excitement under the overpasses. Episodes such as these tend to mean that my group shifts and changes weekly, but the constants are as follows: Pati and Tabata of the girls and Osvaldo, Eduardo, Ariel, Usiel and Miguel Ángel of the boys.

Two weeks ago my team made postcards which are intended to be sent to the Scottish school. I asked the particpants to take photos of their local landscape. Below are a couple of the scenes they captured in the area surrounding their homes:

By Brenda. This lady had told Brenda that she was going from house to house looking for cleaning work in the wealthier area of Taxqueña in Mexico City. She was asking for a monthly wage of MX$200-300 (£10-15). Brenda told me that was a miserable wage and it made her very sad.

By Daniel. Daniel politely asked this shopkeeper if he could take a picture of the back of his shop. Daniel said he is proud of pre-Hispanic Mexican culture and that he wants this photograph to show that it is still present in Mexican everyday life.

 For the next session I knew I wanted to explore portraiture. I also knew that many of my participants would be unwilling candidates for sitting in the portrait-chair. A lens in one’s face is an initmidating encounter and, unless you’re Kate Moss, very few are able to relax in front of the camera. And so, with my prescious funds in tow, I paid a visit to the fancy dress shop. As with every (un)desirable commodity imagined, fancy dress has a monopoly over one particular area in Mexico City, and I was lucky enough to  wander into its irresistably colourful premises whilst on my mission. Here I spent the best part of thirty quid buying wigs, face paints, hats and masks in the hope that, if hidden behind these, my particpants would forget any self-conscious scruples and become a new persona.

 It worked a lucky charm. After some initial awkwardness amongst the girls, Pati was the first to slowly reach for a plastic skull hat and, placing it on her head with a timid smile, stood herself infront of one of the sheets I’d hung on the walls. Then the boys turned up and the mayhem commenced, and some marvelously eccentric portraits resulted.

Me (left), David and Pati by Tabata

Ariel (left) and Usiel pose for Eduardo

Osvaldo by Miguel Ángel

The Team by Tabata - she didn't want to feature in any photos but took to taking them like a duck to water.

Thankfully all this photography action means that we will have something to sell in two upcoming auctions in December! More on those for the next blogging round. Until then, amigos, much has to be done in the way of editing, printing and mounting. Time is indeed on the run, even in Mexico, and I am yet hoping we can achieve some more intimate encounters between our team and the camera before then.