Día de los Muertos, 2022

An interesting thing about living in the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco, which has a large Latin American immigrant population, is that people make a big effort to show how proud they are of their roots. Día de los Muertos is one of the holidays where that really shows.

Pretty much every storefront had marigolds. Some were for sale, others just decoration.

It was cold, but otherwise a beautiful evening in the Mission, which was lucky given this week we’re getting a lot of rain, and it had rained a lot earlier in the day.

Katie met me to go on a photowalk.

Both kids and adults were getting their faces painted. I told Katie I’d pay if she got her face done, but she wasn’t into the idea.


I found it interesting that so many people closed their eyes when I was taking their photos in order to show all their make-up.


The whole night there were a lot of people at Balmy Alley and in front of Taquería Vallarta.

The superposition of the city and the Mesoamerican costumes is always surreal. The “22nd st.” sign makes the shot IMO.

Some people are more serious than others.

The whole event has a mix of neighborhoody and exclusionary vibes. There were speeches about how this was our holiday, and not theirs. Critiques of colonization, but in Spanglish. Very San Francisco.

These two told me about every one of the family members on their altar. It’s a bittersweet holiday.

This woman only let me take her portrait after I assured her I was not a commercial photographer. Also very San Francisco.

The cop asked if he could join the photo. I said, sure, why not?

One of my favorite shots of the night.

This guy had a great suit.

It’s really cool that people make space to share their family history, and talk to strangers about their family members.

You’d expect the political undertones of “thanks SFPD, but also you killed these people” would make a tense parade, but it was pretty tame.

These three were singing me a song, but I couldn’t really make out what it was.

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