Join award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in beautiful Vancouver.
This intimate four-day masterclass (limited to 8 students) will take you on a visual treasure hunt to some of the most interesting and exciting locations in Vancouver. We will explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods including: Gastown, Stanley Park and English Bay, Chinatown, Granville Island, The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), The Night Market & Yaletown.
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
Steve will be teaching you new and powerful street photography techniques guaranteed to push you from your comfort zone to new heights in your work andshare his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera. This intensive workshop will help you find your own unique vision and street style through assignments created to get you past photographic fears and cliches to capturing lyrical, poetic and decisive moments that communicate the energy of the streets.
But mostly we will be shooting the theatre that is the street; sometimes together, often on our own. You will find out just how photogenic Vancouver is for a street photographer. All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. With street photography the world you capture is largely out of your control, making it one of the most difficult genre’s to master. What you will learn here this week will make all other genre’s of photography you are passionate about, just a little bit easier.
You’ll learn about the “rhythm of place” and we will discuss the laws and ethics of street photography as well as dealing with difficult situations that might pop up. We will define a strategy for capturing the rich daily life of people on the street and overcoming fears and shyness, approaching strangers for street portraits, framing, juxtaposition and layering your compositions, letting the image come to you and whether color or black and white best suits your vision.
Our Venue: The Loft – Gastown
Our venue: The Loft Gastown: 55 East Cordova Street 517, Vancouver, BC V6A 1K3, Canada
This 1906 warehouse conversion is an open concept loft with polished concrete floors, 16 ft ceilings with timber beams, & exposed brick in Gastown, voted #4 in list of 50 Most Stylish Neighbourhoods in the World. Easy access to some of Vancouver’s trendiest shops, restaurants, nightclubs, attractions and maybe most important —street shooting opportunities. Walking distance to downtown Vancouver’s shopping, business and entertainment district, Chinatown, Yaletown, and less than a ten minute walk to the Waterfront Skytrain Station transit hub and Seabus. There’s even a bus stop outside the building. There are Citi Bike Stands very close to the loft. (Wear a helmet!)
You are welcome to leave stuff overnight at our workspace.
“The only thing that gets in the way of a really good photograph, is the camera.” – Norman Parkinson
“The only thing that gets in the way of a really good photograph, is the camera.” – Norman Parkinson
We will talk street-tech and Steve will give you his minimalist view on gear along with a simplified shooting process to maximizing your response time to capture decisive moments. Steve’s street tools include a Nikon D5 & D850, along with a carefully curated selection of lenses; but he’s familiar with a wide range of equipment to help you maximize your mirror-less, compact, rangefinder, DSLR or even your camera phone for compelling street images.
We will talk lenses, auto focus, zone focusing, shooting form the hip, using live view, flash and a host of other tips, tricks, distractions and ideas that will improve your work dramatically. It’s a street photography workshop but the lessons learned will benefit you in all genres of image-making.
“If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph.” – Bruce Gilden
In class, we will look at a selection of your best work from the previous day. These daily critiques are of crucial importance, where we share ideas and constructive criticism as we look through each others’ images. The workshop will be a “safe place” for group discussions with suggestions and new ideas put forward. We will visit a photography gallery and participate in lectures and critiques every day. You will also schedule a twenty-minute, one-on-one personal session with Steve.
You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio and slide show, which could be a specific idea or as general as your “Love Letter to Vancouver” capturing general impressions of the city from it’s people, places, food, light or architecture. You are encouraged to do some research into what you will find here, but you don’t need to finalize your theme until you begin to shoot. Steve will provide a number of assignments designed to push you from your comfort zone and help give you direction when on the street.
“I am a tourist.“ – Garry Winogrand
Day 1: Saturday August 18: 2pm Arrival & Orientation.
Introductory meet and greet talking about the week to come as you view the work of some of the best and most influential modern day street photographers followed by a quick-start session with tips on shooting and editing. We will then do a group portfolio critique followed by dinner at the loft. (included).
Days 2 & 3: Sunday August 19th; Monday August 20th:
We start each day with a lecture and critique. We meet @ The Loft 11am-2pm daily so we can take advantage of the best early morning and later in the day light. (Sun will rise at about 6:10 am and set 8:15 pm). You are encouraged to edit and choose your top six images from that morning (and the previous night’s shoot) for critique. You will have from 12-12:30 to finalize your edit. After the group critique we hit the streets, a little wiser from the day before.
Shooting locations will be determined each morning.
There will be night shooting sessions at The Pacific National Exhibition & The Night Market.
Day 4 Tuesday August 21th: 10AM – 2PM
On this, the final day of the workshop, we will meet in the morning on location and get out shooting. We meet at 1pm in class for a final lecture, critique and group slide presentation. You will provide your final edit of up to 20 images from the various shoots. I will weed it down to the 10 images per person for the final slide show and I will copy it to your flash drive if you like and post it to the web. I always find it hard to say goodbye at the end of a workshop but I’m heartened by the fact that you leave with a renewed sense of mission and confidence, new techniques and ideas to apply and a reinvigorated passion to continue your wanderings on the streets of your world.
“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?” – Ernst Haas
Where To Rest Your Head
The cost of this workshop covers tuition only and the opening night dinner. You will need to find your own place to stay and there are many, many options close to the loft. I recommend kayak.com as a search engine. AirBNB offers some flexibility in price and accommodation and I have had great experiences using them around the world.
“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.”
– Paul Strand
What to Bring:
- The weather is often beautiful and can get hot this time of year. Average temperatures in the low 80’s during the day, cooling down into the low 60’s when the sun goes down.
- A portfolio of 8 images – JPEGS on a USB FlashDrive in a folder entitled “Your Name” for critique. Images file names should contain your name as well. Make the images at least 2000 pixels or more on the long side, 72dpi saved at Quality 80 per cent.
- This is a digital workshop, so a DSLR, Mirrorless, High-End Compact or rangefinder camera will all work. Having a back up body is always a good idea.
- For your DSLR or Mirrorless, fast prime lenses are ideal, or at least one wide-angle zoom. Lenses in the classic range for street photography: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm will all work (based on full frame camera) and fast lenses f2 or faster offer more flexibility.
- Two or three fully-charged batteries & charger.
- More memory cards than you think you will need and a card reader.
- Your own laptop for image editing and note-taking.
- A flash is optional but you can bring one to experiment with flash on the street.
“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” – Robert Doisneau
For questions or inquiries: email@example.com
Tuition of $1000 USD (this site collects funds in USD).
A deposit of $250 USD will secure your spot.
The balance is due ($750) on or before July 18, 2018. ( If Paying by Check, send to: The Passionate Photographer Inc. 470 West 24 Street, Suite 5G; New York, NY 10011)
If for any reason you need to withdraw from the workshop, please notify us in writing (email is okay) on or before July 1, 2018. At that time we will refund your deposit in full. If notification of cancellation is made after that date and we can fill your spot; you get your money back minus a $100 cancellation fee. If you cancel after July 1 and your spot remains unfilled, we must retain all fees paid. The Passionate Photographer Inc. is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Please insure that these last-minute emergencies are covered by your travel insurance policy (required of all travelers).
This workshop is limited to 8 students.
Street Photography Workshop Testimonials (Legal Disclaimer – Waiver of Liability is below the testimonials).
“Steve has that unique gift of understanding and the ability to communicate both the technical and artistic aspects of photography. He is the real deal! He teaches what he does – there is no theory with this guy; it’s the real world. He sincerely cares about each and every student in his workshops, and he’ll do whatever it takes to have them grasp every technique or idea. Even after the workshop had finished, Steve is still invested in the success of the students and encourages them to keep in contact with him and each other. ”
Alan Jacques, Vancouver
I have now taken three classes with Steve. I follow him around Canada & the U.S.A. like a puppy. I do that because Steve is the real deal. He knows photography, BOTH the art & the craft. He knows how to make camera’s sing & he knows what it is to take a good photo. Recently we were on the streets of Vancouver & he found this lady, & he helped me get this picture…
Spend time with Steve & he will bump your art & your skills to a new level.
Allan Matthews, Vancouver
Steve taught that purpose, position and patience are great virtues in street photography – one doesn’t just wander. And the post-shoot group critiques, led by Steve, were extremely helpful to my views on composition and editing. In fact, I’d say that this was a photography workshop whose topic at hand was the street. I liked that. I’ll do some ‘street photography’ at future family and community events, and my shots will be the better for it.
John Sanders, Vancouver
“I just wanted to drop you a line again and say thank you. Your courses were valuable but mostly you were inspiring. My photography has grown leaps and the passion I have for the art is largely due to you.”
David Christofoli, Vancouver
“Best workshop I’ve ever taken! Steve is not only a great photographer, he is also a terrific teacher. He is patient and very hands- on. In some workshops the instructor sends students out to shoot after a short lecture–Steve goes out with his students, coaching them throughout the process. His course is well organized and covers diverse topics. He is funny and engaging and generous with his time and knowledge. I had SO MUCH fun and am ready to sign up for the next one. Highly recommended!”
Anna Blanco, New York City
“Participating in the NYC Street Photography Workshop was an enriching and exhilarating experience. It challenged me to step out of my comfort zone to improve my skills. Steve’s curriculum and hands on approach offered me an opportunity to learn new techniques, add some creativity and visualize subject matter from another perspective. Each day presented abundant photo opportunities, resulting with the capture of some amazing images, exceeding my greatest expectations. ”
Chapman Solomon, Mountain View, CA
My week in Steve’s Street Shooting workshop challenged me tremendously. There’s nothing like taking your work apart and putting it back together with new vision to make you a better photographer. If you take this workshop, I guarantee you will see the world differently at the end.
Anne Dunford, Ithaca, New York
“I used to wait for people to clear out of the way so I could take a shot, now I’m waiting for them to be part of my picture. Steve’s course has given me the desire to start planning specific street photography projects close to home and also revisit those places I’ve travelled to with a brand new perspective on what make a great and unique photograph. “
Peter Simon, Toronto, Ontario
Steve’s passion for photography is contagious and his teaching abilities and knowledge extraordinary! I highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in photography.
Paul Lavergne, San Juan, PR
“Steve is a patient and inspiring coach. His award-winning portfolio of work attests to his credentials as a teacher who can point you in the right direction. Working with Steve Simon will make you a better and more motivated photographer. It’s his low-key, one-on-one, no bullshit personality that helps him teach and translate his skill effectively. I learned more than I expected I would, primarily in Steve’s critiques of my, and others’, work. During one session, Steve spoke about how we need to take the literal and make it lyrical, a concept I have tried to put into words for quite some time. As a photographer, it is too easy to be ‘captured’ by the odd, the funny, or the simply interesting. That, too often, results in a snap shot. What I really want to do is compel myself to see things differently and be able to photograph them uniquely.”
Frank Barnako, Great Falls VA
Really happy with it all. This one week course was one of the best weeks of my year. (Or more). The critiques were really helpful. It opened up my eyes to a whole new world. I learned what accentuates a photo or just stands in its way. Steve couldn’t have been any more patient when one didn’t understand. Getting critique on my work, getting to see other peoples work, and the shooting was really great. The vibe—meeting kind people who shared my interest and pushed me to do my best—it was an awesome group! The homey feeling at the loft was so great; feeling so comfortable as opposed to stiff workshops. I’m there for your next! Now I understand street photography and I love it. Just go out and shoot! Freakin awesome experience. (But I doubt you want to put that up on your blog).
Connie Itzkowitz, Brooklyn, NY
“Steve Simon freely shared his passion for photography. He was very generous with his time and the sharing of his skills and knowledge of photography with each participant. I saw parts of New York City I otherwise would not have been able to see, and I used a camera in ways I had not imagined to collect wonderful images. As a beginning photographer, a good portion of what I learned was confidence building. Another major component was technique and technical assistance, which were invaluable. Your patience and the sharing of your extensive knowledge was much appreciated. It felt very special to work with Steve and I definitely look forward to signing up for future workshops.”
Laurence Fitchett Jr.
“Our week-long workshop in NYC was excellent. The atmosphere was pleasant, and conducive to learning, as well as the sharing of ideas. It was also helpful in that interacting with other Passionate Photographers under your expert, patient leadership proved to be unusually productive. I look forward to my next workshop with you.”
Gary G. Altman, Atlanta
Not only is Steve a great photographer, he is also a caring, compassionate person as well. He is constantly trying to help participants achieve their photographic goals in a gentle, caring, and sincere manner. Sadly, the critiques of my work were very helpful. Steve was right-on in terms of his suggestions to better my work. The totality of the workshop was terrific, primarily because the parts were all excellent as well. Choice of shooting locations, image reviews, suggestions, videos shown, and galleries visited were all great. Steve also promoted wonderful interactions among the participants. The venue was perfect for the workshop. We could spread out, leave our things there, use the facilities, and eat the goodies provided. You know you’re in good hands with Steve! An outstanding workshop!!
Stephen Sholl, New York City
This is an outstanding workshop, led by a world-class photographer. It is impossible to spend time in a room with Steve Simon and not be inspired to get out there and make great images. I had high expectations and you exceeded them. Steve is very personable, articulate and passionate about photography, very welcoming with a warm, engaging personality. Steve’s style is outstanding. Many photo seminars in London are led by mediocre photographers – you could have promoted Steve’s expertise and track record far better to differentiate this workshop. How many other photogs can say they were commissioned by Nikon to do an international assignment for the D600 launch? The marketing came over as another photo seminar, completely underplaying the quality of the event. I knew of Steve from the TWiP podcast and would have attended if he was talking about how to watch paint dry…”
Steve Lavelle, London, UK
I just spent the last three days with Steve Simon, What a wonderful experience, the best time spent in a workshop ever. Steve is a perfectionist, every presentation not only had spectacular photography but also the perfect music to enhance the mood, a roller coaster of emotions. He cannot hide his journalistic background every single image tells a story. His technique is flawless; his teaching patience unparalleled. I am eager to start a new chapter of my photography applying what Steve taught me in the last few days.
Oscar Piñeyro, Dallas
Legal Disclaimer – Waiver of Liability
You agree when you sign up for any event with The Passionate Photographer Inc. & Steve Simon that you have read and understand the information below.
In consideration of your participation in the The Passionate Photographer Inc. & Steve Simon Workshop or Event, you promise not to sue and hereby release The Passionate Photographer Inc. & Steve Simon, all those participating in the Workshops, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents or representatives from and against any and all liability to you, your personal representatives, assigns, heirs and next of kin for any loss or damages and any claims or demands therefore arising in connection with your participation in the Workshop or Event, including, without limitation, those arising out of injury to your person or property or resulting in your death. You further agree that the foregoing Release and Waiver of Liability is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by law and that if any portion hereof is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall continue in full legal force and effect.
If you join us for any event/workshop please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury. You agree not to sue or hold The Passionate Photographer Inc. & Steve Simon or any of its Organizers, Co-Organizers or Contractors responsible for any injuries that may happen at a workshop or planned event.
This release extends and applies to, and also covers and includes, all unknown, unforeseen, unanticipated and unsuspected injuries, damages, loss and liability.
I understand the inherent risks associated with participation in this Workshop and the possible injuries that can be sustained by participants. I knowingly and voluntarily assume these risks and full responsibility for any personal injury or illness, including death, that may be sustained by me, or any loss or damage to property owned by me, as a result of or in any way arising out of, my participation in this Workshop, or in travel to and from this Workshop.
I acknowledge that I am solely responsible for medical or other costs arising out of any bodily injury, illness, or property damage or loss sustained by me through my voluntary participation in this Workshop.
The Passionate Photographer Inc. & Steve Simon do not provide liability insurance for the protection of individuals who may participate in any of the events or workshops.
Your attendance at any event signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver. By signing up for any event you understand that you are attending all events AT YOUR OWN RISK.