TOKYO/KYOTO Advanced Passionate Street Photography & Photo Book Workshop : May 17-25, 2018


(Deposit of $500 secures your spot)   

An Intensive & Transformational Shooting Experience  with Steve Simon & Soichi Hayashi

“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



Join Steve Simon and Soichi Hayashi for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in Tokyo, Japan & via Bullet Train; Kyoto.

This intimate and comprehensive 8-day (7 nights) masterclass will take you to some of the most picturesque, electric and exciting locations on and off the beaten path in Tokyo. We will also be finalizing the itinerary soon and are making arrangements to also work in Kyoto. We have carved out an amazing itinerary which is designed to give you a great and comprehensive portfolio of images alongside unforgettable authentic experiences. We limit the workshop to 8 students. Take a look at what students created on the last workshop!

The Photo Book As Inspiration

This will be an advanced workshop with a portfolio review process for students who have not taken a workshop with me. Soichi and I are very honored to have with us Kimi Himeno, a leading photo-book publisher in Japan. She is a  director and the chief editor of AKAAKA ART PUBLISHING Inc. which she founded in 2006– specializing in photo books by Japanese artists. They have published over 150 titles including some jointly with Aperture in the United States and Edition Xavier Barral in France and have participated in international book fairs like Paris Photo and The New York Art Book Fair. She is currently a professor at the Tokyo Polytechnic University. With books in mind, we will be concentrating on creating a cohesive set of images from our time in Japan, with Ms. Himeno’s mentorship and inspiration as a guide. After signing up and providing a deposit, you will get information on the portfolio review. Deposits will be refunded in full if you are not accepted this round.


Our Base: Shinjuku—one of the most populated and diverse downtowns in all of Tokyo, with endless photo opportunities 24-7 and home for many of Tokyo best new and used camera shops.  One of the biggest of the downtown districts, Shinjuku is well known for its neon lights and active night life, as well as the many scenes from the film Lost in Translation. It is a major commercial and administrative centre, housing the busiest railway station in the world, Shinjuku Station. The area surrounding the station is a major economic hub of Tokyo with many companies choosing this district for their head offices.

10 Frame Multiple Exposure shot in Shibuya.

Our Hotel: TBD

It will be a 4-Star Hotel private room with breakfast included.

Soichi Hayashi, my long-time friend has traveled the world and is an accomplished Japanese photographer whose work is beautiful and very different from mine, which will makes for a great and complimentary teaching team.

In the Passionate Street Photography Workshop Tokyo, we will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential. We have scouted locations and worked out the final detailed itinerary and though the schedule seems packed, we encourage flexibility and independence among participants–if you fall in love with an area and want to work further their– we encourage you to do so. Soichi will provide photography-driven maps for each of the districts we visit along with tips and suggested shooting positions giving you a head start on getting great images. In the lectures, assignments designed to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work will be given. Some of the places we visit include:




The art and fashion district where creatives gather is within walking distance from our hotel. Omotesando Hills is a complex of residential and retail buildings designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Sometimes termed Tokyo’s Champs-Elysées, the 130 shops and restaurants replaced the Bauhaus-inspired Dojunkai Apartments that were built in 1927, sparking controversy and debate about preserving historic buildings in Japan. A small section of the old apartments were reconstructed in the South-East section of the new complex. There is so much to see and shoot here.







Simply put, it’s like a mini-Kyoto, off the beaten path of tourists. In the early 20th century, the area was renowned for numerous geisha houses, of which several still remain. Because of its traditional, sophisticated atmosphere and location which is on the edge of modern Shinjuku and proximity to Wasoeda University, it’s experiencing a popularity boom. While it retains a traditional Japanese atmosphere, Kagurazaka now boasts a significant French presence with many French expats living there due to the proximity of l’Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo and the Lycée franco-japonais de Tokyo. You will find Tokyo’s largest concentration of French eateries, bakeries and cheese shops. It’s a nice change of pace outside of the chaos of many other areas we will be shooting in.


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This is the center of Japanese sub-culture and industry. Nicknamed Akihabara Electric Town, it’s well-known for electronics, cameras, cartoons/comics, games and  costume play girls, a phenomenon that started here and spread throughout the world. We will check out the first permanent maid café, Cure Maid Café, established in March 2001, where waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as café patrons.

You can also visit, Yodobashi Camera, the huge camera and electronics chain with a flagship store in Akihabara. You will find some interesting photographic products only available in Japan, and with the yen trading at a favorable rate for  American dollars, there will be some deals.

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Asakusa is a district where an atmosphere of  Tokyo from past decades survives. Asakusa’s main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. Next to the temple grounds is a small amusement park called Hanayashiki which claims to be the oldest amusement park in Japan. It’s also close to  Ryogkoku, an area famous for Sumo Wrestling, but because most of the wrestlers won’t be in Tokyo while we are there, Soichi is looking to see if there is any Sumo taking place during our visit where we can photograph wrestlers working out during their training sessions.



The sea of people on their way to work is amazing to see and incredible to photograph.  Japanese business men/women flood Shinagawa Station, one of the major stations for commuters. Crowded trains and huge streams of people walking in one direction (to their offices) can make for some strong images. As an option, Shinagawa is where Nikon’s Head office is located, (also Canon) along with the newly opened Nikon Museum where those who are interested can spend a quick hour exploring the history of Nikon. Canon also has a showroom nearby.






Tsukiji fish market


insta2Tsukiji Fish Market was scheduled to move in 2016. But it didn’t. So wherever the new fish market opens up, we definitely will pay it a visit. It’s a very early morning shoot to experience a live fish auction, so this one will be optional.

NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY500_4293 sd5_6534 sd5_8219Shinjuku2

Tokyo comes alive at night and we will have several opportunities to capture the night light and night life from typical skyline views to capturing the narrow streets, Izakaya (local bars) and industrial factories. We will shoot hand-held at high ISOs but also bring our tripods when the situation warrants one. The opportunities to capture the magic of Tokyo nights are plentiful and available every night just steps from our hotel.

Street Philosophies

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 and share 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. All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. 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; overcoming fears and shyness, approaching strangers, framing, juxtaposition,  layering your compositions, letting the image come to you and whether color or black and white best suits your vision. And we will have fun!


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 the new Nikon D5 & D500, a D850, D750, D5600, 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. 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 be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio and slide show. I will also be providing assignments to push you to a higher level in your work.

“I am a tourist.“ – Garry Winogrand


A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it? “

– Ernst Haas 

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What to Bring:

• The weather in Tokyo is often beautiful and can get cool this time of year. Average temperatures in the mid 50’s during the day, cooling down slightly as 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.

• 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 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

What’s Included:

Most everything is included in your workshop fee, except your return flight to and from Tokyo and transportation to and from the hotel. Price is $6100 which includes a private, single room at a 4-Star Hotel.  Buffet breakfast along with two special dinners are included. You can pay a deposit or pay in full via credit card up top or mail a check made out to: The Passionate Photographer Inc. 470 West 24 Street, Suite 5G; New York, NY 10011. (deposit-$500; balance due September 1, 2017)

You will need to book a flight to and from your hometown and get to the hotel from the airport. Sample fares from New York City started at just under $600 to $1250 for main cabin seats at the time of this posting. For traveling from/to Narita airport, take advantage of the Airport limousine bus that stops at our hotel for $30USD each way.  It’s the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to and from the airport. Once you are safely checked in at the hotel, we will provide an all inclusive “Suica” travel pass which allows easy access to trains and subways during our workshop.

For questions or inquiries or if you wish to arrive early or extend your trip let me know. We can help with further travel arrangements and accommodations:

*This workshop is limited to 8 students. 

If for any reason you need to withdraw from the workshop, please notify us in writing (email is okay) on or before March 15, 2018. At that time we will refund your deposit less a $500 cancellation fee.

If notification of cancellation is made after March 15, 2018 and we can fill your spot; you get your money back minus the $500 cancellation fee. If you cancel after March 15, 2018 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.

Legal Disclaimer – Waiver of Liability is below the testimonials and must be agreed to when you register.

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“What a fabulous experience. I learned more about photography in one week than I had in 5 years. Steve is very knowledgable about the technical side as well as composition. He is very patient, gives excellent feedback and will work one on one with you on any photography subject you want.  I asked him for help on night photography and at 10 PM he was  out on the streets of Havana with me with step by step instructions on how to take the shot.  5 star plus rating!!”

Gary Niederpruem, Chicago

“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

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

Other Workshops…

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

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


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.


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