The Passionate Street Photographer: New York City. An Intensive & Transformational Shooting Experience In The Street Photography Capital Of The World with Steve Simon
Join award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most visual cities, New York. This intimate six-day masterclass (limited to ten students) will take you on a visual treasure hunt to some of the most interesting and exciting locations in the Big Apple.
We will explore the vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods New York is famous for and New Yorker Steve will take you to some hidden gems. Locations may include: Times Square, High Line Park, Harlem, Fifth Avenue & 57 Street, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side, Union Square, Washington Square Park, Queens, Coney Island and other parts of Brooklyn.
Click here to secure your spot.
“Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!” -Walt Whitman
“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.
Steve will share his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera. He 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 what makes New York City the world epicenter for street photography. All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop.
You’ll learn about the “rhythm of place”, be it the upscale wave cresting at 57 Street and 5th Avenue or the electric vibe of Times Square to the reverent and respectful memorial at Ground Zero — 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, 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
I’ve rented an amazing New York City loft for our group time. Located in the heart of Chinatown and close to everything, our loft will be an oasis for daily lectures and critiques. You are welcome to safely leave stuff overnight at our workshop space.
“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 D810, V3 and “Coolpix A” cameras 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 photography galleries and museum shows and participate in lectures and critiques every day. You will also schedule a thirty-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 New York City” 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.
“I am a tourist.” – Garry Winogrand
Day 1: Thursday May 21st: 3pm 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. A group dinner at the loft is included in the price.
Days 2 through 4: Friday May 22nd through Sunday May 24th:
Lectures will take place at the loft between 12noon – 3PM daily so we can take full advantage of the early morning and late afternoon light (sunrise is approximately 5:40AM; Sunset: 8PM) This is Fleet Week in New York City (May 20-26th) so expect to see women and men in uniform on the streets during our workshop.
Shooting locations will be determined each morning.
There will be a Saturday night group shooting session at Times Square.
Days 5: May 25th Memorial Day
Meet at start of parade TBA.
You are asked to edit your previous days shoot before class, choosing your strongest images of the day. Our daily lecture will be followed by a group critique. Then we hit the streets, a little wiser from the day before.
Day 6 Tuesday Morning May 26th: 10AM – 2PM
On the last day of the workshop, you will provide your final edit of up to 30 images from the week. I will weed it down to the final 15 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 our venue. They range in price from relatively cheap (this is New York City) to $$$$$. 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.
These three hotels are a few minutes walk to the loft:
Fairfield Inn & Suites 95 Henry Street, New York, NY 10002 (across the street from The Loft)
Howard Johnson Manhattan Soho, 5 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Comfort Inn Near Financial District, 154 Madison Street, ChinaTown Lower East Side, New York, NY 10002
Some other reasonably priced hotels I would recommend:
“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 this time of year. Average temperatures in the low 70’s during the day. But it can get chilly (low 50’s) when the sun goes down so make sure you bring some warm clothes you can layer.
- A portfolio of 12 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
For questions or inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuition of $1800 secures your spot and you can cancel for a full refund by March 15, 2015. After that date you can get a full refund if your spot is filled. If not you will get a credit for a future workshop.
*This workshop is limited to 10 students.
Click here to secure your spot.
*We reserve the right to add an 11th person if that student had to cancel from a previous workshop and wants to use their credit.
NYC Street Photography Testimonials
“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
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
Apple Campus Tour Lectures: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Art In- stitute of Chicago; Ohio State University, Columbus; University of South Carolina, Co- lumbia; SUNY Fredonia, (Buffalo); NYU, New York; University of Texas, Austin; Univer- sity of Wisconsin, Madison.
Dear Apple Campus Lectures:
Thanks for The Photography Tour you sponsored at The Ohio State University on April 10. Steve Simon hit the sweet spot. Simon’s talk was inspiring. By themselves, the individual photos were technically masterful and aesthetically breathtaking, and Simon’s ability to recognize and capture compelling human stories in a photo essay was as unique as the stories were moving. I also appreciated his generous, frank, and funny stories about his efforts to establish himself as a professional documentary photographer. You are fortunate to have him as a partner on The Photography Tour.
H. Lewis Ulman, Associate Professor, Director, Digital Media Studies Ohio State University
The halls of McMaster College are still buzzing about the great presentation by Steve Simon. We learned valuable lessons about both the process and the aesthetics of digital photography. Even better, we were all inspired. Many of us were close to tears as Steve showed his images of the human condition. I still see Salem Sue in my dreams. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Thanks to Apple and Steve Simon, our photography students are even more motivated to explore new technical applications and creative practices. Thanks again.
Karla Berry Associate Professor-Department of Art University of South Carolina
I attended the apple lecture today and I just wanted to thank you. You’re work is very inspiring and made me fall in love with photography all over again. I’m currently a student and was recently getting frustrated with all of the work I was producing. Seeing your work helped so much. So thanks for being awesome. Best.
Christina Izzo, Student
Mary and I found your photography presentation at the University of Wisconsin both interesting and inspiring. (For a point of reference, we sat behind the woman you photographed during your presentation.) We shared the story with our daughter of your book, that made its way from the recycle bin in your apartment to a listing on ebay prior to publication. Her hours have been cut as graphic artist and web designer because of the economy. She is working to expand her freelance work to make up some of the difference. Your story was inspiring to her, as well. We never know where the paths will take us.
During your presentation you mentioned your preference for taking photos by available light, which struck a resonant chord, as this is my preference.
Conrad J. Wrzesinski ,Graduate Teacher Education Faculty, Edgewood College
My name is Kyle Averack and am currently a Communications, Spanish and Portuguese major also minoring in Business and Photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin. I realize you must receive hundreds of emails per day, which is the reason why I understand you may not be able to respond or get back to me about my question regarding your work:
I have just recently decided to devote my entire being into the pursuit of Professional Photography. You have been one of the influential factors in this decision and I wanted to first thank you so much for your inspirational work in Africa. It truly struck a chord within me and I am grateful for your speech during my Photojournalism class. It was truly a breath of fresh air and honestly re-energizing my soul into to the realm of photography. Secondly, I wanted to ask you what type of camera you use during your travels and projects? I currently own a Canon EOS Rebel XTi. This allows me to take great pictures but I want to capture true essence as you have with your astounding photographs. Thanks you so much for your time and attention, and if I do not hear back from you soon, I hope that you have safe and happy travels. Thank you.
I attended the Apple workshop in Chicago today. Thanks a lot for showing your work – I was very impressed, and it motivated me to get back out there and start shooting more photos. One of your photos (from the ‘airplane’ series) looked similar to one of mine from a flight a long time ago. I took it while flying into Charlotte. I’m including it in this email just for the heck of it along with another I took on the same flight just before landing. Thanks again for the presentation. My three coworkers who attended were also impressed, and we talked a lot about photography in general on our 3+ hour drive back to Springfield, IL.
I just wanted to thank you for your presentation today in Columbus. I really enjoyed hearing you speak and seeing your work, but I didn’t get a chance to tell you before we were herded out of the room. I’ve heard you speak on Inside Digital Photography and TWIP, but seeing your work really brought everything together. I think the part I found most helpful was towards the end when you showed the series of photos demonstrating different compositions of same subject (the room with coffins and the patch of light on the wall.) I look forward to reading your books in the coming weeks and will keep an ear out for you on TWIP!
I attended the apple education series event in Columbus at the Wexner Center yesterday, blue shirt near the front. Anyway I just wanted to say I found your talk inspirational and your work impressive and full of emotion as your introduction stated. I connected with your HIV AIDs work having recently traveled to Honduras with a group from OSU to work with Montana De Luz, an orphanage for HIV positive youth. It was my first international trip and first to a third world country so I didn’t bring my Digital SLR, I wish I had. Thanks again.
Gabriel W Moulton, Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR), Ohio State University
I wanted to thank you for graciously taking your time to participate in the Apple tour. Something I really enjoyed about your work is that it is real. So many photographers these days simply take pictures to distort them, Photoshop the hell out of them, or simply used as a commercial vehicle. But your work is a powerful, truthful documentation of the present moment. I love it. I think its great that not every shot you showed is perfect – like showing the flaws of life. Do you know what I mean? Thanks again for sharing your time, your work, and your passion with us. I’ll remember this as yet another meaningful and life enhancing experience that I’ve had at the Wexner Center. Thank you Steve. Best of luck to you.
Matthew Carbone, Outreach & Events Coordinator American Institute of Architects/Columbus
As a hobbyist and beginning photographer, I was so motivated by your presentation. I have always had the desire for photography but medical school amongst other things had unfortunately gotten in the way. I was hoping you could point me to some photographers or books to begin learning on the art of photography as well as maybe recommend a camera for this beginner? Thank you!
I wanted to send you a thank you for your Apple presentation in Madison. It has certainly given me things to think about and without a doubt your photographs were amazing. Thanks again.
My name is Ashton Vazquez and I came and watched your presentation when you presented at the University of South Carolina in association with Apple. I was very inspired by your work you showed us and reminded of why I want to be a photojournalist. I am writing you because you are the most successful photographer I have been given the opportunity to contact and I was hoping that you could give me some advice on the field of photojournalism. What is the best advice you can give an aspiring photojournalist like me? Thank you for your time and I appreciate any advice you can offer. Best Regards,
You were tremendous today and I was extremely moved by your images and your passion. I stood there and watched the faces of those in the session and as I mentioned at the end, you epitomized everything I talk about when I speak to students and staff about utilizing digital media, and pas- sion to evoke an emotional response in the audience. Today, that was quite evident. Looking for- ward to Ohio State.
Dan Senstock, Creative/Pro Apps Development Exec Apple Inc.
“Steve, thank you for a wonderful presentation. While your imagery clearly stands on its own, hearing the stories that weave your collections together makes the pieces even more compelling.
Your insights touched the audience, adding both humor and gravity to an already impressive col- lection of work.”
Travis Fears, Theater & Event Manager Apple Computer
“What an inspiration!! Steve Simon continues to amaze me. His presentation contains just the right amount of humor and poignancy to convey the nature of each one of his photographs. Working with Steve is a joy and having the opportunity to hear first hand about his work is an honor.”
Robin Huston, Vice President and Director of Programs, Oklahoma Arts Institute
“Whether an audience of students, photographers or the general public, Steve Simon has an ability to connect with his audience. While incorporating powerful photo stories with music and antidotes about the work, Steve offers a fast-paced informative talk. A Steve Simon lecture will have the audience leaving with a smile, but at the same time knowing they have just seen and heard a thoughtful and critical perspective on our world.”
Lesley Sparks, Educator and Curator, World Press Canada
“Steve Simon is chock full of information, stories and amazing images all wrapped up and delivered in a personable and entertaining style. His audiences leave energized, informed and feeling like they just spent two hours talking with an old friend, while in reality they’ve just made a new one.”
David Handschuh, Former President, National Press Photographers Association
“I REALLY enjoyed your workshop today, I can’t tell you how inspirational it was for me – I came away with such great ideas and a new found courage to tackle some of those tasks that I’ve shied away from recently. I will look forward to any future workshops that you will be running as well as future bodies of work.”
“I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your workshop (MacWorld 2008). Your work is abso- lutely amazing and inspiring. You really challenged me to step outside my comfort area in many ways. I never enjoyed photographing people, thinking it was too invasive and too personal. I must admit I still have those thoughts, however I’m challenging myself to push beyond. Especially when I began to look around and see how many great photos are there. You also helped me re- member to be patient, to wait for the right moment with the right light and then to keep going beyond when I think I already have the shot. Sometimes that’s where the best photo reveals itself. It’s that extra time and effort that can really have wonderful results. Your workshop is something I’ll remember for a very long time and makes me even more passionate about photography.
Macworld Participant Comments:
Outstanding! Could use many more presentations like this! Very inspiring and well done. Wow! Steve is Great! Inspirational!
Steve Simon’s photographs and talk was great.
Inspiring. Very inspiring. Great job! Really enjoyed the session. Very inspiring, excellent. Great way to end the day.
Fantastic photographer, obviously passionate.
Excellent speaker-very knowledgeable and experienced.
By far the best session I’ve seen. Very encouraging speaking and inspirational imaging. Perhaps a little more discussion of managing an image or criteria used to choose what makes strong “image”.