Coming in 2020! Passionate Street & Urban Workshop: Chicago Edition with Steve Simon & Chris Smith


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2020 Date To Be Added Soon. Limited Space (10 Spots) - Join award-winning street photographer Steve Simon and professional Chicago author and photographer Chris Smith for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most photogenic cities, Chicago.

  • Date: To Be Announced
  • Destination: Chicago, Illinois USA
  • Genre: Street, Urban, Documentary
  • Skill Levels: Confident Beginner to Advanced
  • Group Size: Max. 10
  • Includes: Discovering the most interesting and exciting locations in Chicago from the man who wrote the book on what to see and photograph in Chicago
View All Steve Simon Passionate Photographer® Workshops Here

Workshop Details 

This intimate five-day masterclass (limited to just ten students) is designed to maximize both the learning experience and your ability to create a unique and powerful portfolio of imagery from Chicago.  

    You will explore the vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods Chicago is famous for and local expert Chris will take us to some great vantage points for capturing Chicago's architecture along with urban landscape and cityscapes and some hidden gems. Chris Smith has literally written the book on where to photograph in Chicago and he will lead us to places and vantage points you would never find without his depth of knowledge when light is at it's best for a particular location.

    Click here, for a free copy of this amazing resource for photographers coming to Chicago. 

    Chris and Steve will scout locations to work out the final detailed itinerary to balance the street and urban work we will pursue. Though the schedule may seem packed, woven into the program is down time to relax, edit your work and percolate on the experience and what is being taught.

    We encourage flexibility and independence among participants and will attempt to personalize your experience whenever possible. If you fall in love with an area and want to continue working there–you are encouraged to do so.

    Limiting our workshop to ten participants, allows us to tailor this workshop to meet the needs of each participant. Lectures and assignments will be personalized to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work.

    The city of Chicago is fairly easy to navigate but you will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!

    Our Base: The Embassy Suites by Hilton - Chicago

    Our base, the perfectly located Embassy Suites Hotel 600 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois,60654, USA; the ideal place and base for our workshop, a luxurious contrast and respite from the busy streets of Chicago.


    We will secure a special rate for the hotel and there are many great hotels and AirBNB options close to our downtown venue. 

    Street Philosophies

    “When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt

    Steve and Chris will be teaching new and powerful street photography techniques as well as best practices for capturing the amazing urban opportunities Chicago offers using your tripod and live view--guaranteed to push you to new heights in your work. Steve will further share his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera. 

    This intensive, exclusive 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 city.

    But mostly you will be shooting the theatre and architecture that is the street; sometimes together, often on your own.

    All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. Passion is the requirement. 

    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.

    You 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 so much fun!

    “I am a tourist.“ – Garry Winogrand

    (All Images ©Chris Smith & Steve Simon)


    Street Tech

    We will talk urban-tech with Steve & Chris giving you their minimalist view on gear along with simplified shooting processes to maximizing your response time to capture decisive moments.

    Steve’s street tools include Nikon mirrorless and DLSR cameras; along with a carefully curated selection of lenses. He is also familiar with a wide range of equipment to help you maximize your mirrorless, compact, rangefinder, DSLR or even your camera phone for compelling urban images.

    Chris is knowledgeable on the Fujifilm X-System and currently works with Sony cameras and an assortment of lenses along with his indispensable tripod.

    Though our focus is on vision more than gear, we will talk lenses, auto focus, zone focusing, shooting form the hip, using live view, flash, camera support and tripods and a host of other tips, tricks, distractions and ideas that will improve your work dramatically. Chris will go over his post-process workflow in Lightroom. 

    It’s a street and urban photography masterclass but the lessons learned here will benefit you in all genres of image-making.


    In class, we will examine a selection of your best or most interesting work from the previous day.

    These daily critiques are of crucial importance, where we share ideas and constructive criticism looking through each others’ images. Our workshop will be a “safe place” for group discussions with suggestions and new ideas put forward.

    Chris and Steve will help guide participants work into a cohesive portfolio of images, through careful culling. You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio. 


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


    The detailed shooting schedule will be sent to you when you sign-up, but you can count on days to start with a hearty breakfast, followed by a morning shoot. Sun will rise around 5:45am and set around 7:45pm. 

    We schedule our lecture/critique sessions between 11AM and 2PM most days to take advantage of the light for shooting. We will grab lunch and eat back at our venue to maximize our time, allowing a rest-break before the afternoon/evening shooting sessions. We will have a special group dinner on Monday night.

    We will begin our Workshop with a Saturday Morning Architectural Cruise to not only get a lay of the land but some great shots from this unique floating location. 

    You will explore some of the following neighborhoods and places in the city. 

    Street Locations

    • The Art Institute (good for a rainy day)
    • Wicker Park
    • Pilsen
    • Little Village
    • Ride the L Speed Shoot
    • Theater district
    • Rush Street
    • Michigan Ave
    • Chinatown

    Architectural/Urban Locations

    • University of Chicago
    • Millennium Park
    • Museum of Contemporary Art
    • Parking garages
    • Water Taxi or Chicago Architecture boat tour
    • 18th St Bridge (near Chinatown)
    • Palmer House
    • The Rookery

    In the Passionate Street & Urban Photography Workshop Chicago, you will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential.