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October 21-26, 2024: LISBON Passionate Photographer Masterclass with Steve Simon

An Intensive & Transformational Shooting Experience with Steve Simon. This is a mentorship workshop where Steve meets with each participant prior to the start for a one-on-one Zoom meeting assessment of your portfolio and a tech check to discuss gear and best ways to use it regardless of your system brand. There is a pre-workshop group meeting & lecture as well as a post workshop Zoom class as part of the mentorship.

  • Dates: Oct 21-26, 2024
  • Genre: Street Photography, Travel
  • Group Size: Max. 8
  • Skill Levels: All Skill Levels
  • Includes: Premium private accommodation

This intimate and comprehensive 6-day (5 nights) masterclass will take you to some of the most picturesque, historic and exciting locations on and off the beaten path in Lisbon.

Steve Simon has carved out an amazing itinerary which is designed to give you a great and comprehensive portfolio of images alongside unforgettable authentic Lisbon experiences.

View All Steve Simon Passionate Photographer® Workshops Here

Workshop Details

Join Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in the ancient city of seven hills: Lisbon, Portugal. This intimate and comprehensive 6-day (5 nights) premium masterclass will take you to some of the most picturesque and beautiful locations on and off the beaten path in Lisbon.

From the majestic squares (some of the largest in Europe) to the maze-like streets, tiled facades, medieval buildings and breath-taking views. Steve has carved out an amazing itinerary designed to give you a great and comprehensive portfolio of images alongside unforgettable authentic Lisbon experiences. 

This workshop is limited to 8 students and is expected to fill up quickly so don't delay in reserving your spot.

Our Base: Centrally located in Lisbon’s prestigious Avenida da Liberdade, a few minutes’ from Restauradores Square.

Our Hotel: The Bessa

This stylish, contemporary hotel is perfectly situated for everything  you will be photographing --a few minutes’ from Restauradores Square and the Elevador de Santa Justa-- Lisbon's cast-iron elevator with a beautiful view of the city. The upscale, minimalist rooms come with luxurious bathrooms, Wi-Fi, balconies, as well as mini-fridges and a safe. Room service is available 24/7. The hotel has a vintage-chic restaurant with exposed-beam ceilings plus a terrace featuring a bar and a vertical garden. Other amenities include an indoor pool (great to edit by) a fitness room, Turkish bath and sauna. All rooms have a Bluetooth integrated sound system, a comfortable work desk for picture editing and a satellite/cable flat-screen TV. A delicious and comprehensive breakfast buffet is included every morning. 



In the Passionate Street Photography Workshop Lisbon, you will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential. We have a local Lisbon expert Miguel Helfrich who will be with us as we photograph in the most photogenic locations Lisbon has to offer. We have scouted locations and are working out the final detailed itinerary and though the schedule seems packed, you will also have some down time to relax and edit.

Flexibility and independence is encouraged among participants. If you fall in love with an area and want to continue working there-- you are encouraged to do so.

Steve and Miguel have photographed in the areas you visit giving you tips and suggested shooting positions for a head start on getting great images. During the lectures, assignments designed to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work will be given. Lisbon is a fairly compact city and you will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!

Night Photography

Lisbon comes alive at night and you will have many opportunities to learn how best to capture the night light and night life from typical skyline views to capturing the atmosphere and energy on the narrow streets.

You will shoot hand-held at high ISOs but having a small, light travel tripod is a good idea. The opportunities to capture the magic of Lisbon nights are plentiful, available every night just steps from the hotel.


A wonderful breakfast buffet to fuel up for the day ahead is included and Steve's plan is for us to sample a variety of wonderful Portuguese cuisine, which is as rich and varied as the landscape and architecture. As a port city, you will find fresh fish and seafood everywhere.  Portuguese olive oil is famous for quality and is infused in most every dish, including cod and sardine BBQ. Portugal is also renowned for its cheeses and for its famous custard tart. It's a cafe culture and you'll find great coffee and baked goods always in close proximity.

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

All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. You’ll learn about the “rhythm of place” and you 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 you will have fun!

Street Tech

You 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. He shoots with a Nikon Z9 and other Nikon gear with a carefully curated selection of lenses; but is 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.

You 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, your tutors will look at a selection of your best work from the previous day.

Class Lectures/Critiques

Each lecture will lay the foundation for your daily shoots. The honest, insightful critiques are of crucial importance, where we share ideas and constructive criticism as you look through each others’ images. The workshop will be a “safe place” for group discussions with suggestions and new ideas put forward.

We also know that photography doesn't end when you push the shutter button; in some ways that is where it begins. It is paramount that you find a consistent way to deal with the thousands upon thousands of images you will take in your life time. 

Steve will walk you through his process of organizing, editing, processing and archiving his huge library of images. You'll learn how he works with Lightroom to cull the best work from every shoot. He will discuss all aspects of the process, from memory cards through archiving onto drives and in the cloud. 

You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio. We will also be providing assignments to push you to a higher level in your work.

“I am a tourist.“ - Garry Winogrand


Day 1 Monday Oct 21

1pm: Arrival & Orientation Bessa Lobby.

Introductory meet and greet/ quick-start session & portfolio review. After class we will take a photo walk in the area of the hotel. One of Lisbon'e most photogenic cable cars "Ascensor da Gloria" and the famous Rossio Square are just a few minutes walk away. We will then go out to dinner together and recharge for the busy week-ahead. 

Day 2 Tuesday Oct 22

7am: Breakfast included @ Hotel Buffet

Early Morning Shoot: Castelo

11am-2pm: Class in the meeting room

You start the day with a lecture and critique. You meet daily @ The Bessa meeting room usually from Noon to 3pm  so you can take full advantage of the best early morning and later in the day light. (Sun will rise just before 8am and set around 7pm).

In this your first class session your tutors will introduce participants by seeing a brief portfolio of their work and participate in a lecture. You will also hear a brief history on street photography and we will discuss personalizing the week for participants to get maximum benefit from the workshop. We will do a quick-start session with tips on shooting and editing. You are encouraged to edit and choose your top six images from that morning (and the previous day’s shoot) for critique.

Afternoon Shoot: Mouraria

7:30pm: Special Welcome Dinner

Day 3 Wednesday Oct 23

7am: Breakfast included @ Hotel Buffet

Early Morning Shoot: Metro Stop Speed Shoots  Blue Line /  Yellow Line

11am-2pm: Class in the meeting room

Afternoon Shoot: Alfama

Dinner on your own

8:30pm: Night Photography Shoot: Chiado      

Day 4 Thursday Oct 24

7am: Breakfast included @ Hotel Buffet

All Day Shoot: Sintra

The medieval Pena Palace

1pm Special lunch in Cascais

Afternoon shoot in Cascais

Evening: Dinner and Critique

Early morning departure for the resort town of Sintra, a fairy-tale city nestled in the foothills of the Sintra mountains and just a 40 minute drive from Lisbon. You will spend a good part of the morning exploring the cobble-stone streets and pastel-colored villas and castles which surround the town. Some of the architecture in this UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 8th century

Day 5 Friday Oct 25

7am: Breakfast included @ Hotel Buffet

Early Morning Shoot: Bica Cais Sodre

Afternoon Shoot: LX Factory & Area

Evening Shoot: Chiado

8pm: Special Dinner and Fado Music Performance

Day 6 Saturday Oct 26: Independent Workday

7am: Breakfast included @ Hotel Buffet

Early Morning Shoot: Free Shoot & Edit  (as agreed upon with instructor)

11am-2pm: Final lecture & Critique in the meeting room

Special last lunch together and wrap up: Time Out Market

 “The only thing that gets in the way of a really good photograph, is the camera.”  - Norman Parkinson


    Don Dillon, Phoenix, Arizona October 2018

    If I am honest, I approached this workshop with a combination of excited anticipation and butterfly inducing dread. This is my third Steve Simon workshop; you’d think it would get easier and less stressful. Nope, doesn’t work that way. The excited anticipation is about traveling to new and sometimes exotic locations, seeing old friends from previous workshops, meeting new ones, getting to know Miguel at this particular workshop - enjoying his knowledge of Portugal and his edgy sense of humor -  and spending time with and learning from Steve Simon, our dear leader and mentor. The fear is knowing I really have to produce images at the level I know is coming. 

    In pregame preparation, I spent some time with the photographs I made in Tokyo and Havana as well as the rudimentary attempts of street shooting done in another lifetime. They are like visiting old friends with whom I have shared a powerful, split second human moment.  I modestly tell people who see my “keepers” that, “even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while” or “ when you take a zillion photos, you’re bound to get a decent one occasionally.” 

    But truthfully, there is so much more to it. This feels like the semi pro street photographer’s tour. There are years of knowledge and experience mixed with lots of rookie mistakes. For me, what makes this such a powerful experience is I always come away from one of these an incrementally better street photographer with a clearer sense of what and why I am doing this in the first place. 

    For me fear is the best motivator. If we all were just showing up as a nice group of folks out for some travel and vacation snapshots, I would be bored to death and would never come back. But, our Dear Leader has a very gentle way of throwing down the gauntlet and letting us know we are expected to triple down on the amount of time out on the streets shooting, become fearless in going in for the kill shot, cull and edit when normal people are sleeping and eating, and actually producing images that will be critiqued by some very talented people. As they say, “this ain’t easy.”

    Lisbon has been one of those tough venues that from time to time really dislike, especially when getting the 15th brushoff or outright angry rejection. I’m not a hunter but this feels like a hard bow hunt for elusive game. I finally know what I am as a street shooter. I know what I have to do to “bag” the elusive jewel. I know I can’t leave the little black camera in a drawer between workshops anymore; that just won’t cut it. 

    I got more than what I came for. 

    Gary Niederpruem, Chicago

    “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!!”

    Anna Blanco, New York City

    “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!”

    Anne Dunford, Ithaca, New York

    "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."

    Paul Lavergne, San Juan, PR

    "Steve’s passion for photography is contagious and his teaching abilities and knowledge extraordinary! I highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in photography."

    Chapman Solomon, Mountain View, CA

    “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.”

    Stephen Sholl, New York City

    "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 your things there, use the facilities, and eat the goodies provided. You know you’re in good hands with Steve! An outstanding workshop!!"

    Steve Lavelle, London

    "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. I knew of Steve from the TWiP podcast and would have attended if he was talking about how to watch paint dry…”

    Oscar Piñeyro, Dallas

    "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."