NEW 2023! One Spot Opened Up! Nov 5-11, 2023 Passionate Photographer Tokyo Photobook Masterclass - Steve Simon & Soichi Hayashi
An Intensive & Transformational Shooting Experience with Steve Simon & Soichi Hayashi.
Dates: Nov 5-11, 2023
Genre: Street-Urban-Travel-Photobook Photography
Group Size: Max. 5
Skill Levels: Passionate Photographers
Includes: Tuition, Luxury Accommodation at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo (Shinjuku) with breakfasts; Local Transportation, Welcome and final dinners and a final personalized photo book
This intimate and comprehensive 7-day masterclass will take you to some of the most picturesque and exciting locations on and off the beaten path in Tokyo. We focus on creating a specific set of images by each participant to transform in collaboration with our book designer into an edited and sequenced 40 page photography book.
Steve & Soichi have carved out an amazing itinerary designed to give you a great and comprehensive portfolio of images alongside unforgettable authentic Japanese experiences and a final photo book.
Great news: Japan is back open to individual travel!
I know this because I just returned from our 2022 workshop and it was so great to be back in Tokyo with our cameras. I'm inviting you to join Soichi Hayashi and myself Steve Simon for an unforgettable assignment to produce a beautiful and meaningful portfolio of images which will be transformed into a photobook from a week of living and breathing photography in Tokyo, Japan.
The Photo Book As Inspiration
We are excited to have commissioned Noriko Kodera, a renowned and talented Photo Editor in Tokyo who has worked for Akaaka Art Publishing, where she directed photo exhibitions and edited photo books. She also works with renowned Japanese photographer Mr. Taiji Matsue on his retrospective at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. She will be helping us during our workshop.
In our fist collaboration it was thrilling to watch Nori and Soichi work to sequence student books in collaboration with the photographer.
In this masterclass limited to 5 students, we will focus our efforts on a specific set of images made by each participant that highlights their personal take on what they see in Tokyo. By the end of the week we will edit and sequence our work for an end goal: a beautiful 40-page flat-spread photography book designed by one of the leading photo book companies in Japan, which encapsulates our Tokyo experience in a minimum of 20 images (using double-page threads and cover photo) up to 39 images. We will meet online in a pre-workshop Zoom Lecture for introductions and preliminary lecture so we can maximize our shooting time when we arrive on location. There will also be a post workshop Zoom lecture to talk about the workshop and review the work.
The pre-workshop Zoom session insures each student is ready to maximize the shooting part of the workshop when we arrive on location. We will discuss potential themes for the book as well as the history of traditional and contemporary Photobooks to educate and inspire.
On the first days, participants travel together to 6 different and diverse areas of Tokyo where we work out our ideas for coverage: Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Ginza and Kichijoji. Then, once signed off on your project, you work independently in the area or areas that work best for your topic.
We meet everyday in class for critique and on the last day, we cull, edit and sequence our work before handing over to the designer for final layout. We hope to have the finished screenshots of the book layout available before we depart. The book then goes out to the printer and will be shipped to you at home soon after the workshop.
Nori works on sequencing Craig Vought's book "JL 001".
Regardless of your photographic experience, the more personal you make the shooting experience the more universal the results will be so passion for photography is the main pre-requisite. But we do ask for your answers to a short questionnaire and a small portfolio of your work for final acceptance into the workshop.
You will be concentrating on creating a cohesive set of images from your time in Japan, with local expert mentorship and inspiration as a guide. We will provide a list of suggested topics for you to percolate on prior to the workshop, but final sign-off on your project will be on Day 3 of the workshop.
We will visit and have a discussion at The Photobook Cafe, a restaurant that contains more than 5,000 Photobooks which we will have access to.
Steve and Soichi 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 their street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places, camera in hand.
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.
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 help define a strategy for capturing the rich daily life in Japan; 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!
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.
The Keio Plaza is a 5-star large-scale hotel, with direct bus limousine service from both Haneda and Narita airports. Located in the middle of all the Shinjuku action, we can expect amazing night cityscapes and everyday photo-ops in this part of Tokyo which never sleeps.
We have secured Deluxe renovated larger (for Japan) rooms with a choice of three delicious breakfast buffets: Japanese, American or Continental...every morning in this beautiful hotel.
The tuition cost covers the entire week of mentorship, luxury accommodation and breakfast, two special dinners and a Suica Card for transportation around Tokyo via trains and subways. Fights are not included. There are cheaper options available in Shujuku close to the Keio and our meeting place for longer stays and we can make arrangements for you additional room nights if you want to get to Tokyo early or stay later. Click here for some alternate accommodation suggestions.
We are working out our final itinerary but here’s a brief description of what to expect. We will have a welcome dinner and a final dinner as well as two lunches included.
Nov 5 Day 1
Meet at 10am in the Keio Plaza Lobby. We will do our meet and greet and immediately start our scouting, visiting at least three different locations.
Nov 6 Day 2
This will be a big scouting day, visiting multiple locations in Tokyo and working out ideas for our project. There won’t be a class on this day.
Shooting Days, Day 3: Nov 7, Day 4: Nov 8, Day 5: Nov 9
These will be intensive shooting days, where we work on our agreed upon projects. Each of these days we will gather in class for a lecture, critique and discussion, likely in the early afternoon—allowing you to take advantage of the best morning and afternoon/night light.
Nov 11 Day 10
This is a big editing day. We will be in class most of the afternoon. We will have a deadline for our selects so can make small prints to use in our editing and sequencing discussion. In the afternoon we put together our final sequence. Then we will sleep on it.
Nov 11 Day 7
Our final class in the morning is to tweak and lock-in our final selection for the book and do one final class shooting trip.
You will talk street-tech and Steve and Soichi will give you their minimalist views on gear along with a simplified shooting process to maximizing your response time to capture decisive moments. Their street tools include Nikon cameras with a carefully curated selection of lenses; but they are also 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.
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 and Soichi will walk you through their processes of organizing, editing, processing and archiving their huge library of images. You'll learn how they work with programs like Photo Mechanic and Lightroom to cull their best work out of every shoot. They will discuss all aspects of the process, from memory cards through archiving onto drives and in the cloud.
In class, you will look at a selection of your best work from the previous day. These daily critiques are of crucial importance, where you 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. Of course we will be looking at our work in the context of our end goal, the photobook.
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 Photography Workshop you will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential. Steve & Soichi have scouted locations with the photobook in mind, flexibility and independence are encouraged among participants– if you fall in love with an area and want to work further their– you are encouraged to do so.
Workshop attendees in the past have arrived early and have continued their travels in Japan after the workshop and we can assist you in making those arrangements.
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."
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!!”
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."
Steve Simon has been passionate about documenting the beauty and drama of the human condition his entire photographic life. The author of five critically-acclaimed photography books with works in major museum collections worldwide, he is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. He has also done a series of photography videos on Lynda.com.
Steve is as passionate about teaching as he is photography. His recently launched blog: thepassionatephotographer.com has info on workshops he teaches globally, including Street Photography Workshops, PhotoPlus Expo, Nikonians, Gulf Photo-Dubai, MacWorld & Nikon Mentor Series. He has been published and profiled in a variety of magazines: Photo District News, New York Times Magazine, Life, Harpers, People & Walrus among them. Corporate clients include Nikon, SanDisk, Sony Music & Apple. Among his honors: Art Director’s Club NY, Canadian News Photographer of The Year, Global Health Council, NPPA & PX3.
His book THE PASSIONATE PHOTOGRAPHER was chosen one of Amazon’s Top Ten Arts and Photography books. He is working on a new book on Street Photography and his renewed and updated Passionate Book Second Edition will be out soon.
Born in 1973, Soichi Hayashi is a freelance photographer and director based in Tokyo. After serving as a creative director for the ad agency, he became independent in photography business. For many years he has been privileged to work alongside the world’s finest photographers with their diverse backgrounds and genres, infusing him with the ability to capture evocative imagery from both a creative and technical perspective.
His photographic interest began early, influenced and nurtured by his father and grandfather – both professional photographers. His skills allow him to shoot nearly any subject whether on location or in the studio but his longstanding passion lies in natural landscape. He travels the world and is available for assignments.
You will need to book a flight to and from your hometown. At our initial meeting we will provide an all inclusive “Suica” travel pass which allows easy access to trains and subways during our workshop.
Payment of deposit secures your spot and is non-refundable. This workshop is limited to 5 students so we encourage you to book your spot as soon as possible. Photo Educate and The Passionate Photographer Inc. are 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. Consider a "Cancel For Any Reason Policy". Seek one out at SquareMouth.com
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