Washington, DC Mentorship Workshop Details
All Photos ©Susan Sanders
This intimate 3-day weekend masterclass (limited to just 6 students) is designed to maximize both the learning experience and your ability to create a unique and powerful portfolio of imagery from Washington, DC.
For street photography, the Washington Mall offers iconic monuments to Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson, the powerful and picturesque contemporary memorials to Martin Luther King, Jr, FDR, Eisenhower, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. The Mall is also the site of the newest Smithsonian Museums, the National Museum of African American History and the National Museum of the American Indian all anchored by the iconic National Capitol Building.
We are planning an exciting itinerary to create an important set of images for you to add to your portfolio. We will do a top-deck bus tour for a unique shooting position and to get a lay of the land.
Within easy walking distance of the Capitol, is the renovated Union Station, the historic pre-civil war neighborhood surrounding Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress and the Congressional Office Buildings. A short subway ride takes you to Eastern Market.
This is a mentorship workshop where in our pre-workshop meeting, Steve provides an assessment of your portfolio and a tech check to discuss gear and best ways to use it regardless of your system brand. We make tweaks to enhance your speed of response which might include back button autofocus, Auto ISO, Easy Exposure Compensation, frame rate and playback options along with other best practices all designed to simplify your process and build your muscle memory so the technical fades to the background and you increase you success rate.
The pre-workshop personal zoom session and lecture insures each student is ready to maximize the shooting part of the workshop when we arrive on location.
Our base hotels:
The Dupont Circle Hotel
Modern design prevails with vibrant décor, original artworks, and classic furniture completing a stylish scene.
The Tabard Inn is the oldest continuing running hotel in Washington DC opening its doors in 1922. The name Tabard Inn was drawn from Chaucer’s Canterbury tales and the place would forever revive itself in the hospitality of an old English Manor. You will love the European style of this boutique hotel.
“Both hotels are perfectly positioned in Dupont Circle, the heart of Washington DC and just moments from the city’s historic National Mall and the Smithsonian museums. This area is well placed to savor this architecturally striking neighborhood and the city itself. Here international embassies, art and entertainment, quaint boutiques, galleries, museums and an eclectic selection of cafés and eateries collide to create one of DC’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan quarters”.
Beyond our base hotels, there are lots of accommodation possibilities in the Dupont Circle area including some great AirBNB possibilities…CLICK HERE to explore.
Within walking distance of our meeting space and hotel, are the historic 19th century neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, the U Street Corridor, a Street Art/Mural District and the 14th Street Corridor offering constant and great photo opportunities while we are in DC.
Our Meeting Space:
Just a few minutes walk from our base hotels, we meet on the Saturday and Sunday to critique and discuss the work we create. We will have a post workshop meeting so we can maximize our shooting time and take time for a more thorough and carefully considered edit.
Group Dinner: The Agora
Agora D.C., is a family-owned, Mediterranean Mezze Restaurant, rooted in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, featuring the aromatic elements and textures inspired by the rich culinary traditions of Turkey melded with flavors from Greece and Lebanon. We will enjoy a delicious dinner in a relaxing and welcoming environment.
You will love our group dinner at the Agora Restaurant but foodies will discover Washington DC can now boast about a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants as well as amazing Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Sushi & Ramen, Ethiopian, Latin American, Mexican, French Bistros and some great burgers! See dc.eater.com for more.
We've got some great locations planned aside from the ones already mentioned, which may include: Union Station and Capital Hill neighborhood, Adams Morgan, U Street Corridor and 14th Street, Shaw, Dupont Circle , The White House, Old Downtown, 16th and Pennsylvania Ave, Lafayette Square Park and BLM Plaza, Foggy Bottom, Kennedy Center and Georgetown. Just over the bridge in Virginia, Arlington Cemetery, Iwo Jim’s Memorial among other places.
Limiting our workshop to six 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. DC is easy to navigate but you will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!
Post Workshop Mentorship
After our workshop we have a post-workshop Zoom Class where we have our final lecture and critique of images not yet seen and Steve puts together a narrative of your best work from the workshop.
In class, we will examine a selection of your best or most interesting work from the previous day. The Saturday and Sunday 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.
“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it? “ – Ernst Haas
Steve’s street tools include Nikon mirrorless 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.
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. Steve will go over his post-process workflow in Lightroom.
It’s a street and urban photography masterclass but the lessons learned will benefit you in all genres of image-making and help you to create a compelling Washington, DC portfolio.
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 our 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."