Join me and award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most ancient and fascinating cities, Rome.
Rome is a city that is well-known all over the world because of its ancient history, monuments, and works of art, ranging from the Colosseum, to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, just to name a few. But Rome is also a breathing, living city and the capital of Italy, seat of the national government.
This combination provides every photographer who has a keen, observing eye with countless opportunities to capture compelling scenes of everyday life in settings that few places can rival.
In the Passionate Street and Urban Photography Workshop Rome we will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential. We have scouted locations and worked out the final itinerary and, though the schedule might seem packed, we also have scheduled some down time to relax and edit and we encourage flexibility and independence among participants. If you fall in love with an area and want to continue working there, we encourage you to do so. Thanks to our profound knowledge of the city, you will get the best tips and suggested shooting positions for a head start on getting great images. In the lectures, assignments designed to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work will be given. We will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!
“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 and share his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera.
This intensive workshop will help you find your own unique vision and street style through assignments created to get you past photographic fears and clichées 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. All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. 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 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 fun!
“I am a tourist.“
– Garry Winogrand
Steve 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.
Steve is as passionate about teaching as he is photography. His blog: The Passionate Photographer 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.
Critique Is Critical
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.
Ugo and Steve will help guide participants work in to a cohesive set of images, through careful editing. You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final set of pictures. Steve will also be providing assignments to push you to a higher level in your work.
Rome is undoubtedly one of Italy's main culinary hubs and many recipes trace their origin to the Eternal City or its surrounding region, including the famous Carbonara. Its recipe NEVER includes cream, by the way and you should probably not even mention it: Romans are very attached to the traditional ways of preparing food. 😉
Many other pasta recipes are also typically Roman, like cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and gricia. But of course Roman cuisine covers all types of dishes, from entrées to meat, fish, vegetables, and desserts.
In the Ghetto neighborhood you will also find restaurants serving unique Jewish specialties, including the famous carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-style fried artichokes).
During our days in Rome, we will visit a number of typical restaurants, serving locally sourced fresh ingredients, prepared according to hallowed traditions. This will certainly help you get through our long days of walking and shooting.
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.
Steve’s street tools include the Nikon Mirrorless Z System, a Z9; along with a carefully curated selection of lenses and an iPhone. 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 street images.
I have adopted the Fujifilm X-System and routinely carry the X-T3 and the X100S in my bag, with an assortment of lenses. If your system of choice is mirrorless, I will be able to help you with all your questions.
We will talk lenses, auto focus, zone focusing, shooting from 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 and urban photography workshop but the lessons learned will benefit you in all genres of image-making. In class, we will look at a selection of your best work from the previous day. The 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
The detailed shooting agenda is still being defined, but you can count on days to start with an Italian breakfast, followed by a morning shoot. Between 11AM and 2PM we will have sessions in the classroom and lunch, with some time for rest and attending to personal needs. We will do another shoot in the streets in the afternoon, followed by dinner and, on some days, a night shoot.
We will of course cover much of Rome's historical center which is characterized by its ancient Roman ruins, but also by a large number of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and neoclassical buildings and churches. You will be able to photograph them as architectural subjects on their own or as the backdrop to the life of Romans and tourists together, as Rome is a city whose daily life naturally happens within a scenery that has no equals in the world.
We will also visit neighborhoods, like Trastevere, that have fewer examples of magnificent architecture on display, but are characterized by narrow, stone-paved streets that offer countless opportunities to photograph intimate details and daily life scenes.
On some days we'll take public transport to reach more peripheral neighborhoods, like EUR, with its brilliant examples of rationalist architecture from the 1930s, or Garbatella, with its colorful murals.
We will not include visits to museums in our itinerary. If you have never been to Rome or have not visited them, we recommend staying in Rome a few more days and see, at the very least, the Vatican Museums together with the Sistine Chapel, the Galleria Borghese, and the Capitoline Museums, as those contain some of the world's most notable Roman, Renaissance, and Baroque period works of art. We can of course assist you in organizing your extended stay.
Most everything is included in your workshop fee, except your return flight to and from Rome and transportation to and from the hotel.
You will need to book a flight to and from your hometown and get to the hotel from the airport. Trains from Rome Fiumicino airport (FCO) to the city are frequent and affordable. We will have a van and driver to take us around when appropriate but the hotel is in walking distance for most of the great shooting opportunities we will encounter.
We will be staying in a nice hotel in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of many of its most iconic spots, so you will also be able to explore the city on your own, without having to take taxis or public transport.
Each participant will have their own room and breakfast will be included.
Details about the specific hotel chosen and its location will be shared later.
For questions or inquiries or if you wish to arrive early or extend your trip, just let us know. We can help with further travel arrangements and accommodations. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or use the contact form below. We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes.
What people say about our workshops
We had a fantastic three-day private tour in Val d’Orcia with Ugo. Easy-going and knowledgeable, he filled each day with opportunities to make beautiful photographs, from the iconic cypress trees to the winding roads to the picturesque towns. From sunrise to sunset, he ensured we were in a great location to make beautiful photographs. As an unexpected bonus, he also knows many great places for lunch and dinner. If you want to make photographs in Val d’Orcia, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, choose Ugo as your guide. You’ll be glad you did.
Scott Gilbertson Slupsk, Poland
Ugo was a wonderful teacher and host in Venice at last years’ Carnival. He takes all the time you need to get your shot and to help with the camera settings when needed! Ugo was very generous and took us out for dinner two times, beginning and end of the workshop. And, he’s fun to be with!!
Lynda Rubin Greenberg Toronto, Canada
My husband and I did a workshop with Ugo in Cinque Terre. It was fantastic. Ugo is not only a great photographer, but he is generous with his knowledge, and he offers a great workshop. The group was international, which made the experience even richer.
Gail Ginder Healdsburg, CA
I attended a Carnevale in Venice workshop with Ugo and had a wonderful experience. With Ugo's knowledge of Venice and Carnevale, he was able to put us in great locations with dozens of models and a few occasions with private shoots where only the people in the workshop were able to photograph the models. If attending Carnevale in Venice is on your bucket list, as it was on mine, then attending Ugo's workshop is highly recommended. You will be totally satisfied after the first day!
David Bernal USA
What an extraordinary experience to participate in a photography tour and workshop with Ugo Cei Photography Tours, in Venice, Italy during the Venice Carnival. His knowledge of Venice along with the right place to be at the right time made this perfect. Add to that his technical and lighting knowledge and then to top it off the perfect local eateries and local interests. It was days full from daylight to evening at a manageable pace with likeminded new international friends. So glad I took the leap and participated.
Judith Pannozo Racine, WI
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!
Anna Blanco, New York City
Amazing photography tour in Venice. Ugo is both a great teacher and guide. I attend multiple photo tours/workshops every year and this is one that will go into my "I really want to travel with Ugo again". Great balance between photo time and free time - and he allowed me to see a side of Venice which I missed in previous trips. It being Carnival - he placed us in a great position to create images, provided timely and creative feedback and made the entire experience not only fun but a deeply creative experience.
Frederick Fenyvessy San Antonio, TX
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!!
Gary Niederpruem Chicago
Spent a great weekend with Ugo Cei and Pia Parolin at their "Weekend on the French Riviera" workshop. Learned great tips from Ugo and had a fun time photographing in the Nice outdoor market, along the Promenade des Anglais seaside and in the winding narrow streets of Nice. Highly recommended!! lisadereaphotography.com
Lisa DeRea Monaco
After two photo tours with Ugo in Italy, I cannot recommend the experience highly enough – the local knowledge of Italy, partnered with photographic expertise and guidance made for an extremely rewarding photo tour! Ugo guides and mentors you according to your skills, regardless of whether you are a beginner or experienced enthusiast. I have come away with greater understanding of the craft and confidence to build my skill set. I am inspired to continue my learning journey to create beautiful images. Thank you Ugo!!!
Kerri Clark Canberra, Australia
I used to wait for people to clear out of the way so I could take a shot, now I’m waiting for them to be part of my picture. Steve’s course has given me the desire to start planning specific street photography projects close to home and also revisit those places I’ve travelled to with a brand new perspective on what make a great and unique photograph.
Peter Simon Toronto, Ontario
Imagine having an opportunity to photograph some of the most incredible locations and people in the world’s most romantic city, Venice. And, during Carnevale! It was wonderful in every way. From the first email with Ugo, I could tell he was a caring, highly professional and experienced photographer and tour guide for us. He knew this city well and shared a lot before we were there.
I am so glad we chose Ugo and it was very special – my husband is still talking about it. There was so much to learn and interspersed with seeing a boat builder (gondolas), meeting the only professional puppet maker in Venice – and seeing how glass jewelry is made. Photo shoots were morning and night – you have to appreciate and be patient with the models. They are stunning.
The food also was wonderful – Ugo knew the best places. The group was small and allowed for intimate discussion and ease. We are so grateful for a truly immersive and learning experience in a magical city.
Sherry Benjamins Los Angeles, CA
I contacted Ugo for a private two day tour of Cinque Terre. He immediately responded and we met up in Monterosso. Ugo is an easy going and likeable guy and, as can be seen in his website, a good photographer. He knows Cinque Terre very well since he lives nearby and has conducted several tours in the area. If you have only a few days in Cinque Terre, it makes great sense to contact Ugo and he can take you right away to the good spots and at the right time of the day. I had a great time with Ugo in Cinque Terre and would recommend taking his tours.
Manolo Roxas Manila, Philippines
Thoroughly enjoyed the recent workshop in Venice. The Carnival is a wonderful event to photograph as is the fantastical city of Venice. Ugo got us to all the right places at the right times for an incredible photography experience. Certainly a top recommendation!
Chris Lord New York City, NY
We had an unforgettable weekend with Ugo in Cinque Terre. He took us around the 5 villages and showed us the good vantage points for photography and gave us very useful tips. I went home with beautiful photos. Highly recommended.
Funda Inceer Istanbul, Turkey
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.
Anne Dunford Ithaca, NY
I had a wonderful experience in Venice with Ugo. I learned new things while enjoying the wonderful city. I have some special needs which he was able to accommodate perfectly. I highly recommend his company for photo tours.
Patsy Latscha Newport Beach, CA
It was a great joy to participate at the Ugo Cei workshop in Venice.
A pleasant, kind and generous person, always ready to share his knowledge about the Venice and carnival. The organization was impeccable, the sessions with the models was done in a very professional way, the tours around the city were incredible. He knows every corner of this charming city. My wife and I came back with 5,000 extraordinary photos. An incredible experience, I recommend!
If I could I would give 6 stars!
Arthur Wolkovier Sao Paulo, Brazil
My husband and I were fortunate to travel on Ugo Cei's photography trip to Oman. The country itself is an undiscovered treasure, filled with nature and welcoming people. Traveling with Ugo was a pure pleasure. He offered us a thoroughly researched itinerary and lots of photographic guidance. We shot portraits, landscapes, markets and all manner of subjects and Ugo was always there to offer tips. Do yourself a favor and try out one of his workshops!
Susan Higgins Flickinger Verona, WI
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.
Chapman Solomon Mountain View, CA
I have done 3 photo tours with 3 different guides and locations, this has been the best of the three. Ugo was definitely the best of the three guides. His attention to detail with setting the scene and location with models, suggestions on camera settings were helpful for me, a novice with portrait photography. I would definitely recommend any tour with Ugo, he is an excellent photographer willing to share his knowledge, experience and secrets of special places he knows to make the entire photography experience a lifetime memory.
Diana Hatfield Denver, CO
Wonderful Weekend in the French Riviera with Ugo who shared his knowledge about photography with us. Learned so many interesting things. Will do it again!
Karin Vasseur Mouans-Sartoux, France
If you are planning to travel and love photography at any level Ugo can plan a personal tour to fit in with your itinerary! He has a wealth of knowledge to share with you on any subject of photography. Apart from photography (my passion) Ugo provides a total travel experience looking at Italy through the eyes of a local. A life changing trip leaving me totally hooked to book another! Thank you Ugo and yes I will be returning my dilemma is choosing a destination.