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Street Photography Workshop: Order out of Chaos

Explore different approaches to street photography from classic to contemporary during a 3-day intensive workshop in the iconic cities of London, New York and Paris.

In conjunction with Journey Boutique I have put together bespoke Street Photography Workshops that will teach you how to make great street photographs and provide you with a fun and personalised creative learning experience. As well as being a photographic tour-de-force exploring different camera techniques, visual styles and shooting approaches, this trip will also be a cultural experience of art, food and communities living in some of the most vibrant and ethnic diverse neighborhoods of London, New York and Paris - places which has a rich history of street photography.

Street photography is an unbroken tradition stretching back to the invention of photography itself. It revels in the poetic possibilities that an inquisitive mind and a camera can conjure out of everyday life. Most street photographers get their best shots in crowded and populated urban areas such as shopping malls, high streets, parks, markets, cafes/bars, museums, subways, train stations or seaside promenades. In their spontaneous and often subconscious reaction to the fecundity of public life, street photographers elevate the commonplace and familiar into something mythical and even heroic. They thrive on the unexpected, seeing the street as a theatre of endless possibilities, the cast list never fixed until the shutter is pressed. (* text from Stephen McLaren in Street Photography Now, 2010, Thames & Hudson)

Click any image below to view recent pictures from street photography workshop in London © Martin Toft, October 2013

Workshops 2013-14

Small group size: max 10 participants

London East to West: 26-28 October 2013
Price for workshop £480 per person includes: (travellers from Jersey only)
Workshop tuition ( 3 days) by Martin Toft
Return flights from Jersey to London.Transfer Gatwick- hotel- Gatwick
Accommodation: 4 star Hotel in Central London on a shared twin basis room

New York Downtown to Uptown: 19-23 December 2013
Price for workshop £795 per person includes:
Workshop tuition ( 3 days) by Martin Toft
4 nights accommodation: 4 star Hotel Morgans on a shared twin basis room

Paris Around Arrondissements: 26 Feb- 2 March 2014
Price for workshop £695 per person includes:
Workshop tuition ( 3 days) by Martin Toft
4 nights accommodation at Royal St. Germain hotel on a shared twin basis room

To receive the detailed itinerary or if you would like to enquire about extra services such as flights, airport transfers, extra nights, single room supplements and any other information please contact Journey Boutique at or tel: +44 (0)1534 758983

Who is it for?
Anyone with a keen interest in photography who wants to become more confident as a street photographer and develop new skills as a visual storyteller. Although technical advice will be given on the best way to set up your camera for street shooting, the course will not focus on basic camera handling so you should have some prior knowledge on how to operate your camera.

Workshop Overview
This workshop is a very practical workshop and there will be a lot of shooting every day. Participants will either shoot in pairs or on their own. In general there are no larger group shoots, so there are never too many people trying to take the same shots. Martin will shoot with a different person or pairing during each day, so there are ample opportunities to observe the way Martin work, approach his subjects, and to learn his tricks and techniques. This will also give Martin an opportunity to observe how each participant approach their subjects and he will give you hands-on guidance on how to advance your style, technique and set you specific tasks to bring you outside your comfort zone. Special attention will be put on developing and practicing “social skills” – how to interact with local people. You will not only hunt for decisive moments like Henri Cartier-Bresson but also exploring more of a confrontational approach in the style of William Klein and get close to people, talk and photograph them. Throughout the day and in the evening at dinner everyone gets together to discuss and share photos.

A 3-day course will cover

  • An introduction to Street Photography – History and Contemporary Practice
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • Tools, techniques and tips
  • Intensive practical photography on the streets
  • Image critique and feedback

Click any image below to view some of my archive street photographs from London in 1996 © Martin Toft, October 2013

What To Expect
The core-learning objective is developing a greater visual awareness of what makes a great street photograph. The emphasis is upon the art of seeing and training your eye to look for the perfect light, decide on what to include in your frame, capture a unique moment, a beautiful scene or an interesting face.

Participants will be set assignments specifically designed to teach different strategies and approaches to capturing the unusual moments in everyday life. Your tutor, Martin Toft will convey in words and images his own unique way of working and encourage students to find their own visual vocabulary.

Some of the aspects of Street Photography you will learn about:

  • How to approach strangers (or when not to approach them)
  • Learn the art of seeing street photography opportunities
  • Make the most out of your camera and its advanced modes
  • Find the right scene and subject
  • Time your shots perfectly
  • Composition pointers
  • Find good light
  • How to work and react quickly
  • All the tricks for capturing close-up candid portraits.
  • Street portraiture, formal and informal
  • Shooting from the hip successfully.
  • Street photography learning exercises.
  • Customized learning tailored to your skill level, what you want to photograph, and what you want to learn
  • How to edit and pick your best shots
  • Image critique and review

Equipment List
Photographers who wish to join us must have their own camera with a wide to standard lens (preferably a fixed lens somewhere between 24mm to 50mm.) We also recommend that you bring extra memory cards, batteries and a laptop for uploading, processing and editing pictures. In addition to a keen interest in photography, anyone signing up should bring appropriate clothing, a comfortable pair of shoes, as there will be a lot of walking and a good sense of humor will help you interact with the public and with skill make you capture those unguarded moments.

Click any image below to view recent pictures from participants on street photography workshops in London and St Malo.



More Learning opportunities:
Those who attend will be able to use the experience, confidence and skills gained to improve their photography in many ways. The goal of our workshop is to help each participant take the next step by bringing clarity to their own personal vision, finding a unique style, and understanding where they are now and where their work can take them. However, for those who want to extend their learning opportunities and take full advantage of the above workshop Martin offer private tuition and personal mentoring both online and in person prior to travel and as a follow-up after the workshop. These extra sessions for individuals who are interested in improving their photographic skills will be customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interest. Some of the learning activities that Martin offers in general, and in relation to the above street workshop are:

  • Street Photography Assignment prior to travel
  • Portfolio review and critique of photographs
  • One-on-One tuition
  • Private workshop
  • Visual storytelling and documentary practice
  • Find your Vision: personalized mentoring and how to develop self-initiated project
  • Art of Seeing: understanding composition & lighting.
  • Technical know-how: camera techniques and skills
  • Editing skills: how to put together a cohesive series of images
  • Post-processing techniques (Photoshop/ Lightroom)
  • How to build a portfolio
  • Marketing your work and how to get noticed
  • Formal assessment of work for professional qualifications

Contact Martin directly on for more information on his other learning opportunities and online mentoring program or any further questions you may have in regards to the street photography workshop. 

The street photography workshops are led by professional photographer and tutor, Martin Toft who has over 20 years of experience working freelance in documentary and editorial photography as well as teaching photography across all ages from A-level students (High school) to higher education (university), providing private tuition for individuals and running photography workshops for schools and community-based organizations. Martin has extensive local knowledge of the areas where we will shoot and he has vast experience in combining documentary photography and storytelling with travel and adventure.