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Street Photography & the Art of Seeing at the National Monuments

Learn to make better images that tell stories

Quick Details


A photojournalist is a visual storyteller. And as such, we tell stories with a series of photos and one photo at a time. Washington Photo Safari is pleased to present this safari in street photography taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Essdras Suarez. The goal of this photo safari is not only to help you make better images but to also help you tell stories with your images, thus creating more intricate and complex images.

The area around DC’s iconic monuments, the Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam Memorials, visited by 20 million people per year, is fertile ground for street photography.

By embracing the chaos of daily life and applying principles of layering, composition, decisive moments and other elements that go into making interesting images, you’ll be able to tell the story not only of the places we visit but of those people visiting as well.

During this three-hour photo workshop taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Essdras Suarez, you’ll learn how to see the world around anew. We’ll achieve this by observing human interaction as well as how people relate to their surroundings. We’ll play close attention to the quality of light as it strikes people and inert structures; thus affecting the feel of a photograph. We will also capture those candid moments that tell a story of human relationships.

  • You’ll learn to recognize patterns within the chaos and the mundane of everyday life.
  • You’ll learn to quickly recognize and anticipate the decisive moment at which to push the shutter.
  • You’ll learn to pay attention to light and how it affects your photo subjects.
  • You’ll learn to observe and analyze human behavior and interaction.
  • You’ll learn to recognize groupings in design, and in our general surroundings.
  • You’ll learn to visually interpret what you see through your photographic device in new and interesting ways by changing your angles and perspective; thus shifting your visual paradigm.
  • You’ll learn to quickly apply principles of composition, leading lines, the rule of thirds, the concept of “layering,” and to recognize points of entry within your composition.

You’ll learn to use techniques such as “shooting for the highlights,” and “wrap-around composition” and others in order to create more sophisticated images. You’ll also learn what equipment is best suited to this type of street photography when you travel, and how to use that equipment in a way that does not invade the personal space or privacy of your subjects.

Recent reviews:

  • Es, Thanks again for yesterday. It was one of the most enlightening photography experiences I’ve had. I’ll definitely be looking at everything from different perspectives from now on. ~ Bob Steinberg
  • Thank you for teaching such a great class on Saturday! I appreciate that you were so generous with your knowledge. You helped me not only get some good shots on Saturday, but taught so many useful skills that will help me with my development as a photographer. Again, thank you. ~ Bob
  • Thanks again for being such a great safari leader. I truly enjoyed watching how you make the subjects of your images feel comfortable and the camera technique instruction will be very valuable when I go out to shoot fairs and other events. ~ Joy
  • Essdras, THANK YOU SO MUCH for today’s street photography workshop. I learned more today than I have in almost anything other workshop or class I’ve been a part of. Your eye and attention to details are really amazing. My body is a little sore and tired, but my mind is racing with all of the things you said and talked about. I hope you will be doing more workshops in the future. ~ Fred
  • Today was literally life-changing. This was the perfect safari at the perfect time–exactly what I needed for my personal and professional shooting. ~ Pam W.
  • David, you were right.  I had come to think I was a pretty competent photographer (thanks largely to Washington Photo Safari), but yesterday’s safari with Essdras showed how much more there is I can still learn.  The class was extraordinary, as was the instructor, Essdras Suarez.  I’ll never absorb all of what he had to offer, but I still came out way ahead of where I was as a photographer.  -Greg. E., Arlington, VA
  • I’ve been on a few over the years. David and each of the other instructors have been amazing. Just did one on street photography, and photographer Essdras Suarez was also excellent. Very experienced, could help with various cameras, and a great teacher. Susan B.
  • I took a class taught by Essdras Suarez and it inspired me to be a more creative photographer. The class was very small and personalized. He provided lots of tips and ideas for creating photographs that stand out and tell a unique story. I’ll definitely take more classes. Beth P., Washington, D.C. on SWELL

Safari Details
Requirements to attend this street photography workshop:
You need to have a basic knowledge of photography, so you must come with an understanding of such concepts as F-stop, shutter speed, WB, etc.

If you are not familiar with these basic principles of photography, we recommend you take on of our other Washington Photo Safari programs such as: “Monuments and Memorials “ or the “F Stops and Shutter Speeds” safaris, which will help you understand some of the basics of photography and the use of your camera.

You need to be familiar with your own photographic device. i.e. knowing how to quickly change the white balance, shutter speed, F stop, and ISO settings, continuous rapid shooting, and how to work on aperture or shutter priority (Tip: be sure to read the camera’s manual, if you have not already done so!)
We recommend you bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera body, a wide angle lens for great depth of field, and a telephoto lens of at least 200mm. All in-one-zoom lenses like an 18-270 or a 16-300 are very good for this type of work to avoid rapid lens changing.
Remember, this is a workshop to deepen your understanding of street photography so that you will come back from your travels with unusual iconic images to share with your family and friends.

The workshop will begin with a 40-minute presentation on street photography technique, followed by a 3.5 hour walk around the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam memorials during which Mr. Suarez will work with each client individually in capturing unusual and artistically composed images.