Workshop Alert: Hanoi to Sapa, Vietnam “Travel Street Photography Experience”

Workshop Description 

 Are you a street photographer who is looking for a travel experience of a lifetime? Do you want to learn more about another culture and its people while capturing memorable images? If so, I am excited to invite you to my upcoming “Travel Photography Experience” that will take us from the romantic streets of Hanoi to the minority tribal village of Sapa and the truly memorable Sunday Market of Bac Ha. The workshop will run for six days, February 8 to 13, 2017. I am also excited to share that I will be co-teaching the workshop with my good friend and international street photographer, Eric KimHe travels the world teaching street photography best practices to those looking to gain confidence while photographing and interacting with people in public space.

Hanoi is one of the most historic cities in the world with a heavy French influence, incredible food, and some of the most picturesque backdrops in all of Southeast Asia. Despite its history of conflict, the growth and achievement since the 1990’s has been remarkable. The streets are bustling with people, scooters, and vendors all working in a highly complex symphony. It is one of the most fascinating cities in the world with a booming tourism industry. It is also perhaps the ‘best bang for your buck’ cities to travel too. With low cost airlines like Air Asia, Tiger, and Jetstar, it is an inexpensive trip to neighbouring countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia. 

The workshop is limited to 16 passionate individuals of all levels who want to take their street photography to new heights. The workshop will be an intimate experience in which you will learn solid fundamentals, get honest & constructive criticism on how to improve your photos, and meet other enthusiastic street photographers. As the workshop will be specialized to your personal needs, this workshop is ideal for beginner all the way up to advanced photographers. In addition to honing your skills as a street photographer, you will get to build a bond and camaraderie with the fellow participants. 

Workshop Syllabus 

During this intensive 6-day workshop, we will focus on the following topics: 

  • How you can conquer your fear of shooting street photography 
  • How you can improve your composition and what to look for in the streets 
  • How you can anticipate & capture “The Decisive Moment” 
  • The best technical settings to use on your camera 
  • How you can master editing & workflow in Lightroom 
  • An in-depth critique & feedback of your work 
  • The best places in Hanoi (off the beaten path) to shoot street photography 
  • How to develop your style in street photography and stick out from the crowd 
  • Personalized street photography assignments to push you to the next level 
  • How to create a memorable body of work and the secrets of unforgettable images

    The workshop will be tailored to your individual needs and you will have the opportunity to work on a mini-assignment for the week that will give you the foundation to work on longer more in-depth projects. 

Workshop Schedule 

Day 1 (Wednesday, February 8, 2017): 8am-4pm

When we meet in the morning after a potent cup of ca phe sua da (famous Vietnamese iced coffee) and use this time to get to know one another. We will discuss our weaknesses in our photography, and “why” we make photos.

This will be an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you have about street photography, and also help hone your personal vision in your work. 

Based on what you share, I will give you personalized street photography assignments, and help you discover your unique voice in street photography. These assignments will be based on what you feel like you’re lacking, and I will be the motivational push to help you achieve your “personal maximum.” 

The entire day will be intense; we will be shooting for around 5-6 hours in the bustling Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake neighbourhood. This won’t be a boring workshop where you sit in a classroom the entire day; it will be an action-packed workshop, pounding the pavements. 

Day 2 (Thursday, February 9, 2017): 8am-4pm 

On Thursday morning we will start the workshop off with a short discussion on composition in street photography, and the secrets to making memorable photographs. We will also discuss street photography projects and give you a specialized project for you to shoot for the rest of the week. 

With your assignment in mind, we will then hit the streets of Hanoi focusing on your week-long project. This time can also be spent to help you build your confidence, help you spot out great street photography opportunities, and the best technical settings to use on your camera for street photography. 

At the end of the day, we will go out to dinner together I will continue to give you feedback on the photos you took the day-of. This will also give us more time to get to know one another better and talk more about street photography. 

Day 3 (Friday, February 10, 2017): 7am-7pm 

Friday morning we will check out of our hotel in Hanoi and make a visit to Lenin Park to capture locals exercising and practising their traditional dance. We’ll make our way to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to observe mourners, tourists, and the curious as they visit the preserved body of the “Uncle Ho”. 

Following the morning’s outing, we will board a private bus and make our way through the scenic winding roads and rice paddies to the mountain village of Sapa (approximately 5-6 hours). Sapa is home to the H’mong people, who often wear their traditional brightly coloured dress which identifies which tribe they belong to. After we arrive in Sapa and check into our hotel, we will grab dinner together to discuss the progress of our projects

Day 4 (Saturday, February 11, 2017): 7am-2pm 

The morning in Sapa will be spent roaming the streets surrounding Quang Truong Square which acts as the village’s central square. From there, we will travel to the neighbouring village of Ta Phin, which offers picturesque views of the mountain village and insight into rural living and minority culture. Expect lots of walking in Ta Phin! Those interested in landscape photography may opt to cross-pollinate that genre with street photography elements for truly unique images. 

After Ta Phin, participants can spend the late afternoon at their own leisure before the group meets again for an early dinner. We will once again discuss the progress of your week-long project, which should have a solid foundation of images at this point. 

Day 5 (Sunday, February 12, 2017): 4am-7pm 

The early bird gets the worm! One of the anticipated highlights of this experience will be visiting the famous Sunday market in Bac Ha, about a two and a half hour journey from Sapa. You’re going to want to shoot color on this day with all the vibrant colors and patterns you’ll see at the market. Villagers from all over Northwest Vietnam travel great distances to purchase a variety of goods, including livestock. Anything from buffalo to fish to dogs can be purchased at this market. This is one of the most unique experiences you will have in all of Vietnam. 

 We will leave Bac Ha in the afternoon and make our way back to Hanoi by private bus.


Day 6 (Monday, February 13, 2017): 12pm-4pm 

After so many days being on the road, we will reward ourselves with a late start to the final day of the workshop. We will spend the afternoon editing & post-processing your best work, and I will give you personal guidance in terms of what images you should include (and ditch) for your final project. It will be a tough task, but we will support one another to finish choosing our final images for our project. 

Once we are done editing, you will then present your week-long street photography project to the rest of the group. You will be given constructive critique & feedback on your images in terms of the images, the edit, as well as the sequencing of images. We will also give you practical advice in terms of what direction to take your street photography to further grow & develop as a photographer. Many people who have attended my past workshops say this is the most rewarding part of the workshop

At the end of the workshop, we will go out for a final dinner together where we can continue to share our passion & experiences from the workshop. I will also make a private Facebook group for everyone to keep in touch after the workshop in order to build a community of learning. 

What You Will Learn 

This workshop won’t turn you into the next Henri Cartier-Bresson. However it will help you hone your own personal vision in your photography, build your confidence, create more visually-compelling compositions, and inspire you to work on more significant longer term projects. 

This is a workshop that will help identify your weaknesses while focusing on your strengths. 

After the workshop, you will have more creative confidence, a stronger understanding of long-term projects, that will help you achieve your “personal maximum” in your photography, life, and work. 

Travel & Accommodation 

We are happy to provide accommodation for the nights of February 8-12th, local travel, all group meals, and tuition fee as part of the inclusive pricing. The hotel in Hanoi is rated 3-star or better but because of the nature of accommodations in Sapa, it will be a more basic guesthouse/hotel for two nights. 

Flights are not included in the cost, but we will be happy to assist you with a search for lowest cost fares. Visas are required for travel from many countries, but most travellers can simply apply online for it. Please contact me at for further assistance.

Workshop Time & Tuition

Date: February 8-13th, 2017 (Wednesday to Monday) 

Time: see itinerary 

Tuition: 2995 USD

Workshop cap: 16 participants (6 available spots)

Location: TBD 

Contact and registration: email to express your interest in attending and an invoice will be sent to you electronically

*Cost is based on double occupancy. If you would like your own room, please contact me 

*If you are a returning participant or wish to register more than one person, please also contact me 

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