New York Private Photo Tours
Street Photography Workshops
See NYC Through the Eyes of a Street Photographer and Lifelong New Yorker
Are you traveling to New York – or are you a local who wants to focus on street photography?
Want to learn the best places to photograph the sites, cityscapes, and people of the city – or do you want to spend an entire day learning the tips, tricks, and secrets of a street photographer?
Custom NYC Photo Tours
*All tours customizable to your specific needs.
3-Hour Photo Tour: 295 USD
5-Hour Photo Tour: 395 USD
Printed and emailed gift certificates available.
Contact James to set up a custom photo tour.
Capture Real New York
Visit both iconic and off-the-beaten-path locations. See sides of the true New York that would be difficult to find on your own.
James is a professional photographer and certified New York history guide, so in addition to photography instruction, you will learn about the history of the neighborhoods, architecture, and people that you are photographing.
All New York photography tours are customized to your exact needs, interests, schedule, and skill level and are private for you, your family, or your traveling group.
In addition, when you sign up for the course you will receive James’ downloadable e-books, The Essentials of Street Photography and Street Photography Conversations to brush up on your street photography before the photo tour and workshop begins.
About James: James has lived in New York for his entire life (besides a 5 year stint in Madison, Wisconsin, but he doesn’t want to talk about that.) Like many Manhattanites, he is a terrible driver and cook, but he’s an excellent navigator.
He has been practicing the art of street photography since he first picked up a camera, has worked as a portrait and fine art photographer in New York since 2005, has had a regular feature for the NY Daily News reporting on different neighborhoods of the City through street portraits and interviews with locals, is a certified New York tour and workshop guide (so get ready for some history!), and has sold and licensed his photography of New York to collectors and companies from around the world.
James is the author of The Essentials of Street Photography and The New York Photographer’s Travel Guide.
Read James’ article on exploring and photographing New York, featured in Digital Photographer Magazine.
Watch at 10-minute documentary about James’ work:
Most popular photo tour itineraries:
Route 1 (3 or 5-hour): My most popular photo tour begins on Broadway and Houston street, heads south through Soho, explores Chinatown, visits the Manhattan Bridge and then heads back north through the Bowery and into the Lower East Side.
While there are iconic views, this is less of the iconic ‘Chrysler Building’ skyscraper New York and more beautiful old buildings, incredible street photography with some of the most interesting people in the city, graffiti, colored walls, incredible alleys, gambling Chinese men and women in a park, and a lot of other things along those lines. On a 5-hour workshop you have the option to stop in Chinatown for a dumpling lunch. Departs in SoHo.
Route 2 (3-hour): This new route focuses on Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront. It’s an amazing, beat-up, and beautiful area of old factories of all types, old buildings, quirky things, a defunct railway, and most importantly a gorgeous waterfront with incredible views of Manhattan (and a great waterfront Park to see them from). We also visit the iconic Green-Wood cemetery, one of the most beautiful places in New York, located at the highest point in Brooklyn, with incredible views of the city.
Route 3 (3-hour): My most popular night route covers more of the ‘iconic’ and ‘famous’ New York. The first half is spend exploring Central Park at dusk, including Bow Bridge, The Mall, The Lake, Bethesda Terrace and Arch, Sheep Meadow with an incredible Cityscape view, Gapstow Bridge, and much more. We will then take the subway to midtown, where we will photograph Bryant Park and the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Grand Central and the Chrysler Building and it’s exquisite lobby. Departs in Central Park.
I offer custom routes as well depending on your needs and interests, including straight street photography days. Workshops can be done any time of day or night.
“My girlfriend and I recently signed up for James’ photo tour and workshop of NY (we were taking photos primarily in Central Park and Midtown). In such a short period of time, James not only gave us an excellent one-on-one intro course on the technical side of photography but he also shared several spectacular venues for skyline, nature, and architectural shots, gave us some great tips on his favorite restaurants in the City, and also took some amazing shots of the two of us! Our time with James was a lot of fun, and, without a doubt, the highlight of our four days in New York. We would highly encourage anyone who’s contemplating it to go for it!”
– Bruce and Irina
“James’ photography tour of New York is an absolute must! It was our first time in New York City and his tour was the first ‘to-do’ item on our list. The invaluable knowledge of the most famous street photography locations that James shared with us was inspiring, and seeing New York City through his lens and talent was refreshing. James provided numerous tips and techniques that will go a long way to improve our street photography and general photography. From locations, to getting up close and capturing the right moment, James was able to share his knowledge and demonstrate in person how he works. James is a lovely chatty, talented young man and his career and photos are an absolute genius to all walks of photographers! We highly recommend anyone visiting New York to arrange to meet up with James.”
– Andrew and Mazza.
“While traveling the States, I had the opportunity to walk the streets of NYC with James learning first hand the tips and tricks to street photography. He opened my eyes to a whole new type of photography. I learned the art of taking photos of people in their natural state and making my photos say something. The things I have learned from James have improved my photography as a whole. It was an awesome experience and would definitely do it again!”
– Damon O’Reilly.
“Tired of great memories from our holidays but disappointing photos we decided to book the custom photo tour with James, armed with our various cameras and little or no knowledge he really showed us some interesting sights and locations and how best to set our cameras to get the best shots. It was a totally unique day that really added to a great holiday we would definitely recommend the tour to anyone. The kids both had a great time and let me tell you they are hard to impress!”
– Jacqueline Fung
“It’s not often that a person can enjoy the sites of one of the greatest cities in the world, learn photography from a pro, enjoy exotic food and make a new friend all in the bargain. That’s exactly what we got from the street photography workshop we took with James Maher. It was fun to learn how to become a better photographer while discovering so much about the different neighborhoods of Manhattan. His tips for getting the right apertures, ISO’s and learning how to frame an interesting scene will surely come in handy for any type of photography. Despite being a novice and a more experienced photographer, James was able to seamlessly give us individual instruction, almost anticipating our next question. James truly has a gift for being both a fantastic photographer and a superb teacher. We’re looking forward to another workshop with him in the near future.”
– Susan Supak and Colleen Larsen
“Always on the lookout for new ways to explore photography, I recently read an article about James Maher. I had never tried street photography, but it sounded intriguing, so I Googled James, learned about his street photography, ordered his books, and quickly signed up for one of his photo tours. To say that I enjoyed it would be an understatement: James’ enthusiasm for photography and for New York City combines to create an exciting, rewarding, and unforgettable experience.
Taking me to some of the best intersections in the City for street photography, he taught me about zone focusing and about capturing images of people without being obvious. Concentrating on my camera’s settings, he instructed me about using different modes and different exposures to capture images with the greatest impact. Occasionally, I would need to ask a person if I could take a photo; James told me the best ways to approach him/her to get permission. Between shoots, he would point out the beauty of the City, including its architecture and some very creative and colorful graffiti.
All in all, it was a terrific workshop! Street photography was completely new to me—I can’t imagine a better introduction than James provided. I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone who wants to expand his photographic horizons. It’s fun, enlightening, and fascinating, and James is a genuinely nice guy and a superb teacher! I plan to sign up for another workshop, in a different area of the City, next year.”
– Joe Routon
What you will / can learn:
- The best locations to photograph iconic buildings and landmarks
- The best locations for photographing people
- Photography basics (if needed, for beginners)
- Street photography tips, tricks, and techniques
- All the tricks for capturing close-up candid portraits
- Camera settings and zone focusing techniques
- Capturing gesture, expression, and emotion and telling stories with your images
- Street portraiture
- And, of course, what we will learn will be tailored to your skill level, what you want to see, and what you want to learn!
Now Let’s talk about you
What do you want to see and what would you like to improve? The best part aspect of this job is getting to know people from all over the world!