Street Photography Workshop in Tokyo, Japan in May and June 2015



Two week-long street photography workshops in Tokyo, Japan with In-Public photographer Maciej Dakowicz

Workshop Report

First workshop: 25 May 2015 – 31 May 2015.
Åse Eldholm Van Schaack –
Isabelle Despert-Okumura –
Ben Murray –,
Second workshop: 1 -7 June 2015.
Chawengsak Assawinnimit –
Izabela Rudak –


First Workshop


The third street photography presentation at our hotel lobby on the third day of the workshop.


Second Workshop


A street photography presentation at our hotel lobby on the second day of the workshop. A good portion of inspiration and ideas.


Pre-Workshop Information

Are you ready for a week of street photography in one of the most fascinating cities in the world with a small group of like minded photography enthusiasts? Good!


Tokyo, Japan


“A fuel-injected adrenaline rush into a neon-bright future, TOKYO (東京) is a mercurial metropolis flashing by in a blur of conflicting images. Obsessed with the latest trends and fashions, the world’s largest city – the heart of which is home to at least eight million people – is also fiercely proud of its heritage. Lively neighbourhood festivals are held virtually every day of the year, and people regularly visit their local shrine or temple and scrupulously observe the passing seasons in manicured gardens.
Caught up in an untidy web of overhead cables, plagued by seemingly incessant noise, its freeways often clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic, this concrete-and-steel conurbation may seem the stereotypical urban nightmare. Yet back from the frenetic main roads are tranquil backstreets, where dinky wooden houses are fronted by neatly clipped bonsai trees; wander beyond the hi-tech emporia, and you’ll discover charming fragments of the old city such as temples and shrines wreathed in wisps of smoking incense.
The fact is that centuries-long experience of organizing itself to cope with the daily demands of millions of inhabitants has made Tokyo something of a model metropolitan environment. Trains run on time and to practically every corner of the city, crime is hardly worth worrying about, and shops and vending machines provide everything you could need (and many things you never thought you did), 24 hours a day.
With so much going on, first-time visitors should be prepared for a massive assault on the senses – just walking the streets of this hyperactive city can be an energizing experience. It need not be an expensive one, either. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how affordable many things are. Cheap-and-cheerful izakaya – bars that serve food – and casual cafés serving noodles and rice dishes are plentiful, the metro is a bargain, and tickets for a sumo tournament or a kabuki play can be bought for the price of a few drinks.
Browsing the shops and marvelling at the passing parade is mesmerising – the next best thing to having a ringside seat at the hippest of fashion shows. The city’s great wealth and relative lack of planning restrictions have given architects almost unparalleled freedom to realize their wildest dreams. Likewise, in Tokyo’s uber-chic bars, restaurants and clubs you’ll see today what the rest of the world will get tomorrow. You may not figure out exactly what makes it tick – and you’re sure to get a little lost while trying – but the conclusion is inescapable: Tokyo is a fun, seductive and addictive experience.” – from Tokyo Rough Guide.

Workshop Description

It will be a very practical workshop and there will be a lot of shooting every day. A very small group of max 4 participants means a high level of interaction with Maciej. You will be working in pairs changing “partners” after the lunch break. While shooting with Maciej you will have a chance to observe him at work, learn his techniques and tricks, and receive an instant feedback on your photographic technique. A special attention will be put on developing and practising “social skills” – an interaction with local people. You will not only be a fly on the wall hunting for decisive moments like Henri Cartier-Bresson, but also get really close to people, engage, talk and photograph them. Maciej is a very experienced travel and street photographer and you will learn a great deal of new things. In the evenings you will edit and discuss your freshly taken photos in the group together with Maciej. There will be plenty of opportunities to talk photography too. Maciej will also present several slideshow presentations in which theoretical and practical aspects of street photography will be outlined and discussed, inspiring and providing ideas for the upcoming days of shooting.
It will be a very memorable week that will change you not only as a photographer, but as a person too. You will return back home confident, inspired and motivated to keep developing as a photographer.


The participants of the workshops are responsible for all travel costs, including the visa, air tickets, food, accommodation and local transport.


The whole group will preferably stay at the same accommodation and the choice of the hotel will be made together. Japan is not a cheap destination, so to keep the cost of the week low the hotel will be a business type budget hotel. Luckily in a very central location – in Shinjuku. A single room with bathroom price will be around $50, without bathroom $40. Clean and comfortable.

Please also take a look at the reports from different previous workshops to understand how unique they are. There are many behind the scene photos and pictures taken by the students:


ABOUT Maciej Dakowicz

Maciej is an experienced Polish photographer, traveller and gallerist based in Mumbai, India. He holds a PhD in computer science, but abandoned science to focus on photography. He is one of the founders of Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff and a member of the international street photography collective In-Public. He has worked on various photographic projects worldwide and his interests are in documentary, travel and street photography.
Maciej’s photos have been widely published and exhibited around the world, shown at photo festivals and he is a recipient of numerous awards. He was profiled in two major street photography books published by Thames & Hudson – “Street Photography Now” in 2010 and “The World Atlas of Street Photography” in 2014. Maciej’s first monograph Cardiff After Dark was published in October 2012.