New York City High School Photography Workshop

With its towering skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and eclectic street life, New York City is a photographer’s dream, offering exhilarating visual subjects at every turn. During daily classes and photo shoots in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and in the picturesque Hudson Valley just north of the city, and learn new techniques from a National Geographic photographer.

June 29 - July 10, 2019
Airfare is not included. The program begins and ends in New York City.

Trip Highlights

  • Set out on photo assignments alongside a National Geographic photographer in Central Park, Chinatown, Brooklyn, and more.
  • Delve into the immigrant experience at a multimedia laboratory founded by a National Geographic photographer.
  • Visit one of New York’s incredible galleries for an inside look at the professional photography world.
  • Practice portrait photography at Coney Island and hone your landscape photography skills in the Hudson Valley.


Spend time in our classroom, learning how to develop your eye and improve your technical skills, then take to the streets in small groups, practicing what you’ve learned on photo shoots. Get to know the city’s many vibrant neighborhoods, from the lively streets of the East Village to the classic brownstones of Chelsea. Meet with representatives from Newest Americans, an innovative art and documentary project established by a National Geographic photographer to chronicle the immigrant experience in the U.S. Then take a ferry to Ellis Island and learn about New York’s rich history of immigration. Venture to multicultural neighborhoods including Chinatown and Brooklyn, and document the profound ways in which immigrants have shaped the city.

Ride the New York City subway to Coney Island, photographing the kaleidoscopic colors of vintage amusement rides; frame the soaring architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge; and capture poignant shots of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.

Get an intimate look at the photography world with visits to some of the many amazing galleries that thrive in this diverse city. Learn from some of the best in the industry how to successfully curate an art show.

Travel by private bus to the Hudson Valley for two nights. Enjoy a break from the city and a chance to photograph nature while out on a hike or while visiting one of the many local farms that supply New York City with its fresh produce. Spend time at Storm King Art Center, one of the world’s premier outdoor sculpture parks, and practice landscape photography during a picnic lunch with your group overlooking the Hudson Valley.

In the evenings, review the day’s images, work on editing your photos for the final gallery show, and attend talks with our National Geographic photographer and instructors. Then head out to photograph the city at nightfall, learning to control your exposure settings for vivid results.

Throughout this photo workshop, we prepare for a pop-up gallery opening that features one image from each student in large-format digital prints. The images are submitted to our National Geographic photographer who curates the show, helping students get a sense of what a professional photographer does when submitting work for publication. Students help organize, curate, and install the exhibit. The pop-up gallery is a time for the entire group to celebrate the work you’ve accomplished on the final night.

Our photo workshops are for students in grades 9-12. Students learn important photography lessons in the classroom and apply them in some of the world’s most photogenic places. Then, together with their fellow travelers, they work to organize, curate, and install a pop-up gallery show featuring each student’s original images. Students shoot alongside a team of highly-qualified photography instructors—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. A National Geographic photographer also joins the entire program, inspiring students with their work, and helping students build their own skills. Photo Workshops generally have 25-30 participants, and the student-to-photo-instructor ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
We stay in dormitory-style accommodations in New York City and in a small hotel in the Hudson Valley. Classrooms are equipped with digital projectors so we can share and critique our work.

Ruddy Roye, Photographer

Meet Our Expert

Ruddy Roye is a Brooklyn-based portrait and documentary photographer. Inspired by the lives of grassroots people—especially those of his homeland of Jamaica—he strives to tell stories about the human condition, injustice, resilience, and compassion. Ruddy contributed to National Geographic magazine's 2018 series on race and diversity in America, and he shot an assignment about the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the October 2016 issue. Ruddy will join the entire photo workshop.

Sample Daily Schedule

This sample daily schedule will give you a sense of a typical day on our Photography Workshop. Our schedule will also remain flexible throughout the program so that we can take advantage of photographic opportunities as they arise.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM — Breakfast: Eat breakfast together with your group at our accommodations.

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM — Photo Review and Selection: Photo instructors and the National Geographic photographer work with each student to select the best photos from the previous day’s shoot.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM — Group Critique: Photo instructors and the National Geographic photographer lead a group critique and discussion of each student’s top images.

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Lunch and Free Time: Eat lunch together as a group and then take some time to relax before heading out on your afternoon assignments.

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Assignment Work in the Field: Break into smaller teams shooting in and around New York City. Hit some of the iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Times Square and capture the unique personality of hidden and lesser known neighborhoods.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Dinner and Evening Meeting: All students and instructors will meet back on campus for an evening meeting and dinner. There will also be time to upload photos from the day to your computers.

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Evening Activity: Head out on the town together for an evening show or attend a talk by your National Geographic photographer.