Chicago Cultural Photo Tour in September


Photographer Shooting at Crown Fountain in Chicago, Illinois - Copyright 2010 Ralph Velasco

Above: Shooting at Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

I’m excited about my upcoming Chicago Cultural Photo Tour to be held from September 20 to 23, 2012.  Below is all the information you’ll need to make a decision as to whether or not you’d like to join me on what is one of my favorite photo tours…maybe it’s because I was born and raised in Chicago and I can’t say enough good things about it…but, neither can the others whom I’ve taken in the past.


Chicago is a wonderful place to photograph and we know all the ins and outs of where the best places are to shoot – and eat and play – and so we’ve put together small groups each May and September for the past three years, and this year should be no different.  May and September are when the weather should be perfect and it’s off season and typically less crowded.

These trips are limited to the first eight people, with a 5 person minimum, so it’s going to be a small group with a great learning environment.


Click here for individual days at $99 each

Please specify which day(s)


Click here for all 4 days: September 20 – 23, 2012 ~

Just $349 for 4 days

Man Under The Bean in Black and White in Chicago, Illinois - Copyright 2010 Ralph Velasco

Man Under The Bean in Black and White at Millennium Park in Chicago

DAILY ITINERARY (subject to change, times approximate)

Thursday – 5:30 – 9:30 pm – We’ll shoot around Millennium Park, including at the Bean, Crown Fountain, the Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden and then walk over the BP Bridge and up to the Chicago River.  For those who are interested, we’ll then have a famous “Cheeborger” at the Billy Goat Tavern, which is on Lower Michigan Avenue.

Friday – 7 – 11 am – Again we’ll be in Millennium Park to shoot the Bean, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, Pritzker Pavilion, BP Bridge and more, in what should be very good light and with fewer crowds than yesterday.  We’ll then walk up Michigan Av. to the River Walk and west out to Lake Street.  Time permitting we’ll also visit the State of Illinois Building and the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, ending up at Lou Malnati’s Pizza on Lake Street for some out-of-this-world deep dish pizza (optional).

Saturday – 5 to 9 pm – We’ll walk north up the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) stopping at the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, and then continue on to the old Water Tower at Chicago and Michigan Avenues.  We’ll go up in the Hancock Building to the Signature Room, on the 96th floor, for some shots (photos) and a drink (optional)., then jump cabs and head over to Buckingham Fountain for some night shooting.

Sunday – 7 am to 11 am – Meeting at the Adler Planetarium for great views back at the city, we’ll walk west through the Museum Campus, then along Roosevelt Road for some unique views from the south, ending up at the Maxwell Street market.  Time permitting, we’ll be able to shoot in the market a bit and then grab some authentic Mexican food.

Photo Tour Group Under The Bean in Millennium Park in Chicago - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco

Photo Tour Group Under The Bean in Millennium Park in Chicago


We’ll do our best to photograph some of my favorite locations, such as:

·   Millennium Park with Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean), Jay Pritzker Pavilion, BP Bridge, Lurie Garden & Crown Fountain;

·    Panoramas of the city skyline from the Adler Planetarium;

·    Along Roosevelt Road out to the historic Maxwell Street Market;

·    Night shots at Buckingham Fountain and the city skyline;

·   Along the Chicago River where our Photo Walking Tours were born and where we’ve logged hundreds of miles walking, researching and photographing the city.

This is an insider’s look at America’s “second city.”

Buckingham Fountain in the Fog at Night in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco 1

Buckingham Fountain in the Fog at Night in Grant Park, Chicago.


We work on a first come, first served basis, so in order to guarantee your spot, please send a check for the full payment of $349 to the address below, or use the PayPal links above.

PhotoEnrichment Programs

422 1/2 Carnation Avenue

Corona del Mar, CA 92625

In addition to the virtually endless photo opportunities, Chicago has amazing restaurants and so we’d like to show you a variety of our favorite eating establishments, some of which you may have heard, such as:

  •     We’ll try to fit in a classic Chicago hot dog from one of the 1000s of hot dog stands that dot the city;
  •    The Billy Goat Tavern (remember the infamous “Cheezborger, cheezborger, no Pepsi, Coke!” skit from Saturday Night Live?  It was based on the Billy Goat),
  •       Manny’s Deli with it’s mile high stacks of corned beef and pastrami!
  •       Lou Malnati’s for some delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

These are the cultural icons of Chicago, and we’ll do our best to get you there so you can test them out, or you’ll have plenty of free time to visit them and other places on your own.

As well, there are other things we’ll try to do as a group or individually:

·     Chicago architectural tour and/or river cruise;

·    Possibly see a show at Second City where stars like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Mike Myers cut their comic teeth;

·    Listen to world famous Chicago blues at Buddy Guy’s Legends;

·    And much more!

Chicago in the Fog from the John Hancock Building - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco

Chicago in the Fog from the Signature Room at the John Hancock Building


Just $349 per person for all 4 days, or

$99 per person for each individual day.

This will be a Photo Walking Tour of Chicago, for sure, but it’s not just about photography, although we’ll be shooting every day.   As with our European tours, we want to provide an overall cultural experience of Chicago, so please reply as soon as possible if interested.



“Thanks for a fun and informative tour! I got my best shots ever of Millennium Park and architecture along the Chicago River. I particularly appreciate that you actively check results, give advice on photo opportunities and composition, and organize posting of participant’s photos afterwards so we can see other’s work and read your critiques. The cultural aspect is a bonus–though I grew up in the Chicago area, your tour was a great way to better appreciate the history and atmosphere of the city.” ~ Keith Gorlen (September 2011 participant)

“Just wanted to thank you for the Chicago Photowalk. Every time I go out shooting with you, I say that I come back with the best photos I’ve ever taken, and this trip is no exception! Thanks so much for helping me get to the next level!” ~ Denise C. (September 2010 participant)

“Always wanted to visit the Windy City. What a perfect way to go—Ralph is not only a very helpful and knowledgeable photographer, but he knows the city like the back of his hand. I recommend his walking tour whether you are a beginner or experienced shooter. A great weekend with many, many photo ops.”  ~ Lowell D. (May 2010 participant)

“I found Chicago a fascinating town!  It is full of photo opportunities, from the beautiful, simple park scenes to the grand architecture.  There is something for everyone, including great food!   I’m looking forward to returning.”   ~ Wendy H. (May 2010 participant)


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  • Theresa Loverro

    I am interested in the September photo tour in Chicago.

    • RalphVelasco

      Great, Theresa, I’ll put you on the Chicago photo tour interest list, but you can also register here on my site to reserve your spot.

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