Chicago Cultural Photo Tour


Chicago Cultural Photo Tour

Dates to be determined…


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

Above: Shooting at Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

Once again I’m excited about my upcoming Chicago Cultural Photo Tour.  Below is all the information you’ll need to make a decision 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 I know all the ins and outs of where the best places are to photograph – and eat and play – and so we’ve put together small groups each May and September for the past four years, and this year should be no different, except that because of my travel schedule we’re doing it in June. 

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


Click here for individual sessions at $99 each

Please specify which day(s) and/or time(s)



Click here for all 4 sessions: Just $349

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)

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

Saturday: Session 1 – 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 Avenue 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 (or you may choose to do this on your own after lunch), ending up at Lou Malnati’s Pizza on Lake Street for some out-of-this-world deep dish pizza (optional).

Saturday: Session 2 – 5:30 to 9:30 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 share cabs and head over to Buckingham Fountain for some night shooting with the city as a backdrop.

Sunday – 7 am to 11 am – Meeting at the Adler Planetarium for great views back at the one-of-a-kind Chicago city skyline, we’ll walk west through the Museum Campus, then along Roosevelt Road for some unique views from the south, ending up at Union Station for some interior photo ops.  Time permitting, we’ll plan to take the Chicago Water Taxi up the Chicago River (included in your fee) and back to Michigan Avenue where our tour will end.


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






Time and local conditions permitting, 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 Union Station;

·    Night shots at Buckingham Fountain and the city skyline;

·   Along the Chicago River where my Photo Walking Tours were born and where I’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 (limited to 8 participants each day), please send a check for the full payment of $349 to the address below, or use the PayPal links above.


Please send checks to:


PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc.

4007 Landstrom Road

Rockford, IL 61114



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

  •     The Billy Goat Tavern (remember the infamous “Cheezborger, cheezborger, no Pepsi, Coke!” skit from Saturday Night Live?  It was based on the Billy Goat),
  •       Lou Malnati’s for some delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza (it’s the best).

Other options to do on your own:

  • Manny’s Deli with it’s mile high stacks of corned beef and pastrami!
  • Get yourself a classic Chicago hot dog or Italian Beef from one of the 1000s of hot dog stands that dot the city.


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 these and other places on your own.

As well, there are other things we recommend you do on your own:

·     Chicago architectural tour and/or river cruise;

·    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 sessions, or

$99 per person for each individual session

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 all of my tours, I 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)


International Cultural Tours, Photo Events, Photo Walks, Photo Tours, Public Speaking, Seminars & Training, Cultural Events, Photography App, Walking Tours, Photography Course, Photo Tips, Photography Classes, Corporate Events, Photo Classes, Photo Boot Camp, Corona del Mar, Orange County CA

Ralph Velasco is a professional photographer and instructor who has traveled extensively and taken photographs in over 40 countries. Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours offers unique cultural touring opportunities that combine compelling locations with breathtaking views, relevant local history, scheduled activities and time to explore on your own. His events are available in dazzling international locations around the globe and his services include public speaking, corporate cultural tours and events, corporate photo walks, photo walking tours, photography eBooks, photography classes and group training seminars. His photo walking tours provide the opportunity for hands-on photography experience with a professional instructor to develop the skills necessary to capture a variety of photo subjects, settings and lighting. Ralph gives private photography lessons and his photography boot camp includes a seminar and training on camera basics, elements of composition, and a personal review of your own photography. United States and international locations; Corona del Mar & Orange County CA.

Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours | Corporate Photo Tours, International Cultural Tours, Photo Events, Public Speaking, Corporate Events, Photo Walks, Seminars & Training, Photography Boot Camp, Cultural Events, Photography Apps, Walking Tours, Photo E-books, Photography Courses, Photo Tips, Photography Classes, Photo Boot Camp, Photo Classes, United States and International Locations, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Huntington Beach, Laguna Woods, Fountain Valley, Laguna Hills, Dana Point, Coto de Caza, Santa Ana, Tustin, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Tustin Foothills, Orange County CA, California | 422½ Carnation Avenue, Corona del Mar CA 92625 | (949) 698-2859 or Toll-Free (888) 974-6869