London Street Photography Training


One of Mark’s personal projects is Speakers Corner. He is fascinated with the characters that set their pitch weekly in this famous London Park to declare their views to the rest of the world. Be ready for passionate debate and heart felt beliefs as you move around this regular feature of Sunday life in Hyde Park, London.

Mark will share with you why Speakers Corner inspires him and give you an insight into what he looks for and how he captures his stunning photo-essay images here. There will be an opportunity to review your work and provide a constructive critique to enable you to get some great documentary shots during this workshop.


Street Photography training course in London

The history of Speakers Corner:

Originally the site of the Tyburn gallows used for public executions, Hyde Park Corner is now home to the most famous area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion is allowed. Speakers here may talk on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful. Some people believe that the tradition of having the right to speak here dates back to the Tyburn gallows, where the condemned man was allowed to speak before being hanged.

The public speaking area extends beyond the Reform Tree and covers a large area from Marble Arch to Victoria Gate, then along the Serpentine to Hyde Park Corner and the Broad Walk running from Hyde Park Corner to Marble Arch. Mark Seymour’s workshop is based at the paved area on the northern most corner near Marble Arch.

The Park itself has a history of being the scene for public protests in London. Protest riots broke out in the park in 1855 over the Sunday Trading Bill, and the Reform League organised a massive demonstration in both 1866 and 1867, which compelled the government to extend the franchise to include most working-class men.


Speakers Cornerphotography training course


The riots and agitation for democratic reform encouraged some to force the issue of the “right to speak” in Hyde Park. The Parks Regulation Act 1872 delegated the issue of permitting public meetings to the park authorities rather than central government. Since that time, it has become a traditional site for public speeches and debate.

Speakers Corner has had its share of infamous and historic figures including; Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, C. L. R. James, Walter Rodney, Ben Tillett, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah and William Morris. In the late 19th century it was one of the few places where socialist speakers could meet and debate.

However anyone can turn up unannounced and talk on almost any subject that they are passionate about, although with the risk of being heckled by the regulars who speak there and the many visitors that form their audiences, and is therefore held up as the right to free-speech.

Mark continues to return to Speakers Corner building a portfolio of images that he is developing for a documentary street photography book.

London Street photography training courses at Speakers Corner are held by Mark Seymour in conjunction with the Nikon Training School.


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NOTES about The London Street Photography COURSE

We normally meet at  The Tyburn pub near marble Arch at 10.45am for an 11.00 am prompt start.

The Tyburn is very near Marble Arch at 18-20 Edgeware Road, London W2 2EN with the nearest tube being Marble Arch which s just a few minutes walk away.

We start he day with a coffee and a brief discussion about what we hope to achieve on the day before talking the short walk to the hustle and bustle of Speakers corner then at about 1.00pm we head on back to review what we have done so far with a light bite to eat before heading back out until 3.30 pm / 4.00pm.

We then head back again to talk about the day and what we have hopefully learned.

The day normally finishes around 4.00 / 4.30 although it often runs over.

Please bring with you your camera of choice, your preferred lens and the widest lens you have.


TESTIMONIALS written to Mark Seymour Photography after previous workshops at Speakers Corner.


Dear Mark

At a certain stage of your journey as a photographer you reach a point when you begin to think you ought to let a professional review where you are at. If you don’t know one willing to do that , the only option is to pay for help. But experience might have shown you that lectures where you look endlessly at brilliant pro slides don’t do much for you on the ground. They are not hands-on.
To be made to open your photographic sole and allow someone to give you some hard criticism is the real goal. I that is you. Then dig deep and allow Mark Seymour to do just that.
He has no hesitation telling you that one of your images could have been taken by a casual snapper.
When you are shooting with him he will soon have you moving your feet like never before and he will make you dive into the action with a prime wide-angle lens, showing how polite but firm behaviour gets you into the essential spot to frame the shots you want and need.
Getting over any fear, getting you outside your comfort zone, framing for light, gesture and context are all Seymour hallmarks.
Be under no illusion, you are in safe hand but realistically critical hands and you will improve, no matter what level you are at on this crazy journey called photography.

Nigel Hollinshead. Photographer.

Hi Mark
Many thanks for a great day on Sunday. Your initial briefing was focused , very informative and very helpful in setting the scene. In the briefing your selection f images illustrated a range of strategies for photographing the event that were key in preparing for the shoot and in developing a productive mind-set.
At Speakers Corner you did a great job in pointing out opportunities and in encouraging me to work outside my comfort zone through demonstration rather than cajoling – for me a very effective way of teaching. During the two shooting sessions you were always around when needed – though I did not feel that you were ‘breathing down my neck’ – leaving me space to put new approaches into practice.
The critique sessions were also most useful – selecting potentially good images and diplomatically pointing out where the many disasters could have been avoided or improved.

All in a very satisfying and productive day – many thanks – please put me on your mailing list as it will be a pleasure to train with you again.
Best Wishes

Dr Goeff Einon ARPS

Hi Mark
Just a quick message to say thank you for so much for the training day at Speakers Corner at the weekend.
The day was very well structured, informative and great fun.
You shared your knowledge, your passion and your art which was very eye opening. I learned about composition, the importance of the critical moment, staying with it, story telling and camera settings. Overall, it was a thoroughly good day and I will definitely recommend the course to my friends.
Thank you
Steve Bishop