Walking Photo Tours · Street Photography Workshops · Sightseeing Tours

Leanne Staples, Tour Guide

Leanne Staples – Licensed New York City Tour Guide and Photographer

I’ve been asked on a number of occasions “how it all began”, so here it is…

My introduction to street photography is what I call a happy accident. I had thought that I would become an architectural photographer. I have always been attracted to the doors and windows and facades of buildings as if they could tell a story all by themselves. The problem was that people kept walking into my shot. Eventually I lost my patience and continued to shoot with people passing through. Then one day someone saw a few of my photos and said "cool street photography!" I had no idea what street photography was before that. Now I can't imagine not having the presence of people in my photos.

I started giving photo tours without really knowing that's what they were, when people would contact me after seeing my photography online. They would write that they would be in town and wanted to know if they could hire me to show them around New York City and teach them how to shoot street photography. Then I began to realize that maybe I could do this for a living. At first I started out working for some of New York’s tour companies on their hop-on hop-off busses. While I enjoyed the interaction with people, I found the scripts uninspiring. I felt that being a tour guide should be about dialogue rather than a monologue. I also felt that there was so much more to New York that visitors were not experiencing on these tours, and that there had to be a better way.

My best friend then gave me the push to set out on my own. It was scary, but here I am 9 years later, loving my job and loving sharing the real charms of New York City and my passion for street photography with visitors from around the world!

My passion for photography was the beginning of it all, but my passions for New York City and for helping people to learn and grow have always been important elements. Hence this happy marriage. It is a thoroughly joyful experience to share my passions with my clients and to provide them with a memorable New York experience!

Leanne Staples
Licensed New York City Tour Guide, Photographer