Cathedral of Saint John the Divine Photo Tour

Join us for a private photography tour of the interior of the largest cathedral in the world.  We will also be photographing the distinctive exterior architecture of this massive church, as well as the urban oasis which includes the flowering gardens, the Peace Fountain, and the Ithiel Town Building.  A bonus will be the three resident Peacocks which should be in breeding plumage and displaying around the Biblical Garden during the spring. These are just a few of the many photo ops that make up the 12 acres of the cathedral's grounds. We have special permission to use tripods and access to restricted areas.

We will also have access to photograph the interior space from the first balcony, which is 5 stories up.  Access to the balcony is through a beautiful but narrow spiral staircase (designed by Rafael Guastavino) and it is optional for participants who are willing and able to make the climb. This western vantage point presents an amazing view down the entire length of the cathedral. 

During our visit we will have yet another added bonus of having the Xu Bing's "Phoenix" art installation, suspended from the high ceilings and displaying throughout the Nave. The Phoenix is made out of scrap construction material and weighs in at 12 tons.  The colors and shapes of the "Phoenix" are magnificent. If you are wondering why a cathedral would have such an exhibit, its because Saint John serves as a cultural and civic events venue as well as a house of worship. 

The architecture styles of the cathedral are Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival.  The number of details you will find are amazing. Many sections of the cathedral are decorated with Guastavino tiles and intricate artifacts. It also houses seven Chapels of the Tongues, which are dedicated to various world countries.  On a sunny day the colors of the bold stained glass windows create a colorful light show inside the cathedral which is spectacular.  These are just a number of features that make the spaces particularly inspiring.

Basic knowledge of camera settings and exposure is highly recommended, in order to maximize the shooting opportunities.  A sturdy tripod is highly recommended and must have rubber tips.  A detailed information sheet will be sent to participants a week or so prior to the event date. T

The hours for this photo tour will be from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.  We suggest you plan on arriving at approximately 3:00 pm to get a lay of the land and begin photographing the exterior as well as the interior sections that you can find clear of visitors during this time.  From 6:00pm to 8:00pm our group will have the entire interior to ourselves.  At the conclusion of our private tour, we will have another short opportunity to photograph the exterior during the blue hour. 

Street parking is available as well as 3 near by Parking Garages.  But, there is a big possibility that we will be allowed to park in the cathedral's private parking lot at no extra cost. We should have confirmation on this very soon.

The total cost of this meet up is: $150 per person, which includes all of the fees and cost related to having a private photo tour with the use of tripods.

If you should have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.


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  • Susan C.

    Thanks so much for all the nice comments. You guys are awesome and we could not have asked for a better group.

    May 1

  • Helen l.

    Susan and Anthony were the BEST! Their whole focus of attention was on the needs of the group as well as the individual needs of each person. They are really true experienced professional organizers. As for the Cathedral, its beauty is breathtaking . I loved every minute and can't wait to go with Susan and Anthony on another
    shoot Thank you both for a great day.

    1 · April 30

  • Brent A.

    Had a great time in a great venue. Thanks to Susan and Anthony for making it happen.

    1 · April 30

  • kenneth n.

    An absolutely terrific experience. My hat is off to Susan and Anthony for a creating a great time in a spectacular venue.

    1 · April 28

  • Abel G.

    Susan & Anthony did an excellent job in organizing the private photo tour. Susan made a very valuable assistance in furthering my photography skills. Thank you. I definitely recommend Susan's and Anthony's meet-up group to anyone.

    1 · April 27

  • Nancie B.

    I absolutely had a blast - even if we went to the wrong church initially! Susan & Anthony did a great job of scouting out venues and providing necessary info and help where nee3ded. Susan's insight into great image making was super. I absolutely loved the place - and the grounds (and the white peacock who posed for everyone was a bonus!). The group was great, too. Very considerate and aware of everyone taking their shots and avoiding line-of-sight issues. Can't wait for the next one!

    1 · April 27

  • Vicki D.

    Another great meetup by Susan and Anthony! Thank you both for making all the arrangements for us to get great images in a wonderful and picturesque locale!

    1 · April 27

  • Abel G.

    Very educational, entertaining and highly organized.

    1 · April 27

  • Gorman W.

    First time participant with Susan and Anthony...and it won't be my last! They are terrific organizers and hosts, and the shoot was terrific.

    1 · April 27

  • Deborah (Debby) L.

    Outstanding meetup wonderful group! Well planned by Anthony, and Susan's visual suggestions were very helpful in isolating the scenes, Thanks for a great day!

    1 · April 27

  • Jerry F.

    Fun. Fun, Fun, Fun. Susan and Anthony always plan the best meetups. Where is the next one?

    1 · April 27

  • Abel G.

    susan, looking forward to the detail information sheet that you intend to send to participants prior to the event.

    1 · April 22

  • Brent A.

    Susan. Any additional info on parking?

    April 20

    • Susan C.

      Hi Brent, We will NOT be able to use the private parking at the cathedral. So we will have to find street parking, a parking garage or public transportation. All other details will be emailed to participating members this week. ~Susan

      April 21

  • Rich D.

    Can't make this one; will be away.

    April 20

  • kenneth n.

    Susan, last year I participated in the Radio City shoot and I'm very much looking forward to Saint John the Divine. This is one major attraction in the City that I have not yet photographed and the opportunity to do it privately with a tripod is excellent!

    March 16, 2014

    • Susan C.

      Hi Ken, We are looking forward to it as well! It is great that you will be joining us.

      April 10

  • Lonnie

    Susan, will they allow a flash to be used for accent lighting?

    April 10

    • Susan C.

      Hi Lonnie, No flash will be allowed during our photo tour. We will primarily be doing long exposures and bracketing for HDR (high dynamic range) images. Please let me know if you should have any other questions. Thanks!

      April 10

  • Branch W.

    About how long will we be inside the Cathedral itself? (I saw the Phoenix exhibit at MassMOVCA. It should be quite impressive in the Cathedral. I expect it will be a hit in NYC.)

    January 15, 2014

    • Susan C.

      Hi Branch, Our private interior tour begins at 6:00pm, but we will be able to photograph prior to that. I can't wait to see the exhibit completed. They were setting it up this week when I was there. It looks very impressive.

      January 16, 2014

  • Branch W.

    Is there a maximum size for the group?

    January 15, 2014

  • Vicki D.

    I can't wait for this!!! If it's at least as good as St. Patrick's Cathedral, it will be awesome!

    1 · January 15, 2014

  • Nancie B.

    Can't wait to see what this Cathedral holds in store!

    1 · January 15, 2014

    • Susan C.

      I believe you will be very pleased, Nancie! ;0)

      1 · January 15, 2014

  • roni m. c.

    i did this tour several years ago. are they permitting you to take the tripods up to the different levels? they would not permit us to do that.

    January 15, 2014

    • Susan C.

      Yes Roni, and we have also reserved the tour to be private for our group.

      January 15, 2014

Your organizer's refund policy for Cathedral of Saint John the Divine Photo Tour

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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