May 26, 2024

Yes, it’s a basic question. How to charge for photos? How many should I give, how many outfits, hours, etc. New photographers and sometimes veterans love to colocate their lives because they don’t understand customer service.

I edited all my broll here with Filmist LUTS, it’s not just for Lightroom and C1. Also make sure you start listeb to Pro Photography podcast for more topics like this.

That’s what you need to understand in this crazy competitive world. The truth is that unless you are experienced, confident and know how to serve. They don’t need you. They might as well use their phone.

I don’t mean this to make you feel bad. Only to be real. We have to have high standards. People don’t need McDonald’s style photographers anymore. And if you don’t make them feel good, they won’t come back.

So in general charging for an image screams amateur. Now selling stock photos, fine art prints, etc is a bit different. But if your client feels like you are holding back, you lose credibility instantly.

Here’s that book I mentioned. You can read it in data but all these years later it’s still a great reminder when you run a photo business, make workshops, or are in charge of a cafe in Mexico.

To be great in a craft business. You have to understand how to be a servant. How to make people feel good. How to give them experience and quality. How many photos in a session and how many you give the client can vary. Your skill and confidence should be a constant, however.

So the topic today is whether you should charge per photo and how to charge for photos. The real answer is that you you charge in a way that is the simple simple and makes the client feel loved regardless of whether you price high or low compared to the market.

That says. The lower your price, the lower the quality of clients you get.

Let me know what you think… Gavin Seim

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September 22, 2023

We’re always talking about high dynamic range. But today’s videos are a keystone much like our = STOP using contrast from the last Masters Made Easy video. LoFi photography is actually fundamental to understanding your photos.

No LoFi Photography is not just a lomo camera or a filter on Instagram. It’s just as important to shadow hunting as the High Dynamic Range techniques as I explained in my recent video.

Many photographers no longer edit Low Dynamic Range.

You’ll find some free presets to make this easier inside my Film presets sampler and the Silver Black and White preset Sampler. Also there are some powerful LoFi tools in my Emulsion Photoshop Actions.

LoFi Photography goes way deeper than people think.

LoFi Photography is often played as low quality, pinhole camera, etc. While those can be included, it’s a really low dynamic range technique and it’s important when you plan a shoot.

I know I say it all the time but this LoFi photography fits in with Shadow Hacking 101 so make sure you come to a Shadow Hackers online photo workshop.

LoFi photos take what everyone else throwing out and it often creates better photos. You don’t need to do all LoFi or all HDR. A lot of photos fall in between. But don’t be afraid to push the methods I show in the video to refine your style.

Reverse the things they teach you in LoFi photography

We’re almost universally taught to push sliders right in the digital world. A more is more kind of approach. That’s why most photos look so bad and even good photographers are ediuting to death. We went deeper into this in my post about how to ground your edits by using filmic presets.

I’ve been doing this since the start of digital. I’ve watched the influencers and experts nearly always selling the same ideas and repeating ourselves because they came from film and all the digital stuff was new and like candy. Candy sometimes lacks perspective.

Slowly that’s changing as digital matures and photographers realize that we still have a lot to learn from the past.

Stop speaking in just digitally.

We live in an analog world. The advent of Ai photography is reminding us just how fake everything has become and that the real world is often more magical. LoFi photography is not every part of the puzzle. But you nee to know it.

You can still do amazing complex edits. But by knowing all the tools in your box you have control. Yes, your capture can be HDR and your final LDR, or vice versa. When you know to hunt shadows and look for the atmosphere and life in photos everything starts to change. There’s not just one way and you need to know them all to master this. The good news is, it’s not that complex.

Stay tuned for more in the Masters Made Easy series.

Gavin Seim

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June 7, 2023

It was 2013 and I had been attending and teaching at the Wall Portrait Conference for a few years. But there was always something new to learn especially from Ken.

This man inspired most of the things I teach today in my Photography workshops and talk about on the Pro Photography Podcast. There were a half dozen of us in this small class and here’s the video found from that day.

There are not many videos of masters like Ken, Ansel Adams, and others from his time. But Whitmire carried on into the digital age.

So most people that go to a rockstar photographer’s class at the photo conference don’t realize that what they are being taught about being a profitable portrait studio is usually from Ken. He and others of the time like Stephen Wolf invented this stuff and creates that part of the industry. Ken has more awards than you could fit in your studio and was the Ansel of the portrait.

Ken taught the portrait industry.

Ken showed them how to create the Canvas Wall Portrait and in fact, he and colleagues like Stephen Wolf that came out of the 50’s era were the ones that create the idea of high-end canvas photo prints long before there was inked.

So when you see us young guys talking about projecting or selling wall art or creating art decor. We didn’t invent that. We learned it from Ken if we were lucky or we learned it from classes taught by photographers that Ken taught over the decades right up until he passed away in 2016.

My favorite portrait of Ken I took while helping him on a session on the Oregon Coast.

I shot this clip, a rare look inside Ken’s WPC classrooms.

It was often dark in these classes for projection and video was not as easy then. This was taken at Wall Portrait Conference, a 6-day workshop at Kens Studio that happened every Spring in Yakima Washington. Probably on an iPhone 4. I never named the file, and I never noticed it until today when I discovered it on my hard drive.

The also was bad, so I used Adobe AI POdcast audio took to restore it. It helped a lot, but that’s why it sounds a little strange at times as the audio had faded and the Ai is trying to restore it.

Wall Portrait Conference is not around anymore. But its message lives.

Even if it was, it would not be quite the same. Ken was always the engine behind WPC. Teaching is different now. It’s always an up-selling product, trying to be exclusive It’s TikTok youtube, and digital marketing. Those have value for us (well not TikTok). But us kids from this generation still can’t replicate his energy or his willingness to share. Nothing was held back in Ken’s classes and none of us could keep up.

When you go all in as I did in those days learning from Ken. When you stop thinking small and sell like this, you sell art for walls and it can transform your business. In this new world of fakery and Ai content, I think that authentic portraits like this will become even more important to people.

Ken passed in late 2016 and we all miss him. Here’s his tribute video as well as a few more cuts on creating and selling Wall portraits from Ken and from what he taught me in those years. There was only one and at least, we have videos like this to remind us.

Gavin Seim

Another gold clip from ken I found a few years back on raising the quality of our work.
A small history of Photography documentary Ken and I made for my Photo Perfect Master Class.
An early video I made about how I implemented Wall Portrait in my own studio.
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April 29, 2022

It took me 20 years to find this because no one taught it until now.

In this primer on shadow hacking I’m going to share was I found. If you follow my work you have seen me shift focus to shadow over light. Not to say ignore light, but that there so much focusing on the light has only caused us to learn half of what makes great photos.

Not signed up for my Shadow-Hackers LIVE class? Sign up it here.

Should you lift or drop shadows? Push or pull exposure. How do we bend the shadow in new ways and why doe sit matter. Today I’ll show you some examples and if you attend my Shadow Hackers hackers class you’ll be ahead of the curve for watching this.

Look for where your shadows are broken and stop photographing light.

I hope this is coming across. I promise that if you start looking to photograph shadow, it’s going to change how you use to light your camera and what kind of results you get. Try this and see for yourself.

Gavin Seim

Things I used to edit with today…
My new Elegance Speed Masks…
Filmist, get my free presets…
Lumist actions…
BlackRoom actions…
Natural HDR4…

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April 8, 2022

In today’s video, I’m going to show you how to un-clip any photo.

Fixing a photo at this level may seem difficult at a glance but it’s actually not hard and we’re going to make short work of this. I’m going to show you what to do when NON of that is enough and you have an image so clipped that it seems like it’s useless. This is how you can fix ANY clipped photo.

If you expose well you can usually get rid of clipping and have stunning dynamic range using simple sliders, presets like Natural HDR or Filmist presets with a few of its dynamic chemical mods.

So for me there are 3 levels of clipping. Here’s why it happens and how to fix it every time.


You can also DOWNLOAD the RAW file I use in this to follow along.

You can also watch this directly on my YouTube channel.


Level 1 light clipping resolved with simple presets and adjustments like Natural HDR.


Level 2 resolved with presets and local adjustment mask


Level 3, resolved with painting back detail on PS , Affinity etc. This requires some time depending on the retail you need but it always works.

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