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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January 11, 2024

I’m on a mission to change that and I want my first video of the year to do that. Most photographers don’t realize that photographic tone is the secret skill that makes them understand every shot. Today we learn it…

But videos like this did not exist when I was starting out. These are the 3 keys of tone in photography so you can master them fast regardless of your experience level. And they will change how you create photos.

MORE TIPS: Get free ticket to my next Shadow Hackers LIVE workshop to take this further. Also in the video, I mentioned Filmist film presets, Silver 5, Natural HDR, and Lumist Actions.

The unabashed flaring of the sun gives a natural haze to this morning street that can’t be done with a single slider. It was processed gold using GoldChrome

The photographic tone is the foundation of great photos. But the tone is a wide-ranging one that comes from the painters and the way they learned to understand shadow and contrast long before cameras.

This is the lost skill in Photography that I go on deeper in my workshops and today I’m sharing the keys to unlock this door in the simplest way I know how. IN consists of 3 elements that lead us to what tone does for us and why it is important.

  1. Shadows create contrast
  2. Contrast reveals tone
  3. Tone creates atmosphere

These 1,2,3 lists mean little to your photographic tone without context. So in the video, we’re comparing different photos to see how not only edits but how shadow contrast and ambiance in each will define our result.

IN another Xpan style crop we see light creating bloom and reducing contrast. The net result is that tone is more subtle and more contrast is created in the overall image. Edited with Street’ist.

In my Exposed Master class, we learn everything about exposure and zones. Those are the technical aspects. But if you’ve been to Shadow Hackers or seen the Photo Perfect workshop you know that combining those with the artist’s aesthetic is what makes a great photo.

In the end, the tone is pretty simple and yet subjective. But if you constantly remind yourself of the three factors. Shadow, contrast, and tone, which is the combination of all the light and dark and mist and color. All of them combined create a tone in your own style.

We see the contrast between the burned tree and the tone of the model. Then edited with a David Hamilton-inspired process to create softness with contrast and balanced photographic tone.
We see the contrast between the burned tree and the tone of the model. Then edited with a David Hamilton-inspired process to create softness with contrast and a balanced photographic tone.

As much as I use sliders and settings and layers inside and out in my tool packs. Tone-like shadow is not created by the slider it’s just moved around.

When we use contrast to just create hard lines we lose tonal nuance and atmosphere. In the end, the contrast of the overall scenes is less, and viewers don’t see the nuance you wanted to show.

If you missed my video on why you should STOP using contrast sliders go check it out and also read my post about how to use the Zone system in digital to hack shadows. You’ll find more on my channel.

As I keep building these free resources and simplifying the process of understanding tone I help myself learn more and hopefully, you as I realize a dream that’s spanned 20 years to make a simple process for those of us who want to truly master our style in photography.

We compare two of these in the video. Note how the tone of this one is softened but less distracting than what might be called the contrast image.
We compare two of these in the video. Note how the tone of this one is softened but less distracting than what might be called the contrast image. Edited with Filmist.
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June 17, 2023

“Go to the bathroom,” My mentor told me – After 15 years, I saw it. These free online photography courses are game-changing.

Shadow Hackers LIVE

With Gavin Seim. 

Wed July 6th | 11AM CST (UTC-6)

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Sign up $69 Free

Inspiring…

Your enthusiasm and generosity are as always inspiring. Thanks, Gavin

Thomas Roger Henrichsen

This free online photography course is LIVE and teaches you the critical things every photo course ignores.

I’ve taught classroom and online photography courses for 15 years But none compare to Shadow Hackers. This is my free online photography course that will ignite your photography in one day.

I’m Gavin Seim. I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years. You may be thinking. “Ugh, another crappy online photo webinar about things I already know!” — It’s not I guarantee you.

Platinum portrait from Shadow hackers  online photography course

You’re about to see everything in your photos!

And nothing will be the same once you do. I’ve been building the Shadow hacking method for a decade and no one else is teaching what I’m about to show you. In one hour I’m going to challenge everything you know.

Have you ever taken a great photo but not know why it worked so well? Or took a shot and expected a great photo, only to be disappointed? I’ll show you why.

I’m Gavin Seim, a Master photographer, YouTuber, and host of the Pro Photography Podcast.

It was the early 2000s when digital blew up. I realized that to survive in photography, I had to stand out. I traveled. I paid for classes. I studied with the top photographers. I wanted to become a Master of Photography and when I finally did in 2017, I realized that was just the start.

Street Photography Mexico - Shadow Hack free online photography courses

Photo schools and conferences won’t teach you this stuff…

This may sound dramatic, but it was a dramatic change for me! You may be where I was 15 years ago. You may be newer, or advanced. But you’re here because you want to be BETTER! It took me so many years of advanced photography study to discover what I’m showing you in these free online photography courses. 

A glimpse of what I’m going to teach you!

  • Cameras don’t tell you the “right exposure”.  Here’s how you do it!
  • The secret to dramatic photos is NOT actually light and this is why!
  • Easily combine art and science to instantly improve your photography!

The actually free online photography course will transform your photography fast.

The reason is that most photo teachers don’t know this. These secrets are not common and have been lost over the years since digital.

Have you ever felt like you’re missing a link to something important, but you’re so close so you keep looking? Finding the information was not as easy in those days and it’s surprisingly hard even with the internet.

When I started grasping bits of this I was blown away. I called my friend who was a long-time rep for a major camera brand and said… why did no one tell me this It felt so strange because I would never see light and shadow the same again.

That was the year I started documenting and trying to make it simple. The next year I started filming the award-winning Exposed workshops. But the process was not complete. Over a decade later, I made this free online photography course to make it easier to start out.

Shadow Hackers free online photography courses for those who want to step ahead of the pack.

I remember discovering something early one early on, standing in the window of my studio. I asked my friend

“Why did no one tell me this about photography?”

He laughed and said… “They don’t teach that stuff anymore!

I needed to understand the secrets of the masters that they never complied into one course. When I finally discovered these I knew I had to make free online photography courses to share it. Techniques to get great photos every day, not just when things go well. No tool or software makes you a great photographer. Knowing this does!

I started shooting large-format films. I was understanding tones, the truth about light meters, and finally the truth about SHADOW. It changed everything and pushed me to become a PPA Master Photographer and create my HotOne award-winning Exposed workshop. But it was not enough.

Now it’s 2022 and photographers are still not being taught this. We’re going to change that together. I’ve compressed this into a LIVE workshop that makes the 3 secrets of shadow hacking simple and challenges everything you know. And once you know. You will spread it.

HDR Seattle - Seims free online photography courses

I came back to my mentor, the legendary Whitmore, and said. 

“This changes everything. I don’t know if I can see normally again”

Ken laughed because to him it was normal. The man that had given me only the film holders for a 4×5 camera then told me to go sit in the bathroom. He didn’t think about it like this because it was normal.

A LIVE online photography course, not another marketing replay!

When I started with film in the ’90s. There was no redo button. If you listen. This will change your photography faster than you ever thought possible. I’m going to show you, for free. 

This is a real LIVE class, not an automated webinar. There will never be another just like it. The class will be 70-80 minutes and there no replay. So set your calendar and don’t miss this opportunity.

Sign up above and I can’t wait to see you there. Gavin Seim

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March 13, 2019

Facebook and Instagram, went down today and I was like, “my site is still up”. So I thought I’d share these 3 videos of varying lengths on 3 different topics to boost our creativity and understanding of photography in everything from light to our roots. I Hope you guys find something useful here. If you do share it on Facebook.. oh wait…

 

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January 7, 2018

How can something simple be so hard?

Just use the rule of thirds or put the subject far to one section of the frame and your composition will be cool. Right?

No. The problem is that most photographers are taught to focus on only a third of composition. It’s the same problem we have in tone and we tried to take a dent out of the problem on the EXposed Master Class. But today let’s talk about the other side of the coin. Composition is simple and it’s also hard, but once you discover the keys it comes in a rush.

 

Too often photography education has become scattered bits of inspiration from celebrity photographers. Enthusiastic and mostly well intentioned entrepreneurs who at conferences and in magazines are often rated, not by mastery of craft, but by tax returns. Marketing is very important. But it is not photography and I love photography.

Next to tone, composition is what separates a masterpiece from a picture. The Photo Perfect master class was dedicated largely to composition for good reason and I’m planning to dedicate more to demystifying the subject in the coming years. There’s more powerful written works on composition for painters than photographers and I recommended studying them. One of my favorites is the simple but incredibly insightful Composition by Eyewitness Art.

The Composition Triangle:

We know in our photographer souls that composition is not simply where you place something in a square. We see the legendary photographers, painters and sculptors holding deeper knowledge. But maybe we forget sometimes what made them masters of space, position and line. I call it the Composition Triangle and it’s inspired by my mentorship under the late Ken Whitmire, the Ansel of the portrait. That triangle surrounds the tonal center, the core of the image. But today we’ll focus on the triangle itself.

This is not a math class and it’s not as simple as a formula. We have to learn to see, something we took a look at in my recent video talking about the frame stop. If you didn’t see that watch it here. We also dig deeper into the topic in the latest Photo Kit pack.

All the images in today’s post won awards because these elements were combined with some competence. With the concept of the Composition Triangle I hope to show the idea that when we are aware of something and remember to apply it we will quickly begin to master it.

If we don’t think about what’s happening in our frame before we release the shutter, we’re not applying the Composition Triangle and we’re missing part of the image. The more we visualize the more instinctual this becomes and we begin to apply it easily when moving and shooting at a fast pace. SPACE, POSITION and LINE make up the triangle. Compare that to the rule of thirds class we all get in photo workshops which only addresses position and ignores all the rest. When we combine them all and we start to truly examine our frame and everything changes.

I’ll close with my #1 TIP!

This is what you came for but I hope the rest made you think….

Let your gear hold your frame. Use your tripod! I know you get sick of hearing this but there’s a reason you see me with a tripod so much. I listened to those pesky voices that told me that very thing years ago and it made me the student of the composition I needed to be to earn my masters.

But I’m saying take it further. Don’t just throw up a tripod. Use it to hold your camera while you engage with your scene in a deeper way. Every time I set a camera on the head, look into the scene and think about every part of it, I learn more. You can and will apply those skills when you need to handhold, but expanding how I see is centered around a stationary camera, not a moving one.

If you doubt my words go try for yourself. Find a great scene, setup your tripod and take a solid 10 or 20 minutes looking at the frame and setting up your shot. The first time I did this it seemed like such a long time to take on one frame. It didn’t take long for me to realize it had changed everything about how I see and it will do the same for you if you give it a chance.

I’ve gone back to my early blogging roots in this little essay and I hope you’ll let me know how you feel about this and don’t be afraid to jump into the Triangle!

— Gavin Seim

 

 

 

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