Michael is a wonderfully
engaging teacher who encourages class members to participate, question and
share. He is energetic and artistic as he critics the scenery of life all
around the world. This class allowed me to improve from snapshots to
portrait photography and to do so while not wasting the subjects' time.
This class is well worth the money and time spent!
The class size was perfect
! Michael was never more than a moment away.
Michael helped me focus on
my weak points so that I will be more aware of what I am trying to
accomplish as I shot.
Russ Locke, Portrait class
Photo by Tamara Ames.
"The class gave me all the tools that I need. ...Michael is an excellent
instructor! Never gives up on a student that I have seen. He will give the
student a little room and then assist again. ...Critique part: Very
tough and at the same time very respectful. If you listened to the class
info you understand how the critique works. Always much learned...more
from my "not as good as could be" photos. ...Well worth the money and
Port. class of 6.26.'10
"Once again, Michael knocks it out of the park with a very informative one
day class which combines classroom training and real world on the job
shooting. In the morning we studied in front of his studio with a handout
that was packed with valuable info. After a working lunch, we applied our
newly found knowledge by taking turns directing/posing/adjusting
the lighting and shooting numerous models (male and female, young and not
so young) that he brought in during the rest of the day. We learned all
the key elements of outdoor portrait photography in one day. Amazing!
It was fun, intense and packed with reinforced techniques. For myself,
it was a true awakening to how to really do portraits, for a bargain
...Michael gave me all the attention
I needed and I noticed he did the same for the others as well. A very
patient man!...I don't know what it is about Michael, but he is so easy
to learn from. I soaked it all in like a sponge....Michael is spot-on
with his critiques in a matter of fact way. Very blunt but not
disrespectful. He does not waste my time!
For me, it was worth at least
double what I paid. I look forward to future classes....Very easy to
understand and retain. Benefits? I went from Zero to Hero in one day!...I
was amazed at how much I could improve in one day of training. This class
has given me the confidence to "charge" for my photos from now on.
I can't thank you enough!"
San Diego, CA
Portrait Class of 4.10.'10
by Marianne Byers, from Seewald portrait class of
This is to let you know how much I enjoyed the portrait
class. The photography skills I learned in this class were priceless. I
have been reading the assignment rules as well as taking portraits of my
friends this week. The ability to take a "great" portrait is always on my
mind. What I have been gaining is the confidence to reach that point.
There is a big invitation only fund raising event in
Fallbrook on June 6th at the Warren's Estate and I was asked to take
pictures. I requested an area to take portraits and they said yes. I
cannot believe it! They are even going to give me assistants. So, a few
days before the event I am going to the estate and scout out the best
location. And what is even better, I am going to get paid for this.
Mary Jane Poulter,
Class of 5.23.'09
Michael has such an amazing eye and knowledge of light and composition. He
stresses these things in his classes and tries very hard to teach the
skill of really seeing light and looking with new eyes, those of a
enthusiastic spirit and humor are much appreciated and make the class so
Class of 5.23.'09
If you enjoyed
Michael's introductory class, this one will remind you why. There are
plenty of "a-ha moments" when the students attempt to apply the theories
discussed in the first half of the session. You may leave feeling
empowered and/or frustrated that the course didn't last another day.
Either way, if you've never had any formal training in portrait
photography, you most certainly leave the class with plenty of tools to
hone your skills in that area.
class size was key to everyone getting personal attention from Michael.
... It rekindled my interest in making photography more than a hobby.
Eric M. Yee, New
Class of 5.23.'09
(Figured it worthy to AGAIN
fly in for a class from across the county, this time for just a 'one-dayer'
This critique from was rec'd from Pennie Ahmed of Riverside Calif., one of
six students in our sold out class of 2.21.'09.
Way more value than what I paid
name: Pennie Ahmed
short_paragraph_of_how_it_was: I enjoy learning from Michael because
he has the unique ability to teach you, critique you, encourage you, all
in one moment. His critiques are accurate, but painless. I really enjoyed this class, because I felt like I
was on Top Chef. I would go and take my photo and then come to show
Michael, the Judge. I was thinking, he is going to like this! But, he
gently said, no, but if you had done this and this, it would have worked.
So, I went back and did this and this and sure enough, it did work much
better. With a bit of practice, I may have it.
I have attended many classes that cost me much more and I learned much
How_was_personal_attention: Every student gets plenty of time with
him, and if you want more then he freely shares his knowledge.
How_was_michael_as_an_instructor: I got more
info that my brain could process. It was
good info, not just fill-in in stuff to make the information look like a
huge amount. It was info that he uses everyday, and I hope to use it too.
ForEveryon_how_tough_respectful_day1_critiquing: He is straight
forward and gentle.
beginners_day_ONE_anything_differently: I wish I could of seen more of
the other students photos. If they had framed it up and then everyone came
over like at the Spanish Village in our 2 day class it would have been
Note taken Pennie;
we will do that more often from now on- thanks for
General Public: That's why these classes get
better and better testimonial wise, we are not perfect but want to be! MS
"I have to
say that I was very happy with this class. The handouts given at the beginning
of the class were very informative containing a lot of tips and rules for taking
portraits. I have recently read a lot on portrait photography and was surprised
and very pleased to find that Michael's handouts were not redundant of all the
info that is out there in books. Michael shares from his own years of personal
experience and that is why I love learning from him. He is truly a master of
photography so I always walk away feeling that I can take my photography to a
whole new level.
I am a big fan of Scott Kelby's books and how he talks
to his readers as if he were standing right there telling them how to get the
shot they want. Michael's classes are very much like this. He gives us his tips
and rules for taking portraits and then we get to put all we learn into action
with him right there with us. I learn by doing and I get to learn from the best
I would recommend this class to anyone who is looking
to taking their portrait photography to a whole new level. If you are serious
about your photography and producing "wow" shots this class is way more valuable
than its price.
I am looking forward to clearing my schedule so I can
attend a Carmel class in the near future!"
San Diego, California,
Portrait class of 2.2.'08
"This a great
class to take what we have learned, landscape photography, and apply it to
portrait work. You will learn to take portraits in areas that I would have never
thought they could come out properly.
As always Michael's attention to each student will help you learn so much in
just one day as possible.
was presented so I could understand the principles. I learned light is still the
most important item in portrait photography."
Valley Center, Calif..
"...Photographing people is an
art in itself. Body language, positioning and facial expressions are key to a
great portrait photo. Michael's class has made me more aware of what makes a so
so portrait or a winner. The handout he gives you has really good tips on the
do's and don't of portrait photography many of which I never thought of. Really
good and helpful. I can't wait to incorporate some of my new learned skills on
my next portrait shots.
I highly recommend this class to those who want to improve
their portrait photography. I always get so enthusiastic after Michael's classes
and look forward to practicing the new techniques. "
La Jolla, California
Portrait class of 2.2.'08
by Marianne Byers
Click image to enlarge.
"...The portrait class was a great experience and
I learned a lot about the proper way to position and pose people and also
about how lighting can make or break a portrait.
There was a lot of information but my mind is like a
sponge that sucked it all in and now I just have to go back and squeeze it
all out and practice, practice, practice."
Portrait class of 2.2.'08
"...Michael is the real deal, he is
out there making art and he conveys his passion for photography and his love of
Michael teaches from the heart and is
willing to learn from his students too. I would recommend the portrait class
to experienced hobbyists and to professionals.
I think it would be too much
to expect a novice to enjoy the class; you need to have basic understanding of
composition, the magic of light and the operation of your camera.
(NOTE from us: thus the
need for Seewald's photo 'fun-shop' two or three day class first)..."
Portrait class of 2.22.'08
class experience? - INCREDIBLE!! I learned so much and actually have the
skills and confidence to shoot portraits now. I had no idea how much I
DIDN'T know until the class. Actually practicing all the rules on willing
models was so great. Also the individual attention Michael gave me
throughout the day - staying with me until I really understood what he
Michael having ME pose for him was an eye-opening experience - now I know
how weird / uncomfortable it is for my clients and will warn them ahead of
time that it feels wrong, but will show up RIGHT in the photo! Yes -I can
say I made a quantum leap in knowledge and skill level in this department!
...I would recommend
these workshops to anyone - what I've learned from Michael is how to be a
photographer - that is incredible!!"
Portrait class of 4.10.'10
Orange County, CA