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Testimonies from repeat grads of
Michael Seewald photography workshops.

Note: we have had quite a few take our classes again, but just started
 (spring of '10) to pull these quotes together for this separate page; here are a few:

Yes, more and more grads are coming back to refresh their minds on the 'Seewaldian
thinking process' of making strong, striking, award winning art.



Short testimony of TJ Horan concerning his second Seewald
class, this time in beautiful Yosemite National Park, Oct. 21st-23rd, 2016

TJ Horan (video testimony above), Greg Mainis (verbal testimony below) of Santa Cruz, Demi Williams (testimony below) and CJ Orndorff III. (CJ was the only new
student, the other three were previous grads).


Michael, GREAT seeing and working with you again. I fully enjoyed the training. I still don’t have it down, however it keeps getting better. Again next time you run a class in Monterey and only have a few students give Demie and I a call ... we would love the continued coaching. I really want to get this down - I will be studying your website pretty intently over the coming weeks.

Thanks again,

Greg Mainis, Grad of Carmel and now Yosemite, Oct. 21st-23rd, 2016
Advanced photographer, Santa Cruz, CA



"Michael, Thank you for the photo and GREAT class. I had a ball and learned much- again. Looking forward to ANOTHER class."

Demie Williams, beginner level photographer, Yosemite, Oct. 21st-23rd, 2016
Phoenix, Ariz.


"This was my second time taking the first two days of the class. However, I never practiced what I learned. And, like anything worthwhile... you need to put into practice any process that you just learned."

Bob Pooley, 2nd class- Yosemite, Feb. of 2016
intermediate photographer
Del Mar, Calif.



A personal note from Michael to his grads …

“Dear grads, just a note to let you know something that I’ve come to realize lately, now that more of you are retaking the class. I really love working with you folks much more than ‘first time students’. Not that I don’t love teaching them, but you’re in a different class, so to speak.

First, you are hungrier to perfect the ‘Seewaldian eye movement’ system you started to get down by the end of day three of our first class, whether it was a year ago, or six, or you would not be taking it again.

You ask more questions, and are hungrier to eat up the discussions of how to ‘do it right’ more. Plus, you’re just more serious, have a clue as to what we are trying to accomplish and strive to use the ‘system’. You no longer wonder if it even works, as some ‘first timers’ wonder if there really is any rhyme or reason to some art being stronger over other. Basically, you already ‘got it’, and want to dig right in and work at it more. You get ‘in the zone’ in shorter order. Yeah, most of you have forgot half of what you first learned, you’re busy and don’t have a lot of time to practice, who does? And that’s cool, we both realize it, but you get up to speed so quick after hearing all the info again and it just seems to sink in and work for you better the second time around. How do I
know? You tell me, your testimonies reflect it, and I see it in the field. I believe it sticks with you better/longer too. More and more are wanting a third class even, I’m impressed!!! You’re the ones that ask the most questions, and pay attention more out in the field (ie. Greg, Demi, TJ, Vicki, Judy, Kimberly, Penny, Robert, etc.,- you know who you are).

I look forward to working with those of you with that mindset, and can’t wait to see the creations you make out in the field with me, so many are award winners. Yes, you still get frustrated, it’s not any easier, but in reality you’re making stronger art and you know why, quicker and easier, than your first time through.

I’m blessed that half the attendance of the workshops have been filled with you grads lately, I get so much more excited with you in it too! Thus I’m reaching out to you others thinking about retaking it. PLEASE DO, we will both be soooo happy you did!

We’ve got three classes coming up, S.D. in Jan., Yosemite in Feb., and Carmel in March (info below). Guess what, Yosemite has four of six reservations already taken, and three of four are grads! Why not join them, ‘firefall’ time, and probably snow! Carmel has three of six seats left.”

PS Guess the half price grad price now has a lot to do with it, plus the offer of a $750 signed
original of choice still as a bonus helps too.”



The following is from Julie Rodriguez, who first took
our three day Carmel Class. This one was a three
day Napa class from the summer of 2015.

personal_attention_day1: 10 - Very satisfied- handled all my questions
personal_attention_day2: 10 - Very satisfied- handled all my questions
personal_attention_day3: 10 - Very satisfied- handled all my questions
length_of_day1: Just right
length_of_day2: A bit too short
length_of_day3: Just right
class_materials_day1: Well informed, read the pre-class info page
class_materials_day2: Well informed, read the pre-class info page
Way more value than what I paid
How_helpful_overall_at_becoming_better: 10 - Very helpful, lightyears ahead of were I was
How_satisfied_overall: 10 - Very satisfied, I'm estactic
Between $1,300 to $1,500
name: Julie Rodriguez

short_paragraph_of_how_it_was: Seewald's fun-shop is a great way to take any past photography experience or training and use it in a controlled yet safe environment. Whether you are a hands-on learner or lecture learner, this class will highlight both methods of education.

what_benefits_recd_expected_and_notExpected: This was my second time taking Mr. Seewald's class. The first time I took the class, I was so green, my name was Kermit. I did not know how to use a camera besides "point and shoot." By the end of the class, I left with a few pictures that I was decently proud of.

I took the class a second time because since the learning phase was out of the way, I could concentrate on creating. I was a lot more critical of my process and took my time setting up my shots.


I felt Mr. Seewald explained the artistic process well. He not only gave lessons but provided real-life stories to place in prospective.


I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere the class provided. It almost felt like an alternative college course.


I was extremely surprised of the critique I was given on Day One. I came in thinking I was going to receive a harsh critique but left with many praises.


I did feel that the compositional elements class was informative and since this was my second time taking the class, I was able more clearly understand the lessons.


I felt that the technical aspects were represented very well in the field. I felt my critic of the environment was much more pronounced than in the past.


I did feel Day Three was important. I feel that Day One was very much a classroom environment; Day Two was field work and Day Three was free-form.


"   No matter what your level of photography experience, you will, without question, benefit from a Seewald workshop.

...He presents an easy to absorb and proven process that allows you to evaluate a potential photograph.

...You will quickly discover that you will take far less shots but the ones you do take are far better than your previous photos. .."

How helpful overall, was the class at helping you becoming better, on a 1 to 10 scale?: 10 - Very helpful, light years ahead of were I was!

Don Tynan, San Diego
S.D. class of 2005 and Carmel class of 8.11.2011


"I really enjoyed re-taking this class. It reminded me of some of the things I had forgot and will start to do now. At every photo shot/wedding I use the things you taught me. ... I think my May 15 Bride would thank you (because I am going to use everything from this weekend when photographing her wedding)... I learned a lot from day one that will carry over to my day to day photography. 

...First time taking this class was GREAT for me, helped me take off in my company. Taking it the second time has helped me to become BETTER, it reminded me of things I need to do EVERY TIME I pick up my camera.

...Day 2 was a LOT of fun and I think I got some good shots. ...I'm not a tripod person but I think after Day 2 I am going to have to buy one from you. My pictures are very sharp and look great. Thanks for keeping at me about it.

...It was a great class. Was great to come back a review everything I had learned and also learning things about my new camera. "

Kimberly Joy Rizzo, advanced photographer,
Repeat student, class of 4.30-5.1.'10

Side note rec'd:

Thank you Mr. Seewald,

  I know your class has made me a better photographer. After attending your class back in Feb of 2006 I have stepped up my company and I have been working like crazy. I learned more in your class then attending class at a college for the last few years and now after taking your class for the second time I know I will move up another level. I am looking forward to taking your portrait class in June!

  Thank you,
Kimberly Joy



"...Working in the field with Michael and the class really helped give me the experience of true field landscape photography. We sat in a meadow for hours, waiting patiently for that few quick moments of a certain light that "made" the photo so much more special- eye awakening moments.

...I am not a very confident photographer, but Michael's encouragement and guidance continues to help me.

...Michael was generous enough to show us all how he had framed his photo, (he mostly worked with us and did not make his own art) to give us all an idea of how it should be done. I would recommend one of his 'destination' classes to everyone who might be interested in field work. This class is priceless. "

Penny Ahmed, intermediate photographer, Riverside, CA.,
Repeat class attendee, Yosemite class of 3.20-23.'09




"...I enjoyed another great outdoor experience (first was Carmel) with Michael, this time Yosemite;  rain and snow and sunshine. What a wonderful opportunity to study with a master of the light in so many different light conditions. I will be back again for another class.

...The repeat process of cropping, on day 1, has really helped me to see/know what I am supposed to be shooting before I take the time to shoot it."

Vicki Dobbs, intermediate photographer, Clovis, CA.,
Yosemite class of 3.20-23.'09



Ted Whirledge, photo instructor, Yosemite class of 2.17.'17

short_paragraph_of_how_it_was. I have never been instructed so blatantly about making art, not pretty pictures. Art is always at the forefront of the group lessons and independent field practice with Michael Seewald.

what_benefits_recd_expected_and_notExpected: As a teacher, I not only learned compositional concepts and technical procedures, I learned about teaching. I was surprised that I enjoyed being taught. It was fun to see successful examples from Michaels own artworks. I enjoyed Michaels light humor too. I've already found success modeling some of Michael's teaching techniques with my high school students.

How_was_michael_as_an_instructor_overall_EXPLAIN_concepts: Michael explained concepts and techniques in clear sentences. He used real examples to teach compositional concepts. Michael works with whatever his student is using to help the student make their best with the gear they have.

HowToughDay2inField: Michael was direct and informative. He will find something nice to say about your work and then offer suggestions for technical and compositional improvements.

value_for_the_money:                    Way more value than what I paid

How_helpful_overall_at_becoming_better: 10 - Very helpful, lightyears ahead of were I was

How_satisfied_overall:                  10 - Very satisfied, I am ecstatic

amount_class_was_worth:                 Couple of Grand


short_paragraph_of_how_it_was. Learned to be patient- scope out a possible photo and wait for the sky/natural light to be perfect (if it's changing rapidly). Learned to use my light meter and get rid of the 'blinkies' using the light meter and adjusting the aperture, time and ISO. Also, perseverance. How to study light- if flat and picture does not work move on to another subject/spot.  Fewer good photos is better time spent than tons of OK photos.

I liked the way Michael worked with each of us and critiqued our output before moving on to the next item to be covered. I appreciate his honesty and passion.

Phyllis Spoor, AKA Sparkly Hat
Oceanside, CA
Yosemite class of 2.17.'17



How_satisfied_overall: 10 - Very satisfied, I am ecstatic
amount_class_was_worth: $900 to $1,000
quote_me: ON
name: Doug Fisher

short_paragraph_of_how_it_was: Very helpful in advancing anyone's knowledge of photography. You will learn how to advance from taking snapshots to creating art.  .... Much needed reminder of the key elements that turn a potential photo into a work of art.

Doug Fisher, Intermediate photographer, Rancho Santa Fe
Yosemite class of 2.17.'17



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Michael Seewald Galleries
Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino Del Mar, Ste. 312, Del Mar, California, 92014 USA 
Phone: 858.793.3444 

Open Wed. thru Sun., 2 p.m. till 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturdays till 10 p.m..
Call first if going out of your way, we sometimes close to run errands.

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