The Friedman Archives

High-impact Photography Seminars

How to Wow.  Intuitively.



Currently Scheduled Live Seminars:

Boulder, Colorado - October 20-21, 2018 Learn More and Sign Up!
Scottsdale, Arizona - November 2018 Add me to the waiting list!
Denmark  Spring 2019 Add me to the waiting list!


Can't make any of these?  A streaming video course is now available!  Click here to purchase


I started the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars because I got tired of seeing so much poor advice disseminated on the online discussion forums when a beginner would ask how to improve their photography.  “Start shooting in Aperture priority mode”, one person would opine.  “Learn Photoshop” blurted another.  “Examine the EXIF information of pictures you like online and see what they did!”  And the most ill-prescribed advice which I see all too often: “Shoot RAW!”

Well, that kind of advice may be well-meaning, but it's not effective.  Never in my life have I seen a rank beginner switch to RAW (or shoot in Aperture Priority mode) and then suddenly start producing "Wow!" type images.  And so I thought it was time to share the (seemingly) forgotten knowledge that all successful Kodachrome shooters knew back in the day – how to take pictures that make other people say “Wow!” with nothing more than a point-and-shoot.   (Even Photoshop is optional if you know what you're doing!)

And so the seminars were created with the goal of dispelling no end of online myths and explaining what's REALLY important in photography.  And they've been a hit with both newbie and experienced photographers alike, all over the world!  Geared toward anyone who owns a digital camera, this pair of day-long seminars is for anyone who has ever said to themselves, "I spent money on a great camera.  So why aren't my pictures better?"  They are geared toward those who would like to learn more, reinforce what they already know, experiment, and become inspired to become better photographers.  All in a fun, friendly, and nurturing environment.

These seminars are presented by the photographer behind the stock photography website, and are structured differently from almost all other photo courses.  Whereas most other courses bombard you with the technical stuff first, The Friedman Archives Seminars recognizes that modern cameras do a pretty good job with focusing and exposure, but do a miserable job with composition and the art aspect of photography (realms best left for the HUMAN).  So the first day emphasizes composition, light, art, capturing emotion, and how to get high-impact photos -- all without ever leaving AUTO mode.  These are the forgotten skills that the Kodachrome shooters once knew to get awesome images without ever using Photoshop. As the seminar progresses to Day 2, the subject matter delves into the technical aspects of digital photography, making for a very well-rounded weekend.  As many past attendees can attest, this weekend seminar cuts through the confusion and gives you everything you need to know to start shooting confidently, improve your creativity, deepen your technical understanding, and give you the means to realize the shot you have in your head.



Here’s some (some!!) of the things you’ll learn from this seminar:

Day 1 ("The Creative Class", or "The camera can do quite a bit by itself.  Teach me about creativity, composition, and light and things that only the human can do!")

  • The compositional secrets of the National Geographic photographers

  • What the Kodachrome shooters knew about high-impact images (hint: they never needed        Photoshop!)

  • How to "see" light like the Hollywood Cinematographers do

  • Compositional rules derived from the world of fine art

  • The difference between snapshots and photographs (and why both are important)

  • Add drama to your images with wireless flash (with live demonstrations)

  • The secrets to outstanding travel photography

  • Making the most of available light

  • Color balance and Human Perception

  • In-class exercises for creativity and composition

  • The "inner game" mindsets used by all the photographic masters

  • A practical "zen" approach to compelling images without having to get bogged down in technical stuff 


Day 2 ("The Technical Stuff")

  • How your exposure meter thinks (or "Why can't the camera just make it look the way I see it?")

  • The three variables of exposure, explained intuitively.

  • The three types of metering, and which ones are actually useful.

  • The RAW vs. JPG dilemma explained without religious ferver

  • Histograms, explained intuitively.

  • How to avoid horrific .jpg compression artifacts

  • The important problem of print vs. screen resolution

  • The only eight Post-processing functions I use    

There will also be ample discovery exercises to allow you to become familiar with your camera’s operation and experiment with certain features.   


How much does it cost? 

  • The cost is affordable, and varies by city.  An exact price will appear on the signup page for each city (top of page).


What cities will you be visiting?

Here's another factor that sets these seminars apart from all the others: THERE IS NO SET SCHEDULE!  We can travel and present these seminars anywhere in the world when enough people in one region express their interest.

(Are you a member of a photo club?  Fire off an email to and ask how to get me to speak to your club for FREE!) 


What others are saying about the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars

“Gary has to be one of the very best in his field of knowledge and presentation that is interesting, informative, entertaining and inspiring. Hard to beat and worth every penny." - Bonneville from

"I’ve been taking pictures for 30 years, and your demonstration of exposure principles was brilliant. Whereas I was fuzzy on the concepts before, I now intuitively understand them!” - Rod Schultz

“It’s the best money you’ll ever spend for a photo class. Gary obviously loves what he does and can also make a complex topic easy to understand, which is a great combination. It made me a better photographer!” - George Saadeh

"In a world of dry, artsy information, you bring a vibrant, humorous and fun approach to the subject. Best of all, I feel a renewed enthusiasm for photography. You are an excellent teacher.” – Lee Friedman (no relation)

“Ever since I ordered your book on the Minolta A2 I have been "hooked". Your ability to explain things in "plain, understandable, English" borders on the unbelievable! I have since ordered four more of your books as I upgraded to newer cameras. As president and founder of the Durango Photography Club I felt that I had to get you to Durango to present your seminars and workshops. I figured that if you were half as good in person as your books were, it would be great! You weren't half as good, you were twice as good because we could ask questions, observe your demos and get personal attention where needed. Thank you for helping everyone from novices to semi-professionals learn a lot." - Howard Rachlin

Best two days of learning I’ve had in my life! Take two days and see what you’re missing.” – Archie Lappi

"Well worth it!! Learned sooooooo much from Gary in San Mateo! My wife went for the 2-day, and raved about it so much after Day 1, I signed up for Day 2! Ya, that good - thanks for all the after-seminar advice, and 'being there' for technical questions, a year later! Fun and informative." – Daniel Devane

“Best seminar I have ever taken. – THANK YOU!!!” -Joseph R. Conklin

"Attended on the Sunday and had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Gary has to be one of the very best in his field of knowledge and presentation that is interesting, informative, entertaining and inspiring. Hard to beat and worth every penny." - Bonneville from this thread on

"[Y]ou helped me find the fun in photography again, and for that I am very grateful.” - Brian Dennick

Read more (opens new window)...


The Friedman Archives Seminars represent the fastest and most enjoyable way to learn the basics of photography.  Invest in yourself and take "Wow!" type pictures forevermore, regardless of the type of camera you have!


Prior Events

Atlanta, Georgia August 18-19, 2018 Closed
Portrait Lighting Workshop July 28, 2018 Closed
Tacoma, Washington August 26-27, 2017 Closed
Manchester, England June 10-11, 2017 Closed
Edinburgh, Scotland June 17-18, 2017 Closed
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) March 18-19, 2017 Closed
Tuscon, Arizona Feb. 14-15, 2017 Closed
Halifax, Nova Scotia  Canada May 21-22, 2016 Closed
Melbourne, Australia Nov. 21-22, 2015 Closed
Sydney, Australia Nov. 14-15, 2015 Closed
New Zealand Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2015 Closed
Nashville, TN May 30-31 Closed
Boston, Massachusetts May 2-3, 2015 Closed
Orlando, Florida January 10-11, 2015 Closed
Los Angeles October 18-19, 2014 Closed
Seattle, Washington September 28-29, 2013 Closed
Singapore March 23-24, 2013 Closed
London September 15-16, 2012 Closed
Durango, Colorado Lecture Thursday night, July 12th
Seminar July 14-15
Field Workshop July 21-22
Santa Monica, California Seminar: June 9-10, 2012
Field Workshp: Saturday, June 16th 2012
Copenhagen Seminar April 21-22, 2012
(There will also be a Field Workshop and a separate lecture on my days as a NASA engineer)
Nashville, TN October 1-2, 2011 Closed
Ottawa, Canada September 3-5, 2011 (Two days lecture + one day field workshop) Closed
Nova Scotia, Canada
Seminar: July 23-24, 2011 in Pubnico

Field workshop: July 30-31st, 2011 in Yarmouth

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada Seminar: June 11-12, 2011
Travel Lecture (evening): June 17, 2011
Field Workshop: June 18 and 19, 2011

Boston, MA May 14-15, 2011.  One-day field workshop on May 21st. Closed
Northern California February 19-21, 2011 (Two days lecture + one day field workshop) Closed
San Diego, California January 15-16, 2011 Closed
An outdoor workshop in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia August 7-9, 2010 Closed
Truro, Nova Scotia August 14-15, 2010 Closed
Orlando, FL July 10-11, 2010 Closed
Copenhagen March 20-21, 2010 Closed
Amsterdam (Technically it's Utrecht) March 27-28, 2010 Closed
San Diego, CA February 20-21, 2010 Closed
Southern California November 14-15, 2009 Closed
New York, NY October 17-18, 2009 Closed
Nashville, TN September 12-13, 2009 Closed
Nova Scotia, Canada August 8-9, 2009 Closed
Northern California February 28-Mar 1, 2009 Closed
Southern California February 21-22, 2009 Closed
Boston (Somerville) October 18-19, 2008 Closed
Oregon (Roseburg) May 17-18, 2008 Closed
Southern California February 2-3, 2008 Closed
Los Alamos September 15-16, 2007 Closed
Chicago July 14-15, 2007 Closed
Southern California April 21-22, 2007


Lethbridge, Canada March 10-11, 2007 Closed





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