Gavin working with a 4x5 view camera in New Orleans. 2012.

Gavin working with a 4×5 view camera in New Orleans. 2012.


Gavin Seim is an international award winning portraitist, pictorialist and speaker based in Central Washington. Starting when he was just twelve years old, he gained a passion for quality, efficiency and historical art. He shares skills and tools that help photographers master their craft, become more profitable and excel in a crowded field.


A six time alumnus, as well as an instructor at the International Wall Portrait Conference, an Associate Fellow of Photography from PPW and recognized by Professional Photographers of America four years running. Gavin’s work has been featured worldwide in magazines, books and online. He has a passion for raising the bar and is best known for large wall portraits and projects like the Pro Photo Show, Seim Effects and PHOTOGRAPHIC School, along with educational films like EXposed and PHOTOGRAPHICS.

Along with being an experienced dynamic speaker, Gavin is a filmmaker who produces promotional and educational works with Opera Chicken Films. He authors blogs and educational content and co-authors fiction with his brother Nathan.

Gavin’s loves to learn and to share knowledge. He is known for frankness and an energetic persona that inspires others to push the limits of modern technique, while slowing down to study what has worked for centuries, mastering film and digital together. Inspired by renaissance painters and master photographers alike, Gavin seeks to help others enjoy and master the subtle beauty of light.

From Gavin:

I love open roads, nature, liberty and Jesus. I’m passionate about making art, writing stories and sharing what I learn. If I can make images that even in part, convey the true beauty and wounder of God’s creation. I have succeeded.

My work has come to be influenced by classical painted works from the Renaissance to early America, the Hudson River School and into modern times and master photographers like Ansel Adams, Ken Whitmire and others. I enjoy studying what’s worked for centuries, observing the works of master painters and legendary photographers.

Gavin with his wife Sondra and their kids Cy, Ana and Asher in a portrait by Ken Whitmire – Spring 2012

I’m fanatical about quality. In a world where art has become commodity, I feel the need to make something more and Raise the Bar. I use digital and film and enjoy both, though have a love for film. I like the gear and gadgets too, but I’ve learned they don’t make a good image. They’re tools. Like a chisel, or a paintbrush. I focus on crafting images and to that end nearly all my work is processed and printed in house.

I’m blessed to have studied under some of the best photographers in the world and in recent years and have had the honor of speaking about photography and teaching what I know to others both in person and with on videos workshops like EXposed and PHOTOGRAPHICS.

I’m outgoing and a bit of a showman. Some of my known projects include Pro Photo Show, a podcast and learning community for photographers. F164, my pictorials folio and journal. And Seim Effects, my line of creative editing tools and tips for photographers.

I also love word craft and beyond my educational writing and I’m working on a collection of fiction novels and stories with my brother Nathan. More about that on our writing site. Also you can learn more about all my latest projects on my homepage.

The Super Camper. It’s roomy in here. And we’ve made it into our mobile command center. Computers, projector, ham radio, internet, solar, winter ready, remote water systems.

A Bit More About Me. I was born January 1985 in Seattle to Grant & Sue Seim, my amazing parents. I bought my first camera from a yard sale when I was seven. It promptly broke, temporarily ending my photographic career till about age twelve. I was married to my beautiful wife Sondra in 2007.

My Goal. To make my viewers marvel at the beauty of people and creation while growing in things that really matter.

Among Other Interests. I love reading (well mostly listening to audiobooks) as well as writing. I’m a ventriloquist and a square dance caller (yes, different, but fun). I also enjoy vocals and even do a little yodeling (didn’t that go out of style a long time ago?).


I’m a student of Constitutional and American History student. A liberty activist he is heavily involved in politics. When I’m not working in the photographics field I’m generally working to hold government accountable and start conversation about liberty.

Bottom Line. I love Jesus, my family, wife, my kids and my job. What good is having everything, if in reality I have nothing. God has blessed me and I hope to use the talent he’s loaned to me the best I can.

Our Travels. I hit the road for 3-4 months out of the year in our camper with my wife and three kids, it can get a little crazy, but there’s nothing like it. We have a neat setup that I keep upgrading to better fit our needs. While traveling I make pictorials all over the US, and teach classes to help offset travel costs. To learn more and see where we’re headed visit the tours page.

Awards and Honors:

  • 2014 PPA International Print Competition. 2 awards of Merit.
  • 2014, Curve Media, Top Lightroom Presets of 2014.
  • 2013, PPA HOT ONE One Award, EXposed Light Workshop.
  • 2013 PPA International Print Competition award of Merit.
  • 2013 PPA International Print Competition Loan Collection
  • 2013, Toastmasters area A1 Fall Speaking Competition, 2nd Place.
  • 2012, PPA International Print Competition award of Merit.
  • 2011, Write On The River – First Fiction, Sixth Floor 2AM w/Nathan Seim.
  • 2010, PPA Magazine Feature, Midnight Seattle.
  • 2010, PPA International Print Competition Loan Collection, Midnight Seattle.
  • 2008, Icicle Prize – Grand and Peoples Choice, Bridge of Memories.
  • Pixoto, Top 10% People and 12 other awards.

Other Merits and Experience:

  • Host, PHOTOGRAPHIC School.
  • Host, Pro Photo Show podcast, since 2006.
  • Guest contributor, Pictureline Education.
  • Guest Contributor, Nations Photo Lab.
  • Developer and teacher, Seim Effects.
  • Class presenter, Professional Photographers of America.
  • 5 Years, instructor, International Wall Portrait Conference.




<< Sondra Seim: Wife, Mom, Assistant: (Facebook).
I’m not the only one around here. My beautiful wife Sondra puts up with me and helps out too. She joins the travels and also does the extra work for Seim Studios. She’s the best looking member of the Seim team. We were married in Spring of 2007 and while Sondra is not a photographer, she helps a lot in keeping the business and the home flowing smoothly.

My brother Nathan also works here and in off hours we write fiction together. Visit our writing site.

Cyrus – The PR Guy >>
Cyrus is our son. He was born Feb 2008. He loves gadgets, electronics and computers and is shaping up to be a smart one. He also knows how to make the ladies swoon. And yes, he already has his own camera. He becoming quite a little helper.

<< Ariana – The Sneaky Sweetheart:
Ana was born in Nov 2009. She’s a feisty one, but with those eyes I think she can melt the heart of kings. Her mom says she manipulates me. But I admit to nothing.

Asher – The Newest Member >>
Asher came along in Sept 2011. He’s a pudgy little dude who knows how to stay cool and likes to eat. A lot. He’s quite a character and you may find him tugging on your leg looking for snacks or tinkering with any object he can get his hands on trying to determine how it works.