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The Art of Seeing Like a Camera:

A workshop by Kerry Hayes

August 14 - 20, 2022



 Kerry Hayes

Kerry Hayes is one of the most successful movie set photographers in the world. He has shot stills on film sets for 40 years. His photography on the set of almost 100 motion pictures have been published all over the world including:

  • Nightmare Alley,

  • The Legends of the Fall,

  • The Witches of Eastwick,

  • The Proposal,

  • X-Men 2

  • Best Picture Oscar winning films:

    • Shape of Water 

    • Spotlight

He brings the same intuitive skill, exceptional perception and acuity of vision to his art photography that helped him create images that captured the attention, and whet the appetite that motivated millions to buy a ticket to the movies.

A passion for photography led him to a life devoted to the art of seeing. Originally achieving rapid commercial success in his hometown of New York City, he shot for top magazines, major corporations, and design firms while exhibiting his personal work.


In 1982, serendipity led to an assignment on a Woody Allen movie and success followed quickly once again in that field. Within three years, he had shot films for John Huston, Sidney Lumet and Jim Henson.


Now, at the end of that career, he has been photographing the

films of Guillermo Del Toro in Toronto, where he moved in 1989. Today, he devotes most of his photography to shooting and exhibiting his art work on both sides of the border and is working on his soon to be published book  - Waiting for “ACTION!”; 40 years of Life on the Set.


Kerry conducted a week long photographic workshop at The Media Workshops Program in Rockport, Maine for over 25 years. He was consistently rated as one of the top instructors there.


Workshop Highlights

The workshop will be Monday-Thursday of the trip

This is a unique opportunity to spend time with one of today's top professional photographers. It will help you begin to realize the full potential of the amazing photographic instruments and software we have in our hands today, that can do things previous generations wouldn’t have believed possible.

We have all felt the pain. Disappointing photographs you thought were killer and instead, you got blah. This workshop will help you turn that around 

Daily Instruction and presentations from Kerry Hayes, one of Hollywood's top photographers will cover: 

  • Pre-visualization or how to have your photographs  end up looking like you thought they would. 

  • All light can be good light. How great photos can be achieved in any quality of light.

  • All light is not created equal. How to make magic in  the magic hour. They don’t call it magic for nothing.

  • Landscapes, portraits, still lives: how you can maximize your success in each of these genres. 

  • Storytelling: how to make your photographs say 1,000 words.

  • Editing: The most important thing you don’t do enough of.

  • Post processing: Demonstrations of how the powerful, yet easy to use software today can transform your photos in seconds. 

  • Field Trips ashore - will give you the opportunity to put into practice what you have just learned.

  • Discussions or demonstrations on the above will be held in the “grand salon". 

  • For those who wish, the opportunity to share your work.

  • Also for those interested an opportunity to have Kerry critique your work and give individualized help.

In essence you will learn the art of seeing like a camera and, knowing that, how to make your images sing, make a statement, evoke an emotion, tell a story, make people wish they’d been there and say "wow, how’d you get that!”

What You Will Need

  • This workshop will be useful and improve the photography of even the entry level photographer. Even if you only shoot with a phone camera.

  • Ideally though, you will have an intermediary level of knowledge of things like F-stops, shutter speeds, focal length, depth of field, exposure values and such. 

  • This course will help you to predictively interpret and process the visual world around you and begin to see how different lenses can achieve what you have imagined in your mind's eye. 

  • There will be lectures and presentations to improve your skills as well and create memorable photographs. 

  • Suggested for the workshop:

  • 35mm SLR Camera

  • a zoom lens or interchangeable lenses of wide, normal and telephoto focal lengths. 

  • Laptop with software to process, render and adjust the beautiful images you will  create on this visually spectacular trip.

“The photograph isn’t what was photographed. It’s something else. It’s a new fact."

- Gary Winogrand

You will learn how to go beyond taking photographs that are simply factual representations of reality and begin to observe the world in the way a camera does.

Light, composition, moment, gesture and often juxtaposition; these are the variables that determine if a photograph becomes more than just the sum of its parts, or a “new fact” as Winogrand stated. This holds true whether captured with a mobile phone, Nikon, Hasselblad or any photographic instrument. In order to achieve this, the photographer must first be able see and understand these variables, nothing is more important than this. But to consistently produce photographs for print or screen that appear as you imagined they would when shooting, it is necessary to have an understanding of how a specific camera and lens you are shooting with, plus the software you use to process them, will render the image you have imagined. A cell phone is a serious photographic instrument, as capable as any to create stunning photographs. This workshop however will focus on how a 35mm camera with interchangeable lenses of different focal lengths can give you the fullest range of creative photographic possibilities. And how knowing how different lenses interpret and render the scene you see with your eyes you can predict the outcome in advance.

Ansel Adams called this pre-visualization. To him this meant knowing in advance how the scene he was recording would look in print when he was finished in the darkroom. He believed it to be the single most important factor in photography. Whether for print or a digital representation, a photographer's goal is to match or exceed what they expected when they shot it. In this workshop you will begin learning how you can pre-visualize when shooting so that you achieve the result you imagined in your mind's eye when you released the shutter. Today software is your digital darkroom, making it possible to go further than Ansel ever dreamed, to render and even enhance the final image you imagined. The mechanics of software will not be taught but what is possible in post production with software, and how it can be used to achieve your pre-visualized result in print or on screen will be demonstrated.

The workshop will provide the opportunity to learn the art of seeing from one of todays top professionals and photographic artists, and to improve your skills.

The rudimentary, but essential knowledge of beginning photography such as F-stops, shutter speeds, focal length, depth of field, exposure values and so on will be discussed in this workshop, but not focused on. This isn’t to say a beginner would not benefit from the course. Understanding how the focal length of a lens renders a scene you are shooting, and practice using various lenses will improve even a beginners photography. You will learn how to go beyond taking photographs that are simply factual representations of reality and by beginning to observe the world in the way a camera does so you can indeed create the “new facts” Winogrand speaks of. The ability to see things in a way that others miss, allowing them to see the world through their eyes, is the gift all great photographers have.

In addition to lectures and presentations of his photographs from his art portfolio and long career in the movie industry, the workshop will provide the opportunity to learn the art of seeing from one of todays top professionals and photographic artists and to improve your skills. All while creating memorable photographs sailing Maine’s famously rugged, beautiful coast, and picturesque villages

 Kerry Hayes

August 14 - 20, 2022

The Art of Seeing Like a Camera

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