Norman Seeff graduated with honors in science and art at King Edward School in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the age of 17, he was drafted by Highland Park, a leading division one team, into the South African National Soccer League.
Seeff qualified as a medical doctor in 1966 and for three years worked in emergency medicine in Soweto, focusing on the management of traumatic shock. In 1968, desiring to explore his passion for creative expression in all its forms, he relocated to New York and switched careers from science to the arts.
In New York, with the mentorship of renowned art director, Bob Cato, Seeff established himself as a successful “rock” photographer and as graphic designer of album art within a year and a half in a new career.
In 1971, he was offered the position of Creative Director of United Artists Records and relocated to Los Angeles. His innovative approach to collaborative art-direction resulted in multiple Grammy Nominations for album cover graphic design. Two years later Seeff opened an independent studio on the Sunset Strip.
In journey of finding voice as a photographer, Seeff evolved his Sessions as a unique environment of trust and challenge, focusing on the emotional experience in the moment aimed at revealing the real person behind the public image.
In 1975, responding to the authenticity and depth of the creative communication between himself and artists, Seeff brought a film crew into a Session for the first time. With the success of that experiment, Seeff committed to documenting his Sessions from then on.
To date, he has filmed close to 500 sessions with creators and innovators of all disciplines including musicians, actors, writers, directors, scientists, entrepreneurs, athletes, politicians and the documentation continues unabated.
Seeff’s interaction with renowned artists and innovators includes such luminaries as Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Steve Jobs, The Rolling Stones, Steve Martin, Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, John Huston, Martin Scorsese, Billy Wilder, Bob Fosse, will.i.am, Tina Turner, Alicia Keys, Sir Francis Crick, Nobel laureates and hundreds of renowned public figures
Seeff’s first photography book Hot Shots, won the New York Directors Club award for best photographic book of the year and his second book, Sessions! has now become a collector’s item. The award winning book, Joni documenting his 17 Sessions with Joni Mitchell was published in 2018.
From 1985 to the end of 2000, Norman shifted disciplines and achieved prominence as a successful director of television commercials for leading advertising agencies including Apple, NASA, California Institute of Technology and Fortune 500 companies, winning multiple awards for diverse projects.
In 2000, he returned to his ‘Sessions Project’, now focusing on long-form documentary projects. His feature documentary, Triumph of the Dream, reveals the emotional drama of the scientists and engineers of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, responsible for landing two rovers on Mars in 2004.
In his ongoing exploration of the inner journey of the creative process and its outer expressions, Seeff has identified the fundamental archetypal structures of the creative journey that has practical applications to the arts, business and educational institutions.
This extensive body of content, identified as Norman Seeff / The Power & the Passion to Create is currently in development as immersive multimedia exhibitions and streaming and live workshops.
Seeff's global recognition continues to provide him with access to renowned creators and innovators of all major disciplines. For Norman Seeff, every Session is an opportunity for exploring the higher reaches of the creative process and revealing Maps of the Journey for empowering personal and collectivity creativity and innovation.