Classes

Union Station provides the perfect backdrop for hands-on learning and spacious classrooms for lecture and live demo classes.
With over 100 classes, there’s something here for everyone!

How do I register for a class?
You will be able to select classes 
IN THE SHUTTERFEST APP two weeks before the event (first come, first serve). READ THE FAQ and/or monitor the private Facebook group for more details.

SF23 Class Lineup

Class Search Form

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#2bEpic With Color Gels

Speaker: Rafael Serrano & Miguel Ocque

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Create colorful and interesting images in the worst possible location/lighting scenarios using color gels.

#letsgetweird | Wedding Portraits With A Twist

Speaker: Raph Nogal

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Bored of the same old wedding portraits? Let’s get weird! (#letsgetweird)
We will explore possibilities beyond the standard wedding portrait. We will use found objects, lights, and prisms, and think outside the box to enhance wedding portraits and create something unique.

– thinking outside the box
– lighting
– posing
– composition
– creativity

1 Orange Gel: From Fake Sunsets to Complete Transformation of a Scene – Creating the Imaginable With Gels

Speaker: Clay Souza

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

See beyond your eyes
Attendees will learn:
– How to create fake sunset with gels
– How to create silhouettes anywhere with gels and masks
– How to think creatively and transform a mundane scene into a piece of art

10 Poses in 60 Seconds

Speaker: Mariea Rummel

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Sometimes you only have 15 mins with your couples during their wedding day. No problem. In this class you will learn 10 power poses that you will never forget. These will be your go to at every wedding or engagement session. In this hands-on course you will learn how to create small movements with your couples to create a whole different pose and then apply them in class. When shooting, class with be broken down into smaller groups for an intimate hands-on experience.

– Lighting for the pose
– Putting your clients at ease
– Posing techniques

3 Easy Steps to Beautiful Lighting

Speaker: Joey Thomas

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

The ultimate hybrid lighting class! This class will be a hybrid of a demo and hands-on. You will learn 3 easy principles you can use in EVERY SINGLE LIGHTING scenario and skyrocket your confidence. You will also learn about the 3 most versatile and useful modifiers to create just about any look you can dream up! After the lighting demo portion, we will break out into groups and get to work!

3 Types of Time-Saving Lightroom Presets You’re Probably Not Using But Should Be

Speaker: Tara Graham

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Is your file organization non-existent? Are you new to LR, or slightly confused by it and know you aren’t maximizing its potential? Do you hear “presets” and only think of overdone filters you’ve wasted money on in the past? Do you know what size you’re exporting images at and why? Bring your laptop or notebook and we’ll walk through:
-setting up your client folders
-using one catalog per session
-setting up import presets
-setting up targeted adjustment presets
-setting up export presets (images sized for printing, social, etc. with one click)
-plenty of keyboard shortcuts

Set up your workflow once and spend less time organizing and editing, and more time doing what makes you money!

60 Minutes for Same Day Boudoir Sales

Speaker: Michelle Burroughs

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

How to cull, edit, and show your boudoir images for Same Day Sales in under 60 minutes. Let me show you my process – from how I shoot to the culling and editing and ultimately how I show my clients their images all in the same day.

A $5,000 Average Sale is Possible…No Matter The Client. Mastering Concept to Canvas.

Speaker: Erica Loree

Lecture   

Intermediate, Advanced, All Skill Levels   

Can you imagine making $5,000 from just one Cake Smash Sessions?

Well, it is more than possible. I know what it takes to bring in these life changing numbers each and every sale. I am so excited to teach you how, no matter what genre you shoot…no matter the client.
I want to teach you how to master every element of your sessions from concept to canvas, so that you will no longer be afraid of IPS, “taking your clients money”, or being too pushy.
You CAN make the kind of numbers you dream of, but first you must implament a few key elements that I am dying to teach you.
Stop selling yourself short and your images for far too little.

You will learn: My Top 10 key elements to start making real life changing numbers. $5,000 is just the beginning, let’s blow the ceiling off together!

A Boudoir Photographer’s Guide to Exceptional Lighting

Speaker: Jeff and Lori Poole

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Boudoir is a photography genre that poses unique lighting challenges. It is mostly photographed indoors, and often has a voyeuristic feel that lends itself to using (or simulating) available light. However, this does not mean that boudoir photographers can disregard good lighting skills! Exceptional lighting helps create depth and dimension, helps flatter the subject, enhances mood, and becomes a hallmark of a photographer’s style. Whether your style is light and airy, dark and moody, or balanced; whether you use natural light, strobe, or constant lighting, this class will teach you to see and use light to create your own unique and impactful style.

A Boudoir Photographer’s Guide to Studio Setbuilding

Speaker: Jeff and Lori Poole

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Tired of using Air BnB’s and hotel rooms for your boudoir shoots? It gets old worrying about the weather, lighting, or décor at an unknown location. Having studio sets offers you consistency from shoot to shoot so that you can deliver amazing results every time. It’s time to build your own studio sets that look and feel real. Learn how to create gorgeous sets that don’t feel like a photo studio. Go beyond the backdrop with new studio sets that have both real-world depth and studio consistency. Topics include sourcing props, construction tips, creating depth, natural-looking studio light, and more. Get your creative juices flowing again.

A Funky Good Time!!

Speaker: Zsa'nee Gaines

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

It’s time to let loose. Every now and then we get those clients that see life differently than the average client.

Do you get excited? Or do you let them walk out the door because it’s something that you are not used to photographing?

In this class, I’m going to show you how to just vibe with it. Photographing funky gear to over-the-top expressions as well as fluid poses.

Static does not belong in this class. This will be a dynamic atmosphere with dynamic movements to bring out the most over-the-top FUNK-DA-FIED Images.

Come and grab some images for your portfolio, learn to bring a new atmosphere to your photography business, or just come along for the ride. Whatever your choice you will definitely gain some knowledge that you will be able to take back and use in your own business as well as that client that wants more when they walk through your door.

This is a hands-on class so bring your gear.

A Killer Method That Will Make You a Posing Star. Your Posing Struggles End Here!

Speaker: Clay Souza

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Let’s break down what makes great poses to end the posing struggle
Attendees will learn:
– What makes a good female pose
– What makes a good male pose
– What to look for when posing groups/families
– How to handle height differences between two people (couples)
– How to effectively direct to quickly achieve the desired pose

A Shitillion Tips to Higher Sales

Speaker: Jenn Lewis

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

It’s time to get serious about your business, kids. You’ve been stuck for a long time and you’re not quite sure how to take the next step. You’ve been shoot and burning or maybe you switched to in person sales, but you’re not making the kind of money you need to make it all worth it. You’re starting to realize that you’re not as profitable as you thought you were, and you’re tired. You’re tired of missing out on events for the little bit of money you make. You’re tired of panicking when you think you might have to replace a computer or a camera because you don’t have the extra money. You’re burning out and you need a step by step guide to help you make real money.

In this class, Jenn will teach you the principles of successful sales and why they work. You’ll learn to overcome the obstacles you’ve been running into and the methods she uses to maintain her $5100+ sales average. Jenn specializes in high school seniors, but her methods work for any portrait genre. You already know how to take pretty photos… now let’s make some money with them.

A Signature White Experience

Speaker: Zsa'nee Gaines

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

There is nothing more that I love than photographing my signature white session. It’s all about capturing the individual and making them pop in the camera.

They are perfect they are flawless they are everything.

In this class, we’re going to take my signature white session to the next level. We are going to get creative with the client’s clothing, costumes, accessories as well as posing and expressions. I’m going to show you how to set up lighting for a clean separation from the background where white on white does not blend together. How to make sure your whites don’t look grey. Let’s nail your white balance. We will go from a classic look to a creative look and work our way to magic.

So let’s step your game up and make your client feel empowered. Let’s take away all the fluff and show them just how amazing and illuminating they are.

A signature white experience can be photographed and offered year-round. There is no seasonal or shortage to this session. So fill in those gaps of time all white empowering and showcasing your client in a way they never thought.

This is a hands-on class so bring your gear.

A Successful Way to Run Consultations and IPS Sessions From the Comfort of Your Home – No Studio Needed

Speaker: Clay Souza

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Let’s debunk the idea that one has to own a studio to be successful with consultations and IPS.
Attendees will learn:
– The advantages and drawbacks of not having a studio
– How to run successful consultations from their homes
– The importance of IPS for your bottom line
– Mental triggers for successful booking consultations and IPS sessions

ABC’s of a Solid Workflow Using Lightroom

Speaker: Jeff and Lori Poole

Lecture   

Beginner   

Most photographers know that Lightroom can be used to process images for basic color-correction. But Lightroom is so much more!
In our studio, Lightroom is not only an image processor. It’s an integral part of our workflow, sales, marketing, vendor relations, and more! We do all of this, using the same software you’re already familiar with.

Today’s version of Lightroom has some great new features that makes your basic edits a breeze. We’ll discuss how keywording, rating, and tagging can keep your portfolio up-to-date in real time AND help you with vendor networking. Learn how to use Lightroom for easy, intuitive in-person sales to easily triple your old online sales averages.

We’ll share with you all our favorite third-party plugins and apps that simplify and speed up many aspects of your business (and we’re not talking about creative filters here, although we use those too). Find out how our streamlined workflow allows us to easily create blog posts, manage vendor relationships, share files with clients, post to social media and more!

In this class you’ll learn

*Understanding Cataloging and how to make it work for you
*Using keywording and meta data to keep your portfolio up to date
*How to do easy in person sales right inside of Lighroom
*Third party plugins to speed up your workflow
*How to use LR to maximize vendor networking
*And more…

Are you ready to re-learn Lightroom and streamline your workflow?

Adding Wedding Video Will Double Your Income. Let Me Show You How to Get Started.

Speaker: Ning Wong

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Wedding videos. Some look boring, and some look amazing. Do you want to improve your wedding videos and make them look amazing?

This class won’t teach you the basics of how to shoot video on your DSLR – there are many resources out there that you can use to learn the basics of shooting video on your DSLR.

But if you’re looking to learn newer techniques on how to shoot, how to set up audio, where to place lighting, and make your videos better, then this class is for you!

Learning the many elements beyond just proper camera settings to create a memorable wedding video can be a daunting task. Let Ning explain how he records audio, lights his subject, uses proper support systems, and hear him give a short overview of his editing process. Ning will show you what’s in his bag of tricks – his techniques, his methods, and how he shoots a wedding video.

Things attendees will learn:
-How to add video to your wedding business
-Optimal camera settings for videography
-Shooting video with certain motion and techniques to help you with your edit
-The best gear you can buy
-How to set up audio and record the speeches and ceremony
-How to light your wedding to create a dynamic look and feel

Advanced Lighting for Cinematic Portraits

Speaker: Michael Anthony

Live Demonstration   

Advanced, All Skill Levels   

In this class, I will be showing attendees how to craft unique portraits with an emphasis on advanced multi-light setups. I am also going to show you how to set these scenes us quickly, and efficiently so you can actually use them on real shoots. The goal here is to show you how to use your environment, along with special effects to quickly build out lighting setups that can be repeated over time. These techniques will make your work stand out. We will be using gels, modifiers, video light, bare flash, and blending those techniques with the ambient lighting.

This course will be live demo, attendees are welcome to shoot the scenes I demonstrate.

After Dark – Getting Started with Erotica and Kink

Speaker: Pam Fields

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

It’s not just spicier Boudoir. If you are wanting to work in the erotica/kink space, including working with OnlyFans, this class will provide you with information you need to know before you get started. We will review how this genre is different from boudoir and what to do to keep you and your clients safe. We will discuss how to market in this space, how to build your portfolio to get started, and best practices for planning and working with clients.

Amazing Real Estate Photography Add-Ons to Push Your Bottom Line Up – Virtual Tours and Real Estate Video

Speaker: Marc Smith

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

So you can shoot real estate, now let’s go big and add virtual tours and video to increase your bag!
We will show you the process of creating virtual tours and the options that exist. We will also show you 3 options for adding video to your real estate photography to earn extra money and more importantly increase the value to your real estate agents. We will teach solutions for social media as well as longer versions for websites and marketing plans.

An Incredible Client Experience that will lead to BIG Sales.

Speaker: Erica Loree

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Your client has arrived. You’ve spent days planning a dozen killer ideas to showcase this brand spankin’ new baby, BUT…baby is crying, Mom is stressing, Dad is skeptical, it is 80+ degrees in the room, you’re sweating, Grandma’s sweating, and there is literally crap flying all over your previously planned killer ideas.
How are you supposed to create a masterpiece AND still sell BIG in this chaos?

Do you offer a full service experience that your clients will leave talking about & excited to share?

What sets you apart from all the “Competition”?

Do you feel confident beyond the props & posing?

In this class you will learn:

How to Connect, Serve, Educate, and Deliver every time!! From the first consult to the day of the sale, provide an incredible experience that will pay off BIG!

Let’s get beyond just props and posing and to the actual details that matter! Your work will NOT sell itself.

The Client Experience is everything! When it is all said and done, they will not only trust you with their baby but also their credit card!

Let me help you take your studio to the next level – You’ve got this!

Authentically You: Establishing a Consistent Branding & Identity Platform for your Photography Business (Part 1 of 3)

Speaker: Arden Cooper

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, All Skill Levels   

We live in a world that’s overflowing with branding and advertisements. Every nook, corner, and cranny contains a logo, slogan, or mark advertising a specific business, team, or group. With the rise of new creators using online media to create their own photography, videography, and more, the concept and need of a consistent Branding & Identity Platform is more important than ever. Potential clients all have high-resolution cameras at the tip of their fingers, accessible at all times – so how do you push past the noise? How can you connect so strongly with potential clients that they set their phones down and pick you?

In this class you will:
– Identify the key components of a branding & identity platform/package
– Understand the importance of establishing a strong, consistent brand & identity
– Identify six key elements to establishing a strong branding platform
– Learn how to create connections with the right graphic designer and create a budget for your branding needs

(All parts aren’t necessary, but encouraged)

Authentically You: Your Brand Re-Envisioned (Part 3 of 3)

Speaker: Arden Cooper

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, All Skill Levels   

Brand Identity is the sum of all elements that make up a business’ public image – this can include a color palette, logos, typefaces, patterns, and symbol designs that represent your business. Your brand & identity should be unique, recognizable, and establish an emotional connection with potential clients. In the process of establishing your brand, a graphic artist with experience in brand design can help you create a look and feel that individualizes the essence of your brand and creates a memorable experience every time a client interacts with your work. In this live demo, I will show you how I create, design, and develop 2 photography brand platforms from the ground up.

– Logo vs. Wordmark: Understanding different logo types and how to use them
– Tips for building a killer brand identity
– Walk through a quick overview of client & competitor research
– Visualize the process of going from sketch to final logo
– Follow along the development of a branding guidebook; understand how to read and utilize a branding guidebook

(all parts aren’t necessary, but encouraged)

Authentically You: Your Brand, Your Story (Part 2 of 3)

Speaker: Arden Cooper

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, All Skill Levels   

Branding is a complex process with many varying parts – some say it’s part science, part art. At a macro perspective, the complete branding process includes strategy, research, story, soul-searching, and more. Ultimately, your brand is the public’s perception of your company, products, and services. In this class you will dive deep into a more advanced understanding of creating a strong, consistent Branding & Identity platform for your photography business and what it means to live & breathe your brand across all forms of media.

– Telling YOUR story through YOUR brand
– Utilizing your brand to increase client engagement & business revenue
– Understanding how to to combat difficult social media algorithms with brand consistency
– Asking the right questions: what you need to ask yourself and your designer to create a brand that immediately connects with your audience

(All parts aren’t necessary, but encouraged)

Automating Your Business for Success

Speaker: Andre Brown

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

As busy entrepreneurs often times there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all of the tasks that we’d like. More often than not, we are leaving money on the table simply because we forgot or even neglected to do things in a timely manner. In this lecture I’ll teach you how I’ve automated my business for success. Creating a seamless client experience, never leaving any money on the table and increasing my bottom line.

Avant Garde Maternity

Speaker: Bethany Ellen

Hands-On   

Intermediate   

You love the over the top nature of avant garde fashion. You love the boundary pushing, rule breaking world of maternity photography. It’s time for worlds to collide with maternity looks that have high drama, incredible impact, and will push your creative limits.

Baby Steps to OCF (no, we will not be photographing babies)

Speaker: Raph Nogal

Live Demonstration   

Beginner   

Open wide and allow me to spoonfeed you some Off-Camera Flash knowledge. This one goes back to the basics. We will explore various modifiers and discuss their properties and explore scenarios where they could be used. If you are new to Off-Camera Lighting and want to explore the endless possibilities of OCF, this is the course for you – without being way over your head.

Topics covered:
– getting light off-camera
– discussing hard light and soft light
– using modifiers to create different moods

Back to the Basics – Build a Launchpad Out Of Auto Mode!

Speaker: Jen Rutledge

Lecture   

Beginner   

Are you tired of being intimidated by the bells and whistles of your camera? Do terms like Exposure Triangle, White Balance, and Histogram make your eyeballs glaze over? Does the thought of using off camera flash make your head spin? This is a crash course on the building blocks that create a solid foundation from which to launch your photographic creativity.

Topics covered:
• Camera Goggles – the difference between what your camera sees and what you see.
• Exposure Triangle – What is is and how it affects your image.
• Proper exposure – using your camera’s meter, using a light meter, sunny 16 rule, reading a histogram, what to do with blown highlights and clipped shadows.
• Focus – how to focus and recompose w/o screwing up your focus, DOF to improve sharpness and/or aesthetic, how to focus in tough situations, techniques to improve stability.
• Crop sensor vs Full sensor.
• White balance.
• Getting started with off camera flash
Recommended Gear: Bring your camera so you can follow along in real time!

Bad-Ass Business Portraits

Speaker: Gary Hughes

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Headshots are great, but what if your client wants more? Learn to tackle the bog-standard business portrait in a way that will leave your clients saying “shut up and take my money”. Here’s what you will learn:

– Lighting that will create power and drama for your clients, one light at a time
– Posing that’s natural and powerful without being stiff
– Crafting an image based on intent, shooting for the job, not the gender
– How to engage and work with even the toughest clients and pull of miracles

Go beyond simple headshots and create impactful images that will make your clients look and feel like they are on the cover of Forbes. Think bigger than LinkedIn.

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Speaker: Ray Alvarez

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Standard portraits and Beauty portraits are two completely different beasts. Get creative in the studio with your subject and introduce them to the world of beauty. I will show you how to shoot a proper beauty portrait, the tools needed and demonstrate how to get down to the details such as the skin texture, eyes and those magnificent catch lights.

Attendees will learn:
Camera settings to apply for the perfect beauty portrait
Lights, tools & lens that work best for a beauty setup
How to pose your subject for beauty portraits
How to prep your subject days before the shoot
Suggestions for hiring/working with a Makeup Artist
Placement of light and reflectors

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SKILL LEVELS

Beginner: Just starting out or relatively new to a given subject matter. Basics will be covered and the course will move at a slower pace. The instructor will spend a little more time trying to explain concepts to ensure everyone is following. On a scale of 1-10 consider this level a 1-3 on the given topic.

Intermediate: Has a grasp of some basic concepts. This course level will move at a faster pace and assume you have basic knowledge covered on the given subject matter. On a scale of 1-10 consider this level a 4-6 on the given topic.

Advanced: You have working knowledge of the given subject matter, but are looking for more fine-tuning and some advanced topics to take your work to that next level. DO NOT expect instructors to explain basic concepts in this course. On a scale of 1-10 consider this level a 7-10 on the given topic.

Class Types

Hands-On

These are shooting courses. You will be shooting and working. Bring your camera, gear, or whatever you need for the course and to create create images. Expect to have some level of shooting.

Live Demonstration

These are instructor-led courses where you will see a live demonstration of what the instructor is teaching. You can still bring your camera to these courses and you can photograph, but the goal of the course is NOT for you to shoot or to ensure you get a shot. The goal is for you to see how and why the instructor does what he/she does in order to get the final result.

Lecture

These are non-shooting courses. Typically classroom-based, bring your laptop and notepad and focus on learning!