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
Creating Atmosphere and Narrative with Light
Speaker: Seth Miranda
So you have yourself a model, you got your gear..now what? Your images are a story to tell and concept is a huge part of that story. Using light we can let your viewers know who your subject is, what they’ve gotten themselves into, where they are, why they are there or what we have caught them in the middle up when we create a scene that could have been pulled right from a movie. Every decision we make in that frame is another tool to getting that narrative across the finish line for your viewer so lets use our lighting (along with some other techniques) to create an environment. A detailed intentfull scene built from scratch anywhere will not only elevate your work but can create a narrative for your audience to be apart of just by seeing your work. Also could sharpen up your game in other areas of photography like fashion where a story will keep the frame from being bland and one dimensional
Creating Badass Couple Portraits in Not So Badass Conditions
Speaker: Esteban Gil
As wedding photographers, we are usually dealt with some NOT so ideal locations and lighting conditions. Crappy hotel rooms. Wedding venues that aren’t so photogenic. Join Esteban Gil as he walks you through navigating these situations. How do you take a single speedlight and make a crappy location not so crappy?
Control your ambient light through the use of High-Speed Sync. Learn how to make one light look like multiple lights. Learn how to read natural light and enhance it with the use of an off-camera light.
Creating Drama in Your Portraits
Speaker: Josh Russell
So you have mastered the basics of portrait photography? Now it’s time to dive deeper and learn how to create drama in a photo. How to see and create more than just a photo, but rather a work of art! By using a mixture of OCF and ambient lighting, this style of photography is great for sunsets, bright sunny days and night portraits. It’s all about the details and the drama!
This class is for anybody looking to learn how to get a more complete feeling from their portraits by reading environments, and the overall tone of a photo. Off-camera flash is not required but is encouraged. Josh will also have some Westcott lighting for you to try out!
Creating Emotion With Low Ambient Light and No Flash
Speaker: Michelle Cramer
This course is ideal for beginning to intermediate photographers. Off-camera flash is a go-to among many professional photographers, but I have always preferred ambient light; utilizing the shadowing and positioning of clients helps not only create a strong image, but to also share a story. Shooting in low ambient light can be effective in conveying your subject’s personality, or creating a specific emotion. It can also be an intimate way to capture a personal moment without the invasive nature of a flash. After a quick demonstration, participants will get the opportunity to photograph in darker settings to create mood and emotion with their subjects.
Creating Short Video Content for Your Clients and Your Business
Speaker: Sal Cincotta
Creating Your Vision From Beginning to End
Speaker: Curtiss Bryant
We all can see amazing images in our minds, but sometimes, we cant get them to look the way we envision them looking. In this class, you will learn how to take what you see in your head and make it a reality. We will discuss how to breakdown a location and photograph it to create our base foundation. We will then take it into Photoshop and walk through the post processing and completion of the image.
– Learn to “see” the image on location
– Learn to properly shoot and light the subject with the final image in mind
– Learn tips to finishing the image in Photoshop
We will discuss lighting techniques, posing of the subject, compositing elements in photoshop (sky swaps, removal of distractions, etc) and discuss things that will help make us better photographers and create stronger images.
Creative Concepts for Brands
Speaker: Abbie Gowin
Feel like you’re doing the same ol’ branding poses over & over? There’s the classic client on their laptop, sipping an empty mug of coffee, or laughing out the window… While these are great core content images, you’re ready to give them something more exciting to help them stand out! In this class you will learn:
-Questions to ask that draw out your client’s brand personality
-How to research what their audience might resonate with
-My 4-step system for generating ideas
-Translating emotion into visual content
We will then take these concepts and I’ll show you exactly how I would shoot a fitness brand to elevate them from their competitors!
Creative Kid’s Composites
Speaker: Kristina Sherk
The word ‘composite’ shouldn’t scare you. Join photographer and retoucher Kristina Sherk as she shares her top tips and techniques to improve your portraits using compositing. From initial concept all the way through execution, Kristina leaves no stone un-turned. Take your photos out of reality and into a whole new universe. The skills in this class will easily elevate your photography out of this world! You will learn:
Key rules for creating realistic composites.
Proper planning for the image.
Key Photoshop techniques useful for blending images and elements.
Creative Lighting Tricks For Big Effects In Camera
Speaker: Seth Miranda
You’ve seen motion blur effects with a freeze, multiple exposures in a single frame, light streaks or ghostly slow shutter looks. There are virtually endless tricks like this that can happen with just one press of the shutter but how are they done and when do we apply them? In this class not only learn how to do some of these things but how they actually happen and why. More importantly how do we use these techniques to add quality to our final image rather than making the image about the tricks you happened to pull off. You can totally do this regardless of the gear, believe it or not you can do a lot with just a speedlight and some dollar store lights. Lets learn how to control the light and get what we want with a purpose rather than some happy accident.
Creative Set Design and Styling for Boudoir
Speaker: Michelle Burroughs
How to take inspiration and create amazing sets to increase bookings and market your boudoir business. We’ll cover finding inspiration, turning it into actual sets and styling, and how to get repeat clients and excited new bookings.
Curate a Killer Portfolio That Gets You Booked
Speaker: Tara Graham
Want potential clients that say “We love your style and must have you!” instead of just “What’s the price?” Does your portfolio look like it was shot by 3 different people? (I was guilty!) In the last couple years I made a few changes that were a HUGE factor in my business doubling over the pandemic. Let’s talk about how to shoot and show your work so clients are dying to work with you, and price is secondary. How to plan, shoot, and edit for consistency in various locations, lighting conditions, and across different genres and why this would even be important. Curating your work on social media and your website, and what to do when your clients don’t follow your wardrobe suggestions, or you’re stuck working with a less-than-ideal background, or you shoot a genre that just doesn’t have the same vibe as your other work. We’ll work with 1-2 RAH models and one background and brainstorm and demonstrate ways to change how we plan, shoot, and edit, in order to create images to fit the different brands and styles of those in attendance.
Customer Service that Keeps Them Coming Back
Speaker: Taylor Brumfield
If you are going to be a successful commercial photography business owner, you not only need to be able to create beautiful imagery, you ALSO need to know how to create an engaging, simplified, efficient and elevated client strategy. A client that knows exactly the “what, when, how, why and where” of their project is a client that will keep coming back. I will walk you through my funnels and social media strategies that I use to catch the clients, as well as my workflows and onboarding, production, and post production strategies that leave my clients happy, grateful and eager to come back with more work.
Defeating Your Excuse Monster
Speaker: Ayla Quellhorst
We hear the same excuses over and over again from photographers who are wanting to make it in our industry. Heck, I use to have the same ones. During this class, we are going to destroy some of the most common excuses & help you create a mindset that will allow you to defeat your own personal “excuse monster”.
Topics we will cover include:
* lack of clients & income level of clients in your market
* family and time commitments
* lack of space for shooting and sales
* creative blocks and imposter syndrome
* money and relationship blocks
* lack of portfolio and a team
Once we cover all of the above-listed topics we will be opening the floor to students. Thow your biggest excuses at us and we’ll defeat your monster together.
Do You REALLY Price Your Work Correctly? I Bet You Don’t.
Speaker: Fabio Laub
Struggling to find the correct price? That ends here.
Charging the average price on your market? not enough.
I will prove that 90% of the photographers don’t charge their work correctly, and not only that, they are loosing money.
In this class, I will share a powerful tool developed along this 25 years career that will “stop the leak” immediately!
Don’t Forget the Groom
Speaker: Mariea Rummel
Do you feel like you only have a few poses when it comes to directing your Groom? In this hands-on class you will learn how to make the Groom and Groomsmen feel at ease and give that handsome man the limelight he deserves. Then you will apply these techniques while you photograph in a smaller group for an intimate hands-on experience.
– How to put your client at ease
– Lighting techniques
Double the Pleasure – Boudoir with Couples
Speaker: Pam Fields
A quick overview of marketing, preparing, and working with couples for a boudoir session followed by an opportunity for everyone to walk away with images they can use to start or add to their couples boudoir portfolio as you are guided through posing and communicating with couples during a session.
Dynamic Lighting and Posing for Boudoir
Speaker: Shawn Black
I’ll guide you through several dynamic boudoir posing and lighting setups designed to create images that your clients will desire in their albums and on their walls. Step by step I’ll break down the poses/lighting and point out the details that take an image from just OK to wall worthy. I will discuss how incorporating just a few of these techniques will result in larger sales because clients will not only not be able to let them go from their albums, but want them displayed big and boldly on their walls.
Dynamic Portraits with 2 & 3 Light Setups
Speaker: Andre Brown
If you love what you can do with 1 light, wait til you see what we create with multiple lights.
In this hands on class I’ll teach you how to make incredible portraits with multiple light setups. These setups can are great for on location and in-studio. I’ll also share my favorite light modifiers and show you how to create stunning portraits with Gels.
Earn MO Money – Add Real Estate Photography to Your Brand
Speaker: Marc Smith
Learn what is necessary to add real estate photography to add more money to your bottom line. We’ll start with the basics of what equipment you need, how to shoot, tools for delivering your photos, and marketing to get real estate agents calling your phone. Homes don’t talk back, but agents do. We’ll get tips and insights on working with agents to build your real estate photography business.
Speaker: Brandon Hunter
20-30 minute demo on setting up and shooting a fashionable couples editorial set. Looking to do to set ups. Working with a Fashionable dress or wedding gown for the female model. Suit or tux for the male. Lighting the scene with possible gels as well. Dramatic lighting with a fashion flair for your engaged couples and wedding couples. Or just for the couple that wants to look their best and capture some art for there anniversary. 2 couples max
Facebook Advertising // How to Use One of Most Powerful Marketing Tools of Our Generation
Speaker: Sal Cincotta
Ignoring Facebook as a viable option to grow your business could be one of the biggest mistakes you will ever make. This medium, love it or hate it, gives you quick and affordable access to your customers. In this in-depth session, Sal will show you how to create ads, proven techniques and campaigns that work, and give you insight into several advertising and marketing options that will yield immediate results for your business.
Family Sessions with Wide Apertures: Debunking the FUD of Shooting at f/1.4
Speaker: Douglas Weittenhiller
Twig & Olive is back and ready to teach their most controversial subject: anyone can photograph people or even groups of people while using your lens’s widest aperture. We shot almost every portrait in our gallery in this way, and it’s not because we’re lazy or spraying-and-praying for shots to work. So if you’ve ever wanted to shoot this way but were too afraid to attempt it during client work, this class is for you!
With a small army of Rent-A-Humans™, we’ll walk through the five critical steps to using wide apertures:
• Knowing perpendicular bisectors
• Correct camera focus settings
• Distance-to-subject’s effect on depth-of-field
• The hyperlocal distance formula
• Understanding your creative intent
Then, each of our breakout groups will have a guided focus on one of these techniques to practice what you learned. Finally, we’ll put all the techniques together and practice shooting wide open.
Class note: Please bring a prime lens with an aperture of f/2 or larger for the best learning experience.
Flash Virgins 2.0: Jump in and TRY Off-Camera Flash
Speaker: Gary + Kim Evans
Let’s start with the VERY BASICS and blow the dust off your flash. This class will get your flash firing and allow your creativity to blossom. This class is aimed at beginners and we will walk you through & demonstrate off camera flash, the settings we use & the equipment you need and help you build confidence using your flash off camera. Then you’ll have a chance to practice AND TROUBLESHOOT in small groups a variety of different setups that you can confidently add to your arsenal. If you’re scared of your flash – this is the handholding you’re looking for and the answer to your prayers.
Flatlays Are Dead: Incorporating the Human Element Into Your Detail Shots
Speaker: Esteban Gil
Think about this…
Out of all the clients you have ever photographed, how many of them have used any of their flatlay images as their social media profile images? How about a cover photo?
While details are a vital aspect of our jobs, Esteban Gil will share his approach to his detail images and how he incorporates the human element into them.
Focus, Level and Shoot. How to Rock Real Estate Photographs and Create Floor Plans to Boost Sales
Speaker: Marc Smith
We will walk you through the setup and execution of a real estate shoot. What angles to shoot and why. HDR vs Flambient and what works best in different scenarios. How to use flash to light up a room. What is the ideal height to shoot real estate. Yes we are going to cover it all. You will leave armed to begin shooting real estate photography and you’ll learn how to create amazing floor plans that increase value for your clients. We’ve got you covered.
From Production to Publication – How to Weed out the Garbage
Speaker: Meredith Ryncarz
Want to see more images in print but keep getting turned down for publication. It might be that you aren’t weeding out the garbage that is weighing you down or you are submitting the wrong way or oversharing your images before you should. In this class, you will learn how to not only get published for your images but also your knowledge.
From Start To Art, Part 1: Concept | Lighting | Photography
Speaker: David Byrd
“I just want to step into your mind and see what you see!” Alright, you’ve asked for it and if you are ready to click your heels, then so am I. We’ll begin with a demo on how I use mood boards and emotion lists to set the concept of the session. I’ll show you my best practices on building that mood board and setting the SIX images we need to tell the story. Then we setup the lights, place our subject and go through the process of capturing the photography of this adventure. Even though this entire class is a demonstration, you’ll play a big part in this as we see the shots, refine them TOGETHER and work to create art, not portraits. This class will teach you how to:
1.) Create a concept
2.) Setup the lighting that you can use in all genres (including light meters and gels)
3.) Pose/Guide your model to EMOTE and tell the STORY
4.) Flow with your client and let them COLLABORATE with you
5.) Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling
From Start to Art, Part 2: Create Art Not Portraits
Speaker: David Byrd
The pose is the key to creating art, not portraits and seems to be the first major challenge we face (in any genre) once we get past all the technical stuff of lighting, camera settings, etc. The SECRET to creating dynamic posing is to know the STORY of what you are trying to capture, in any given session. In this hybrid class we are going to generate three poses that are the go-to/typical looks for a high-school senior, a boudoir and a fine-art subject. We’ll look at their clothing, their props, the shapes they can make and then connect them to each other. Can the go to pose of a female boudoir client, be tweaked and put upon a high-school senior male client? Can the flowing dress of a fine-art client inspire a similar STORY put upon the other subjects in this class? Yes – yes it can. In this class you’ll learn about:
1.) Posing that isn’t static and flat
2.) Lighting patterns applicable to all genres of photography
3.) Composition of your images that work with the lighting, the posing to create story – to create art
Then a handful of students will be selected (at random) to step into each of the three photography bays and capture frames while I work with them to fine-tune their vision.