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.

SF24 Class Lineup

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High End Maternity Lighting

Speaker: Kelsey Freeman

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Lighting can make or break your image, so learning to get it right in camera helps immensely. We’ll cover many different lighting setups and techniques to take your work to the next level. You’ll learn how to control your environment so you can bring your vision to life!

High Fashion Maternity Portraits

Speaker: Andre Brown

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

In this course, you’ll learn how to create stunning and memorable maternity portraits with a high fashion edge. Through hands-on demonstrations, you’ll learn the key principles of high-fashion maternity photography, including posing, lighting, and styling. You’ll discover how to use lighting to create dramatic and sophisticated portraits, and how to pose clients to create sexy portraits and even create stunning silhouettes. By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills and confidence to create high-fashion maternity portraits that will delight your clients and set you apart from other photographers.

How To Dominate Bridal Shows

Speaker: Rey Benasfre

Lecture   

Beginner, All Skill Levels   

When I moved to SoCal (the wedding capital of the west coast) in 2021, I had to re-establish my business and stand out in the most saturated market FAST. Bridal shows did that for me in less than a year. If you feel like bridal shows aren’t working for you then you might be doing them wrong. In this class I’ll show you how I consistently convert almost $20-$30k worth of business at each show. We’ll cover:

Planning
Marketing Material
Set-up
How to attract and collect leads
Engaging couples
How to follow up with leads using funnels
How to work with vendors
How to stand out
Key things you need to be saying to every couple
How to start if you’re completely new to this
… and how to automate everything!

We’ll have a live booth set-up so you can see a demonstration of how we do it at every bridal show. I will also go over step by step how to set up your automations.

How To Get It All Done… And Then Some

Speaker: Vanessa Joy

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

I have two kids, a hubby, run a house and two full time businesses… and still find time to cook and clean. At least that’s what you might think from my Instagram. Come learn how I really get it all done while keeping my sanity and my clients happy.

You’ll learn:
– tricks to streamlining and outsourcing
– my organizational ways of keeping track of everything
– the absolute TRUTH of what my life looks like, and where you should set goals and expectations for yours

How To Make A Six Figure Income With Enter To Win Engagements

Speaker: Stephen Johnson

Lecture   

Intermediate   

Jumpstart your business or take your floundering studio and start making a 6 figure income in your studio by using the Enter to Win model. Learn how Stephen went from being on the brink of looking for a new job and filing for un-employment to having a solid six-figure annual income.

We’ll walk through the progression from consultation all the way through IPS and everything in between, including:

  • mock consults
  • what we tell them on the call, emails, during the session, and at the IPS.
  • How Stephen handles editing and can photograph 30 couples a month with only one employee
  • outsourcing editing
  • having a virtual studio manager
  • the tools to automate and to make it happen seamlessly.

How To Make Ai Your Best New Business Employee

Speaker: Rey Benasfre

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

AI is here and many are wondering if it will be a disruptor in their business by allowing clients to edit their own headshots or epic portraits without hiring a photographer for a session. We’ve seen disruptors come time and time again in every business industry and AI is the one that will change all of them. Now is not the time to ignore it or let it become a disruptor. Learning how to use it to your business advantage has to start now. In this class I will cover all of the ways I have already been using AI technology for my photography business. Most people already know about culling and editing with AI. We’ll cover this, the different programs, and how to use it effectively. We’ll also cover how to use it for marketing, automating emails, lead responses, scheduling meetings/sessions on your calendars, blog writing, planning, setting it all up and more. It’s an exciting time and I’m sure this will open up a lot of exciting discussions at the end of the class.

How To See The Big Picture!

Speaker: Josh Russell

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Do you know how to tell a story with your photography, or are you just taking a picture? In this hands on “photo walk” style class you will learn how to capture a photo that tells you more than just who’s in the picture. You’ll learn how to read composition, learn how to guide a viewers eye with leading lines, and how to see locations in a new perspective. This class is great for anybody who wants to learn how to take photos that will set you apart from others in your area.

How To Shoot 5K Headshots A Year

Speaker: Gary Hughes

Lecture   

Intermediate   

Headshot photography is a booming business, but it’s not always clear how to break into it. Photographers who have spent years focusing on weddings and portraits struggle with how to price, bid, and manage large-scale headshot jobs for huge companies. What should you charge? What paperwork do you need in place? How the heck do you book those jobs when the inquiries come in? In this Shutterfest exclusive class, Gary will unravel everything you need to know about how to break into AND stay in the volume headshot business.

How To Shoot Epic Milky Way Portraits

Speaker: Rey Benasfre

Lecture   

Intermediate   

In this class I will teach you how to photograph human subjects underneath the Milky Way stars to make amazing one of a kind portraits! It’s not as easy as a normal portrait session and there are many things to consider. I will cover first how to photograph the Milky Way, how to plan for this type of shoot, how to communicate with and pose your subjects in order to get the best results, and using off-camera flash techniques for the sharpest images. Imagine being at a wedding in the mountains underneath the stars and being able to do this for your couple? Sure, you can Photoshop in a night sky but it makes a difference when you show your clients the back screen and they see the magic of capturing it in-camera. After this class you will have a skill that will set you apart from many photographers in your area.

Illuminate Your Creativity: Discover The Art Of Studio Portrait Lighting!

Speaker: Miguel Quiles

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of captivating studio portrait lighting and take your photography skills to the next level? Join us for an immersive workshop designed to ignite your creativity and transform your portraits into stunning works of art.

During this immersive session, you’ll learn how to expertly manipulate light to create mesmerizing effects, shape moods, and emphasize the unique qualities of your subjects. Through a combination of theory & practical demonstrations, you’ll master the art of sculpting light, creating depth, and capturing the essence of your subjects like never before.

Inclusion In Digital Spaces For Photographers

Speaker: Myrna Daramy

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

If your photography brand incorporates inclusion as a core value, then this session is for you! Simply adding alt text to your images on your website is not enough. In fact, more and more small businesses are targeted to pay thousands towards lawsuits demanding to make their websites more accessible.

During this session, Myrna will share her insight on what your photography business needs to know about ADA Compliance, digital accessibility, and some easy actions you can take to protect your business and create a digitally inclusive brand.

Inclusive Photography Is For Everyone

Speaker: Erik Wheeler

Hands-On   

Intermediate   

Do you want to become a specialist and known as the go to photographer for inclusive sessions? Do you know how to accommodate clients who use mobility aids? Learn about the studio considerations, background options, lighting choices, posing guides, and styling tips & tricks that will open doors for your photography. These can be applied to every genre of portrait photography from families to weddings to boudoir.

This class will dive into what accessibility and inclusion cover and why its is a concern to photographers. You can expand your client base and experience the joy of providing unique photography experiences to them.

Bring your camera, favorite portrait lens, and be ready to expand your comfort zone. We will be working on photographing a variety of subjects and situations. You will be able to take home both images for your portfolio and knowledge to expand your photography skills.

Introducing OCF Compositing Techniques Into Your Couples Photography

Speaker: Jesse Rinka

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate, Advanced   

If you are a wedding photographer and you have never created OCF composites before, then perhaps it’s because you feel there may be too much involved in order to do so. Allow me to change your mind and put you on the path to creating images with elevated visual interest. By using straightforward techniques and just one light, we can shift our creative mindset to allow us way more opportunities to WOW our clients and introduce new types of images into our portfolios. I guarantee you that the majority of photographers in your local market are probably not doing this, so why not take the initiative to stand out.

We will start off by having an in-depth discussion on OCF Composites and I will show you examples I have created using the technique that I will teach. We will also go over the Post-Production workflow that is involved in order to produce the final result. After we cover the required material, we will head out and create some OCF Composites with an engagement couple.

Ips And Knowing When To Shut Up

Speaker: Heather Larkin

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Let’s talk about pricing and presentation, then you’ll sit in on an actual REAL sales appointment and listen to what I say and how I present images.
-overcome your fear of IPS
-build a price sheet that works
-understand how to limit choices any why it works
-learn how to shut up and why talking more can lower your sales.

Late-Night Gel-O-Rama: Turn Ordinary Scenes Into Extraordinary Results

Speaker: Michael Anthony

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Get ready to ignite your creativity and join us for the extraordinary Late-Night Gel-O-Rama, where you’ll learn to transform mundane scenes into breathtaking visual masterpieces! During this class you will harness the power of off-camera lighting and gels to breathe life into ordinary surroundings and elevate your photography to new heights. No more dull backdrops or lackluster compositions; we’ll reveal the secrets to infusing your images with vibrant, complimentary colors and captivating light play. Embrace this exhilarating journey that will challenge your skills and spark your imagination. Are you prepared to reinvent the ordinary? Sign up now and let your creativity soar!

LED Lighting Is So Easy, Even Your Mom Can Do It!

Speaker: Ning Wong

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Everyone uses flash nowadays for portraits, but did you know you can use LED lighting equally well? The best part is, you’ll be able to visually see how the light will affect your subject as you change it! LED lights have improved dramatically over the years, and I’d love to show how you can use everything, from bare LED’s to modified LED’s to create the shot you want.

If off camera flash scares you, come to my hands-on LED class! You’ll learn:

  • How to use LED lights in any lighting situation
  • Use LED lighting to see your shot “live”
  • What different modifiers do to your lighting

Since this is hands-on class, you’ll walk away with images that you can use for your portfolio. Please bring your camera, and preferably a long lens, such as a 70-200. You won’t need a trigger since it’s LED lighting! We can all shoot at once!

Let’S Get Your Social Media Making You Money

Speaker: Kiamarie Lambert

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

If your social media presence and brand aren’t in order; then it will never benefit your bank account. Although word of mouth will always be your number one marketing tool, social media such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook Reels and even your website need to be consistent and informative. Let’s chat about what potential clients are looking for, what can grab their attention as soon as they discover your account and what you should be doing to gain a bigger audience that converts to paid bookings. Turn those DM’s into dollars and get your online presence in order right after my class!

Let’s Make It Dark! – Creating Dark and Spooky Images

Speaker: Laura Dark

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

A hands-on photography class with Laura Dark that’s all about having a good time while diving into the world of moody and mysterious visuals! We’ll be playing with cool gothic designer outfits, rocking stylish accessories, and spicing things up with props against a custom backdrop. From chatting about styling tricks to nailing the right lighting, we’ll cover it all in a laid-back vibe. Plus, you won’t just be nodding along – get your cameras ready because you’ll have a chance to snap some awesome shots with our model. It’s a fun mix of learning and doing, perfect for anyone who wants to add a touch of dark magic to their photography game!

Let’s Shoot Houses! Real Estate Photography From Scratch!

Speaker: Fabio Laub

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Let’s use this amazing hotel as our “model” and learn how to shoot Real Estate Photography!
Learn the best angles, equipment, lighting and all the tricks to get images that help realtors sell faster and better, creating a constant flow of business close to your home.
(And that will bring you a bunch of headshot business on the way…)

Let’S Spice It Up! Photography For The Modern Foodie

Speaker: Kristina McCaleb

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

The art of food photography is everywhere. This class you will learn food styling and composition techniques that are used to draw the viewer in close. In addition to technical skills, we will emphasize the importance of storytelling and creating a narrative with food photography. How to use props, backgrounds, textures, colors, shapes, everyday cookware and other elements to create a cohesive visual story that captures the essence of the food being photographed. This class is perfect for beginner and experienced photographers who want to take their food photography skills to the next level.

Let’s Take Banger Portraits!

Speaker: Josh Russell

Hands-On   

Intermediate, Advanced   

So we know how to take a good photo…… but do you know how to take a BANGER?! Josh will show you how to take epic portraits using a mixture of ambient and off camera flash in this “photo walk” style class that is sure to fill your portfolio with photos that will get you booked! This is great for anybody who shoots senior photography, fashion portraits, models, and even weddings. It’s all about lighting, composition and creating a natural yet epic feel to a photo!

Let’s Make Quinceañeras Great Again

Speaker: Rafael Serrano & Miguel Ocque

Hands-On   

Intermediate, Advanced   

In this class we will show students how they can apply our #2bEpic system : com+pose+lighting = EPIC to stand in a very crowd Quinceañera market

Level Up Your Engagement Portfolio – Now!

Speaker: Jen Stitt

Hands-On   

Beginner   

Stuck in the same old stuffy poses? Need new images to build your engagement session portfolio? Just love capturing love? This hands-on photo walk will get you all the material you need to rebuild your portfolio or share on social media to attract new couples. Jen will setup and demo each pose and get everyone photographing the entire session to have a great variety of images to build a new base of samples for the engagement side of your business.

Here is what you will walk away with:
1. Five go-to poses
2. New portfolio images
3. Variety of on-location backdrops (be prepared to walk around)
4. Natural Light & Strobe
5. Bonus: how to evoke emotion from your engagement couples

Attendees should bring camera, reflector, lights, or any other creative tools. To provide the best variety of portfolio images, please be prepared to move around inside/outside. Kindly dress accordingly for whatever STL weather brings us.

Light Meter Vs. Eye Meter. Let’S Get This Sh*!T Right.

Speaker: Fernando Ordonez

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate, Advanced   

Light meters are the most powerful tools, If you are beginner, intermediate or a professional photographer and you want to capture the perfect exposure every time, there is no reason why you can’t use a light meter, In this comprehensive class, we will explore the mysterious world of light metering and reveal the key to unlocking the full potential of this essential tool. You’ll learn how to use it effectively and consistently achieve stunning results in your images. My goal is that you understand the importance of this tool and the easiest way to use it.

Lighting & Posing For Personal Brand Photography

Speaker: Mena Darré

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Get ready to learn my 2-step framework that will elevate your clients’ personal brand photos! In this class, we’ll cover camera gear, OCF, natural light, and continuous lighting. In addition to learning the key poses and props to capture the essence of your client’s brand.

Lighting For Boudoir

Speaker: Craig La Mere

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate, Advanced   

I will teach you simple lighting techniques to create amazing and dramatic boudoir images.

Lighting Outdoors, Rain Or Shine!

Speaker: Jenn Lewis

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Do you only photograph on perfect days, and cancel when it’s too overcast? Are you stuck only shooting during golden hour because you’re scared to photograph in the bright sun? Are you able to produce excellent images no matter the weather? Join Jenn as she creates images with off camera flash in whatever weather we’re given during this class! She’ll show you how she would determine where to photograph based on the sun, wind, clouds, or anything else we might have. She’ll also give posing tips that she uses in sessions for her high school seniors. Gain confidence in your ability to handle any situation.

Lighting Rules & How to Break Them

Speaker: Gary Box

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

If we break a rule for a creative reason, that is where art comes from. If we break a rule out of ignorance, that is where crap comes from. Gary will walk you through classic lighting rules and when and how to break them. From the basics, he will dive into advanced concepts like how to balance off camera flash to the ambient so it looks natural and beautiful, not flashy.

Lighting The Groom And Groomsmen Like A Badass: Advanced Compositing And Lighting Techniques For The Forgotten Half

Speaker: Esteban Gil

Hands-On   

Advanced   

In this class, Esteban Gil will teach you some advance lighting techniques that will ensure you get some baddass photos of the groom and his groomsmen! Learn how to complete a moody group composite of the groomsmen in under 5 minutes. Posing, lighting, directing are all things that are essential to a successful portrait session and Esteban Will teach you every single one of those.

Sometimes, all it takes is one light to create some badass portraits and this class will do just that!

Gear needed: One light, light stand and a single modifier

Lighting The Human Form

Speaker: Eric Burke

Live Demonstration   

Advanced   

Due to its overwhelming success last year, we’re bringing back Lighting the Human Form, incorporating valuable lessons from our first offering to make this class better than ever!

Lighting the Human Form revolves around the concept of studio lighting for figurative art. While this often translates to fine art nude photography in my work, it can also encompass boudoir, bodyscapes, fitness, maternity, and more. Each of these genres celebrates the human form, utilizing light, shadows, and posing to convey timeless stories of the human condition, stories that persist even in the age of AI.

During the live-demonstration photoshoot, I’ll tether my camera to the projector, allowing everyone to witness the shoot unfold in real-time. You’ll learn innovative lighting techniques and observe firsthand how I guide individuals through posing, regardless of their experience.

While I utilize an array of light modifiers, such as reflectors, strip boxes, umbrellas, optical spots/snoots, projectors, and custom-designed 3D-printed accessories, this class is about more than just mastering equipment. The true essence of this class lies in learning how to create emotionally resonant and impactful images, using these tools to elevate your artistry.

Photographing boudoir, bodyscapes, or fine art nudes is an advanced skill, requiring mastery of not only the photography gear but also the ability to conduct shoots in a manner that instills confidence, safety, and empowerment in your subjects. By participating in Lighting the Human Form, I hope you’ll gain firsthand insights into how I’ve learned to work with people, producing truly remarkable images.

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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!