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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Love, Marriage.. and Business

Speaker: Phillip and Eileen Blume

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

In a reprise of their popular, first-time class at Shutterfest 2022, the Blumes are back to dig into relationship dynamics at work: After 14 years working together as a full-time photographer duo, the Blumes have learned a thing or two about making it all work — from misadventures in miscommunication, to defining unique roles within the studio, to balancing life in order to homeschool and travel the world with three young kids. Experiencing heartaches and triumphs along the way, the Blumes are no strangers to big challenges. But they believe their greatest successes are a result of sacrifice! Join them for an open-book look into the real life of one photographer couple.

MacGyver-ize Your Marketing Videos

Speaker: Jen Rutledge

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

It’s been said that an image is worth a thousand words. For a video, multiply that by another thousand. Short form video continues to rule the marketing world. This class is for photographers that don’t necessarily want to be a videographer, but DO want to include short form video in their toolbox. I will demonstrate how I use short form video with my Senior Portrait clients, but the information is easily adaptable to any genre of photography.

Walk away skills:
• How to create a simple story line.
• 5 essential shots to capture.
• How to switch between stills and video efficiently and creatively.
• Ways to use short form video in marketing and in sales.
• Overview of editing final short form video using simple (aka free) software.

This is a demo class with BONUS hands-on practice. We aren’t striving for perfection in this class, but we will run drills so you can recreate the shots on your own.

Gear suggested: #1 – Camera with video capability. Bring your favorite camera & lens you use for portraits. #2 – Basic knowledge of how to access your video functions on your camera. Please read your manual or find a youtube video so you are prepared to record. #3 – Tripod or monopod (video trip/monood recommended, but standard tripod will work).

Extra Credit: If you register for this class, sign up for the FB group so you can come to class properly prepared to absorb a massive amount of MacGyverized Tips! Please message me with any questions. I want you to have a successful learning experience, and I’m here to help!

Macros & Mugshots

Speaker: Newborn Nerds

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Newborns don’t always sleep, and that’s okay! We’ll demonstrate how to get those adorable awake photos and timeless detail shots to get baby worn out before sleepy poses.

Making the Leap – Going Full Time in Photography

Speaker: Gary Hughes

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Did you know that half of the attendees at every photography conference are aspiring to be a full time pro? If that sounds like you, this is the class you want. What does it take to cut the cord from your day job and become a full time professional? Here’s what you’ll learn:

– The big mistakes you want to avoid when going full time
– Making a plan, setting goals, and turning a profit
– Creating a message, finding your audience, and filling your calendar
– Marketing for photographers, how to get the right clients without getting overwhelmed
– Studio or no studio? Breaking down the numbers
– Managing fear and taking calculated risks

For more than 15 years, Gary Hughes has been working as a full time photographer and has managed to help countless others do the same. No sales pitch, no bullshit, just real talk on the business of photography and what it takes to succeed.

Men Like it Hot Too – Getting Started in Men’s Boudoir

Speaker: Pam Fields

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

I’ll walk you though some quick tips and pointers for getting started with men’s boudoir from marketing to men, establishing your brand voice, and of course, posing and directing men. Then, there will be an opportunity for everyone to work with male models and walk away with images you can use to start or add to your men’s boudoir portfolio as you are guided through directing, posing, and getting images your clients will love!

More Than The Mom | How to Pose Your Maternity Couples To Set Your Self Apart

Speaker: Karen and Andrew Bagley

Live Demonstration   

Beginner   

Over half of our maternity clients coming in are having sessions with their Significant Other. It’s not always just the about soon-to-be mom. This is often an overlooked subject many photographers struggle with. How to break the mold on posing your maternity clients with their significant other, creating unique and powerful images they both are proud to be in. How we mix it up to provide not just variety for our clients but dynamic images of both mom and her partner.

What you will learn

• How starting with your pre-session consult well in advance will help prepare for their significant others wardrobe too
• Their level of attire should match the couture looks we are offering mom. No more just shorts and a t-shirt
• How to pose couples to provide variety with more than having their spouse holding moms belly
• Dynamic and unique posing so they both match the high level portraiture we want to provide
• No more struggling to pose maternity couples together. Watch our quick and efficient posing workflow to get the most diversity in our images, and proving art they are both proud to be in

Newborn + Family Studio Posing

Speaker: Newborn Nerds

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Learn how to confidently pose a newborn with the whole family. We’ll demonstrate a couple of different ways to pose a newborn with Mom, Dad and siblings.

Next Level Branding Sessions. Create an Epic Client Experience That Leads to Higher Sales

Speaker: Shelly Niehaus

Lecture   

Intermediate, Advanced   

A professional branding session will bring a consistent visual message to your client’s business. Creating a customized branding experience is key to helping your clients have endless content creation for their website and social media platforms. This class will help you do a deep dive into your client’s needs by starting with the end in mind.

This class will cover:
1. The power of a client questionnaire/consult to help them write their story and discover how they want to present themselves online.
2. The importance of educating your clients on the power of a personal brand. Teach them how to effectively use their images to connect with their audience, position them as the go-to professional, and peel back the curtain on their business.
3. Developing a shot list to maximize sales.
4. Working with clients over 40 to educate them about online marketing and how to maximize their new imagery.

No Girls Allowed

Speaker: Lisa Jones

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

If you are a high school senior photographer and you are NOT photographing the guys… you are missing out! At least half of my seniors are guys and many are opting for studio only sessions. I prefer working with senior guys over the girls any day!!! I will show you how to create bad ass images of the guys that will have them walking away feeling like a GQ Model and have their Mom’s in tears! (Tears equal sales) Some of the things that will be discussed in this class are:
• Why I prefer working with senior guys
• How to style senior guys
• Posing for senior guys
• How to change up your lighting during the session to create different and dramatic images the guys will love
• Specific lighting patterns I use only with the guys
• How to direct the expression
• How to incorporate the senior’s sports or hobbies into their sessions
• Specific images that sell
• Printed products that sell
• How to get bookings

One Light, Many Looks, More Sales!

Speaker: Scott Detweiler

Hands-On   

Intermediate   

In this class, we show how a single studio strobe can be used to create a large variety of different looks, fast. The goal is to work quickly so each client reaches their maximum potential of sellable images as quickly as possible by changing some of our variables as we shoot. As we work with our model, you will be able to watch the resulting images on the projected screen to build and expand your client workflow.

Learn how to manipulate one light and a few modifiers for numerous looks
Explore lighting positions and adjust the mood for unique looks that stand out from the natural light crowd
Approachable to those just learning to light as well as those looking to expand their skills to increase revenue
Learn techniques to increase your total number of sellable images per client session

Performing Under Pressure! Can You Create in Chaos?

Speaker: Fabio Laub

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Is it possible to create incredible images when the bride is super late? when the DJ fills the dance floor with smoke? When the wedding planner on your heels because it’s taking too long? Posing is for beginners, LOL. I want to see those incredible shots you take in chaotic situations!

Pets on Parade

Speaker: Kay Eskridge

Hands-On   

Advanced   

Let’s bark up a new tree this year and join me in a round robin type of multi-bay, multiple style lighting and background sets using all types of critters than bark, meow, crawl, fly and slither. You’ll leave this session with confidence in different lighting techniques and how to handle all types of pets. Building a portfolio with images you can duplicate back at your studio is the goal . . . getting creative and having FUN is the mission!

Posing & Lighting For Personal Brand Photography

Speaker: Mena Darré

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Participants will learn my go to methods for posing and lighting for a personal brand photoshoot. We will discuss the importance of understanding your client so you can deliver the appropriate photos they need for marketing. We will discuss headshots, call to action shots, and how to scout locations and choosing the appropriate props. This class will incorporate lighting that can be used in the studio and on location along with natural lighting. Students should bring a camera trigger if they are interested in practicing OCF.

Projection Shootout

Speaker: Eric Burke

Hands-On   

Beginner   

This wildly successful light projection class from Shutterfest 2022 is back, better than ever before! Like before, we’ll provide two shooting bays with plenty of time for every attendee to capture unique images using digital projectors, colorful LED tube lights, and a range of props. When you arrive, a scannable QR code will bring up a web page with all the recommended camera settings as well as model contact information, ensuring a smooth start for everyone.

There will be two shooting bays, one with a black background and a second with a white background, which is all new for 2023.

Every attendee can choose from a HUGE array of images to project along with an infinite number of dynamic patterns like lines, fractals, geometric shapes, words, and more. My software will be improved with presets, allowing each attendee to choose their custom look faster than ever before.

For the first time ever, I will release portions of my custom light projection software as a web app that runs on Windows, Mac, and even iPads.

Attendees should bring their favorite camera and lens: 35mm, 50mm, 24-70mm are all excellent choices. f2.8 is ideal, f4 is good too.

Rise Above with the Sun Above – Bridal Portraits in Tough Light

Speaker: Jesse Rinka

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

I don’t know about you but pretty much every single time my brides step outside for bridal portraits during bride prep, the sun is in a less than ideal position in the sky. It’s just the nature of the beast here in New York. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit and cry about it. Learn how to push through those moments and still create stunning portraits. Diffusion and Off-Camera Flash will get you to the promise land. Don’t leave her prep location with nothing but excuses, leave with beautiful images and all of her confidence in your abilities.

This is going to be hands-on so right after an intro and brief lesson, you WILL BE shooting. Come prepared with your favorite camera/lens combo for bridal portraits. I will supply the diffusers and lighting. I am a Flashpoint Creator so Flashpoint and Godox triggers will work with the lights that I will have available. I will also have a few triggers to pass around as well (Sony, Nikon, Canon) for those who do not have one.

*** As we can’t control the weather, in the event that we end up with either complete overcast or rain, we will still cover the theory of the course and discuss ways to overcome difficult mid-day light during the beginning but will then shift our focus to posing and composition while photographing the bride.

Rock Your Bridal Shows!

Speaker: Jewels Gray

Live Demonstration   

Beginner   

Bridal shows can be expensive and intimidating! I’ll bring my booth set up and let you have an interactive experience how I run it, what I say, and the follow up to get the most bang for your buck at bridal shows.

Rock Your Styled Shoots!

Speaker: Jewels Gray

Lecture   

Beginner   

When I first started in the wedding industry, I had nothing to show potential clients – no images, no product. Styled shoots are a GREAT way to get started and build your portfolio! The benefits are endless and in this class I will show you how I come up with concepts, get other vendors to work with me, plan and execute the shoot, and get published.

S/HE is ALL THAT!!

Speaker: Zsa'nee Gaines

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

EVERYONE is a CELEBRITY!!!

Most photographers underestimate their clients. The question is why?

Photographing for many years you always here I’m not that photogenic, I’m awkward in front of the camera, I don’t like my smile, I don’t like the way that I look, and the most favorite of all time is I need to lose weight. I completely disagree with every single one of these statements. I think everyone is photogenic and I think everyone belongs in front of the camera. My goal for this class is to show you how to bring out the best in your client without overthinking it.

Let’s really think about this and break this down. Your clients feel this way because they’ve had a photography experience before you. Regardless if it was a family portrait, senior portraits, headshots, or anything. You have the opportunity to change their mindset and gain a client for life.

During this class, we are going to break down the walls and the phobias that your clients may have while at the same time allowing them to enjoy themselves and create some amazing images.

We will bring a SEXY – ENERGETIC – HOLLYWOOD VIBE to this scene.
We will use various lighting styles from edgy to soft.

My goal is for you to see your client as more than an average face but one that deserves notice and attention. Show them how you see them and they will in return bring the whole neighborhood back to you.

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

Sculpting Your Subject With Light

Speaker: Seth Miranda

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Lighting your model is a lot more than just pointing, praying & cheering when you get a decent exposure. What if we wanted to get more dimension? or maybe flatten it all out for an aesthetic? Highlight midtone and yes shadows are powerful tools we have at our fingertips as photographers. We can control and use light to shape our subject to bring out, emphasize, or even hide features as well as create an over all perception of them. You will be surprised how elevated your shots become when you start refining all those subtle details in light causing them to all to add up to a final image.

Secrets Of A Professional Portrait Photographer

Speaker: Miguel Quiles

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

After 11 years as a professional portrait photographer, Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles has learned a lot of tips and tricks that help him consistently create great images that sell. In this lecture, Miguel will open his playbook to show you all of the things he’s learned that you rarely if ever hear about that lead to true results!

Secure The Bag With Email Marketing

Speaker: Mena Darré

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Participants will learn how to get started with email marketing and the role it plays with client retention. We will discuss lead magnets, pop ups, email marketing terminology, subject lines, the type of emails to send, and how email marketing can even help win over new potential clients. My goal for participants is to be able to walk away with ideas for lead generators, welcome series, and general emails that can be sent to continue the client relationship. Towards the end of class I will set up someones FloDesk account.

Senior 411

Speaker: Jason Weaver

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

SEO: the Good, the Bad, and the Not So Sexy

Speaker: Myrna Daramy

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Although SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization) has gotten a bad wrap over the years, you cannot ignore it if you want to have a successful business.
In this session, we are going to demystify SEO and discuss the good, the bad, and the not-so-sexy elements as well as review 3 MA JOR actions you can take TODAY that will lead you towards SEO success.

Set a Base, Light the Face

Speaker: Gary Box

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Walk through the process of balancing the ambient light with off camera flash. What size light? Where does it go? What power does it go on? All of these questions and more will be answered! Learn to make your off-camera flash look natural and not too flashy!

Shoot, Design, Build AND SELL Sports Posters

Speaker: Matthew "The Body" Kemmetmueller

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

In this class we will start with a live demonstration of how we photograph thousands of young athletes for posters! We will talk through photographing inside and out, the gear we use and how to pose and light subjects for posters.

The second half of the class we will discuss how to conceptualize a poster and start building it from the ground up. We will go through Lightroom, Photoshop and background removal software!

Anyone who wants to learn about the highly competitive sports poster world will walk away with a complete playbook making them ready to get into the game.

Shooting in Low Light – Natural, On-Camera and Off-Camera Flash

Speaker: Vanessa Joy

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Are you struggling when you don’t have ideal lighting situations? This class will show you how to shoot in low light, choosing the best camera settings, and best lighting setups for shooting natural, on-camera and off-camera flash. Then we’ll dive into how to edit the photos so they look their best, and eliminate potential problems.

Shooting to Upsell

Speaker: Andre Brown

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Have you ever missed a sale because you didn’t have enough content? I know I have. Whether canvas cluster or wedding album often times photographers are leaving money on the table simply because you haven’t considered the sale ahead of time. In this lecture I’ll share my process for shooting to upsell your clients from 30 to 50 page albums, a single canvas to complete wall collections. Join me to learn how to add another 15-20% on your next IPS Sale.

ShutterFest Filmmakers Unite!

Speaker: Josh and Jen Thompson

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Are you ready to be a part of the elite team that captures the story of Shutterfest like no other? In this course Josh and Jen will break down the shot list provided by Sal and his team, create a plan of attack to assure that every requested shot is executed, show examples of good and bad shots that will get you on and off Sal’s naughty list, and get you out shooting!

This class doesn’t end when the time is up. You will be shooting all conference long. There are some awesome perks as well that will make your friends jealous, but you’ll need to come to this class to find out more!

Gear Required – Camera must be able to shoot 4K

Slay Your Lane: How to Effectively Work With Your Spouse (Or Team) And Not Murder Them

Speaker: Gary + Kim Evans

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Gary: You will learn to do everything your wife says
Kim: In this class we will provide a glimpse into how we structure our office/working relationship, effective communication tools and workflows to prevent conflict and allow both our skills to shine. We’ll focus on setting boundaries, clearly defining your roles and responsibilities, trusting each other with handouts and takeaways to take your working (and personal) relationship to the next level.

So…you Want to Be a Wedding Filmmaker?

Speaker: Josh and Jen Thompson

Live Demonstration   

Beginner   

Join Josh and Jen as they take you on the journey of launching your own wedding filmmaking business! Starting with how to nurture the lead from the website all the way until it blossoms into an amazing wedding film that the client will love for generations to come! They’ll break down the technical stuff, like specific setups they use throughout the wedding day starting with hair and makeup, ceremony, creatives, and the reception. Last but not least, they will take you through tried and true methods of editing wedding films, including audio tweaks and color grading! Come ready to learn and take lots of notes as this will be an information overloaded class!

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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!