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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Spice Up Your Online Presence

Speaker: Abbie Gowin

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Are you ready to break out of the “photographer’s brand” mold & add a kick to your little corner of the internet? Instead of looking like every other photographer out there, start elevating your online presence & attracting ideal clients! In this class, you will learn:

-The most underused marketing tactic
-How to interject your personality without making it unprofessional
-The top 3 areas on your website and social media that you need to update right now
-Tips for taking on-brand self-portraits (or swapping with a friend!)
-Common content ideas you can punch up to be more fun
-How to keep your audience engaged online
-Finding the personal traits/hobbies about yourself that would be relatable to your audience

Sporty Seniors and Other Props

Speaker: Dan Dalstra

Hands-On   

Intermediate   

High School athletes spend 4 years working their asses off to be the best athletes they can be… why not give them incredible portraits that reflect their dedication and hard work? We will use multi-point lighting and color gels to create dynamic portraits that the students will love and the parents will buy. The same techniques can be used for seniors who want to show off their hobbies or other interests as well.

Step into the Sun – Bring the Light to Your Natural Light Portraits

Speaker: Jen Stitt

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

If only we could control the weather – we’d be millionaires. However, using the right tools and techniques we no longer have to be at the whim of the cruel bitch which is ‘Mother Nature’! Join Jen as she teaches how with with an off-camera flash, a few gels, and a trigger you can become a rockstar to your clients who desire a bit of sunshine on their cloudy day portraits. Jen will show that by using off-camera flash to simulate the sun (and other environmental sources of light) you can take control of the environment creating highly dramatic imagery, while also simulating and enhancing natural light photography. This hands on class will showcase how to bring the sun into your imagery using off-camera flash and gels while exemplifying how to work with models to highlight the use of the “sun” all while giving you the chance to create portfolio worthy imagery.

Students should bring their camera and personal off-camera flash equipment (i.e., flash capable of being operated via trigger, trigger, etc.)

Stop Being Shy & Start Posing Your Couples!

Speaker: Kiamarie Stone

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

If posing scares you like it used to scare me when I started shooting weddings – then this class is for you! Together we will direct, interact, joke with & capture our couples to make them feel cared for, properly captured and comforted on the day of their wedding while having a little fun!

Stop Dragging Your Feet and Drag Your Shutter

Speaker: Jesse Rinka

Hands-On   

Intermediate, Advanced   

If you’re tired of producing mediocre images when the lights get low, then this hands-on course is for you. There is so much opportunity to elevate your work by understanding how to execute a proper shutter drag. So stop dragging your feet down Boring Street, become more confident pulling your couples outside at night and leave them in awe as we create long exposures that will allow your work to stand out from everyone else’s in your market.

Aside from an intro and some educating on technique, this will very much be a hands-on shooting course. Bring your cameras and lenses (ideally 24-70 range or wider) and let’s make magic happen together! I’d love to be outside for this one so be prepared for an April night in St. Louis and dress accordingly. If it rains, then we’ll just bring the heat indoors!!

*** I personally don’t use tripods and I don’t plan on bringing any, so if you lack confidence in your ability to shoot long exposures without one, please come prepared.

Stop Getting Ghosted! (And How to Manage Other Difficult Client Issues)

Speaker: Abbie Gowin

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

There’s nothing worse than providing a thorough response (+ follow ups) to an inquiry only to hear crickets. Well… other than maybe a client asking when their gallery will be ready for the 100th time in 24 hours. Give yourself the tools to minimize these bumps in the road & the confidence to know EXACTLY how to handle a problem when it arises! In this class, you will learn:

-Top reasons you’re getting ghosted & how to fix them
-How to create a client workflow that provides an awesome experience
-Managing client expectations
-Common communication mistakes to avoid
-How to say “no” without ever saying it (and when you might need to)
-The structure of a well-rounded response to ANY client issue
-Handling client objections & winning them back over
-Putting an end to the dreaded question, “when will my images be ready?!”

Stop Hiding! We’re Shooting Portraits at High Noon

Speaker: Justin Haugen

Hands-On   

Beginner, Intermediate   

“We’re only available between 11am and 1pm that day. Thanks!” Do those words fill you with fear and rage at the same time? It’s time to stop running from the most hated time of day for a photo session and learn how to make this light work with you and not against you.

In this hands-on class, attendees will learn:

• Where to find locations with flattering light
• How to position our subjects relative to the sun
• How to pose subjects in direct sunlight
• How to use off-camera flash to overcome harsh sunlight on your subjects

Attendees should bring their cameras, lenses, and any off-camera flash gear they would like guidance with using.

STOP Overthinking Instagram and TikTok

Speaker: Vanessa Joy

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Creating Instagram reels and Tiktok videos DOES NOT have to be time consuming, and you’re already getting paid for half the work. Photograph and create short form videos easily so that by the end of this class you’ll have finished videos ready to post!

*You must have a very basic understanding of Instagram or Tiktok to take this class.
*Bring your phone with you to class. We will be working on it!
*Bring your photography gear too!

Stop Working for Exposure: Turn Your Styled Shoots Into Pop up Weddings and Make +$20K per Day

Speaker: Gary + Kim Evans

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Are you sick of working for EXPOSURE? Ever get annoyed that you put all the work and effort into a Styled Shoot, just to have it go nowhere? That you designed and set up the most beautiful concept that NO couples got to enjoy? Our Pop Up Weddings are all the fun and creativity that goes into designing and setting up a Styled Shoot, but guess what? We have couples that ACTUALLY get married! We consistently sell out full days of weddings, design on our terms, provide a kick ass experience for our couples and make more than we would on a wedding day! Curious how it’s done and how we consistently walk away with over $20K profit per day? We’ll get into selling and marketing the event, pulling your vendors together, what you need to pull it off, and how you can fill gaps in your schedule with a fast paced revenue generator!

Street Portraits that DON’T SUCK!

Speaker: Josh Russell

Hands-On   

Intermediate, Advanced   

We all see photos of incredible street portraits. The urban feel, the moody tones, and the locations that most people walk by every day without a second thought. In this class, Josh will show you how any urban/street location can be an amazing background full of mood and emotion. This isn’t for the high fashion…. This one is for the gritty urban bangers!

Josh will show you how he used a mixture of off-camera flash and ambient lighting to create both colorful yet moody photos on any urban street.

This class is for anybody looking to learn how to find a composition in any street environment. Off-camera flash is not required but is encouraged. Josh will also have some Westcott lighting for you to try out!

Tether Like A Boss

Speaker: Gary Hughes

Live Demonstration   

Intermediate   

Shooting tethered is a total pain in the ass, but it can unlock some incredible opportunities for you as a photographer. From working with commercial clients, to reducing your post processing time on school and sports photography, tethering is an essential skill. If you have tried tethering and have been frustrated or you want to but it seems overwhelming, this is the perfect class for you. Here’s what you will learn:

– The right gear to use that will help you connect and stay connected
– Available tethering softwares and the positives and negatives of each
– Overview of Lightroom, Capture 1, and Smart Shooter for tethering
– Tips and tricks to create presets that will simplify your processing and make your workflow faster
– Mistakes to avoid when tethering

Learn to shoot faster, more accurately, and save yourself a ton of headaches by tethering the right way.

The Anywhere Studio

Speaker: Isaac Coffy

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Having a physical studio by no means is a necessity for success. Having the ability to find the best available light, discover aesthetic backgrounds anywhere, and use tools that are portable and quick will put you on a road to having everything you need for any situation. I’m going to show you real-world examples that I use every day, whether you’re out photographing headshots for a corporate client or creating portraits for a senior client.

The Devil is in the Wedding Details

Speaker: Meredith Ryncarz

Live Demonstration   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Trying to shoot decent details at a wedding or on a shoot can be devilishly hard. Either you don’t have enough time, or the details seem crappy. Elevating these details to an editorial level can not only help you sell more albums but book more clients and get published. This will be a lead in to From Production to Publication – How to Weed out the Garbage.

The DON’TS of Shooting: Photoshoot Etiquette

Speaker: Ray Alvarez

Hands-On   

Beginner   

If you work with models, this class is for you. YES – YOU. So many classes telling you what to do and how to do it. While many have learned via Youtube, Workshops, Virtual Classes about the topics they wanted to learn, many have yet to learn the things that YOU shouldn’t do/say at a photoshoot with a model or client (ie. Tell your model they are HOT, Touching your model to adjust a small detail). In my class we go back to the basics, I will show you how to avoid VERY common mistakes new photographers make when working with models and clients.

Attendees will learn:
Suggested Language they should NOT use during a session
Etiquette on “handling” model during session
Tips on studio safety for everyone involved
Advice on working with assistants for a smooth session
Etiquette on shoots that include nudity/implied

The Forgotten Half: Making Groom Photography Great Again

Speaker: Esteban Gil

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Do you struggle with the groom and groomsmen? Do you feel as though you’re not putting enough emphasis on the other half of wedding photography? We all know and love photographing the bride and bridesmaids but, what about the groom and groomsmen? Join Esteban Gil as he walks you through the importance of the groom during a wedding. Learn to quickly and efficiently direct, light and interact with the groom and groomsmen. No groom will ever be too difficult to photograph after this!

The Formula to Get All the Shots in 1 Hour at a Wedding

Speaker: Ray Alvarez

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

We only have ONE hour to capture family portraits, bridal party photos, Fun Shots, Romantic & timeless portraits. Some of us are lucky and have couples who Love photos and go beyond with 2 hours to work with. However some of us aren’t that lucky and we must work with what we have. During my lecture I will show you the formula that works for me to make sure YOU capture everything you need within that cocktail hour along with the precautionary steps you need to take before the big day!

Attendees will learn:
The process to obtain details from couple needed to execute this plan
Cheat sheets and communication prior to event
How to wrangle family members and bridal party
How to capture all of the “safe” photos during cocktail hour
How to wow your couples with your ability to keep it together
How to work efficiently during that hour

The Hybrid Storyteller: Shoot Photos & Video at Any Session

Speaker: Kelli White

Hands-On   

Intermediate, Advanced   

Capturing moments with both photography AND video is a trend that many photographers have started to explore. However, the art of shooting both mediums at the same session can seem intimidating! This class will show you how the process of hybrid shooting doesn’t have to be overwhelming and difficult – it can be simplified, streamlined and beneficial for any type of session.

During this hands-on shooting class Kelli will walk step-by-step through the preparation she uses to craft a story for families and brands, a workflow to keep your session organized and a variety of poses you can use to make hybrid shooting work for both you and your clients. You will leave this program excited to try video, in addition to photography, at your very next session!

Instructor will be shooting with a 35mm prime. Attendees should bring a 35mm or 50mm prime or a 24-70mm zoom. Some basic experience in shooting video and stabilizing your camera is helpful, however the instructor will go over basic settings and techniques for video beginners.

Learning Objectives

Overview of basic camera set up, stabilization and gear for video
Learn how to prepare for your session and develop a story for your client/family
Learn how to seamlessly shoot both photo + video at any session
Learn lifestyle posing and prompts that work for both photos and video
Learn how to craft a session workflow to maximize your image gallery and video footage

The Influencer Team that Feeds your High School Senior Business

Speaker: Jenn Lewis

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

So many senior photographers have given up on model/influencer teams because it didn’t work for them, but influencer teams can be the fruitful foundation of a strong senior business when done correctly. Jenn has built her influencer team since 2014 and is well known for providing the best experience in her area. Join us to learn how to begin building an influencer team, who you want on it, what you should offer them, and how to provide an experience that teens will talk about! Jenn will explain how she creates brand loyalty and what teens are really after when joining an influencer team. Hint: it’s not photos.

The Last Price List You’ll Ever Make

Speaker: Isaac Coffy

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

If you’ve ever followed the grand formula of pricing shared by so many or just straight up copied someone else’s price list (no judgements here), you may find yourself in the very predicament I did for so many years: why the heck am I charging this price? When you can’t understand the “why,” you’re going to have an extremely difficult time selling those images with confidence.

To obtain your “why,” we’re going to:
Define which products make sense for your clients
Learn and use my prebuilt pricing spreadsheet
Create a price list that not only looks good, but you also feel confident handing over to a client.

This is going to be a very hands on approach to learning and building price lists, so be ready and get excited because I’m about to change your business for the better.

The One Location Session

Speaker: Curtiss Bryant

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Ever feel like you need to get a few different locations for each client so we can get enough different images to sell in an album or book? As photographers, sometimes we try to do too much. We want to create a variety of images for our clients, so we take them EVERYWHERE. We walk around for hours. We drive to different locations. We might even spend more time in a vehicle than we do shooting or working with our client. Sound familiar?

This class is all about maximizing a single location. We will discuss how we can photograph an entire session in a single area without taking our clients to endless locations. We can spend more time working with our clients rather than moving from location to location to location.

We do not need to go to a ton of different locations to get different images for our clients. We can create a ton of different looks in the same location and create images that will sell to our clients. You will learn to see locations and the different opportunities that they have. There is no such thing as a bad location.

Curtiss will also show you how to get 70+ different images in a very short amount of time by varying poses, shooting angles, etc. We do not need to re-invent the wheel, we just need to learn to do things efficiently. We dont need to do 4 hour photo sessions to create amazing and different images for our clients. At the end of the class, we will do an ENTIRE session from beginning to end in under 30 mins utilizing the tips that were discussed earlier.

The Pro At-Home Setup for Remote Consultations: Save Time, Thousands of Dollars, & Śtill Look Like a BOSS!

Speaker: Alain Martinez

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Come and learn how I meet with million-dollar wedding clients exclusively using zoom in a home office. I’ll show you my set up for amazing lighting, great audio, and a killer background. I’ll share what app I use to have the client pick a time based on my availability. 30 seconds before the meeting, I press a button and I’m ready to go–the most efficient I have ever been, saving thousands and thousands of dollars on rent, time and tax benefits. Stop meeting at starbucks where you have to waste an extra hour of your day just to save a seat. This set up will blow your mind and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it before.

The Urgency to Slow Down.. Yet Still Make More Money!

Speaker: Phillip and Eileen Blume

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

In their rapid rise from burned out and broke photographers to successful owners of multiple studios, parents, and humanitarians, the Blumes have learned one overarching lesson: slowing down to cast strategic Vision is the key to both momentum and purpose in life. Learn how the Blumes, well known “work-life balancers,” succeed without sacrificing too much. From their 15 years of experience in a home studio, to hiring associates, to now traveling full-time in their mobile Airstream studio, they’ll share their guiding principles and strategies to inspire fellow creators who want their lives back!

The Wedding Booking Process From Start To Finish

Speaker: Kiamarie Stone

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

In this tell all lecture, I will share my exact process on how I seal the deal with 95% of my inquiries and keep getting new clients often. We will chat about client gifting, word of mouth, when to reach back out, constant contact, keeping them after the session is over and tons more!

Transforming Video Footage into Profitable Films

Speaker: Kelli White

Lecture   

All Skill Levels   

Shooting video is an exciting step that many photographers are starting to take, but learning a new software and how to edit together your footage can be time consuming and overwhelming. Come follow along as I show you the tools you need to get started and time saving strategies to speed up your video workflow! We will cover all of the basics such as how to import and cull your footage, how to edit your clips and how to export and deliver your film. In addition, we will also discuss tips to make video editing efficient and simple, so you can quickly start monetizing video. After this class you can finally feel confident creating, editing and delivering videos.

Learning Objectives

Learn how to create an edited video in a variety of formats
Discover tips for becoming an efficient video editor
Explore shooting strategies that will improve your edits and storytelling
Learn proper export settings to share and deliver your videos
Explore ideas for selling and packaging your final product

Tulle With Tenacity

Speaker: Jen Rutledge

Hands-On   

All Skill Levels   

Using tulle to create Fine Art/Beauty portraits doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to get started is tulle and tenacity! I will show you how I create unique looks using minimal sewing skills and supplies. This hands-on class will allow you to capture stunning portraits infused with your own creative tweaks. I cannot wait to see how many different looks we can get from one class!

Together we will:
• Use tulle to create one of a kind wardrobe pieces
• Employ multiple lighting techniques
• Learn posing tips
• Use subtle tweaks to create different looks

Required Gear: Camera
Optional Gear: Lighting (Some lighting is provided, but there may be an opportunity to use your own at the end of class).

Turn Back Time and Roll Film With Me

Speaker: Meredith Ryncarz

Live Demonstration   

Beginner   

Whether you want to shoot film as a hobby or add it to your arsenal of tools as a business owner, this class will help you get started with the ins and outs of metering, shooting, developing, and editing the film. In addition, we will discuss pricing film photography to be profitable. Feel free to bring your favorite film camera, film, and light meter.

Turning Prom Day Into Forever Memories and New Clients

Speaker: David Beckham

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Prom Day is probably the biggest day of a high school girl. Don’t you want to be part of your Model Team’s biggest days??? I will show you how I use this day to take great fun photos, capture romantic (age appropriate) images, fun group shots, best friends being best friends and amazing photos that might end up as wall art. All in 20 minute group session on Prom day. We’ll look at marketing, getting new clients selling digitals or prints and building your brand as the go to photographer when great shots matter most. This will be live demo as we look at posing, lighting and simple setups. It will go into the details of how to use these photos to make money and get new clients.

Ultimate Post Session Workflow – How to Get Your Life Back

Speaker: Jen Stitt

Lecture   

Beginner, Intermediate   

Whether you struggle with keeping up with your post-session workflow or are just on the lookout for some incredible time saving tips, this course is for you. Learn how to establish a simple and efficient workflow that will give you back tons of free time and leave your clients raving about you. Success as a photographer and creative can leave you stressed out with an overwhelming grinding in your office versus following your passion of taking pictures and creating talent. Now is the time to change your business and take your life back by learning fast fast repeatable steps for post-session image delivery aimed towards happier clients.

Here’s what you will learn:

1. Simple steps to establishing a consistent post-production workflow
2. How to leverage editing shortcuts and AI technology to deliver your sessions and imagery fast while establishing a good work/life balance
3. Refining your customer touch points through targeted communication that will establish a base for future sales

Working in the business you love isn’t out of reach, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Jen will take you from frustrated to fab by giving you the steps and the tools to create your ultimate post-session workflow.

Un-Posing Kids for Authentic Expressions

Speaker: Heather Larkin

Live Demonstration   

All Skill Levels   

Interacting with kids is tough, especially as an adult. Learn how stupid games and a thigh workout will help get you the best kids pictures ever. I was a pre-k teacher before my 17 years in business as a children’s photographer and I can tell you all about:
– Stupid games to play for real laughs and authentic expressions.
– Reverse phycology will win you points too
– Squatting down will get you good pictures and nice thighs
– Treating kids like real people, no baby talk here!
– You don’t have to resort to bribes.

Unleash The Power of Print | Maximizing Your Income Through IPS

Speaker: Karen and Andrew Bagley

Lecture   

Intermediate   

How to stop stagnant sales and increase your income by incorporating IPS sessions, also known as In Person Sales. Wether you are coming from a shoot and download (or “burn”) business, or you’re feeling like your average sale has come to a halt, this class is for your . Over the years we have learned the true power of print and developed an IPS system to increase your sales and help you determine what your clients really want. This class will help you realize your clients want and need more than just digitals. They want tangible products they can cherish forever, and we are here to guide you to building your own IPS system that will not only leave your clients with your artwork, but heirlooms they will proudly displays and pass on for years to come. Turn your artwork into wall-art, albums, acrylic blocks, digital albums, and more. The time is NOW to unleash the true power of print and reach a higher average sale than you thought was possible!

What you will learn

• How to Get Over the Fear of IPS and Just Offering Digitals
• How and When to Start Your IPS Journey
• The Different Products You Can Incorporate To Get Your Clients Excited, and Showing Them The True Power of Print
• The Many Different Pricing Models You Can Try To Begin Increasing Sales Right Now
• How We Run Our IPS Sessions Efficiently and Effectively. With an Average sell of 7.5k per Client and How to Keep Your Average Rising

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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!