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
Secure The Bag With Email Marketing
Speaker: Mena Darré
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.
SEO: the Good, the Bad, and the Not So Sexy
Speaker: Myrna Daramy
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Spice Up Your Online Presence
Speaker: Abbie Gowin
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
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
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 Lambert
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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!
Stylized High School Senior Shoots
Speaker: Sal Cincotta
Ready to elevate your senior shoots? In this class, Sal and Alissa will talk to you about how they have managed to create one of the top senior studios in their market. It’s more than just taking pictures, it’s about the entire experience you are giving the kids, both before and during the shoot. Alissa is fully engaged with our seniors on stylizing those shoots. In addition, Sal uses lighting, posing and locations to differentiate each senior’s shoot and give them something unique to brag about.
You will learn how to stylize senior shoots and how to think about shooting it to create a stand out product for your clients.
Tether Like A Boss
Speaker: Gary Hughes
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
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
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
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
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
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 Influencer Team that Feeds your High School Senior Business
Speaker: Jenn Lewis
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
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
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.