Frequently asked questions

About the Event

Where will the event be held?

The event will be held at the incredible St Louis Union Station. We will, once again, have the entire facility to ourselves – dedicated to ShutterFest.

Should I book my hotel?

Yes. DO NOT WAIT! The last two years, the hotel sold out in record times. We have pre-negotiated an amazing rate at the host hotel – take advantage of it. There will be networking and events all day and night being at the host hotel is well worth it. CLICK HERE FOR HOTEL INFO.

What should I expect as an attendee?

Expect to learn more than you have ever learned before. ShutterFest is like no other conference out there. Not because we say so, but because your peers have said so. At this one-of-a-kind event you will have access to speakers like never before. They are here because they care about our industry and want to share EVERYTHING they know. No rockstar mentality. You will network with your fellow photographers, make friends for life, and enjoy access to some of the best education available.

I’m not sure if I have a ticket. How can I check?

Log in to your account and check your order history. If you do not have an account, you do not have a ticket.
If you’re absolutely sure you did purchase a ticket, try logging in with a different email address.
If you’ve tried everything above, and are still unable to locate your ticket information, email

What is the class format like?

This year we are switching things up to add an additional class time for our attendees!

On Tuesday, we will be adding a fourth breakout session during the evening for a schedule of: Platform, Breakout, Lunch, Breakout, Breakout, Breakout. 

On Wednesday, we will have the same schedule we have had in the past: Platform, Breakout, Lunch, Breakout, Breakout.

This allows you to take up to 7 classes during ShutterFest in addition to the two platforms. We also have the Rent-A-Human program, Lunch & Learns, the Trade Show area, Shooting Bays, and classes hosted by vendors during the day.

When does the schedule come out?

The schedule will be released via the ShutterFest app in late March – early April. You will have plenty of time to browse the schedule and make a game plan before registration for classes opens.

When does the ShutterFest app come out?

The app will be released in late March – early April. We will announce the exact release date in the Facebook group. The app will be available for Android and iPhone. Please note – the app (and registration for classes) will NOT be available on desktop computers, so please plan accordingly!

Will I be able to shoot?

Of course! That’s what makes ShutterFest so unique. You will have access to shooting bays with professional lighting equipment. You will also have access to hands-on courses being taught by our incredible speakers. In addition, you will be able to grab a model and go out and shoot your own ideas and concepts.

Is there an extra fee for any courses?

NOPE! Another amazingly unique feature of ShutterFest. No hidden fees. Your one fee gives you access to all courses.

Will I be able to use images in my portfolio?

Of course you will. We have heard horror stories of other conferences placing limitations on how the photos can be used, forcing you to use the conference logo, etc. We find that to be ridiculous. All models have signed a model release form giving you the ability to use your images in your portfolio, website, social media, etc.

What if I want to shoot the entire time?

Have at it! ShutterFest has a flexible schedule with a mix of hands-on instructor led courses, shooting bays, models, and of course, platform classes. You can create a schedule that works for you and your educational needs.

Is there a certain skill level I should be?

Absolutely not. Come one, come all. That’s our motto. We all start somewhere and you will find that ShutterFest attendees are open and willing to help and our instructors know how to teach to every level of student.

What topics will be covered?

Another unique aspect to ShutterFest is the breadth of knowledge you will have access to. While the course list is being finalized over the next few months here is what you can expect. Legal issues and challenges, small business accounting, branding and marketing, lighting, posing, pricing your work, weddings, seniors, families, babies, and more. Trust us, the biggest problem you are going to have is figuring out how to take all the amazing courses you want in two days!

After I purchase my ticket what should I do?

Well, start counting down the days. But, get plugged in to our Facebook group. You will get a link in your receipt where there is a private ShutterFest group with a community of photographers who have built a positive environment for sharing and learning with one another.

Is there a goodie bag this year?

Yes. Every year we have a goodie bag with tons of, well, goodies. 🙂 It’s only available for attendees that are staying at the host hotels. Our sponsors donate tons of items like lens cloths, energy drinks, tumblers, special discounts, etc.

Will we get slides from the classes?

Yes, as part of the goodie bag, you will get presentations from all speakers that have prepared them for classroom sessions.

Will there be a party again this year?

YES. Two parties!

The Famous Movie Characters Theme Party is on Tuesday, April 23rd 2019 from 9pm – 12am.

The Lip Sync Battle is on Wednesday, April 24th from 9pm – 12am.

How do I register?

:) Click here.

Where will event information be posted?

Everything is on the private FB group for ShutterFest. The link was sent to you with your receipt. If you don’t have it – look up the group and apply to get in.

Can I register more than one person?

Yes. The entire point of ShutterFest is to connect. Bring your team, your second shooter and make them part of this amazing event and lifetime experience. Just make sure you use a unique email address for everyone you register.

Want to be a speaker?

Speaker applications for 2019 are closed. We had over 200 applications and accepted 70+ spots. Thank you to everyone who applied!

How come I was not emailed any information?

As was stated on the sign up site and in the email receipt – all communication would happen via the ShutterFest Facebook group. Why? We don’t want to spam you and in the past, we have had numerous communications go to junk mail, incorrect email addresses, or just not read. Again, this was communicated right from the beginning that all comms would happen via that group. We are doing exactly what we said we would do.

What gear should I bring?

Bring whatever you plan to shoot with— camera bodies, lenses, flashes, tripods, etc. It’s a shooting conference and you are a photographer, do we really need to explain this to you?

Will there be gear to rent at the event?

Yes. We have vendors at the event that will have limited gear for you to rent including Profoto, Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Panasonic and Westcott.

Interested in trying a new Canon DSLR or Canon Lens? Canon will be on hand with their full line of professional DSLRs and select lenses for you to sign out. Additionally, Canon Technical Experts will be available to assist with camera settings and to answer any technical questions you may have while shooting.

Can I buy gear at the show?

Yes. We will have retailers at the show with the latest and greatest equipment available to purchase.

I don’t have a ticket, can I just show up?

Nope. Don’t show up at the door, don’t show up with a sob story – we love all photographers, but for this event, you need a ticket!

Can I transfer my ticket or get a refund?

No. This has been outlined dozens of times and it’s even listed on the site before you order your tickets. There are a multitude of reasons why we have this policy. Here is the main reason – the event is THE most inexpensive educational event on the PLANET bar-none. The event is also limited in size – once it sells out – it’s sold out! We are offering you hands-on shooting, portfolio building, top-level educators – would cost $1k at other events. You know what you paid for your ticket. Well, in the beginning, people were buying 5 tickets at a time and selling them on eBay for $300-$500 and that goes against the event and why we created it. Hence, no transfers or refunds. This ensures that no one can scam the system and we keep your ticket price affordable. So death, charities, mission trips, terminal illness, can’t afford to come, and the dozens of requests or reasons for a transfer or refund, our sincerest apologies, but this is a policy that has no wiggle room. We hope you understand the in-depth explanation we have provided. While we want everyone to be happy, we have to protect the interests of the community of photographers who want to see the event ticket prices remain low.

What do I need to check in at the event?

Your driver’s license and your receipt with barcode. You will not be able to check in without it. Not even if your dog ate it.

I can’t find my reciept or never got one in my email. Help!

Log in to your account on (click on My Account at the top of any page) and navigate to the “Orders” section. Click View next to your ticket. That will bring up all the information you need.

I am not an official speaker, can I teach my own class?

No. ShutterFest has paid for and rented all of Union Station. We have paid for security, insurance and permits to ensure the event is safe, fun, and educational for all who attend. In addition, we have spent thousands advertising, promoting, and coordinating the event. Lots of hard work by a lot of people went into creating the event and an atmosphere for photographers to come and learn and grow. If you want to be an instructor – apply to speak. If you do not get the nod to teach this year, please by all means, come and enjoy the event as a student. There will be a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. If you are caught teaching, assembling private workshops, advertising in the FB group, you will be asked to leave the event immediately without any further discussion.

Rent-A-Human (aka RAH)

Aptly named by our comedian from ShutterFest 2014, Pat McGann, this is now the name of our model program.

Want to be a model?

If you want to expand your portfolio, get amazing pictures of yourself from some of the top photographers in the world, click here.

What is Rent-A-Human?

This is our FREE modeling and portfolio building program at the event. Since ShutterFest is a hands-on and shooting conference, we realize the need for lots and lots of models. This year, we will have over 300 models at the event across all different genres. High School Seniors, families, babies, children, glamour, boudoir, weddings, general portraits, fashion, fitness and same-sex.

How does it work?

In order to Rent-A-Human you must use the RAH Model Request Form, available at the event only. The minimum size group will be 2 photographers. We STRONGLY recommend not working in groups larger than 5. The entire point of the program is to give you time to shoot.

You will have an 1 1/2 hours to work with the model. We will be monitoring check out times and return times, if you are late returning the models, you will no longer be allowed access to the Rent-a-Human program for the remainder of the event. Please note – this applies to your entire team. You are a team – you win together, you lose together.


We will have over 300+ models at the event. To apply to model, click here. The models will have signed release forms prior to the event – so you have been cleared to use these for your portfolio, website, etc. THEY DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING FOR YOU DIRECTLY.

You are more than welcome, and encouraged, to share your contact information with the models. We have instructed them to do the same. In addition, each model will have a model card with their contact information for you to take a test shot.

In return, you are expected to share your images with the models for their portfolios. That’s the deal. You will be agreeing to this in your request form. We do not expect you to track down every model you shoot. ShutterFest will have a sharing site where the models can grab their images for their portfolio.

Hair & Makeup:

We will have Hair and Makeup artists volunteering their time and resources to provide hair and makeup for the models to ensure your shoots are top-notch!

I’m a HMUA and would like to come to the event. (Or I know an HMUA who would like to attend)

Every year the event works with Paul Mitchell the School—they are the official hair and makeup team of ShutterFest. However, we do realize there is still tons of opportunity for HMUA’s to come to the event to network and build their portfolios. With that in mind, we are happy to open up the event to the HMUA community.

We will have a designated area for non-Paul Mitchell Hair and Makeup for this year’s event. This will be sent to you a few weeks before the event.

That being said, in order to ensure the event runs smoothly, we require all HMUAs follow our rules & regulations:

  • No charging for hair & makeup services during ShutterFest (April 23rd & 24th). If we find out you are charging for services, you will be immediately removed from the event and not allowed back in future years.
  • You must work in the designated hair & makeup area. Failure to do so will result in removal from the event.

Please send the full names and contact information of anyone who would like to attend as a HMUA to


We have a few local bridal shops that donated 60+ wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses for you to use on your shoots! Models will be instructed to bring other outfits for their shoots, however, if you are looking for a stylized shoot, feel free to bring an outfit or two that you have been dying to shoot.

If you would like to bring an outfit or other clothing accessories for the models, you are more than welcome to do that. Don’t forget, we have wedding dresses available on site for bridal and the male models have been instructed to bring suits.

Rent-A-Human Details:

You may shoot anywhere in or around Union Station EXCEPT the following locations:

  1. Any construction areas. Union Station is undergoing construction – please be respectful of the space, follow the construction signs posted, and STAY OUT of any construction areas. 
  2. The trains behind Union Station. In past years attendees have been able to shoot around the trains, but due to construction they are completely off-limits this year.

Wherever you go, be mindful of your time for Rent-A-Human! Wandering too far will eat into your shooting time 🙂 


Shooting after hours is not only encouraged, it’s expected. ShutterFest is something that goes on all day and into the late hours of the night. You will have to coordinate with models directly on this because each model has time and travel restraints.