Shutterfest 2017 Recap: The Photographer's Conference at Union Station

It's going to take me a few days to recover from this year's Shutterfest. But more than that, it's going to take me weeks and months to really filter through everything I learned and put it to practice. That being said, I am incredibly happy to have had the opportunity to participate in Shutterfest, but I'm also sad that everything is over already. I walked into Shutterfest this year not knowing what to expect. I brought tons of gear on Tuesday, lugging around lightstands, a tripod, and enough lighting equipment to illuminate a dozen models. When I returned Wednesday, I subscribed to a much more reserved mindset, bringing two camera bodies and three lenses. I shot almost everything in natural light with my A7, as my A6000 was still new to me. 


I took a handful of courses throughout my time at Shutterfest, including courses on SEO, branding, marketing, and shooting editorial assignments. To be honest, the SEO course, taught by Justen Hong of Visual Lure, was one of the best courses I've taken to date. I wrote down dozens of pages of notes, illustrated my website, and planned to make improvements even before wrapping up the session. Justen effectively pointed out what I was doing wrong and provided strong examples on branding and SEO workflow. I left his course feeling more confident in my ability to effectively utilize SEO.

Beyond courses, I also caught up with my old friend, Kelsie, who you might recognize from a shoot we had done months prior in Webster Groves. Kelsie had brought a handful of outfits with her and I was particularly excited to photograph her white dress. Although hundreds, if not thousands, of people have photographed the trains at Union Station, I was excited to shoot Kelsie with a classic vibe. 

Earlier in the day I had the opportunity to do a quick shoot with Jill Wright. She and her daughter met me and another photographer in the front of Union Station and we walked around the area to capture some images. Below are some of my favorites from our short session. We had planned to get together later in the day to photograph a vintage dress, but unfortunately time wasn't on our side and we missed out - maybe next year, right?

All in all, I think the conference was a hit. I haven't registered for 2018 yet, but it is on my must list. I don't know that there is a better value for the money.