ShutterFest 2016 // The Lowdown


Welcome to the ShutterFest Lowdown page. Here, you will find most of the information you need for the event. Is everything covered? Of course not, it’s ShutterFest baby! ShutterFest is the un-conference! ShutterFest is not meant to structure your entire life by sitting in conference room after conference room. Say goodbye to death by PowerPoint. This is YOUR conference! Make it what you want. Make it about you. Shoot. Learn. Party. That’s the mantra here.

First time here? Well, take everything you know about conferences and forget it! ShutterFest is all about community. We are one big family. Everyone here loves photography and wants what’s best for the industry. It’s not about rock star mentality, it’s about growing as an artist and being around like-minded people who share the same love and passion you do.

Overwhelmed? YOU SHOULD BE. Take a deep breath and know that every year there are a bunch of new people who attend, they don’t know anyone, they are scared, overwhelmed, and every other emotion. It’s like your first day of school all over again. It’s completely normal.

And just like school, after your first day and the nerves have settled, you will have made new friends for life. Come, enjoy, and soak up all the energy and inspiration.





Registration for the event can be accomplished in two ways. You will need either your email address you signed up for the event with OR you will need the 4 digit registration number and your last name.

Registration is now open. Click here.



Step One.

In the top right corner of the page, click ‘Log In’

Step Two.

If you have not yet confirmed your account, enter THE EMAIL YOU USED TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT, make sure ‘I’m a new user’ is selected, and click ‘Sign Up’

Step Three.

Enter in your password and click ‘Sign Up’

**What if I get the error message saying my email address is already in use?

This means you used the same email address to register multiple attendees. Please use the 4 digit registration code on your ticket receipt and your last name to sign in.

Step Four.

You will receive an email from the system requiring you to confirm your account. Check your junk mail and promotions tab in Gmail. Google and Yahoo accounts are notorious for blocking system emails. We have no control over this. Add to your safe list.

This email will come from

Step Five.

Click on the link in the confirmation email to confirm your account.

Step Six.

Return to the home page to Log In to your account.

PLEASE NOTE If your email address is associated with multiple users



Pre Step.

You have to confirm your account first and follow the steps listed above for first time log in.

Step One.

From the main screen, click ‘Log In,’ make sure ‘I am a returning user’ is selected, enter your email address and password.

Step Two.

You may either click on the ‘Program’ tab at the top of the page, or the blue ‘Program’ icon in the middle of the page to see the full schedule by day.

If you would like to select courses by Speaker, click on either the ‘Speaker’ tab up top or the blue ‘Speaker’ icon in the middle of the page to see a list of each Speaker at the event. To see a list of classes from each Speaker, click on the Speaker’s name.

Step Three.

From the course page of class you’d like to sign up for, click on the blue ‘Sign Up’ button on the right of the page. This will add you to the class roster.

Step Four.

You will receive an email confirmation for each course you sign up for. You may also access a list of your scheduled courses from the ‘My Schedule’ tab up top. If you are not receiving emails fro the system, that’s because your hosting company is either blocking them or sending them to junk mail. We will not be able to send you any emails from the system.


Registration FAQ

What if someone registered me or I am part of a multi ticket purchase? You will need the 4 digit code associated with the ticket (this was part of your email receipt) and your last name.

How many classes can I register for? You will be limited to one class per time period.

Can I register for multiple hands-on classes? Yes, there are no restrictions on hands-on classes this year. It is first come first serve.

Can I reserve a spot for someone else? No. They have to register themselves with their account.

Can I register or track my courses via my phone? Yes. Visit the app store and download and install the “Grenadine Event Guide”. Once the app is launched enter code – sfest2016. You will need your login information created via the process listed above.

I registered for SF-Xtreme ONLY – can I register for classes? No. If you registered for X-treme only – then you will only have access to that event and there is no need to register for single classes.

I am not receiving emails from the system. Can you forward them to me? No. We can not. There are 2k people registered for the event. Your hosting company is either blocking the emails or marking them as spam. Google mail and Yahoo mail are notorious for this. There is nothing we can do. Track your schedule and registration through the site or through the app.

How can I see what classes I am currently registered for? Log into the registration site or use your app to track the classes you are registered for.

What if I change my mind and want to register for a new class? No problem. Un-click the course you are currently registered for in any given time slot and register for the new class you want. Remember, classes are first come first serve.

What is the most efficient way to register for classes? You can register one class at a time OR you can select your favorite speaker and see all their classes on one screen.

Who do I contact if I still can’t log in? Please send an email to and provide unique email addresses for each person registered using your email address.



Registration will be in the main lobby of the hotel and you will need your photo id to sign-in and get your badge.

Can I pickup my friends/spouses/other badge? No. They will have to show their ID to pick up their badge. No exceptions.

What time will registration be open? Monday 10am – 6pm // Tuesday 6am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm // Wednesday 8am – 12pm

I am an Elite+ Member – where do I register? You will pick up your badge and register in the lobby. There will be a special booth for Elite+ Members.

What is the deadline for Elite+? If you are a registered Elite+ member by 2/22 your badge will reflect that. If you register for Elite+ after this date, we will have to add a special sticker to your badge to ensure you have access to the Elite+ Lounge.



Food Trucks.

Yes. We will have food trucks again this year for meals. They were a huge hit last year. As we get closer to the event – we will have a confirmed list of trucks that will be at the event.

On the 29th and 30th, we will have food trucks on site for both lunch and dinner. We know. It’s pretty bad-ass. Conference food already sucks, so we wanted to do something that was ShutterFest worthy. There will be over 10 food trucks for lunch and 5 for dinner both days with every kind of food imaginable. And no, we are not paying for your lunch.



Digital Image Competition

2016 will mark the second annual ShutterFest print competition sponsored by Simply Color Lab. Show the world and your peers what you’ve got! Image competition is the BEST way to improve your skills and become better as a photographer. Don’t be shy. Feedback and constructive critique has helped us all grow. Not to mention, there are some killer prizes.

We will be filming the print competition for free. All entrants will get access to the results so that they can learn from the feedback of the judges. Watch the entire image competition – it’s one of the best ways to learn and grow.

In addition, Simply Color Lab will be printing select submitted images and displaying them all over the event.

Registration Deadline – March 7th.
Registration fees. $25 for all entries on or before February 29th // $35 After February 29th.

Register NOW

Categories Include

Wedding | Bridal Party / Friends
Wedding | Bride or Groom Alone
Wedding | Couple Together
Wedding | Details
Wedding | Photojournalism
Portrait | Animals
Portrait | Beauty
Portrait | Children
Portrait | Engagement
Portrait | Group or Family
Portrait | High School Senior
Portrait | Newborn
Portrait | General
Creative | Commercial
Creative | Fashion
Creative | Landscape

Live judging will be hosted at the event the on March 28th starting at 10am.



ShutterFest X // Less than 50 tickets left.

You asked for it and we delivered. A 3rd day dedicated to more of the business side of photography. Sure, taking pretty pictures is why we all love photography, but if you want to actually make money at this thing called photography thee are other facets to the business side. In this action packed day, you will hear from some of the most knowledgeable people inside and outside of our industry.

Extreme will take place March 31st // 9am – 6pm


Sal Cincotta Sal Cincotta Creating your own Signature editStanding out from the crowd is no easy task in the world of professional photography. We all know, everyone is a photographer. However, in this competitive market, Salvatore Cincotta Photography stands out in their local market place. How do they do it? Their Signature edits are something clients and vendors alike lust over. Creating that Signature edit is no easy task. It’s more than just photoshop. It starts at vision.What you do before the release of the shutter is more important than any photoshop skill. In this presentation, Sal will walk you through several of his Signature edits and take you step by step through the vision of the image and how to “see” and create something your client “MUST-HAVE”, how to light it for dramatic effect, and then how to finish that image in photoshop walking you through each layer in replacing skies, toning, and creating and polishing your final image for your
Lou Freeman Lou Freeman
Triple Threat | My Storefront, My Office, My Portfolios: My WebsiteThe heart center of my business is my website. I want to make certain my website is the best foot forward I can give my company. After many years of running my business through a non photographic designed website, I knew, I was not hitting my goals. Since my teaming with Zenfolio, I felt like I was running my business for the 1st time from my heart center and My life was my own again. In this class, I will share my points of team work and my abilities to have excellence achieved with my new site and how the site has helped me become my very best. The site is a reflection of how I want my team who aide me in my stress free success. With a great set up, strong design elements plus SEO development ,You too can achieve your dream space and team all built into one place. Join Me, while I share the “sauce” to make your store front
Joel-Grimes Joel Grimes
Thriving in the MarketplaceHaving the skill set to create amazing images is one thing, but learning how to market your work is equally or, if not altogether, more important.History has proven that photographers who create the best pictures aren’t always the most successful. This is because the key to creating an income primarily boils down to one thing: marketing. Studies have shown that only 5% of creative artists market effectively. How do we know when we fall into that 5%? When we are out-billing 95% of our competition.The challenge is how do we get into that 5% category? Well, Joel takes you through a step-by-step explanation of how to do just that begins by reveling the two single biggest reasons most of us fail at the marketing process. From topics like keeping up with the trends in the marketplace, who’s not your competition, falling into the trap of procrastination, determining who are your potential clients, getting your foot in the door, what is the determining factor on who gets hired, determining the value of your services, and much
Sal Cincotta Sal Cincotta I am more than just a photographerI love being a photographer, don’t get me wrong, but there comes a time when you need to be more than a photographer. Today, we have created a new brand named Creative Cinc. Creative Cinc takes everything we have learned in the world of photography and creative marketing and brings it to market for small and medium businesses.In less than 3 months, we built a six-figure line of business. No website. No logo. No marketing. We did it with an idea. An idea, that small businesses need more than just pictures for their website. They need marketing material, social media, websites, imagery, video and the host of other services that allow businesses to be successful. Best of all, small businesses have budget and understand the value of marketing and advertising.In this session, Sal will break down the business model and show you how to attack this lucrative segment in your local market. Don’t worry, you are not giving up photography, your just becoming the trusted adviser and creative director for your clients using all the skills you already have. We will focus on the real estate market, law firms, and the medical
Allyn Lewis Allyn Lewis Discovering + Charging Your Worth: Clients Will Only See Your Value When You Do If you’re ready to take your business to the next level but can’t seem to generate enough profit to do so, a disconnect between your perceived value and your presented value is likely to be a major contributing factor. Only when you start to see and appreciate your own value will your clients and customers see (and pay for) it too! In this platform class, learn the importance of charging your worth and the consequences that unfold when you don’t. We’ll be covering some of the most common situations where devaluing yourself can cause serious damage to your business such as over discounting your services, being guilted in to friends and family discounts, and questioning the value of the skills you have to offer. Confidently walk away with the tools you need to discover your worth, effectively showcase your value to potential customers, and combat those pesky “I’m not good enough” thoughts moving
robertoblake_headshot Roberto Blake
The Business of Brand Building For Creative Pros Developing a brand is essential to having a competitive advantage in your career or business. You need to know how clients or customers can identify you vs. your competition, and you need a strategy to get their attention and communicate your value.It’s not about growth hacking your way to a huge Instagram or Twitter following, its about helping people find you and trust you as the person they want to do business







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.

When should I arrive? // Registration begins the morning of March 28th at 10am. Image competition begins at 10am, so arrive, make new friends or visit with old ones, and get ready to settle in before the madness begins.

Parking // There is plenty of street and garage parking in downtown St. Louis near the hotel. If you decide to park at the hotel, self parking is $20, valet is $27.

Did Someone Say Party?! // Do you LOVE the 80’s? Do you remember the 80’s? Were you even born yet? Either way get ready to be transported back in time to the decade that fashion forgot. On Tuesday night, March 29th we’ve got one of the best 80’s cover bands coming in to perform all your favorites 80’s jams. We’ve also got 80’s themed cocktails as well as a contest and prizes for the best dressed 80’s party goer. So grab your boom box, your neon track suits, and get that hair as big as you can, cause we’re gonna party like it’s 1985.

Check out the band.

That 80s Band 8-12 Tuesday night. // DJ on Wednesday night.
SloMoBooth both nights. (watch Sal get slapped again)
All of the above is 8pm-12am

Goodie Bag // All attendees staying at the Hilton Ballpark or Union Station will receive a goodie bag upon registration. If you are sharing a room MAKE SURE YOUR NAME IS ON THE ROOM RESERVATION, this is how we will validate who is staying at the hotel. If your name is not on the room by March 26th we will not be able to guarantee a goodie bag.

Will I receive a goodie bag if I stay the host hotel one night and switch hotels? No. Stop gaming the system. You have to be using the room block and room rate for ShutterFest.

This is a reward for staying at the host hotel – which is giving the event an EXTREMELY reasonable rate in return for the hotel rooms being booked. And guess what? This keeps your ticket price low. We will be checking your reservation from the list provided by the hotel.

What if I want to teach my own class? No. This is not allowed per event rules. If you would like to be an instructor, by all means apply to teach and your time will come. As an attendee at the event, attend the courses and the program we have assembled for you. We have spent a lot of time and energy to put together an amazing program for you with some of the best speakers and educators out there. Enjoy the conference. Now, thats not to say you can’t help one another. Of course you can, that’s the culture of ShutterFest. However, it sends the wrong message to attendees if random people decide they want to be instructors.  In fact, the hotel and its property is 100% paid for by ShutterFest, please respect that.

// There will be some bad-ass ShutterFest shirts for sale on-site starting March 29th. Limited quantities and sizes available so be sure to get yours right away! Pre-Order your shirt today and ensure you get the size you want before quantities run out. Your shirt will be ready for pick-up at the event. (link coming soon)

Union Station Hotel Information // Click here for more information about the host hotel.

Event Hours // Monday Early Registration 10am-6pm // Monday Image Competition 10am-? // Tuesday 8am-? // Wednesday 8am-? // Thursday ShutterFest X-treme  9am – 6pm

Get Social // Be sure to tag us in your posts – the world is watching! #ShutterFest

Classes // Sign up for the classes you want. Classes are on a first come first serve basis and the hands-on classes are limited in capacity. Be sure to save your schedule on the app and choose wisely! There are no limits to the platform classes.

There are too many classes. How will I attend them all? // Welcome to ShutterFest ladies and gentlemen. You will never, let me repeat, NEVER attend every class, every shooting exercise, every outdoor class and that is the point. We created ShutterFest to be overwhelming. We want there to be TOO much good information and too much to do. Unlike other conferences, we want you to struggle trying to determine where you want to go. Some advice. Where are you weak? What are the 3 or 4 things you want to come away with from ShutterFest? Find those courses and go at it full power!

Do I have to pre-register for any classes? // Yes, space is limited. The system will only allow you to register for one class per time slot. So, be sure to register for your must have classes first.

Is there an additional fee for the hands-on classes? // Unlike other conferences, no, there are no additional or hidden fees. Don’t see a course you like or the one you want is completely booked? Not a problem, check out the rent-a-human program.

What if I want to shoot the entire conference? // Perfect! You have come to the right conference. Check out the rent-a-human program below. Not only will there be over 250 models and 30+ makeup artists for you to work with, we have come up with a workbook for you and shooting exercises to challenge your skills and build your portfolio. If you complete these challenges, you will be entered to win 1 of 3 major prizes from our sponsors. We are talking THOUSANDS of DOLLARS worth of prizes. See below for more information.

Hands-on classes. // Because of the way ShutterFest is structured, the hands-on classes with instructors will always be crowded. This year, we are limiting the hands-on classes to roughly 40-50 people per. While a larger group, it still allows for everyone to hear and shoot. We have added a significant amount of hands-on classes this year to deal with the growth of the event. In addition, we have the rent-a-human program. Don’t want to be in a crowded class? Perfect, grab a small group of people and a model and you can have your own class going.

Format of ShutterFest 2016 // This year will be the same general layout as last year– platform, breakout, lunch, platform, breakout. In addition, we plan on creating more shooting opportunities for you (see Rent-A-Human below) and more time dedicated to allowing you to check out the vendors at the trade show!

What to Expect // 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 rock-star mentality. You will network with your fellow photographers, make friends for life, and enjoy access to some of the best education available.

If you are looking for structure, you are going to hate ShutterFest. This is not high-school. This is your career. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy learning, networking, shooting, laughing and making new life-long friendships.

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?

I don’t have a ticket, can I just show up? // Nope. The event is sold out. Snooze you lose. 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!

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 and Canon.

Can I transfer my ticket or get a refund? // No. This has been outlined dozens of times and its 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 $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.

What do I need for registration? // Your driver’s license. You will not be registered without it. Not even if your dog ate it.

Will we get slides from the classes? // Yes. Unlike other conferences, we give you all the presentations from the classroom courses. This is part of the goodie bag.




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

What is Rent-A-Human? // This is our modeling and portfolio building program at the event. Since ShutterFest is a hands-on and shooting conference, we realized last year the need for lots and lots of models. This year, we will have over 250 models at the event across all different genres. High School Seniors, families, babies, children, glamour, boudoir, weddings, general portraits, fitness and same-sex.

How does it work? // More details will be available at the event, but the quick version is this. There will be a rent-a-human station set up at the event. You will sign up to work with a model in groups of 3-5. You will be able to take the models to the shooting bays or on-location for outdoor shooting. As a group, you will decide on your own.

Hair & Makeup // The Paul Mitchell School will be volunteering their time and resources to provide hair and makeup for the models to ensure your shoots are top-notch!

Wardrobe // We will also have a few local bridal shops that will be donating 40+ 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.

Models // We will have over 250+ models at the event. Check the Model Gallery to see who is modeling this year.  Know someone who wants to model and build their portfolio? Have them register here.

The Process // On March 29th and 30th, you will have access to over 250 models for your own photo-shoots. The team has worked hard bringing in models from all over the country to help both you and them build their portfolio.

Time // Models will be available to work with on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-12 and 2pm-7pm(RAH will be closed from 12-2pm) – NO EXCEPTIONS.

Rent-a-Human // In order to Request-a-Human you must use the sign-up sheet. They will be at the event. The minimum size group will be 3 photographers. We STRONGLY recommend not working in groups larger than 5. The entire point of the program is to give you time to shoot. There are over 250  models there, why would you want to work in large groups – defeats the entire point of the program.

The team leader of your group is responsible for filling out the form with your names on it. However, the entire group will need to initial the form. Groups of less than 3 WILL NOT be assigned a model under any circumstances. This will be confirmed at the event before the models are released. Valid ID will need to be shown. Models will not be released without the group present.

You have two choices on your model selection form – we will do our best to supply you with your first request, but we can not guarantee that model type will be available. Models are based on availability, time of day, etc. Again, you are not guaranteed any specific model or genre. We will do our best. Models CAN NOT be selected by name. It is not an option at all.

The sign up sheets will be dropped off at the Rent-A-Human booth located on the trade show floor. We will fill your request as soon as possible.

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.

You will have an 1 1/2 hours to work with the model. If you are late returning the models, your check-in time will be noted and 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.

You can shoot in any of the predetermined shooting locations listed in the Show Guide. There is no real limitation on where you can go, but don’t wander too far, because it will eat into your shooting time.

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. Instructions will be available on how to share these with the models. 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. More information will be available in the Show Guide.

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 the models directly on this because each model has time and travel restraints.




Profoto is here! Play with the latest and greatest gear on the planet. On the trade show floor there will be 4 Shooting Bays stocked with Profoto lights, Profoto light shaping tools, and a variety of models for you to work with for FREE! Build your portfolio, practice new techniques, and work with your peers to create some awesome images!

The shooting bays are an amazing way to build your portfolio and self-teach. Part of being a photographer is experimenting. Experiment to your heart’s content. We will provide the ingredients, including the models, and you and your pods will provide the talent. This is a great way to not only work with new gear, but to produce killer images for your portfolio.

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 and shoot with while in the photo bays or on a photo walk. Additionally, Canon Technical Experts will be available to assist with camera settings and to answer any technical questions you may have while shooting.

In addition, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji, Sigma, Tamron, Westcott, and Profoto will have additional gear for your to rent and play with.




Ready to make your airport transportation reservation? Lets GO!!

Click here to reserve an airport shuttle seat using the convention rate ($15 each way, per person). Please have your credit card ready, as a credit card is required and charged when you book.

To receive the discounted rate, Reservations MUST be made online to receive the discounted rate. Standard rates ($22 one way, per person) will apply for walk up reservations made on the spot.

Shuttles depart from St. Louis – Lambert International Airport every 15-30 minutes and from your hotel by scheduled reservation only.




Want to shoot with Sal at the home of the St Louis Cardinals – Busch Stadium? We are taking 10 people for a once in a lifetime shooting experience on March 30th. How do you win the coveted Golden Ticket? Leading up to the event, we will be hosting several online competitions. Winner will be selected based on criteria ranging from luck to skill. Tasks will be posted to the ShutterFest Facebook page.




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