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A Review of Shutterfest

Blog Review of Shutterfest

What is Shutterfest

I have attempted to review and explain what Shutterfest is for the last few days.  Describing this hybrid style conference is difficult to say the least.  It is the balance of chaos and order perfected and is unlike any conference or workshop I have ever attended.  3,000 people descended on the Union Station Hotel for a week of business and photography education.  The hotel itself had literally been booked for a year in advance which was the first clue that this conference was going to be amazing.

Information Overload

There are literally so many classes that you can’t attend them all.  Even after the regularly scheduled classes are over for the evening, there is a myriad of things to do.  From Canon photo walks to personal projects to impromptu classes put on by the teachers, it has gained the nickname slumberfest due to the amount of sleep you will need to recoup after the week is over.  Didn’t get into a class, no worries, because you can rent a model at the Rent-a-Human station.  They have wardrobe, hair, and makeup already provided.

What to Know

I would say that after my first time at Shutterfest this year,  I was slightly unprepared.  I would highly suggest the following tips:

  • Rolling camera bag instead of a shoulder bag – my arms and back were exhausted.
  • A Waterbottle – not a lot of water fountains
  • Snacks – Union Station was very pricey
  • Layers – The weather kept changing
  • Cash – Food trucks for lunch were awesome but lines were a bit long
  • A Traveling Light Stand
  • Roommates that keep the same hours as you
  • Room at Union Station – TOTALLY WORTH IT
  • An external battery for your phone – very limited outlets and plugs
  • Swap notes at night with friends who attended different classes
  • Find a buddy – it was such a joy to spend time with a fellow Army spouse and photog friend of 4 years as well as getting to know a local photog as well.

I would also suggest bringing lots of business cards to exchange with the models and other photographers.  There are no divas here and everyone was incredibly helpful to each other.  This was by far one of the most community focused group of people I think I have ever been around.  Come as you are because every level and genre of photographer is accepted here.


I ended up taking primarily business related classes with a few shooting related classes on day two.  The knowledge the instructors provided was priceless and if you are a part of my Restart Specialist private group, I hope to see you there tonight at 8:30pm to answer questions and share some new things that were shared at Shutterfest coming to 17hats.  Below are a few shots from the week.

Jade green and gold wedding cake at Union Station Hotel




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