2018 Out of Chicago Summer Conference Recap

This past June, we both taught at the Out of Chicago Summer Conference. If you don’t know Out of Chicago, we strongly recommend that you check them out, as they put out several conferences throughout the year, and it’s always a great experience!

We were both teaching several sessions, from workshops to photowalks, to retouching, to creative classes, and more. In this post, we’ll share some of our images from the sessions that involved shooting.

Before the conference, we taught two one-day workshops that are similar to our Photography Unfolded workshop, but in a much more condensed format (no critique or post-processing for example). After a presentation at the conference center, we headed out to photograph several locations around the Loop and Millennium Park.

One the first day, the rain derailed our program,  but we still managed to photograph several great locations. Our first stop was the Palmer House, a hotel with some great interiors, including several staircases.

Palmer House
Palmer House

We then went to the Chicago Cultural Center, which has so many areas to shoot, it’s kind of overwhelming! There are two great staircases, one at each end of the building.

Cultural Center

The Cultural Center is also home to the largest Tiffany Dome in the world:

Cultural Center

Since it was still raining, we decided to head to another indoor location, the Thompson Center. It’s a tough building to shoot, but Michael found some interesting reflections.

Thompson Center

With the rain stopping, we headed south and stopped by the Picasso sculpture. From the front, it looks like a monkey, but if you look from the back, at the right angle, it looks like a woman with a hat.

The Picasso

Our next stop was Chase Tower, which was fogged in, as were a lot of the towers in the Loop.

Chase Tower

Our final stop was Calder’s Flamingo, which takes a different look when it’s overcast.

Calder’s Flamingo

On the second workshop, we started with the Palmer House and the Cultural Center. The weather was a bit better, so we were able to continue our itinerary with Aqua. The wavy tower looked very different depending on which side you were on.


Our last stop was the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, before heading back to the conference center.

Pritzker Pavilion

Later that night, we led a photowalk at the 18th street bridge. It’s a great location for cityscapes. The western side of the bridge is over train tracks, while the eastern side is above the Chicago River and Ping Tom Memorial Park. Blue hour gave us some interesting light.

18th Street Bridge
18th Street Bridge

On Saturday, we led another photowalk in the Loop, exploring a few other locations. We started with the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership,  a glass building on Michigan Avenue.

Spertus Institute

Our next stop was 235 Van Buren. The south facade of the residential tower has balconies that provide great patterns.

235 Van Buren

Finally, we were back at the Flamingo, which was looking very different with sunlight.

Calder’s Flamingo

On Sunday morning, Angie led a photowalk at the Rookery building and Michael tagged along. Out of Chicago had secured special access to the building and attendees could shoot from the top of the staircase, which is usually not accessible, even during architectural tours.

The Rookery
The Rookery

This year’s Out of Chicago Summer Conference was another great one and we look forward to being back next year!



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