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After Dark-the “un”conference : behind the scenes | southwestern, pa photographer

By April 30, 2013 2 Comments

I winged it…..completely and utterly winged it!

Typically, I’m THAT girl that has everything planned out, written down and organized as to what I’d be doing the entire time I was attending a conference. Don’t get me wrong, I was EAGER to learn and try new things by stepping out of my comfort zone, but I totally winged it this year. I attended my first After Dark Photography “un” conference, held in St. Louis and since it was a city I had never been to and I hadn’t had the chance to sit down and study what was being offered, I went with the ” no matter what, I’m goign to learn something new” attitude…..and sure enough….I learned TONS! As a matter off act, just on the fist day alone, I took a Lightroom class (for you non-photography peeps, it’s an editing software) and that alone blew my mind. I’ve been using Lightroom for YEARS but this guy blew me out of the water-so that class alone was soo worth it. But not to mention the shoots that each mentor had set up during the entire week. So many amazing opportunities to shoot under circumstances that I wouldn’t be able to back in my itty bitty town. I mean, I don’t get calls everyday for people to dress up like Zombies to take their picture…..so needless to say, it was fun just getting to be creative.

Unfortunately, I was having my camera cleaned during a lot of the sessions so I resorted to Iphonography! haha! Huge shout out to CPS who cleaned two pieces of my equipment while I was in St. Louis. I didn’t have it for the shoots, but I wasn’t necessarily there to take photos, I wanted to watch how the mentors, set up the shots, lit the set, etc. So my iphone came in handy. The ironic thing, I did this below shoot RIGHT after I got my camera back from being cleaned! FAIL!!!


Remember earlier when I said, I totalllllly winged it. Well we were running late from lunch and got back to the workshops a little later than we had hoped. BUT we saw a group of people walking away with a bride so we followed them! haha! So that’s how we ended up in this group. Turns out, this was a trash the dress session that was organized by Leslie Spurlock. What you don’t know…it was FREEZING and these were shot under and underpass by our hotel. Nothing glamorous at ALL….but she rocked it!

And for some “behind the scene shots” with my Iphone! BOO YA! Imagine me with a group of photography paparazzi’s with their fancy cameras and then there’s me with my Iphone! HAHAH! Don’t worry, I’m sparing you from my “food photos”. HAHA!

These were two of my roommates and Danielle whom road on the same plane with me! We were standing in security at the airport and she goes, “Hey you have a ShootSAC (camera bag) are you going to St. Louis for After Dark?” And that’s how we met….over a camera bag! <3

Of course after we arrived, we had to act like a bunch of tourists! So we made the mile hike from our hotel to visit the arch……..with our iphones! haha!

Thanks to my friend Cheri, I knew it was possible to ride to the top. These are the little pods that you ride up in. They seat only 5 people….or 4 people with big bums well that’s as long as your bums not as big as the ones on nu bay ass! HAHA! And you can NOT be claustrophobic. I mean if you are afraid of small spaces, THIS IS NOT for you!

When you make it the 630 feet to the very top, you are able to get out into this little hall way with the itty bitty windows to see a beautiful view of the city!

Told you I had cheesy tourist photos! haha!

The city view. It was such a gorgeous day!

Back at our hotel…which just happened to be et in the center of St. Louis, the historic St. Louis Union Station featuring the impressive “Headhouse” Grand Hall as a stunning lobby lounge area, with its sweeping archways, gold leaf detailing, mosaics and art glass windows-it completely transports you back to a time when travel was truly extraordinary.

Isn’t the “head house” amazing!!! We did shoots in there! OK OK….onto some behind the scene shots!

Since I didn’t have my camera back yet, I couldn’t shoot with my “big girl camera” but I did go paparazzi on the paparazzi! haha!

This is inside the Grand Hall that you saw pictured above!

And the lighted floor. I WISH I had one of these in my studio! The shot below shows the pull back shot! Again, these were all shot with my iphone.

And…that’s all I got folks…at least for now! The last image below is a selfie I took on the Metro on the way back to the airport to come home!

I’m excited to bring back all the lighting techniques and EVERYTHING else I’ve learned to improve both my business but the experiences for my clients. My head is exploding with ideas for this summer…..AND I came back with some new friends—which was worth EVERY single penny I spent! <3


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