Welcome to Out of Chicago Photography! We create unique experiences with your photography heroes to help you get the most out of your photography passion.

Out of Chicago started in 2011 as Chris Smith’s photography blog of his adventures in Chicago. This led Chris to write The Photographer’s Guide to Chicago and in 2014 Out of Chicago held the first annual Out of Chicago Photography Conference. Since the first annual conference, the event has grown to be the largest photography conference of its kind in the midwest, attracting photographers from around the world.

Out of Chicago has recently expanded “out of” Chicago. We’ve organized events in the Chicago suburbs, New York City, Acadia National Park in Maine, and next year we’re headed to Moab, Utah.

Since 2011, we have teamed up with some of our favorite photographers including Art Wolfe, Rick Sammon, Bryan Peterson, Valerie Jardin, Matt Kloskowski, Frederick Van Johnson, Elia Locardi, Thomas Leuthard, Bill Fortney, Tim Wallace, Julia Anna Gospodarou, Scott Bourne, Jimmy McIntyre, Lindsay Adler, Jen Rozenbaum and hundreds more.

Follow the photography adventures of Chris Smith and Out of Chicago through the Out of Chicago YouTube channel, The Out of Chicago podcast, and the Out of Chicago newsletter.



Chris founded Out of Chicago back in 2011 with his blog about photographing our beautiful city. Because of his vision to connect passionate photographers, we now have the annual summer conference and many other events. Chris loves photographing the city and using his 17+ years of teaching physics experience to teach others about his photography passion. When he’s not creating new content for Out of Chicago, you will find him hanging out with his two young children or playing hockey.



As a team member of Out of Chicago, she is responsible for helping create new and marketing our events. She is passionate about making Out of Chicago a strong community of photographers and loves meeting new friends! In addition to photographing Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and travel, she enjoys portrait photography too. You can find her work at malindakavphoto.com.



Michelle joined the team in 2015 and oversees all of the logistics for each the conferences. She works with the exhibitors, speakers and registration. She is a landscape, cityscape and macro photographer. Her images have been published in “The Photographer’s Guide to Chicago” and in the Out of Chicago YouTube channel videos.



As Presenter Liaison, Anne gathers presenter information for the website and makes sure presenters are welcomed and have everything they need before and during our conferences. Anne specializes in flower photography and teaches classes and workshops with Out of Chicago and other conference venues. She also works in partnership with Lensbaby to spread the love of their creative lenses. See her work here, www.annebelmontphotography.com.



Lara Joy coordinates the dedicated volunteers that are essential to the Summer Conference. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact her below. LJ is also an avid equine, nature and travel photographer. She writes for Digital-Photography-School.com as well as writing and teaching for Out of Chicago. Visit www.larajoy.us to learn more about her work.



Although photography is not his career, it is his passion. His specialties are infrared and landscapes, but he explores just about every style and subject. He brings his geographic and logistical background, along with the passion for photography, to Out of Chicago’s photowalks.



Larry is a retired IT professional who has always been interested in photography. As a technology assistant, he makes sure equipment is set up and in working order for the presenters during our conferences. He also helps produce the Out of Chicago podcast. Larry specializes in commercial and event photography and currently freelances for Madison Magazine. In his spare time, Larry enjoys the chance to camp, do yoga, and swim.


Join the Out of Chicago community to make sure you don't miss our next big event!

Close this popup

Out of Chicago creates amazing events. Join the community to get the latest updates in your email.

  • Get the latest photography tips from Out of Chicago instructors
  • Be the first to know about upcoming Out of Chicago conferences and workshops
  • Get discounts on Out of Chicago events
  • Download The Photographer's Guide to Chicago and 10 Projects to Spark Your Creativity from Chris Smith