This is the first Out of Chicago Architecture and Street Photography Conference. In our six years of running photography conferences, we have learned our attendees are super passionate about their genres of photography. We are so excited to get back to our roots of photographing our beautiful city of Chicago! We are going to teach you in a classroom, take you out on the streets with our amazing instructors, critique your images, and bring in vendors for you to try the newest gear!


The conference begins Friday June 28 at noon through Sunday, June 30th.


Out of Chicago is known best for bringing together amazing instructors in an amazing location to you, our amazing photo community! We are passionate about what we do, and we know you will leave the event inspired and driven to take your photography to the next level!

Who is this for?

If you love architecture and street photography, the Out of Chicago conference is for you. We welcome ALL levels of photography experience. There will be classes for everyone, and the best part of this event is that all of the Out of Chicago team and instructors are excited to help you with any questions you have! There will be classes designed for newer photographers all the way to advanced photographers.

How many people is this limited to?

The conference center is small, and we like to keep our events intimate where you can work directly with your favorite instructors. This event will be limited to 100 people, with a student to instructor ratio of 6 to 1.

How large are the photo excursions?

Photowalks will have a no more than 10 or 15 attendees, depending on the number of instructors, so that you can get hands-on help throughout the photowalk.

Where is the conference located?

All classes will be at the same location we’ve been for the last five years; The University Center. 525 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. All photowalks start at the University Center unless stated otherwise.

Why in the heart of the city??

This is not a conference where you’ll spend most of your time in a stuffy banquet hall listening to speakers. We chose this location to put you within walking distance of some of the best places to photograph in Chicago. You will learn in class, but then head out into the streets to practice what you’ve learned.


The schedule will be a little different this year from other years. Classes begin at 12:00 noon on Friday. Registration will begin at 11:00 in the lobby of the University Center. Everyone will have an opportunity to take in 3- 60 minute classes as a kick-off to the event so you’ll have an even better opportunity to use what you’ve learned!


12:00 – 3:30 Classes at the University Center

3:30 – 5:00 Cash bar and meet and greet in the vendor expo area

5:00 – 6:15 Dinner on your own

6:30 – 7:30 Keynote Speaker- in the Lake Room of the University Center

After the keynote there will be opportunities for classes, a panel discussion or night photowalks


Classes and photowalks start at 8:30am and go until 10 or 11pm!


Classes and photowalk will begin at 8:30am and we will wrap it all up by 5pm.

What should I bring?

Since this is a VERY hands-on conference, don’t forget your camera, tripod, lenses and any other photo gear you would bring on a photography workshop.

Do I need a laptop?

You don’t need a laptop, but if you have one you can bring it to the critique sessions to get some advice on your images. You may also want it to backup images throughout the weekend.

What about weather?

June in Chicago can be in the 80’s and 90’s Fahrenheit. There is always a chance for rain too, so make sure you have a rain jacket. In the event of heavy rain or lightning, our photowalk instructors will bring the group to a location at the University Center or one of the local restaurants to run a critique or educational class until the weather clears.

What is included?

All of the classes, photowalks, critiques, mini workshops, and one on one sessions are included!

What is not included?

You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from the conference and parking. Your meals and hotel are also on your own. Some photowalks may require bus or ‘L’ fare to get to the location, and you would be responsible for this. We do have hotel room blocks and recommend using the Spothero app for better parking rates for the weekend.

Will we get special access to locations?

We are organizing a private shoot at the Rookery as well as an architecture boat tour.

Is there a one-day option?

There is not a one-day option. This event is designed to immerse you in your photography passion for the entire weekend.

Do I pay extra for excursions?

In the past we did charge extra for excursions and photowalks, but this year we are VERY excited to include them with your conference ticket purchase.

Will I get to go on my favorite excursion? How do we pick classes and excursions? When?

Once we release the full conference schedule, we will have the two or three rounds of class selection. In the first round, everyone will be able to pick their top 3 choices for their favorite excursions or classes. We want everyone to be able to get into the class or excursion they want the most!

How should I get to Chicago? Where should I fly in to? What if I take the train?

The closest airport is O’Hare in Chicago. You can take an Uber, a taxi, or the ‘L’ Blue Line to get downtown.

If you’re in the suburbs of Chicago, you could certainly take the Metra train into Union Station or Ogilvie and then take an Uber to the University Center. You would want to make sure the train schedule can get you there early enough every morning if you plan on commuting in every day.

Are there places to eat?

There are so many awesome restaurants within walking distance of our venue. Right below the University Center is Panera, Panda Express, Epic Burger, Spanglish, and many more!

What is the refund policy?

How can I learn more about the places to shoot in Chicago?

Before attending the conference, be sure to download the Photographer’s Guide to Chicago at http://outofchicago.com/ebooks. Here you will find examples of the amazing places we’ll take you out on photowalks around the city.

Can I choose to take all classes and no excursions?

You will get to choose your sessions and create your itinerary. If you prefer to learn in a classroom, feel free to fill your schedule with classes!

Can I choose to take all excursions and no classes?

You will get to choose your sessions and create your itinerary. If you prefer to learn hands-on, walking around the city, feel free to fill your schedule with photowalks.

Are there sunrise excursions?

We plan to stay out late shooting and hanging out. In June, the sun rises around 5am. We may have one or two official sunrise shoots and we may have some informal walks for hearty souls. Or you can certainly get together with a group of your new friends for that early morning shoot!

How will we get to the locations?

Most of the locations of the photowalks will be within walking distance of the conference venue. Some photowalk groups will use Uber, the ‘L’, or a bus to get to their locations, and those will be noted in the description. Please note, you will be responsible for these charges.

How strenuous are the walks? (We’ll let you know for each one)

Each photowalk will have a description of the location along with how strenuous it will be. There will be walks that are up to a mile or two long as well as excursions where you don’t need to walk very far at all.

Where should I stay?

Room Type: Doubles
$169 per night
5/1/18 Cutoff Date
Call 844-596-2441 -or- 312-427-8000 and mention Out of Chicago
Hotel Blake
Single- King $199.00
Double- Queens $219.00
5/15/18 Cutoff Date
Call 312-986-1234 and mention Out of Chicago

What if I want to share a room?

We have a Facebook group for our conference attendees, and many people find roommates by posting in the group asking who else might want to share a room.

Should I get a hotel if I live in the suburbs?

We have the days packed solid from early morning until late at night. We think it’s much easier to stay closer to the University Center to make your days more manageable
If you did decide to drive each day, you can find great prices on parking with the Spot Hero app. It’s best to reserve your spot as soon as possible, do it today!

Will there be camera companies at the event?

We are always excited to partner with Gary from Hunt’s Photo in Massachusetts. He always comes fully armed with LOTS of gear to purchase.

Can I get my sensor cleaned?

Midwest Camera Repair will be cleaning sensors and checking camera equipment.

What will I learn?

You will be immersed in architecture and street photography by the best instructors in the world! We will be focusing on fine art architecture, cityscapes, street photography, street portraits and anything else your creativity can bring!

Will there be a chance to hang out with instructors?

That is one of the best parts of our conference! You’ll have opportunities throughout the weekend to hang out with some of your favorite photographers. Enjoy the cash bar meet and greet Friday afternoon to hang with instructors, vendors, and staff!

Where can I park?

There are multiple parking garages and lots near the University Center. We recommend using Spot Hero to find discounted parking. You can reserve your spot now before they fill up.

Is Chicago dangerous? Should I be worried about my safety/equipment?

Chicago is a fabulous city, but like all other large cities you need to be careful. Always stay with your photowalk group. Keep your hands and eyes on your gear at all times. Do not leave any camera gear unattended.