The second annual Out of Chicago Garden Photography Conference.


August 19 – 23, 2019


The Inn at Mendenhall, 323 Route 52, Kennett Pike, Mendenhall, PA, 19357  Map

In-the-field sessions take place at Longwood Gardens. Classes, workshops, critiques and one-on-one help take place at The Inn at Mendenhall. When you register for the conference, you’ll receive information on reserving your hotel room through our room block. Room rates start at $149/night.

What The Heck Is Out Of Chicago?

Out of Chicago has been running photography conferences for five years. It started as Chris Smith’s Chicago photography blog in 2011 but we are now moving “out of Chicago” and have organized conferences in Chicago, New York City, Moab and Acadia National Park. You can read the history of Out of Chicago at outofchicago.com/about. Subscribe to our newsletter at outofchicago.com/newsletter to be the first to know about upcoming events.

Who Is This Event For?

You’re going to eat, sleep and drink flower and garden photography for five days. If you are passionate about photographing flowers and gardens we’ve made this conference just for you.

There will be classes and excursions designed to meet the needs of beginner to advanced photographers. If you are just starting out, we’ll have classes for you. If this has been your life-long passion, we’ll have classes designed for you too.

How Many People Will Be At The Conference?

We are limiting the conference to 100 attendees. We will have 10 instructors each leading a group to a different area at Longwood Gardens so that excursion groups will never have more than ten attendees. We will coordinate excursion groups so that there is plenty of time and space for everyone to create amazing images.

What If It Rains?

If it’s light rain, we will go shoot. Bad weather often makes the best images.

Your group may decide to move your excursion to the indoor gardens in the conservatory.

If we need to rearrange the schedule, we will do it so that we are in classes and working on images during the rain and shooting when it’s not.

Why Longwood Gardens?

Longwood Gardens is one of the great gardens of the world. There is an endless diversity of flowers and gardens. If it rains, we can use the magnificent greenhouses to continue shooting.

What Is The Price Of The Conference?

The five day conference is designed to bring passionate flower and garden photographers together for an intimate photography experience. We’ll learn, eat, shoot, post-process and critique together.

The conference price is $1599 with $799 due to reserve your spot.

What Is Included In The Price?

Instruction: All classes, in-the-field teaching excursions, post-processing sessions, critique sessions, online pre-sessions, one-on-one help and random late night photography conversations are included.

Opening night cocktail hour and dinner, closing cocktail hour, catered lunches Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are all included. We will accommodate special dietary needs.

What Is NOT Included In The Price?

Travel to the hotel and dinners are not included except for the opening night dinner, which is included. There will be time in the evening for you to explore the great restaurants in the area with your fellow attendees.

Your hotel room is not included in the ticket price. Room rates at The Inn at Mendenhall are $149/night.

Entrance fee or membership for Longwood Garden.

Can I Bring A Non-Photographer Friend Or Family Member With Me?

Of course! They are welcome to join us for all group presentations. The in-the-field teaching excursions are limited to ten people and are reserved for conference attendees.

A meal ticket will be offered so that they can join us for group lunches and dinners. Email michelle@outofchicago.com for more information.

What Makes This Different Than A Photography Workshop?

Most workshops have one or two instructors. We will have ten of the world’s best instructors and each one is teaching their photo specialty. You’ll learn in the classroom, practice it in the field and then return for feedback from the instructors in small group critique sessions.

Plus, you’ll hang out with a larger community of photographers where you’ll find the people that you really “click” with.

Will There Be Equipment That I Can Try? What If I Forget Something?

Yes! We’ll have many of your favorite equipment manufacturers on hand to loan out equipment to try during the field sessions. Gary Farber and Hunt’s Photo will be at the event to provide anything you may need during the event.

Why Is The Conference In August?

August offers the most diverse opportunities for flowers and there is less chance of rain than in the spring.

What Photography Equipment Do I Need?

You’ll want a DSLR or mirrorless camera and a tripod. We’ll share detailed equipment recommendations before the event.

Do I Need To Bring A Laptop Or Tablet?

It’s not required, but if you do have a laptop or tablet you can work on your images during the post-processing and critique sessions and get immediate feedback from the instructors.

Will There Be A Chance To Hang Out With The Instructors?

You bet! We’ll eat meals together, hang out in the evening and photograph together in small groups. There will be time throughout the week to ask questions and just hang out with your favorite photographers.

Will I Be Sitting In Classes All Day?

This is an immersive photography experience. You will learn new techniques in class, but you’ll also be putting them to use in the field.

How Are We Getting To The Photo Locations?

Longwood Gardens is a 5-minute drive from The Inn at Mendenhall. Everyone will meet at Longwood Gardens to meet your excursion leader and group. All excursions groups will meet and leave the garden at the same times so you can share a rental car with a group of friends and drive together even if you’re not in the same excursion.

How Strenuous Will The Walks To The Locations Be?

It’s about a 10 minute walk to the individual gardens from the parking lot. Read Longwood Gardens’ accessibility page for more details.

When Will I Choose My Classes? Will I Get Into The Excursions That I Really Want To Get Into?

We will release the full detailed schedule of excursions, classes and everything else at the end of the spring.

Session registration will take place over two different nights. You’ll pick your top three sessions the first night and then the rest of the sessions the next night. This allows everyone a chance to pick their top sessions before things fill up.

For those of you that have been to our events in the past couple of years, you’ll be happy to know that we have a new registration system that is going to work much better than what we’ve been previously using.

What Is The Refund Policy?

You can the read the refund policy at the Out of Chicago terms and conditions page.

Traveling From Out Of Town

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is the closest major airport. It’s a 35-40 minute drive from the airport to Longwood Gardens. Taxi and ride share service is hard to find around Longwood Gardens. We recommend that you rent a car.

Facebook Group

All critical communication from us will take place through email, but we are setting up a Facebook group for communication between attendees and instructors. When you register for the event you will be invited to the private group so that you can meet your fellow attendees right away!