Midwest Gathering
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
The Jam Handy
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
Detroit, MI
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
8 Speakers
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
8 Speakers
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
The Jam Handy
Detroit, MI
November 18-19 2020
Detroit, MI
  • Tuesday November 6th
  • Wednesday November 7th
  • Thursday November 8th
  • The Pajama Jam
  • Breakout Sessions
Tuesday November 6th
Pre-Conference Events

November 6th is Election Day so make sure you have arranged to vote absentee if you’re coming into Detroit on Tuesday.  Heather will shame all non-voters.  Canadians, you get a pass.

Early Registration. 
Wanna sleep in on Wednesday?  Come get your credentials on Tuesday.  Where: The Jam Handy

Welcome Mixer.  Make new friends. Where: The Apparatus Room.  Downtown.

Wednesday November 7th
Day One of Midwest Gathering. 9am-7:00pm. The Jam Handy.


Sit your ass down.

Nessa Kessinger:  
Light ‘em If You Got ‘em.

Margaret Jacobsen:
Our Stories Matter

Surprise activity.
  Bring a camera, even if it’s your iPhone.

Lunch.  Look.  I know it’s a long lunch break.  Take some time to explore something in the city while you’re at it (consult your city guide or join us at Detroit Shipping Co).

Welcome back from lunch, sit your ass down. again.

Steven “Sweatpants” Irby: Don’t Live to Pay Your Rent.

Sam Hurd: Beyond Story Telling.

Brian Morrow:
Create or Die.  Or Both.

Drink/Pee break.
  Also just a nice little “oh shit, we’re running behind” buffer.

Branding the Creative Service with Ryan Hunley

Something fun TBD.  Unrelated, does anyone know of a laser tag joint near New Center?

Thursday November 8th
Day Two of Midwest Gathering. 9:45am-7:00pm. The Jam Handy.

Welcome. You know the drill, sit your ass down.

Nisha Ravji:
Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.

Oli Sansom: 
The Science of Bias.

12:15 – 1:15pm.
Breakout Sessions.  
Sign ups coming.

Another long lunch.  This time it’s because we assume by now you’ve made some incredible new friends and need that extra time to talk about your heart’s true desire.  If you haven’t picked a place to go yet, we’ll be at Punch Bowl Social.  There’s bowling.

Welcome back from lunch.  For the last time, get a drink and sit your ass down. We’re almost done.

You Are What You Make, But Also You Aren’t with Heather Jowett.

Bri Richards: 
Secure Your Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others.

Paul Octavious:
Slow Down Creator

Closing remarks.
  Get your ass out.

The Pajama Jam.
  Wear pajamas.  Wear silk.  Wear the outfit of your dreams.  Wear what you wore earlier in the day.  We’re not theme enforcers.  Come as you are.  I just liked the way the name sounded, alright?

The Pajama Jam
Thursday November 8th. 9:30PM-???

Look, after two long days of listening to talks, sitting in chairs, walking around a new city, and taking notes, we’re sure you’ll have some steam to blow off.  Now, there are all sorts of ways to blow off steam but we’re partial to dancing.  Like, super partial.

Our DJ, Derek Hall of The Block Party, is a favorite of every local wedding photographer because we know, if he’s working a wedding, our camera will have no shortage of dancers to be pointed at.  He knows how to get a group of people moving, and that’s just what we’re looking for.

We get it, not everyone has an inner tiny dancer waiting to break out, but we still want you to come to The Pajama Jam, even if your signature move is leaning on the bar and ordering another drink or sitting on your cell phone in a dark corner.  Don’t worry, there will be pre-designated dark corners just for these purposes.

You see, it’s not a literal pajama party (but hey, you can rock a onesie if you want to, in fact, we would fucking love that).  It’s a metaphorical pajama party.  It’s about coming as you are.  It’s about being comfortable in the space… and it’s about rocking those bunny slippers you’ve had since 8th grade if you so choose.

Breakout Sessions
Thursday 12:15-1:15

Want to go on a live shoot?  Interested in drilling in deeper on a particular topic?  Well on Thursday we’ll be splitting into small groups for breakout sessions.  Space is limited for each session and signups will go live at 6:00PM Eastern on October 29th (link will be emailed out to our attendees and posted in our facebook group).

We wanted to give you all a chance to familiarize yourselves with the offerings before they go live.  Below you’ll find a brief description of each!

Finding the Light with Nessa K:  Live Shoot.

Nessa will lead a small group out onto the streets where she’ll discuss the ins and outs of how she picks locations for portraits, paying special attention to light.  There will be a real life couple for you to point your camera at. It’ll be November. Bring a coat. And your camera.

Sam Hurd Opens His Bag of Tricks: Live Shoot.

Sam will take a small group wherever his heart desires to best show off some of his as of yet unpatented shooting techniques.  A desire for experimentation and a camera to shoot with is a must. Bonus points if you bring your own Prism. There will be real life human subjects.

Shooting Experience with Sony

We’re so excited to have Sony on board for Midwest Gathering. They’re bringing a plethora of cameras that you’ll be able to check out throughout the conference as well as hosting a photo walk!

Have you been curious about mirrorless? It’s time to give it a shot. Sony’s heading into communities across the country on their latest #BeAlpha campaign and we’re their next stop!

Cassandra Zetta Niehaus: Inclusivity Starts With I

Inclusive copy and content with a representational portfolio are necessary to serve the LGBTQ+ community, but the real work starts with you. Learn how leaning into our own life experiences can cultivate compassion and understanding to create genuine intent and lasting impact. Practical tips and tools will be shared during this heart focused breakout session, empowering you to provide a more welcoming, affirming experience to your clients, and the LGBTQ+ community at large. Perhaps, you may even be surprised that the effects are further reaching than expected.

Heather Jowett:  3-47 Tips to Help Speed Up Your Workflow

Heather is a freak… for efficiency. The daughter of an engineer, she’s spent her entire life figuring out how to get from A to B in the fastest amount of time with the least amount of effort and she’s applied that to her wedding workflow, from shooting to culling to editing. She’ll share an as of yet undetermined number of tips, no fewer than 3 but not to exceed 47, on how to finish editing every wedding the week you shoot it. Oh, did I mention she finishes editing every wedding the week she shoots it?

Abbey Moore: Quit Feeding the Machine

For most of Abbey’s life she’s battled body image problems. She’s only now realizing how the power of photography can be healing and transformative for others. Instead of feeding the machine with images of perfection – why don’t we become the truth tellers we so often say that we are?

Oli Sansom: Let’s Gets Sassy

Feel up to a challenge? Oli is going to lead you all on an adventure.  It’ll involve a camera and a random sentence generator. If I say more I’ll ruin it.