Announcing…PUSH 2016

PUSH 2016

I can’t believe I am even typing this.  I remember this time last year I was announcing the very first PUSH conference.  I was putting my dream out there hoping people would want to be a part of it.  I was terrified to post it.  But I am so grateful I did.  So many of you saw my vision and embraced it.  I knew my speaker lineup was powerful.  This was some of the best in the industry.  I was just nervous because well, let’s be honest our dreams can be scary to share!  I was rocked to my core the day it went on sale.  So many emotions.  At first I felt sick, terrified that I built it and no one would come.  Then it went on sale and sold out in 30 minutes.  I was completely and utterly blown away.  That day was a roller coaster ride.  You were ready for this.  I was ready for this.  Then the wait.  Then July came and I got to meet all of you-each of you brought something amazing to the table.  We became a PUSH family.  Crazy I know.  It must sound that way to anyone who did not attend but to the lucky 50 we left stronger, energized and knowing we had each other’s backs and will continue to do so.  It was in every sense of the word…a family.


“PUSH 2015….where do I even begin?! It’s like camp for photographers! It was definitely the highlight of my summer! From the classes, to the interaction, to the shoots, it was absolutely amazing! Senior Style Guide never disappoints, and it was SO apparent that Vickie had poured her heart and soul into creating this amazing event. Here’s my 2 cents: PUSH 2016, BE THERE!!!!” -Megan B.

So here we are back in September again…I am still very nervous to put my dream out on display.  But I believe in this industry and the power of education.  And I can say I believe in the power of PUSH.  So much so I have added an extra day and 5 additional speakers than last year for a total of 13 speakers.  BUT I am keeping the seats at 50.  I feel for my conference that is the magic number.  I am serious when I say I want this to be intimate.  I truly believe the experience is complete with smaller numbers.

This year we are super excited to announce that we will have small group tracks for every attendee to ensure a more intimate educational setting.  All attendees will receive education from each of our speakers that allows for more individualized feedback and a more optimal learning environment.


“PUSH. Where do I start!?  This conference for me was much anticipated.  I was in such a rut with my business and doubting a lot in the months leading up to this event.  It was my hope; the light at the end of a tunnel.  From the minute I arrived, it felt like a weight was lifted.  This was going to be just what I needed!  Reuniting with old photographer friends and some of the speakers felt like coming to a family reunion.  Everyone was there with open arms.  It automatically reminded why I love this photography community so much.  

No detail was left out.  But I knew it would be perfect because there is not a single thing that Vickie does that she doesn’t pour her heart and soul into.  The whole experience was just so refreshing.  The speakers were so willing to share anything and everything, and always there to lend a hand.  Whether it was holding a reflector or even helping serve lunch to the attendees when the diner was behind.  The speakers didn’t just give their presentation and run off to their rooms for the rest of the time.  They were always present, always helpful.  They’d talk to you, listen to your questions, heck, even walk you to lunch.  We laughed and learned together as closest group of 50 attendees I’ve ever been a part of.  You would leave a presentation with your mind spinning and then get to shoot and learn new techniques until your heart was content.  

PUSH was everything I had imagined and so much more.  I walked away with a renewed passion and it made me ready and prepared to push my own business to where I wanted to be.  So thank you Vickie, thank you to the speakers, thank you to the new friends.  You all are JUST what I needed!” -Keri H.


The Details…

PUSH 2016 will be held at the same location as this past year.  The Inn At Depauw in Greencastle, IN is the perfect setting for us to freely create.  The hotel will be locked down for only PUSH attendees again this year (and yes those of you who stayed in Depauw’s Town homes located across the street will have that option as well).  It makes this event more intimate.  The hotel and town homes were the perfect creative bubble for 2015!

Combine the hotel, location and all of these elements…
-Three days of classroom instruction

-13 Speakers

-50 seats

-Classroom instruction from some the best and rising senior photographers in the country

-Courses that you can actually use in your business

-2 Evening portfolio building shoots with the speakers (including a styled shoot with True Moua!)

-15-20 Teen and Senior Models

– Instructors on hand to further advance your new found skill set

-And so much more to be announced!

You will be pushed beyond you comfort zone in all aspects of business from client relations, marketing, posing, senior models, editing, lighting, running a successful year round business and creation of both a styled shoot and a fashion shoot.  We have put together a team of 13 amazing speakers all invested in helping your business.  Each one of them has a very specific topic and course created for you to incorporate into your business.


Who will be speaking at PUSH 2016?

That is the big question right?  Again I am grateful to have the best lineup for 2016.  This speaking team is phenomenal and I am so proud to call each of them my friend.  I know they will put their heart and soul into PUSH 2016.  For complete information on our speakers please visit the website HERE

Amanda HollowayGone Girl: In a world focused on the unobtainable, Amanda Holloway is calling photographers to focus on what’s under the skin of our clients. Showcasing our seniors’ and teens’ unique qualities allow others to change the way they think about where true beauty lies. This inspiring and emotionally intense talk will teach attendees how to use their businesses to help change their community from the inside out. It’s time to help our impressionable clients understand that they are all beautiful in their own way. 

Brooke DanielsThe Stylized Senior:  Let’s Do This! : One of the biggest drawbacks photographers find in creating stylized shoots, is that they don’t want to spend a fortune purchasing design elements that will only be used one time. I have my black belt in bargain shopping and I am going to share some secrets of where to find stylized components on a budget and how to repurpose things you already own. We will put together a concept shoot on the fly and I will share some simple hair style, makeup, and styling tricks that you’ll be able to implement at your next senior session to help set your artistry apart and boost your sales. And Brooke will also focus on… Are you running your business or is your business running you? Last year I spoke about the topic most near and dear to my heart: How to balance family life with work life. Next year we will dive more in depth and discover ways to maximize your time, increase your profit, bring more fulfillment to your career and more peace to your home. If you’ve hit a plateau in your business, I’ll help you break through those roadblocks and learn how to fall in love with photography all over again and see the real Girl Boss that’s inside of you!

Stephanie PanaCreating A Bond With Your Local Boutique: Working closely with a local boutique intertwined within my creative endeavors of wanting to try something new. It was the key to truly giving my brand a one of a kind stand point. Now, how does one go about finding  & presenting these opportunities? What is the best way of finding your match when it comes to working side by side with a boutique? How do you combine your businesses together cohesively to where it profits both sides equally? All of these are honest & great questions to think about when planning to seek out a relationship with a local business. Why not work together to better define BOTH of your brands! Learn from my first hand experience of working with a boutique over the last 4 years and how we ever perfected our working relationship to benefit both sides!

Latasha HaynesConversations By Design: Basics of Social Media and How to Use Platforms to Engage High School Seniors Tips and Tricks for using, navigating, building and engaging genuine users via social media with an emphasis on Twitter, Snap Chat and Instagram.

Jen BertrandEditing Workflow For The Studio Shoot: Theres no doubt about it shooting with studio light and shooting with natural light are two different beasts. When working with studio lights, there are a host of different factors you have to consider that alter your shooting workflow and the management of light. Therefore, it only makes sense that editing your studio images requires a slightly different workflow, too. During this class, Ill take you through my studio editing workflow where well tackle everything from culling images to managing shadows and highlights to create a polished image. Well even talk about how to correct issues in camera in order to streamline your editing process. Ill walk you through editing techniques and programs (such as CaptureOne and AlienSkin Exposure) used by professional retouch artists that will separate your images from your peers. TOPICS COVERED: Culling Images White Balancing Balancing Shadows and Highlights Skin Correction Background Correction Contouring Sharpening Color Grading B&W Images

Nicole CookWorking With Agency Models: Nicole will explain how working with models and modeling agencies can propel your senior portrait business to the next level, and will provide insight into the ins and outs of the industry. She’ll cover the following questions and more to help you understand how to build a foundation in the modeling industry: How do I add an editorial feel to my senior images? How can I connect and work with a modeling agency? What are the expenses associated with working with models? What kind of images do modeling agents want? What is a model test shoot and how do I put one together? How do I retouch a model shoot and what do I provide to the agency/model?

Teri FodeMarketing For Success: In a saturated industry, effective marketing is more important than ever and it can be the very key to a successful and thriving photography business. Simply put, marketing is all about identifying and communicating the message of your brand to your target audience. Teri will share the specific things she has done in her own business that has carved a strong voice for her brand. You will take away some solid ideas that you can implement to elevate the presence of your business in your own market.

Christina RamirezFinding Your Photographic Voice:  We are all on social media. It’s where we market to our clients, connect with family and friends, share images of our children, and network with other photographers. It’s also a place where we get inspiration, follow and support others and then somehow something happens and we begin to compare our work to the images we see. Our own photographic voice gets lost and overwhelmed in a barrage of social media images and our mind starts to play tricks on us as the negative voices start to creep in. “It’s not good enough, if only I could shoot like this, or have a client who looks like that. What am I doing wrong?” I’ve been there. This was me. And then a shift happened and I found my own photographic voice, my own style and the voice that would haunt me and bog down my creativity was silenced. How can you get excited about your images again? How can you market to your clients with confidence and not anxiety? How can you get your images to the point where people know it’s your image before they even see your name? Together we will put a definition to your art.

Stephanie NewboldGetting Personal: The Relationship Based Senior Model Program: Getting an edge in your senior portrait market can be hard and senior model programs are a fantastic way to connect with your market and create buzz about your business. I am super excited to chat with you all about how to take your senior model program to the point where its working FOR you and not working you OVER. As photographers, we are very much in a ‘people’ business. How we deal with clients matters a lot and the success of your senior model program can be hugely dependent on the relationships you create! These relationships can impact the success of your program, influence future referrals and make or break your sales. So, while the structure of your senior model program should be firmly rooted in business principles, the heart of your program should be centered around creating real relationships that build value into the entire senior model process and client experience. In this course, Ill share my tips and tricks on how to do just that. Well cover ways to develop a senior model program that can pretty much run itself through relationship building, fostering those relationships to create a little brand romance, leveraging the Mom Factor, and ultimately creating a program that benefits your senior models AND also happens to work for YOU.

Jim MeyerLocation Lighting:  I’m look forward to helping everyone break into the world of Off Camera Flash. In our industry we all want to stand out, do something different and I believe using flash is the quickest way to reach that goal. I will be covering OCF on location. Discussing simple set ups to add diversity to your portfolio and create dynamic images to get your clients talking!

Craig StidhamEvolution: Get ready to jump into Evolution. A New Vision of photography. Start taking pictures you cant see with your eyes. Evolution is a program that will bring you into the Light. This course is all about creative lighting. You will learn the ins & outs of lighting used by todays fashion photographers. We will go over light properties, light modification, and how to set lights to capture the creative images you want. At Push 2016 we will go on location around our area and use lighting to create senior fashion images. You will have a hands on experience. Your input will help create the moods, lighting and look for the location. If you have a Pocket Wizard (1) please bring it, If NOT I will have one for you.

Dan BrouilletteUn-Posing And The Art Of The Studio Portrait:  Looking through magazines today we see tons of images of celebrities and models who are constantly doing things. Running, jumping, blowing bubbles, and just looking natural while doing something. These caught moments are not by chance but are carefully setup to capture people at flattering moments while still maintaining authentic emotion. I will show you how I run a senior session to get kids to get out of their comfort zone and how using a mix of subtle and direct commands will help you get more REAL looks from your seniors that really show their personality. The Art of the Studio Portrait is my way of using the old fashioned studio portrait and taking it to the next level using unique lighting techniques mixed with editorial style backgrounds and inspiration to create artistic portraits using 1, 2, and multi-light setups in the studio.

Devon JonesReinventing The Wheel:  Almost everybody sees color all the time, every day. It makes us feel different ways, draws our attention, and inspires us. My presentation will be an in-depth study of the color wheel and how it works. You will learn how all the colors interact with an against each other and how that is relevant in your photography, editing, branding, and styling! We will talk about color schemes and why they are important when you’re styling your client and choosing a location to fit that style. We will look at the ways that complimentary colors can make each other really sing or neutralize each other altogether, and you will participate in a hands-on demonstration of how this works in a way that you may have never experienced before. After this demo, you may finally be able to get that perfect skin tone you’ve been chasing! We will also explore every color and the feelings related to them, which may lead you to discover something about yourself that you haven’t been able to put your finger on! Are you drawn to certain colors over others? Does your branding REALLY represent you? I want you to see color in a whole new light!

And we have a special guest!

True Moua will be creating a special concept during one of our evening shoots!  This is your chance to see her in action!



“What can I say about the PUSH Conference?  There are NO WORDS.

It was that amazing…

It was packed full of education tailored for the Senior Portrait Photographer wanting to PUSH herself to the next level.  The speakers were top-notch, delivering cutting edge topics relevant to today’s senior market.  The inspiration and the amount of knowledge gained was priceless.  It completely blew me away and exceeded every hope and expectation I had.  The PUSH Conference has completely set the standard for workshops and conferences for the Senior Portrait Photographer!” -Jen B.


“PUSH 2015 was an incredible experience. It was my first professional conference, and wow, PUSH set the bar so very HIGH!!   Vickie planned and executed a flawless event. The instructors were top notch and POURED their heart, soul, and passion into each of us as they taught and we shared our time together. I learned so many new things… and more importantly how to implement them in my business.  I was so excited to come home and get to work! The whole experience was intimate and uplifting.  EVERYONE was so positive and encouraging.  We even ended the conference with a hugging receiving line and lots of happy tears… WHAT!?  How cool is it that? We came knowing each other just as a profile pic and a name and left as a PUSH family. Absolutely priceless. I can’t wait for PUSH 2016 to see everyone again!!” – Melissa W.

More Details…

Additional info for Push:

When:  July 11, 12 & 13

Where:  The Inn At Depauw, Greencastle, IN

Who:  50 Lucky Attendees

Registration will begin Monday September 7 at 11 am eastern time.  We will provide complete details on how to register Friday!

Price:  $1695 (registration only…meals, transportation and hotel are not included)
Want more details?  Visit the website by clicking HERE

Restrictions and fine print…

*There will be a 40 mile protective radius from zip code 46135-you cannot live, shoot or market to clients within or have a business within this radius.

*If you own or work for another senior blog, senior/teen focused social media site or magazine, you will not be able to attend.
*Not responsible for weather, acts of God, flight delays, etc. we make every accommodation possible but note that things are subject to change.  There are no refunds.


“There are few moments in life when you are surrounded completely – and I mean 110% – in an atmosphere of trust, genuine-ness, eagerness to learn and teach, and AWESOMENESS. Push was one of these moments for me.  Outside of the incredible learning and teaching, I was blown away by the realness and approachability of each instructor.  No question was left unanswered and no task was left undone.  I left feeling encouraged, uplifted, challenged, and surrounded by new friends.  I can’t wait until next year!” -Mackenzie F.


“Coming to the photography background from a business and science background has always driven me to budget for and ensure continued learning opportunities. I have participated in several different types of conferences and workshops. Yet, this learning experience can not be compared to any other. What PUSH embodied was realism, heart and genuine passion from the presenters and attendees. The energy behind what was conveyed at every level of the conference came directly from what was set out as expectations and passion from the top down. You better believe I will be pushing “Buy Now” just as soon as a can to ensure I am a part of PUSH 2016.” – Janelle


I can’t wait to meet our 50 lucky attendees as space will be super limited to this conference!  Come hang out, shoot, build your portfolio and learn with these amazing speakers!

See you in July!