The I Heart Photography Conference and Expo kicks off Friday morning with a variety of hands-on Excursions and Precon Classes. These programs are your opportunity to bring your camera and work in a small group setting with a coach who will guide you through the process of creating outstanding images. Coaches will help you as much or as little as you like. We have a variety of Excursions and Precon Classes that are sure to get your creative energy flowing. Excursions and Precons require an addition fee. Transportation to and from each Excursion is not included.

Precon and Excursion Only Registration

Play With Your Food

Hosted by Malinda Julien
Friday, October 15

Excursion Fee:  $67

This is a fun, hands on program encouraging attendee participation. The program will inspire you to see your food differently and perhaps move to photographing food professionally!

Whether you are a casual cook, a food blogger or just a photographic foodie, this
program will get you off to a great start! You will be able to set up your own food vignettes and photograph them! We will be there with advice and be your photo assistant!

We will cover:

  • Lighting
  • Equipment
  • Tools of the trade
  • How to choose the “hero”
  • Propping,
  • Angles
  • Food styling

Meet the Speaker:

Author: “The Sugar Biscuit Journey”, “Paved Paradise”, “Essentials: The Heros of the Pandemic”, “Home Cooking Kitchen”.

Host and Instructor: “The Home Cooking Kitchen” on YouTube™

Precon and Excursion Only Registration

Video Excursion in Deep Ellum

Hosted by Todd White
Friday, October 15

Excursion Fee:  $89

Are you interested in shooting videos for your clients and add that to your business offerings? Looking to practice creating videos for portrait sessions, fashion, clothing brands or lifestyle content? Come join Todd along with professional models in Deep Ellum to learn and create video content that will help you grow your skills and get more comfortable creating video.

This excursion will be a combination of education and hands-on practice with models to create lifestyle video content. In addition to a cool location to shoot, Todd will talk about planning the shoot, shooting with an edit in mind, choosing the right locations, working with available light, directing your model and when to use slow motion. Todd will break down his shots and the thought process behind them so you can easily follow and create your own. You will learn about how to be comfortable with the environment, how to capture authentic shots and create a dynamic video for your clients.

You will also learn camera movement and how to use the elements around you to add character and texture to your videos. By the end of class you should have enough footage to be able to go home and edit a short lifestyle video.

In addition to the above, Todd will also cover:

  • Using frame rates for movement and creativity.
  • Techniques for stabilizing the camera without a gimbal
  • Techniques for shooting handheld
  • Using ND filters for maintaining a shallow depth of field and controlling light
  • Working with your client/talent and directing them to get the movement you need
  • Shooting transitions in camera
  • Learning to shoot for the edit

For this excursion, please bring:

  • Camera – DSLR or Mirrorless that records video
  • A freshly formatted memory card
  • A fully charged battery
  • A variable ND filter (VND. This is optional but will help you when shooting outside. Highly recommended)
  • Note-taking Supplies
  • Optional Gear (NOT Required, bring only if you have it or want to use it) – gorillapod, gimbal. NO tripods or monopod. Keep in mind, we will be walking around a lot and you’ll have to carry what you bring.

Video Gallery

Precon and Excursion Only Registration

Image Gallery

Meet the Speaker:

Todd is a native Texan and spent 26 years in the corporate world before making the switch to a full time photographer and videographer. Todd grew up shooting on film and is self-taught. His passion for photography grew during a month long trip to India and has not stopped since.

Fashion and lifestyle content is what he focuses on and a blend of photos and video is the primary type of content he creates for his clients.

Todd is a husband and a father. He has found that blend of hobby and career in photography and videography. He is a foodie and a craft beer lover as well.

Precon and Excursion Only Registration

Welcome to the Jungle of Wildlife Photography

Hosted by Dennis Kelley
Friday, October 15

Excursion Fee:  $89 (includes admission to the Ft. Worth Zoo.  Does not include parking.)

Dennis Kelley is known for his unique story telling imagery of people and animals. Like Singer-Songwriter Axl Rose was told once, “Welcome to the Jungle!” Whether Dennis is building a story when all has been lost on the city streets, or immortalizing one of nature’s beast forever tamed within our concrete jungle, he breathes nature’s story into every image.

If you love photographing wildlife, either in their natural environment, game parks or in a zoo, this workshop is for you. Dennis will give you tips and techniques to take your wildlife photography to the next level. Key topics will include: lens choice, telephoto extenders, filters, timing, focus presets, seasons and his own unique thought process on planning a photo safari.

Join Dennis for a wild adventure at the Fort Worth Zoo and see over 540 species of exotic, native, and endangered animals!  Bring your camera gear and laptop for a half-day excursion of learning, shooting, and tips on processing your images. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime— Ft. Worth style!
The admission price is included in your registration and allows us to travel through the zoo as many times as we desire. We will also be able to visit the Texas Wild! Petting Corral which has domestic goats, domestic chickens, Texas tortoises and corn snakes. This is the adventure you’ve been waiting for, with the added benefit of some great photography education. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

Location:  Fort Worth Zoo

Meet the Speaker:

Dennis Kelley is an award-winning, published professional photographer who lives in San Antonio, Texas. He loves all genres of photography, but focuses mostly on sports and wildlife photography.

When Dennis was a child, his father worked as a photographer for the National Weather Service in Oklahoma. His father’s stories and images spurred his interest in photography. After growing up using film cameras and many hours in the darkroom, Dennis originally pursued photography as a hobby after entering the police academy. After 20 successful years in law enforcement, Dennis decided to retire and continue his pursuit of photography as a professional. Dennis enjoys volunteering his time to several organizations, teaching others, and is always looking for the opportunity to capture the true beauty of nature and life. When not behind the lens, Dennis enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, music, and his greatest treasure… his 11-year-old son.

Dennis’ work has been recognized at local and state print competitions, being awarded the “Texas Top 10” for consecutive years. His work has also been accepted into the prestigious PPA “Loan Collection” and has been awarded PPA Gold Photographer of the Year.

Dennis currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Photographers of San Antonio. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from Texas State University and a Master of Science from Sam Houston State University.

Precon and Excursion Only Registration

Headshots and Beyond



Hosted by Guy T. Phillips, Cr., CPP
Friday, October 15
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

This class will challenge you to think differently about your headshot business.

Guy T will show you how to create a rock-solid head shots that will have you in demand.

By showing your clients how to use images to build their brand, you will become invaluable to your clients!

This is a hands-on class, so bring your camera.

During this class, you will:

  • Experience a live headshot session
  • Gain confidence with quick and easy headshot setups
  • Learn things you gotta know to make for a better headshot experience
  • Understand the difference between a headshot and a branding experience
  • Ideas on how to promote branding as a unique offering

Meet The Speaker:
Guy T’s enthusiasm for helping you will shine through in this class! As a DPPA, TPPA and PPA member, he wants to share his knowledge and give back! Guy T is known throughout the U.S. for his “entertaining” style of corporate-level training that will help you stay engaged throughout the session.

Be prepared to have fun and laugh while you learn the things you didn’t pick up from a manual or an online video! Guy T is a native Texan (San Antonio born and Hill Country-raised), and a long-time resident of Highland Village.

His usual, unbiased description of his wife is “She is still the most beautiful woman I have ever met and the best friend I could ever ask for”, and he is equally proud of his “greatest daughter in the world”!

Photographing Flowers Outdoors


Hosted by Teri Whittaker
Friday, October 15th
9:00AM to 1:00PM

Excursion Fee:  $67

Do you love flowers, photography and being outdoors? Do you have a passion for photographing flowers outside, but are challenged to create images that you cherish? Well, come join Teri Whittaker for a trip to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is one of the United States loveliest display gardens and is considered one of the best arboretums in the world. In this beautiful environment, Teri will first share with you tips and tricks for photographing flowers outdoors.

We will then explore the lovely gardens and photograph flowers to our heart’s content. We will also have a “scavenger hunt” and those that participate in the hunt will be entered into a drawing for a Plamp II.

Teri will cover:

  • The elements of a successful outdoor flower image
  • The useful tools when photographing outdoors
  • How to evaluate backgrounds
  • To consider all photographic viewpoint options for a subject
  • To play a bit with motion blur.

After an enjoyable time photographing flowers, we will find a lovely spot in the gardens to sit and listen as Teri shares some of her post processing techniques that have proven successful for her in image competition.

Then bring your outdoor flower images and your computer on Sunday for an opportunity to finish the creative process for your floral art!

A few important notes: The registration does not include admission to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden or parking. Tripod and wagons are not permitted; however, monopods may be used.

Meet the Speaker:

Contrary to most photographers’ history that she hears, Teri Whittaker did not grow up with a camera in her hands. She was well into adulthood when, out of desire to accomplish a specific goal, she started researching cameras and lenses that would help her accomplish her mission.

Teri is a wife, a mom, and a mia (her grandmother name as she did not want to be called grandma). She and her family have had the opportunity to live in places such as Alaska and Africa, and to travel much of the United States.

Teri is a homebody that loves, loves, loves Thai food.