2024 Utah Symposium


Utah Valley landscape at sunset


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This summer we will be in Utah for a symposium hosted in Provo by Utah Valley University (UVU), Brigham Young University (BYU), and with the help of other members in neighboring Utah schools. This will provide wonderful learning and networking opportunities not to be missed in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. There will be hands-on sessions, and opportunities to meet with industry leaders from Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Tamron, Sony, and Sigma. Favorites like the Nikon Shootout and Clean and Check will also be available. 


Utah is a big state hosting five National Parks, 46 state parks and the Great Salt Lake ecosystem with a lot to see so consider arriving early or staying late to take in the scenery. We will be based in Provo and spending our time at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University - they are only four miles apart. Your key contacts in Utah are Jay Drowns, Nate Edwards, and Jaren Wilkey. On Friday, June 28 there will be an opportunity for symposium attendees to partake in additional sessions culminating in a special sunset shoot on the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats. While there is no additional registration fee for the Salt Flats, attendees will need to provide transportation, dine on their own, and book their lodging in the area (Wendover, NV is 10 minutes from the western edge of the Salt Flats). 


There will be a Partner Program led by Jill Carpenter. They will explore local points of interest in Utah. Transportation and meals will be provided for the partners and they will participate in dinners with the symposium attendees. To register a partner, return to the registration page and choose the Partner option. 


Registration is closed.
We have a new record for registrations, 225! 


What to Expect

Causal attire is appropriate during the week and business casual for the banquet on Thursday evening.

Photo Gear
Our corporate partners will be on hand to lend gear and answer questions. You may want to bring your gear for the Nikon Shootout or the Video Shootout.

Camera Clean and Check
Many of our Corporate Partners will offer complimentary Clean and Check for their brand of cameras. Two-item limit. 

A computer is beneficial for processing photos and videos for the Shootouts. If you cannot bring a computer someone will gladly share with you. 

Transportation to Campus
The host hotel, Provo Marriott and Convention Center is a short drive to either campus. There is a bus stop one block from the hotel leaving every six minutes that stops at both campuses (10 minutes to BYU, 20 minutes to UVU).



*Lighting 101 Workshop


For those interested, BYU will be offering a unique hands-on lighting workshop on the morning of Monday June 24th from 9am-2pm before registration. They will be going over the basics of lighting both in studio and on location. 


This workshop is specifically designed for those who have little to no lighting experience or for those who still feel uncomfortable with lighting. Due to limited capacity, please email your request for a spot in the workshop with a brief explanation of why you think you could benefit from this workshop. Send requests to photo@byu.edu .


If your request is accepted, you will need to make travel arrangements to arrive on Sunday June 23rd to be able to join the workshop the morning of the 24th. Breakfast and lunch will be provided by BYU Photo.




Dates: June 24- 29. 

The closing banquet will be held on Thursday the 27th for those who cannot stay for the experience at the Salt Flats.




June 23-27
The official Host Hotel is the Provo Marriott and Convention Center. The negotiated rate is $146/night plus taxes. June 24th-27th. Use the link below to make reservations. Rooms are available for the evening of 6/23 with checkout on 6/28. A few rooms are available for the night of 6/28. If you are planning to participate in the Salt Flats event on Friday night, we highly recommend staying in Wendover, which is about a 2.5-hour drive north of Provo. 

Reservations Provo Marriott and Convention Center


June 28-29
Reservations for Friday night's stay near the Salt Flats in Wendover will need to be arranged separately for Friday the 28th. There are rooms reserved for UPAA, call to reserve a room or use the general link below. 

Reservations for the recommended hotel for Wendover for the Salt Flats event on Friday night, Montego Bay

Second option for Wedover, Best Western


Montego Bay
      Best Western
1(800) 780-7234






Gregory Heisler

Renowned for technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness over a career spanning more than 45 years, photographer Gregory Heisler has been said to possess "the eye of an artist, the mind of a scientist, and the heart of a journalist." His enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive are manifested in his hands-on approach to every aspect of the image making process. 


Moving fluidly from the locker room to the boardroom, and from the soundstage to the Oval Office, he has photographed luminaries ranging from Denzel Washington to Derek Jeter, Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, and Mikhail Gorbachev to Muhammad Ali. In addition to his advertising campaigns, he is perhaps best known for his more than 70 cover portraits for Time, as well as his iconic covers and innovative essays for Life, Esquire, GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The New York Times Magazine. 


Gregory is the Distinguished Professor of Photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a Canon Legend. His monograph Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits is now in its third printing.



Joe McNally

Acclaimed, award-winning photographer Joe McNally is known worldwide as the quintessential “pro’s pro;” an extremely versatile, deeply experienced assignment photographer whose jobs have brought him to over 70 countries and counting. McNally is often described as: Authentic, empathetic and articulate, an exceptionally skilled technical photographer who pairs extraordinary camera know-how with a vivid imagination and an ongoing, vibrant creativity. Always curious, always adapting to the conditions at hand and the relentless advances in camera technology, he has photographed five cover stories for the National


Geographic (amongst an overall fifteen coverages), and seven covers of LIFE Magazine. He photographed the very first all-digital coverage for National Geographic, which was considered such a significant, watershed moment in the history of that venerable publication that the entire coverage has been incorporated into the archives of the U.S Library of Congress. In addition to inspiring editorial work, McNally has covered four Olympics (with number five looming in Paris in 2024) for such diverse clients as ABC Television, Sports Illustrated and TIME magazine. McNally is known for his penchant to get his camera in “a different place” and has twice climbed the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in addition to climbing the Empire State Building four times.


He is that rare photographer who has successfully made the bridge between the commercial world and the editorial world, and is highly regarded by clients for his versatility, and willingness to be a team player. Joe McNally, a proud Nikon Ambassador, has an extraordinary ability to photograph simple assignments with intimacy and grace, as well as master movie-scale productions with large crews, tremendous pressure and countless moving parts.


Rod Mar


Rod Mar is an acclaimed sports photographer whose career spans over 25 years. Rod learned early in his career that for a photograph to make an impact, it must tell a story. That storytelling philosophy infuses all of Mar’s work, which spans a range of sports and clients from the National Football League to the Special Olympics.


Currently the team photographer for the Seattle Seahawks of the N.F.L., Rod also shoots for editorial and commercial clients worldwide including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Player’s Tribune, NBC Sports, Major League Soccer and others. He counts the Special Olympics as one of his all-time favorite events to photograph.


He has photographed every major sporting event in the United States as well as numerous Olympic Games. After developing his craft over two decades as a photojournalist at the Seattle Times, he embarked on a freelance career in 2009 and has not looked back.


Rod is inspired by a quote he heard from the late Frosty Westering, a small college football coach whom had the pleasure of photographing. “Make the big time where you are”, Westering would always say to this players. This sentence has stuck with Mar ever since, and it’s an approach he brings to every one of his photo assignments.


Rod is a member of the prestigious Nikon Ambassadors, a collective of professional photographers at the top of their respective fields. He is a popular and engaging speaker who has given keynote lectures and taught at workshops and seminars all over the United States and in Canada.


He has won many awards for his work, including first place in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition.




David McLain


I earned my chops the old-fashioned way by shooting feature-length assignments around the world for National Geographic Magazine. The stories varied but the mandate was always the same: work with every kind of person under any kind of condition and create timeless yet contemporary images for a client with the highest visual standards. My assignments took me to six continents and often required 200 days on the road each year.


As a photographer and filmmaker, I specialize in exploring big questions across a range of subjects by telling intimate stories about real people. I’ve shot seven feature stories for National Geographic Magazine, photographed the NYT best-selling cookbook Blue Zones Kitchen, shot for major brands like Sony and Apple, and was Director of Photography for the feature documentary Bounce, which premiered at SXSW. My primary tools are curiosity, an ability to listen, and deep empathy for people who inhabit different realities than mine. Attentiveness to others, to my craft, and to my clients are at the core of everything I do.


I live with my wife, artist Anne McLain, in a 220-year-old Maine farmhouse with a post and beam barn we share studio space in. Our two children, Finn and Myla, were born and raised in Maine and are amazing young adults, one an aspiring builder, the other studying in Patagonia. My family, my home, and Maine ground me and fuel the boundless sense of possibility and hope I bring to my work. I continually marvel at how endless the opportunities are. Now is the time to start exploring them.



Dan Winters


Dan Winters is widely recognized for his celebrity portraiture, scientific and aerospace photography, photojournalism, and Illustrations.  He has won over one hundred national and international awards, including a World Press Photo award, the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, multiple awards from American Photography, Siena International Photo Awards, International Photography Awards, Communication Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, PDN, the Art Directors Club of New York and Life Magazine, among others. He was also honored by Kodak as a photo “Icon” in their biographical “Legends” series.  Winters’ clients include  National Geographic, New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, New York Magazine, TIME, Esquire, GQ, WIRED, Rolling Stone,Texas Monthly and many other national and international publications, as well as a host of advertising, publishing, music and entertainment clients.  He has 6 published books and has had multiple solo exhibitions of his work in NYC, Los Angeles, Savannah, Siena, Italy, Madrid, Spain and Sharjah, UAE. Dan is the subject of a one B&H in Space | B&H eXplorahour National Geographic TV documentary called “Dan Winters: Life is once. Forever”, part of their 2024 series called “Photographer.”

 Melissa Lyttle


Melissa Lyttle is an independent visual journalist. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida and began her career as a staff photojournalist at Florida newspapers, where she worked for nearly 15 years. In 2014, she went freelance and started working for commercial and corporate clients, as well as editorial ones.


Her work has been supported by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund grant, the Alan Hagman Grant, the Pulitzer Center for Reporting grant, the International Women’s Media Foundation and honored by UNICEF, POYi, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Southern Short Course, the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, and the Alexia Foundation. She also won an Emmy for a short film on a high school senior trying to use his football talent to make it out of Muck City.


She proudly served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association for seven years, including two years as president. She is also a member of Women Photograph and the Women Photojournalists of Washington.


She currently lives in Washington, DC with her wife, Anna, their 13-month-old son, and scruffy terrier.







      Before May 1st        May 1st  
Full       $549       $699  
Video Producer       $549       $699  
Associate        $549       $699  
Retired       $449       $599  
Life       $449       $599  
Student       $449       $599  
Partner (spouse)       $449       $599  
Corporate Partner       $350       $350  


Registration closes on May 31, 2024, and refunds are available through May 31, 2024


Getting Here:

Provo is a 50-minute drive from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC). Parking is free at the Provo Marriott and Conference Center for hotel guests. It is also possible to take public transportation (train and bus) from the airport to the station very close to the hotel and it is only $6.10 each way. 


Watch Emily and Kennedy make the trip.

Ride UTA app



Corporate Partners: 


B&H in Space | B&H eXplora  
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Think Tank Photo  

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