2019 Information

Register Now    or download the form and mail it in.

Location: The campus of cosponsor Lake Forest College (campus map), thirty miles north of Chicago. Learn more about the City of Lake Forest online or download the PDF overview.

  • As in past years, we will begin with a reception and an optional dinner on Friday evening. The reception begins at 5:00 in the Glenn Rowan House, with dinner service commencing at 6:30 in Calvin Durand Hall.
  • Saturday will feature a full day of presentations, breakfast, lunch, an evening reception with drinks and appetizers, and another optional dinner. The day begins at 8:30 in the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel. Doors open at 8:00.
  • Sunday will conclude the weekend with additional presentations from 9:00-12:30 in the McCormick Auditorium of the Johnson Science Center. Doors open at 8:30.

Your Photographs: After purchasing your tickets, please send one of your recent photographs, preferably from the past year, for inclusion in a presentation of attendeesā€™ photographs at the conference. Send one JPEG image file, either 1920 pixels wide or 1200 pixels high, to info [at] railphoto-art.org.

Patrons: If you feel strongly about the conference, consider becoming a patron (use the Paypal link above). Patrons help offset travel costs for presenters, and the twenty-five patrons of Conversations West and Conversations Transcontinental also provided funds for scholarships in 2019. Patrons are recognized in the program and receive free tickets for all print raffles.

Scholarships: Up to four scholarships, funded by conference patrons, are available for young, new, and/or emerging photographers and artists to cover ticket prices, two nights of lodging (double occupancy), and partial travel expenses to and from the conference. The deadline is July 19, 2019; applicants will be notified of their status by July 26, 2019. Download application here.

Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary needs, and we will make every effort to accommodate them.

Hotel rooms are again available at:

Use these links or mention the Center when you call to receive our special rate, which will be available until August 14 or whenever the block of rooms has been filled.

Filmmaker Barre Fong will present oral histories of descendants of workers on the original Central Pacific Railroad. Photograph by Eric Baumgartner

Dates and Times

  • Friday, September 13,
    5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 14,
    8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 15,
    9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


  • Ben Bachman, contemporary photography
  • Gil Bennett, paintings
  • Jennifer Bodine, her father Aubrey Boudine’s photography
  • Barre Fong, descendants of Chinese workers
  • John Free, social documentary photography from the Los Angeles freight yards
  • Oren Helbok, photography with his father, John
  • Ron Perisho, transcontinental railroad stereoviews
  • Eric Williams, contemporary photography
  • Short presentations by conference docents

Flatcars carrying plupwood stand on a siding at the sprawling West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company at Covington, Virginia, in 1960. Photograph by A. Aubrey Boudine.