Tag Archives: MO

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Louis, MO

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Lou!

shutterfest at Union Station

St. Louis Union Station

Back in April of 2015 I went down to St. Louis, MO for a two-day conference, known as Shutterfest. It’s a photography conference like no other. Sal Cincotta calls it the un-conference. I was absolutely amazed at all of the great content I was able to attend and all of the fantastic people that I met. It literally is a non-stop 24 hour a day learning fest. Last year I wasn’t able to make it down there. 🙁

This year I am heading back. From what I heard and saw from the group, I missed an amazing couple of days last year but this year, come hell or high water, I’m headed down there. I wrote about Shutterfest 2015 in St. Louis and I also wrote about fixing up my old Buick to take the trip and today I just wanted to let everyone know that it was the best conference, of any kind, that I’ve ever attended.

The conference is held at the famous Union Station, not too far from the Arch, the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals home games. When I was down there in 2015, I stayed at the Ballpark Hilton which was about a mile from Union Station. This year I’m staying at the host hotel which means I don’t have to take a shuttle or do any driving unless I want to.

This will also be the first major undertaking I’ve done since I had my stroke back on August 3, 2016. I’ve barely done any shooting since then, mostly practising in my office using my strobes in a simple setting on myself. I haven’t advertised or really pushed to do any paid sessions but it’s time to get back into real life.

I’ve used the last 7 months to strengthen my body and work on self-reliance and self-worth. I am still not back to 100% and I may never return to life as it was before the stroke so I have had to re-evaluate how and what I want to do for the rest of my life. If you want to, you can read about my short life summary in my article HELP ME HELP YOU to learn why I keep doing what it is that I do.

I’m really looking forward to learning new information and new techniques and meeting fellow photographers, models and people that live in St. Louis and the area to gain a better perspective on their views on photography and life in general. I won’t be taking the old Buick though. She died last year. Instead, I’ll be taking my old faithful Ford pickup with 18 years and 384,000 miles of experience. Yes, you read the mileage right. I’ll write more about Shuterfest17 when I get back. Until then, stay warm, stay dry, stay safe.

ShutterFest 2015 in St. Louis

Although I haven’t been very active on my blog, I have been very busy practicing my techniques. I am in the midst of getting ready to head to St. Louis, MO for a two-day conference hosted by Salvatore Cincotta Photography called ShutterFest 2015. Sal and Taylor Cincotta are award-winning wedding photographers based in O’Fallon, IL. They regularly travel to Chicago, New York City and other world-wide cities, as well as the St. Louis metro area, to photograph awesome couples, seniors and models in a way that brings great drama and fantastic scenery to life. Sal’s amazing talents have brought me to the conclusion that if I am to become the best, I have to learn from the best. That is why I will be investing the time, money and energy to travel to St. Louis and learn as much as I can. I have already met several super people online via Facebook that will also be attending.

The conference itself may only be two days, but there is so much to see and do and learn that several of us will be getting together to do out-of-conference sessions, both before and after the event. This conference is one that I have been planning to attend for over a year. I will most likely be arriving Sunday before the event, just so I can get as much out of this opportunity as possible. I plan to suck the knowledge out of as many of my fellow photographers as possible. Goals that I have given myself are to learn off-camera lighting better, better business planning, marketing and how to pose people better to bring out the best in them so that the photos that I take for them are the best that they have ever seen. I want my clients to be proud to display them on their walls, to brag about what an awesome time they had, how much fun it was.

Some of the classes I will be attending will be taught by photographers such as Scott Detweiler, Bambi Cantrell, Sal Cincotta, Moshe Zusman, Scott Robert Lim, Nate Grahek (from StickyAlbums) and Vanessa Joy. With fantastic people like these to learn from, I won’t be able to help but become better. With the tips, information and techniques that I get, my photography is bound to become so much better than it is. Don’t get me wrong. I think I’m a pretty good photographer now. But pretty good isn’t where I want to be. The best is where I want to be. While I will never attain it, striving for it is what matters. Learning is what counts. Always working towards your goal is what makes us better people, better in life, better friends… you get the idea.

Please come back and check on me as I travel down this learning path to find myself. And, if you’re so inclined, if you want to experience what I can offer you, if you want to help me help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and right here. Call or send me an email. I’m sure that we’ll be able to work together to get you something that you’ll love for years to come.