Last week, I spent three days in St. Louis, MO with about 2000 photographers from literally all over the world at Shutterfest 2016. This is an annual photography event held by Sal Cincotta, and it's amazing. Last year, I attended as a volunteer, and I didn't have the opportunity to participate in any real photo sessions. This year, I was an attendee, and I had a blast. I participated in and arranged different photo shoots, and I came away with a great deal of knowledge.
I honestly believe that you get out of a situation what you put into it. I attended Shutterfest to gain more knowledge, become more comfortable with OCF, and network with other photographers. The attendees ranged from professionals who've been in business for years to people new to photography. If you wanted to know more about the business end of photography, there were classes for you. If you wanted to know about lighting, you could attended a couple of classes on it. If you only wanted to shoot and build your portfolio, this was also available to you. I did both. I attended classes, and I set-up photo sessions as well as attended some impromptu sessions.
I met some amazing and welcoming photographers. We had great discussions, and we shared information. I also met some people who looked at me as if I had a horn growing out of my head when I spoke to them. Really? Those people didn't get the spirit of what Sal and his team have created with Shutterfest. He's building a family - the antithesis to WPPI, and they've succeeded. I was able to reconnect with people that I met last year, and it was a very nice feeling. I also encountered people who forgot what they learned in kindergarten such as saying "Please", "Thank you", and taking their turn. I gave them a smile, and walked away. I wasn't going to allow anyone to dampen my experience.
I've culled the images from Shutterfest, and I've edited just a few. I have several favorites, but I'm posting ones that particularly struck me. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend in 2017. Shutterfest will take place two days before my anniversary. Although I enjoy photography, and seeing friends again, I love my husband more.
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