Remember the night before your birthday as a kid? How you would lay in bed thinking about all the cool presents you were going to get the next day? Well, that combined with sleepless nights, more new professional acquaintances you've ever met, and endless photographic shoots kind of explains Shutterfest.
We, from PimentelPortfolio, had never been to a Shutterfest convention before. So, we packed everything we've ever used to shoot, and I mean EVERYTHING, including two Military grade parachutes we use for concept shoots.
So we started our journey to St Louis Union Station; home base of Shutterfest and Photographic Guru Sal Cincotta, a world renowned St. Louis photographer and Papa to the Shutterfest Convention.
We arrived at Union Station in St Louis and saw carloads of other photographers unloading bag after bag of gear. We had arrived!! We were in Utopia!! The sidewalks were already filled with people starting to set up shoots.
We hustled into the Hotel to check in. I turned around and there stood Editorial and fashion photographer Michael Corsentino. We exchanged salutations and then in another turn I spied New York Fashion Photographer and Author of the book "Photographing Men", Jeff Rojas. At this point we knew this was going to be a great week!
And what a week it was! We went to classes throughout the day with some of the Industries Top Dogs, people like Craig Lamere, Kerri Jean and Justin Houng. After classes we mingled and then ran back to our room to prep for what the festers call "After hour" shoots.
The time flew by. We had arranged a few shoots, concentrating our game on the Male Models, who we really wanted to photograph.
We met some pretty amazing people along the way.
St. Louis Model Jason Williams
I honed my skills and was surrounded by so many other crazy creative photographers, so many that at several times our radio controlled flashes went completely ghost in the machine from others signals.
We danced the night away to a 90's themed party, running outside to catch some air and boom there was a shoot in session with 100's of photogs all clicking away.
I grabbed the camera I had on hand and started shooting. It was fun. It was freedom. I wasn't shooting for anybody but myself and I was not bogged down by equipment; just me and my iPhone 📱.
We even took a class with the master himself, Sal Cincotta, and it was, as he says, "Epic". We learned how to see greatness and capture it in the Cincotta style. We were humbled and engaged to the coolness of this.
With The Godfather of Shutterfest, Sal Cincotta, in downtown St. Louis.
The next few days we met more cool models, and other Shutterfest legends.
Meeting new friends; where's KC?
We met a few local models that we will return to St. Louis to shoot.
After two days of Shutterfest, the business of the buisness began with Shutterfest Extreme; an intensive with several speakers.
Who taught us Branding and Marketing hints.
Man did we gain some confidence. It was intense to be surrounded by other creatives who all spoke the same language. For a kid who's Always felt like an outsider, for once I was inside the loop and it was.... well It was Shutterfest!!!!!!
We will return next year and we will be attending Lunacy, the spinoff Photo experience to Shutterfest, in Las Vegas.
And.. we can't wait!!!