Shutterfest 2014

I am finally blogging about Shutterfest 2014.  Shutterfest is a conference held in St. Louis, MO by internationally recognized & award winning photographer, Salvatore Cincotta. We (my husband David and I)  traveled from our Northern Illinois home last April leaving our 4 kiddos with their grandparents and headed to the very first Shutterfest (& our first conference too).  Before the conference started, we took the trip to the top of  the Arch.  We haven’t done that since we were kids.  I got a bit claustrophobic and had to look at my phone for a countdown while in the capsule (phew…we made it to the top!).  The view was incredible!  Staying at the Hilton was a blast too, especially the rooftop and our room view was beautiful.  It was a super fun getaway for the both of us.

stephanie hulthen shutterfest photographer_0011

And the conference starts…Sal knows how to start a PARTY!  He’s a fantastic host and very personable.  He definitely has a magnetic personality!

During the 2 day workshop, I took classes from Vanessa Joy (& yoga too), Joe Switzer, Blair Phillips, Salvatore Cincotta, Roberto Valenzuela & Lori Nordstrom.  SO much info in 2 days and SO awesome!!  All of them are fantastic instructors, so knowledgable, and very kind.

Below is Roberto talking about posing & lighting.  He is one of my favorite wedding photographers, so I was soaking up EVERYTHING!  I returned home and purchased one of his books:  Picture Perfect Practice.  It’s fantastic & I highly recommend reading any book he has written.  With hard work, It will take your photography to the next level.  

I have always loved moving images, and I incorporate video in some of my sessions.  I’ve never heard of Joe Switzer before Shutterfest and one of the reasons I signed up for his hands-on class is because of his silly bio.  I love to laugh and be goofy and this drew me to him.  Joe was a blast to learn from.  He even took extra time at the end to sit down and talk about any questions we had.  He is super cool and amazing at cinematography.  

Below are photos from my time in Vanessa Joy’s hands-on Natural Light workshop.  The day was beautiful and the blooms were gorgeous!  I have been following Vanessa on social media and enjoy her work so much.  It was wonderful to meet her in person and be able to bask in her expertise.  She also told our class about the Lightroom Retouching Toolkit.  When I got home, I purchased the kit and LOOOVE it, especially when editing weddings.  If you are a photographer, you should check it out.  Here is a link that will save you $10: 

David had the wide angle lens in his workshops, so I had to use my iPhone at times.  This year we will bring more gear with us so we don’t have to share.  =)

After the conference Sal invited all the Suttterfesters over to his studio in O’Fallon.  Seeing where he does his Shutter Network, his samples, shooting area, ordering sessions, etc….was a treat!  Sal even gave me a kiss on the cheek when we left!  I haven’t washed my face for almost a year (hehe).  

I could write so much more about all the other wonderful instructors, the crazy awesome comedy night & dance party, the wonderful networking, the fantastic vendors, etc….  But, I must get some work done (& check the Shutterfest fb page (ha).  Thank you to Sal, Taylor & your wonderful team for a fantastic experience.  We learned a ton!  We can’t wait for Shutterfest 2015 NEXT MONTH.  Woohooo!!  We are ready!

You can find David & Stephanie at

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