Salvatore and the Beanstalk

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Everyone remembers the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Even if you forgot it, there was a movie released last year all about this story from our childhood.  Well, here’s a spin-off of that same fairytale, only it’s real world…Salvatore and the Beanstalk.

Just like our mythical character Jack, Salvatore Cincotta, “Sal”, as his family, friends and followers know him, had a bag of magic beans and again like Jack, a dream.

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It was two years ago that Sal planted his first magical bean – Shutter Magazine. I remember getting a call and being asked if I wanted to be an editorial contributor. The answer was an instant “YES”.  Today, Shutter Magazine has over 83,000 subscribers and every issue brings together a group of industry educators who I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with.

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But there were a few more beans in Sal’s bag of magic and he planted another one, ShutterFest. In fact, as I write this post I’m on my way to the first event in St. Louis. Unlike Shutter Magazine, which has had plenty of time to sprout, ShutterFest is just a seedling, but with incredible roots in education and again supported by a stellar cast of educators.

Talk about next year’s program has the industry already buzzing. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s Sal’s ability to grow a project and realize a dream. In 2015 ShutterFest is already anticipated to grow by leaps and bounds.


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A look in Sal’s bag and another bean planted: Shutter Network has started to sprout. With the first broadcast reaching over 15,000 viewers, there’s no doubt it’s going to extend well into the “Land of Giants”.


Each idea seems to start out almost as mythical as Jack and the Beanstalk. Then, it’s executed with precision and an amazing staff of talented people. Suddenly it’s no longer a seedling of an idea that’s been germinating in Sal’s garden, but reality for thousands of artists to utilize.

But wait…check out Shutter Magazine. Sprouting to the “Land of Giants” it’s got a new shoot about to bloom – the magazine is going hard copy, in addition to its already successful online presence! While the “Land of Giants” is cutting back and their printed publications getting smaller and smaller, Sal’s going in the other direction. Dominating online education in photography, Shutter Magazine is about to have a twin with a completely different persona.

Okay, so enough of the parallel to a mythical universe…this is real.  It’s now and you need to be a part of it. As countless leaders in publishing, education and the convention world have scoffed and thought, “Sal will never pull it off,” over and over again he’s proved them wrong.

Even more fun is wondering what Sal’s going to do next. This isn’t about toppling giants, it’s about creating a new way for photographers to raise the bar on their skill set and create a healthier industry.

And for those who’d like nothing more than to slow Sal down, be careful – the harder you push him to brake the more determined he’ll be to succeed.

As my own mantra goes…“I do it because I want to…I do it because I can…I do it because you said I couldn’t!”

Illustration Credit:  © matamu – Fotolia.com

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