2019 IFWTWA Conference Workshop & Speakers

Workshop A

Wine Cuisine Travel Journalism

Don’t sit and wait for the next press trip invitation! Create your custom press trip to anywhere you desire. Building a custom itinerary with the assistance of wine and tourism boards can help you expand your coverage many times over. Christopher will share his experiences, photographs, and wine insights as well as his approach to planning a great trip, including international travel. 

Christopher John Davies

American Photojournalist, Chris Davies has been touring domestic and international wine regions since 1999. Davies and his wife Darcy have carved a niche in focusing on making the world’s wine countries their “beat.” They travel the globe creating original editorial, professional photographs and videos for their publication, Wine Country International magazine Mr. Davies is the publisher of Wine Country International Magazine. He is CEO and Co-founder of Wine Country Network, Inc (2002 to present), a multi-platform media and event company, focused on the world of wine, spirits, cuisine, and travel.

Workshop B

Deciphering and Maximizing the World of Social Media

Latest fundamentals and algorithms for popular platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Learn about content creation, social media management tools as well as the difference between writing and photographing for social media, blogs, and magazines. Learn the “Do’s and Don’ts” of hashtags, how to easily create your own content calendars and utilize scheduling tools for all your social media updates so you can focus your time on what you really love: food, wine, and travel writing. 

Member Mary Farah

Los Angeles native who has been writing on her popular travel and lifestyle blog, Along Comes Mary since 2012. In addition to Along Comes Mary, she also contributes to a variety of online magazines including Locale and FWT. Mary loves to highlight all a destination has to offer, while also offering resources for where to find the best gluten-free dining.

IFWTWA President Chris Cutler


Chris lives in Las Vegas with her husband and crazy Welsh Terrier, but does not sit still very long. She’s always ready for her next adventure. Chris has a BA in Spanish and English, an MFA in creative writing, and has studied photography, all of which she teaches when she has time to take a few minutes away from her writing career. She’s a new Italian citizen and writes about her extensive travels there and other fun places. Follow her at Cold Pasta and Red Wine.

Workshop C

Making and Editing Outstanding Videos: Demystifying Video Storytelling - Shortcuts for Travel Writers

We’ve all heard that video is king for PR, destinations, for social media, and blogs. You don’t have to aspire to being a YouTube star to make it work. While video storytelling can be intimidating, there are shortcuts and tools in abundance. Elaine has been producing videos over the past five years and sprinkles them throughout her various channels from YouTube and beyond. Always looking for shortcuts and speed, she’s learned to document trips and experiences and then push them into the ether. She’ll talk about App options, how to keep equipment costs and travel weight down, how to edit in your phone, and the importance of native uploads. 

If a passion for culinary connections, unusual destinations, and soul-touching, conscious travel excites you, Elaine is ready to develop stories, videos and pictures for your readers. Editor of Trip Well Gal, author, and a freelance writer, Elaine has written for magazines, print and online as well as travel outlets. Embracing an active Boomer lifestyle, she plays well with others – no matter their age or ethnicity. She blends several past careers into her stories and in over 100 YouTube videos, incorporating award-winning audio skills as well as voice over and graphic design into her story-telling (she produced the Indie Excellence Audiobook – Drivetime Yoga and won a Woman in Radio and TV Commendation for the short radio play, The Postcard). A international scuba diver and seafood fanatic, she agrees with Helen Keller (who she once played onstage) that, “Life’s an adventure or nothing.” 

Member Elaine Masters

Workshop D

Pitch Perfection: Pitching Brands, Magazines, DMOs, and More

Learn the fine art of crafting the perfect pitch. Discover the best ways to target your pitches for magazines, websites, brands, DMOs, and more. Finesse your pitches to perfection in this nitty gritty, how-to workshop with plenty of successful examples…and a few not-to-do tips. 

Susan Lanier-Graham

Member Susan Lanier Graham

Susan Lanier-Graham writes and speaks about luxury food, wine, and travel destinations. For nearly three decades she has been offering wow moments – around the world and across the street – to her readers and audiences. Susan has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of articles and is editor-in-chief and founder of WanderWithWonder.com and is an ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer.

Susan is a frequent public speaker where she shares her knowledge in the hospitality industry and as a traveler. Susan’s written work appears in print and online in publications such as Where Arizona, Travelocity, various AAA publications, So Scottsdale, Modern Luxury, Fairmont.com, Hotels.com, Alamo.com, Experience Scottsdale and more. Susan is also the editor of Grapevine Today, the visitors’ guide for Grapevine, TX. I am a member of Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), and International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). Susan is also a certified California Wine Appellation Specialist.

Workshop E

Tips and Tactics for Amazing Food and Wine Photography

Are your photos as delicious as the wine and food you’re sampling? We’ll serve up savory suggestions to make those photos pop as well as tools and techniques for maximizing the potential of your Android phone camera.

Publisher of Vino-Sphere blog. A former newspaper and magazine editor, Dave is an award-winning writer with a focus on wines, wineries and related travel. Currently based in North Carolina, he travels extensively for stories (South Africa, British Columbia, Spain and even locations closer to home). A career in association management and meeting planning provides him with a unique perspective on hotels, restaurants and special events. When not writing, taking photos or traveling, Dave enjoys playing tennis. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine (a certification of the Society of Wine Educators) and has served as wine judge at a number of competitions including being guest judge for the Indianapolis International Wine Competition. He has completed the Napa Rocks certification and is a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. He has presented numerous classes on wines from around the world. Find my clips below and in Item 06 herein.

Director David Nershi​

Workshop F

Creative iPhone Photography

Find the magic within and explore the creative possibilities of your iPhone. Discover how iPhone Photography goes beyond just taking a picture by transforming images into spectacular works of art.

Noreen O’Brien

Passionate photographer and artist. Whether spot toning at the Light Gallery in New York, photogravure printing in Santa Fe, or teaching photography to children in Nicaragua, she continually expands her creative vision with workshops, travel, and adventure. Her images represent an intimate look into the natural world, and through fine-art prints, mixed-media, encaustic, and resin, she shares the beauty of what she calls “the magical world of outside.”

Noreen is a longtime participant at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and a recipient of its Director’s Choice Award.

Thank you for participating in our 2019 Conference.

2019 IFWTWA Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors