Mantooth Inducted into AHS Wall of Fame
By ERICA CHIPPERFIELD
Stephanie (Sutton) Mantooth, owner of Steph’s Studio in Alliance is the 2019 inductee onto the Alliance High School Wall of Fame. The award was presented to her at the Alliance Public Schools Foundation Fundraiser on April 27, 2019.
“I am humbled and honored to receive the award, it is an incredible honor,” Mantooth said.
“The dark room inspired me to become a become a photographer. Growing up the old black and white photography dark room was fascinating. In upper grade school/middle school, I purchased my first dark room and processed photos in the bathroom at the house. They only other career I ever considered was veterinary and photography won out”, stated Mantooth.
Stephanie was very active in 4-H and FFA while growing up. She earned her FFA State Farmer Degree while in High School. Having won many 4-H county and state fair awards, including Large Animal Round Robin winner. She worked for Worley’s Studio, was very involved with Photography in Jr High and High School.
Stephanie graduated from Alliance High School in 1987. She attended Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, CO starting in August of 1987. She graduated with an Associate Degree of Occupational Studies in Program Photography on September, 15 1989.
Stephanie also worked as a freelance photographer for the BUSINESS FARMER. In 1991-1992 she worked with Canadian Livestock Professional Photographer, Walt Browarny.
Stephanie has served as the official photographer for the Box Butte County Fair since 2009. She has also been photographer for the Morrill County Fair. In the Fall of 1991, Stephanie opened Steph’s Studio in Alliance at third and Toluca. In March of 1994, she moved her Studio to it’s current location at 210 Box Butte. The Annual Tykes and Tots Contest has been a big part of Steph’s Studio since 1991. A portion of the session fees and all of the dollar votes from the contest are donated to the Alliance Kiwanas. Stephanie has been giving back to the community of Alliance by holding the Halloween Toy Exchange annually since 1994. She photographs each trick or treater in exchange for a toy and then they receive a 4x6” photo of themselves in costume. All of the collected toys are donated to Alliance Santa’s Helpers. Stephanie serves on the Carnegie Arts Board of Directors. She has been a member of Box Butte Art Society since 1996 and currently serves as Treasurer. Stephanie is an Alliance Chamber of Commerce member. She is also a big supporter by donating to local fundraiser, benefits, 4-H and school functions.
Stephanie is a Certified Professional Photographer. She received her Master of Photgraphy Degree from PPA in January of 2009. She is only one of two to earn this degree in Western Nebraska (Glen Worley is the other). The Master of Photographer Degree is awarded after twenty-five merits have been earned, which can be from further education and/or scoring eighty points or more competition prints entered in Regional competitions. Three of Stephanie’s competition prints were accepted into the General & Loan Collection of the 117th International Exhibition of Professional Photographers. Other awards she has earned are 1st Place Child Portrait non-master in 4 state region, Judges Choice, Kodak Gallery Award-her work went on to the International level to compete for the Gallery Elite Award, Ed Arnold Award and Best Portrait of Show in Nebraska. Stephanie also received the Alliance Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award in 2010.
Her print “Frostbite” was published in PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, in October 2004. She has had three of her prints published in the PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF AMERICA SHOWCASE books, “Daddies Little Angel” and “Innocence Holds onto Wisdom” Volume III-2000; “Junkyard Dogs” Volume IV-2001. Three of her prints were published in the PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF AMERICA LOAN COLLECTION Books, “Starting with St. Andrews” Volume V-2002; “Frostbite” Volume VI-2003; “I Know You’re There” Volume XI-2008.
Mantooth has already accomplished many of her goals for the studio. “The expansion was a huge goal and has been in the back of my mind ever since we moved the studio from 3rd street”, she stated. The addition to the studio, added a classroom, a bigger camera room and room for all of the scrap booking supplies offered. In the future the studio plans to offer more art classes focusing on adult and are hoping to also start a youth camera club. The goal over the summer is to start that.
When asked what advice she could offer current Alliance High School students to become successful in their future, she replied, “Don’t let anything limit you, anything is possible if you try hard enough. When I first started the studio, I can’t even tell you the amount of people that came in that said there is no way you are going to make it, I guess I’ve proved them wrong so far. It’s far more than I could have ever have imagined I would do.”