Had a chance to catch one of my godson's Little League All-Star games and have some fun with one of my favorite subjects: Patrick! It rained, it poured, but it was great, and the boys won to advance into the next round. Very exciting to watch and incredibly proud of Patrick!
One of the truisms about travel, especially abroad, is to expect anything, assume nothing. Be open to opportunities, don’t over-plan and enjoy each experience.
Taking those hopes to heart made this trip to Italy truly rewarding.
Internet was sporadic the first few days, and non-existant the last five; certainly, that marks the longest stretch in recent memory, and it was strangely freeing. Weather wasn’t optimal, but taking advantage of the soft light of overcast days and occasional rain also felt freeing and challenging, forcing me to look in different places, at different angles.
Our first few days were spent in Bologna, and we walked for two days around the city, wandering the back streets and main thoroughfares alike. The most fun places are the markets, filled with colorful products and food.
The second leg of our trip, and the most important, was spent near Lucca at Villa Cenami as guests of Lorenzo and Courtney, truly wonderful hosts with two adorable little boys, Ludi and Edward.
The area and region are simply stunning, as is the estate.
One of the reasons we came was to help with the olive harvest for the year.
The poor weather had done some damage to the crop, but we were eventually able to get out and work for a while.
We had the afternoon to enjoy nearby Lucca as well. While the rain came down, the city revealed itself as photogenic regardless of setting.
I also had the opportunity to photograph the baptism of our hosts’ youngest child, Edward, which was exciting and a real honor. It was a joyous day, filled with family and friends alike.
We can’t thank Courtney and Lorenzo enough, as well as Courtney’s dad, Jack, who was also there visiting and a great resource for many things.
We hope to return again and would encourage anyone else to seek out the estate as a home base for exploring the region.
Certainly many more photos are coming, and I hope to put together a few photographic books from this trip, including one on the olive harvest, another on graffiti and who knows what else might strike my fancy.
Remember when traveling, like in life, that more often than not, when a door is closed, another will undoubtedly appear.
Here in the States, we're celebrating Independence Day, July 4th. Mostly these days it's an excuse to blow things up, sit around, eat, drink and generally do nothing.
However, it would be better that we at least take a few moments to remember and thank those responsible for maintaining and defending that freedom, the brave men and women of our armed forces.
Larger version here: Shot in the Dark
Today, I'll be walking in our local March of Dimes March for Babies to support my godson, Grayson Hallett, who was born 7 weeks early. Thanks to the hard work of the medical professionals, modern technology and up-to-the-minute research (much of it funded by the March of Dimes), Grayson sailed through it like a champ and can look forward to many years of being loved and tortured by his big brother, Patrick (the circle of life, of course).
If you can, please donate to the March of Dimes to help babies like Grayson succeed. Just click the link above for his family's fundraising page.
Big day of shoots tomorrow, including two family sessions for military families saying goodbye to a loved one headed overseas. It's definitely an honor to be asked to capture such important memories and images.
One roadblock, though, is UPS deciding to reroute and reschedule my photo backgrounds and stands... no explanation, except that I won't have them for tomorrow's big shoots. It's more disappointing than anything, and I'm certain we'll get the goods. But, UPS is definitely not on my Happy List.
Either way, tomorrow's a big day, and I'm excited to get the gear on the road!
Look for pictures from these sessions very soon.
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