Rumi

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“What you seek is seeking you”

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Still Life – Italian Cantina Style

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The natural beauty I found in the Pugliese cantinas went above and beyond. And what I loved most was how almost accidental it all seemed. Hay bales set aside for additional seating, green glass bottles once used but now left as eye-candy and wooden doors showing their age but not hiding their beauty. I love the idea of using what you have at your hands already to showcase the setting. And less is always more in my opinion too.

That is the beauty of Southern Italy in a nutshell. Natural, alluring, subtle but sexy.

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I always return from Italy or even just after having spent time with my photos of my trips, thinking about the things around me. So many things and some just taking up space. Filling a space but not creating a useful energy or purpose even. I have an unusual love for de-cluttering and get into my mode of needing to be surrounded only by objects that mean something, that I adore. My own sense of still life in my surroundings that bring with them happy memories.

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Puglia, Italia

Appreciating the little moments

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I have been taking pictures for friends and friends of friends now for several years and I love it. Nothing makes me happier than meeting a family at a beautiful, natural location and taking their pictures. Some posed pictures of course, but the ones that you can’t pose are by far my favorite.

On a recent family shoot, I walked around a gorgeous outdoor setting – stone steps, a tremendous natural backdrop of trees, rose bushes and paths covered in fallen leaves. My dream location. A spot will call out to me and we’ll stop for a few minutes and I’ll snap away. Most of the time since there are children involved, we stop, take breaks and just chat. Because the majority of my clients are friends or friends of friends, there’s always something to talk about which makes the time seem all the more unique and genuine. Kids need breaks, parents need breaks and I love to talk. Win-Win.

It’s during these breaks that sometimes I can manage to still keep taking pictures and some of them come out decent. If I’m lucky, I’ll get one that I’m really happy with too. Like this one for example.

We took a break to let the little guy explore and something happened that mom and him needed a moment. I didn’t want to invade their moment, but then thought that that’s what I’m here to do. I was far enough away that hopefully the click of the camera wasn’t distracting but I got the image I wanted and adore.

So, here’s to stepping back, taking a break and letting your client having a minute without the camera in their face. But here’s also to noticing something. Something that may have been a little thing but turned out to be a great moment.

Cin Cin!

Cin Cin! (cheen cheen) how to pronounce the Italian’s version of Cheers!

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A visit to a cantina on the outskirts of the city of San Donaci, not too far from Mesagne, proved to be a splendid way to spend part of an afternoon with friends. Truthfully not open to the public, but we were allowed a tour since an American was in the group. My friends were very appreciative.

It was beautiful! Under the cantina were well-preserved wine barrels and bottles set up in their own stone walled rooms. The perfect picture taking opportunity for me.

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After the small tour, we went back up to the store and tried a couple different reds and whites. All delicious. Thankful for the taralli snacks set out to nibble on between wines. A typical Pugliese snack, taralli are similar to a hard pretzel or breadstick and come in a variety of flavors from salty to sweet and a whole lot of in between.

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Wine tasting is a great activity with friends and allows you to taste a particular cantina’s array of wines in one sitting without feeling the effects. Usually much more affordable than purchasing in a wine store too and buying right from the vineyard feels more special as well! Cheers!

 

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San Donaci, Puglia

beauty comes in all forms

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Photography for me is anything. I love taking pictures of nature, families, food, tiny streets and doors. But really I will take a picture of anything that captures me. Seems a little backwards since photography is the art of capturing your subject, but sometimes I truly feel as if the subject comes to me.

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No matter where I am, while I am out taking photos, I really try to not have a focus. In the case of when I take my families out for lifestyle photography I have an agenda or game plan for how my time with them will be comprised. Naturally, they want great pictures of their family. But sometimes a particular angle or something a family member does just randomly speaks out to me and I will make attempts to capture it for them. It may not be something that grabs them initially of anything particularly ground-breaking, but for me it’s a little bit of something extra. trenoWM

Manduria, Puglia, Italia

The something extra happens to me all the time in Italy. Taking pictures through the old centers of town, out at the beach or randomly alongside the road. Driving along and seeing this old train really spoke to me. Rather than have the metal recycled or the space cleared away, it was left. Left to become a canvas for others. A home to abandoned animals. Left to make its mark. A reminder to some that pass by of days gone by. Days long gone but still very much part of our today.