This summer I visited Italy with my husband and some friends. It was my second time returning to the country where my family comes from in nearly 10 years. My first visit I experienced the great land of my heritage through my own eyes, my second I experienced through my lens.
I made a promise to myself to have my camera on me at all times and refrain from taking any photographs with my iPhone. I promised to fully engage with my medium and explore to create. I knew that photographing abroad would be special but I could have never imagined to what extent it would transform my point of view. I felt so connected with my camera that I would be in focus and ready to capture moments before they would unfold. Every pastel wall, ice cream cone, castle, tree, man and motorino spoke to me before I clicked to release the shutter. A world of beauty was revealed to me below the surface of the classic tourist experience. Something in me was unlocked, something I will refer to as the Photographer's Eye. With each reassuring click of my shutter, a warmth and passion in my heart grew stronger. Each day I carried the weight of my camera and lens around my neck, I fell deeper and deeper in love with the medium as a true expression of my creativity.
About three quarters into the trip, I visited a wonderful mountain side bar by the name of Nessun Dorma in the quaint and colourful town of Manarola. I could not resist but to take ten to twelve frames of the iconic landscape every five minutes of the sunset. The colours and hues grew more and more magical with every degree of the sun's decent. I made friends with a young man with a great Morrocan style shirt sitting by the balcony as I kept getting up from my seat to keep snapping away at the view. We began chatting and he said something that humbled me incredibly and put a lot of my experience into perspective. I told him I was a photographer to which he replied, "Wow, the world must be so beautiful to you." I stood there smiling and processing what he had just told me while taking in the surreal vista. He continued, "you must see so much beauty in everything".
It was the first time I understood my purpose and passion; to see and share beauty.