Mini Session with the Paces - Genova, Italy

The Pace Family. These are some of my favorite people. I first met Donna seven years ago via the telephone as I was trying to find a place to live in Chicago while we were still living in Bloomington, Indiana. She was so helpful and without her knowledge of the way things at Moody worked, we would have waited another year to move there. Who knew we would meet at "Student Wives Fellowship" at Moody and become great friends. And who knew they shared Thomas' passion for Italy and that eventually we would share a continent and a country a whole ocean away from the US? We have been in each other lives during crucial moments over the years. I will never forget when Donna met me at the Emergency Room right after Thomas was burned in the same building where we all lived. She sat with me while I cried and prayed over me and when they brought me Thomas' wedding ring from his badly burned finger, she said, "Cling to that. That is hope, Cristi."

After so many shared meals and prayers and laughs and seasons of life together, I know that the Paces will always be in our lives. They are a beautiful family and I am struggling to find the words to say just how much they mean to me. We had the chance to see them last weekend as they live only a couple of hours away from us in the city of Genova. They mentioned needing some updated photos, so we headed out on a walk and used an old Catholic Church as the backdrop for some candid shots. These were all taken within about thirty minutes, as we were on a time crunch, but with such beautiful people, it's hard to take a bad shot! Love you all: Phil, Donna, Abby, Elizabeth, Caleb and sweet, sweet Phoebe!

Diego and Francesca - Vicino Milano

I had the opportunity, along with my lovely husband assistant, to photograph the wedding of some dear people, Diego and Francesca. I typically shy away from photographing weddings, but every once in a while an opportunity comes along whereby I just cannot say no. They are both artists, so the energy in working with them was great. And the land where the wedding was held...well, let's just say it radiated like a scene from a movie set in Italy. This made my job quite easy, as inspiration was at my disposal at every turn. My favorite moments of this very, very long day (it began at 5:30 a.m. and I didn't get home until 10:00 p.m.), were when everything was over and they were relaxed and chill and had no worries about dirt on the dress or wrinkles in the pants. I had them climbing up hills and running in a vineyard. They were so fun to work with...and here are a few of the hundreds of pics taken to celebrate their day! Auguri to Diego and Francesca!

C'etait Magnifique!

Ahhhh Paris. Honestly, I had never really thought to go to Paris, even though we live in northern Italy. I just assumed it was too posh...too cliche'....too..."Paris." But Ryanair had this deal: thirty bucks a ticket. And my parents were coming to visit...and I desperately needed to get away from Italy. So we packed up all seven of us in our little car, drove to the airport, hopped a one hour flight, and landed in the land of romance (albeit with my parents and three tired children).

Paris is fantastic. The energy there is so unlike any place I have ever been. And you know, you don't have to spend a lot of money to see the city. My favorite night was when Thomas and I went out on our own and walked around the Eiffel Tower and ate crepes over the bridge of the Sienne. We played with the camera, opening the shutter in order to take in all of the light of Eiffel and the river. And then, realizing it was past midnight, we ran to the train station and caught the very last running train back to our hotel.


Fuori Dalla Città (Out of the City)

Sunday was a beautiful, clear day and brought with it the mountains in full view, something that I am learning to NOT take for granted, as clouds too often cover Torino, hiding it's outer beauty. We spent Sunday at a park our friends showed us. The kids played with sand and water and Thomas and I spent time on our Mexican blanket, talking and killing spiders and warding off sand-soaked kids. The park we went to boasts a really old bridge, called "Devil's Bridge," an old chapel, a beautiful river that runs right through the middle, and an area for hiking and climbing.