Body. Art.

I recently got a wave of inspiration...I think it was birthed from the warm breeze of summer, some great documentaries, and the reawakening of the beauty that is right under my nose, namely my three kids and a country whose visual aesthetic is endless and boundless and timeless.

So the other day, I packed up Keziah's white dress, Thomas' hat, some suspenders, that were (sadly) met with refusal to be worn, and some markers. The plan: Body Art. I figured with the right backdrop and the freedom to color on each other, what could go wrong? Well, I didn't take into account the heat and the time of day and the awful shadows and light and the certain four year-old who wakes up ridiculously early and is tired by that hour. After some whining and complaining, shirts were removed and the games began. Sure it ended with some tears (as you will see), but then again, most good things do.

sacred dilemma

Most times, I can look at a photo and KNOW that the image was destined to be in either color or black and white. My general rule is that if the color is "saying something" then it is necessary to the image. If the sky is grey and the subject matter screams drama and colors aren't jumping off the screen, then black and white is the obvious solution. However, there are those times when I jump back and forth at the image in black and white AND in color and cannot for the life of me decide which is best. I took these pictures of my daughter today. It's a warm Sunday here in Torino. The mountains are in view, the sky is perfect and the humidity is letting in a breeze every now and then...the kind that you appreciate more than ever because of the heat. We don't have air conditioning and to be honest, since we have a cross-breeze, I am glad. I feel like we are a part of the outdoors and this, especially since we live on the 6th floor, makes me happy.

Anyhow, I saw this image in my mind because the light was pouring in, creating a subtle reflection off my kids' faces as they were playing in the living room. I told Keziah to take her shirt off and wrap herself in a curtain. She didn't want to. So I promised her Gelato.

I feel like these images say so much in BOTH color and black and white. The colors are soft and I like the softness and her eyes. The black and white ones are more dramatic...and well, I'm always a sucker for drama.

What do you think?


I recently got inspired by the work of Sally Mann. I have seen her photos before, but had never really studied them and her technique. Her work "Immediate Family" resonated with the heart of moments I desire to freeze in time. And I really felt her words when she said, "If I could be said to have any kind of aesthetic, it’s sort of a magpie aesthetic- I just go and I pick up whatever is around. If you think about it, the children were there, so I took pictures of my children. It’s not that I’m interested in children that much or photographing them- it’s just that they were there..."

I found some older photos that came to mind as I looked at her work. Hers is more of an art in the sense that she seems to relish in the process (she works with a large format camera and still develops and prints in a dark room). I wish I enjoyed the process more, but truth be told I am ridiculously impatient in the matters of art, which is why I chose photography (and thank goodness the digital camera came in the picture around the time I started shooting). However, I think we all must challenge ourselves in whatever medium we choose and one challenge I give myself in the process of shooting is that my photos are to remain uncropped post-shooting, UNLESS, that is, there is something small that is distracting from the subject OR if the photo is crooked (because I HATE unintentional crooked photos!!!).

So here's to Sally Mann--thanks for the inspiration!

Io ti amo.

"La Marcia di Gesu'" was celebrated today in downtown Torino. We went down to show our support of many Evangelical churches coming together in the name of Jesus to proclaim His love in Torino. Everyone wore shirts that said "Io ti amo" (I love you) or "Io ti ascolto" (I listen to you) in response to the "Io ti cerco" (I look for you) campaign that was signed by "God." Worshiping with believers of many nations was a powerful experience, especially in the heart of Torino, which boasts of being the "Satanic capital" of Italy. And by the way, getting this shot of the crowd was NOT took making a fool out of myself by standing on a chair in the middle of a rather intimate moment. But sometimes we are moved by moments so much so that we will do anything for the photo that our minds see.

Keziah and her friend Siena. These girls are amazing and they both have amazing hearts for God. In the middle of the worship time, Keziah had me bend down to tell me that she knew God was happy because so many people were worshiping Him.


While the other two were in school one morning, we let Ezra (4) cut class to go on a special date with us. Sadly, I think his train obsession is slowly taking second place to Super Mario Bros. on the Wii. However, this photo was taken at the height of his obsession, when we took him on the train that runs really close to our apartment. It was cold out and so we caught it to the main train station in downtown Torino, ate gelato together and found a bookstore that had dinosaur books. One-on-one time with our kids is priceless to me.

When I am stressed out, I often remember some advice a friend gave me long ago. She told me to find my "happy place" in the midst of chaos and to "go there in my mind." Right now, my "happy place" resides in Myrtle Beach with my family last summer. I lie on the beach with this great feeling of acceptance and love, knowing that this moment, with the sun and its warmth on my skin and the laughter of cousins playing in the distance and the sounds of my sisters and mom talking and the presence of my father close by, reading a magazine, can lighten any awful mood and brighten any bad day. This photo was taken one early one morning at our hotel. I loved how the light was hitting Elias' profile and whenever I look at this photo, I feel the ocean hitting my feet and the peace and the timelessness of those few moments with my family.

This photo is one of my favorite photos ever because it embodies my daughter's personality. She was 18 months-old and we were in Rwanda, Africa. We had just returned from a long walk down the dirt road to the house where we were staying and near our gate were some children who literally were in rags. My heart knew that while we hadn't brought much with us, surely there was something we could do. So we asked them to wait at the gate and I ran into the house and found some clothes that perhaps would fit them. While I was handing the clothes to them, Keziah slipped from our presence and made her way up three flights of stairs and came walking down the driveway with this tiny shirt in her chubby little hands (which is when I took this photo). I realized what she was up to and after my heart melted a little, I bent down and explained to her that the children had already left. She began crying because she so badly wanted to give her shirt away. That moment will forever be in my mind because I know that she was born with a deep sense of the needs around her and this photo just says it all.

My Inspiration

All of our eyes are somewhere between azzurro and blu. Hence, my inspiration for the new name. See below for details. :)

Updated Portfolio

I have been in the process of updating my portfolio of "People." Alas, I am (almost) finished with re-editing a few years worth of work. Take a look by clicking on Buonanotte amici miei!

Un'ora con la famiglia "Bachmann"

Meet our Brazilian/American co-workers and friends, the Bachmanns. Paul is from Brazil and Beth is from North Carolina and when we first met them a few years ago, one of first things I remember is that their (then) four year-old son had this Portuguese accent and yet used the American word "ya'll" in every other sentence. This kid, who happens to be Elias' closest friend here, still brings a smile to my face whenever I see him.

We decided to do a family picture yesterday, in the rain mind you, as their girls were heading back to their university in the USA today. I wanted to capture some moments because I know they are few these days. They are a fun family and you can tell when they are all together that the picture is complete.

Paul and Beth, I hope these images will be a quick reminder of the bonds of love that run deep in your family until your girls are back in your arms!