Love Wins

I am so excited by the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor or marriage equality! I love love, and am so happy everyone will be able to celebrate equally. In honor of this event I am offering $300 off any wedding package booked by 8/1/15 by any same sex or LGBTQ couple. I hope to help all couples be able to capture their day perfectly, and look forward to hearing from you.

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Ciao Florence!

Today is my last day in Florence. It has been quite the interesting 6 weeks and I am so excited to be going home. Although I had an amazing time there truly is nowhere like home, and I am happy I’ll be reuniting with family and friends.

Florence was so good to me, Italy was so good to me. I was able to do so much and see so many important and beautiful places. I am so beyond thankful for all the people I met here and made it so wonderful. I was able to stay with a good friend and her family near Verona. It was a great time to catch up with her, but also see the northern regions of Italy. Her family was so welcoming, and it was so great to experience the true Italian family life.

I was also able to go to Venice, the most beautiful place on earth, I am convinced. The pictures I will be sharing do it no justice. Although there were way more tourists than I would have liked, it truly is a magical place. I am so happy we were able to go and I could experience it for myself.

While my trip comes to an end I am reminded of my love for travel, and desire to experience other cultures and countries. Italy truly is a unique place with so much history and passion. I could not have imagined a better place to spend half my summer.

So I will be keeping myself awake with copious amounts of coffee and espresso in order to kick jet lag’s butt, and hopefully sleep on the plane. Ciao Florence! Thanks for everything!

Preparations

As I count down the days until I head back to the states, I am confronted with some mixed emotions. While I will not deny for one minute that I have enjoyed every moment here, I am realizing my heart is back home and I am ready to be back to my normal life. This has been a crazy adventure and I am so grateful for everyone who helped get me here.

I have met some incredibly beautiful people while here. Studio Art Centers International (SACI) has provided us with such an amazing group of people who are just as dedicated to art as I am. I have been accepted in a large group of people who are so joyful and enthusiastic about being here that it is infectious. We have had family dinners, margaritas, trips to the countryside, and so many more memories to share together. I am also so happy that some of these people are from Kendall, my home school, and will be able to continue our time together back home. It has been refreshing to be in a place with new people to see my work, talk about art, and share stories with. I think it is important for all students, especially artists, to branch out and have meaningful conversation with people who are a new pair of eyes when looking at your work.

I have also been blessed with the chance to meet and work under Romeo Di Loreto, an amazing photographer and even more amazing human being. He has such knowledge and wisdom for all those he teaches, and has such a positive outlook on life and art. I have learned more from him in the last 5 weeks than I think I have from any other teacher. It is amazing what can happen when a mentor understands what you are trying to do and encourages you to push yourself. He is such an honest person and I truly appreciate his influence in my life. I created the most beautiful print and photograph I have ever done yesterday. With his help, and his most prized camera, I was able to see how truly amazing my work can be. I knew going into this class that something important was going to happen this summer, and I can say it most definitely has. I have found a renewed passion and the courage to say without regret that I am a portrait photographer, and want to do nothing else with my life. This is what I feel most fulfilled doing, and what I know I should use my gifts for.

My time here has also led me to realize that I have a passion for connecting with others. With my photographs I want to achieve a visual representation of the beauty I see in others, that they might not see within themselves. This is what I am meant to do, and I will do everything I can to make this a reality.

Although I am satisfied with my time here, I will always have a soft spot for Florence. It is a beautiful city filled with so much passion, art, and beauty. I highly encourage everyone to visit at least once. It truly has opened my eyes to a new world. The people here a so kind and passionate about their history and country. The food is spectacular, and the cities are so stunning.

I look forward to sharing more reflections and photos with you during this next week. I hope you have enjoyed following my journey and I am so grateful to have all of your here to share it with!

XOXO Liv

Love after Love

  

The time will come 

when, with elation 

you will greet yourself arriving 

at your own door, in your own mirror 

and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 
and say, sit here. Eat. 

You will love again the stranger who was your self. 

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 
all your life, whom you ignored 

for another, who knows you by heart. 

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 
the photographs, the desperate notes, 

peel your own image from the mirror. 

Sit. Feast on your life.
by Derek Walcott

Jesse

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Jesse has been one of my closest friends here in Florence and I have taken many photos of him. I mean look at him! How can you not? I suppose I know what it is like now to say I have a muse. Here is one of my favorites from our trip to Siena.

Shoot from the Hip

Many times photographers say “shoot from the hip”, meaning don’t rely on looking into viewfinder, but rather drop your camera to your stomach or hip and shoot from there, guessing and learning how to make candid compositions. This has been a god send way for me to capture street portraits of locals and tourists alike.

I struggle with being too obvious with my camera and trying to not make people freeze up or feel uncomfortable by seeing me photographing. So today, I went out on the Ponte Vecchio and let my camera hang from my neck and shot from there. The 5 seen above are my favorites. I’ve noticed a theme in these, connect and disconnect. I too have felt a very severe longing for connections to those I am surrounded with, but also needing to remove myself from those very same people at times.

I think when traveling for a long period of time, you begin to realize quirks within your own personality as well as quirks of those you are spending so much time with. Like any experience it is crucial to make your own health and well being a priority and take time for self care.

When I went out walking by myself today, something I have rarely done, I realized that it was nice to explore and walk without needing to keep up with anyone, hear about sore feet, or needing to stop at every single shop. I was able to be autonomous and create photos that were meaningful to me, in the way I needed to make them.

This trip has taught me a lot, not only about shooting from the hip and how to ask where the bathroom is, but also how I need to take breaks, and be able to say no. I have learned that I am far more capable than I thought I was, fiercely independent when I need to be, and able to take on any task.

Although these photos from today might not be perfectly in focus, or composed the way I would normally, it is very much like this adventure, a way to push myself and break away from what I am used to. So, I think I will continue shooting from the hip, and exploring more on my own, while still knowing I have friends that will be waiting for me when I am ready.

If you are interested in getting a FREE 5×7 print of your choice from my trip (it could be one of these), please Liv Lyszyk Photo on Facebook and Like and Share the post pinned at the top. Deadline for entries are on June 25th at midnight.

Getting Lost.

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 It is an incredibly beautiful thing to not know.

Where getting lost is a way of life.

Most importantly, it is an incredibly beautiful thing to leaves parts of your heart in places you never knew existed.