Bella Vita

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Feeling especially grateful and thankful for all the blessings in my life. I am in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful people, and a beautiful life waiting for me when I get back home. How great it is to live a life where you leave part of your heart everywhere you go!

Fiesole

For those who have been to Florence, you know how crazy busy and energetic it is. This is one of the things I have noticed most here, it is this odd dichotomy of relaxation and hurriedness. Italians like to take life in the slow lane, enjoying food, wine, and each other’s company. While I have been here it has been hard to let myself relax and take a day or evening, to just be.

One of the places I have found this to be most achievable is in Fiesole. A small town to the north of Florence, perched high above on a mountaintop. There is a bus you can take for only a few euros that will take you there, it is a easy ride and quite cheap for a day trip. Once in Fiesole you begin to see the “real” Italy, or at least the Italy I had dreamed of. There are vineyards, and markets, and small family owned restaurants where no one speaks English.

I loved how peaceful and quite it was. We went on a Sunday, which is usually a pretty chill time as far as tourists. In Italy most things are closed on Sundays or have shorter hours, since Italians have much more restrictive working laws. In the town of Fiesole I recommend going to the archaeological grounds. There is a small museum, which is located on the grounds, as well as audio tours if you are not going with a group. The city was built by the Romans and is thought be meant for retired roman soldiers and government officials. It is quite amazing to see the technology and advanced thinking that was used to build the site.

While you are in Fiesole make sure to go up the hill to the Monastery. It is quite the hike, so if you are unable to make strenuous walks I would suggest skipping out. However, if you are physically able to go, do not miss it. You will be rewarded with the most breathtaking view of the entire city of Florence. Once up there, I suggest also checking out the monastery and chapel. Monks are there to run a small museum, and the stonework of the chapel is stunning.

I look forward to sharing more from my travels with you. This Sunday we are heading to Siena and San Gimignano.

Ciao!

Little Bundle

Joli and Josh wanted some photos before their little bundle arrives, and I was more than happy to oblige. First time parents, with more than enough love to go around, I had such a fun time working with them. We picked the perfect spring day to walk around Kalamazoo, and the photos turned out so well. I love doing this kind of shoot, and working with them reminds me of why I love what I do so much.

If you are interested in any photos please contact me to schedule before May 15th when I leave for Italy. I have half off all sessions before I go.

XOXO Liv

Reflections

As this semester comes to a close and I finish my second year in college, I think it is important to reflect on the experiences I’ve had. This was a pivotal semester for me. I made a lot of decisions both consciously and unconsciously that are going to shape my future academically.

First off, I developed many deep and meaningful friendships with my peers. My color film class became a very tight knit and encouraging group of students. We all began to give each other very impactful advice and critiques, which was able to push me into the direction I needed to go. I was also able to connect and have great conversations with professors about the future and how I should go about moving forward in my career.

Second, I really tried to come up with some new marketing plans to grow my business. It is my hope and intention to be able to become a full time freelancer when I graduate, and I know that takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I am making strides to build the clientele and foundations for success later. It is important to me to learn and make mistakes now, and to learn all that I can. I am so happy that the people I’ve been working with are so lovely and willing to work with me and help me develop as a photographer.

Lastly, I have really learned to develop my craft and refine my skills. I have been struggling with finding my identity and feeling confident with myself. It is something I think a lot of artists struggle with. We are over saturated with mediocre photographers who claim to be professional, and it hurts to see them getting business when I wish I had more. But I remind myself, quality over quantity. I market myself to a specific type of client, I want to work with and I need to focus on them. Although this may seem a little crass, I do want to make sure that my clients appreciate and understand the work I put into their photos.

Overall, I feel like this semester had provided me with a great learning opportunity. I am so excited to move forward and grow. Thank you all for providing me with a way to do what I love most. Your support is everything to me.

XOXO Liv

Discovering Dayton

Dayton, Ohio is a pretty magical place if you ask me. I drove in the car for 5 hours there and back all for 2 hours of interview with a fantastic photographer. I was a bit worried, but it was all more than worth it. Dayton is sort of like Ann Arbor Michigan had a baby with Detroit and dropped it off at Aunt Ohio’s place. You get the charm of a small town in the Oregon Historic District, which is where we went, with the beautiful abandoned buildings of a larger city. Dayton has such charm and personality.

We ended up interviewing Julie Renee Jones¬†at Press Coffee Bar, a quaint little hole in the wall with amazing coffee. The environment was bright and welcoming which was perfect for our chat with Julie. It is always so inspiring to hear a successful photographer’s story. If you are interested in surreal and playful work you should most certainly check out her stuff.

Overall I though this was a fantastic trip. We listened to good music, explored the city, drank coffee, and were inspired. It was a much needed break just before the business of finals week. I hope you all are able to explore a little bit this weekend and enjoy time with someone you love.

Let’s Eat

It is time for finals, and if you know anything about college you know that this is one of the most stressful times of the year. I decided to incorporate food into a photo project, just as an excuse to make and eat some good food. I always find myself in a better mood when I take the time to eat something good. Take a little time to cook something for yourself!

Perennial

I am enrolled in a bookmaking class at Kendall College of Art and Design and we have been learning all sorts of techniques for binding and sequencing images. I have really learned a lot, so much that I am now offering handmade books with any of my photo sessions or weddings! It is a great to view your photos in a unique and one of a kind way.

In that class we are preparing for the final books to turn in, I chose black and white florals. I like the idea that flowers and landscapes can be beautiful even without vibrant colors. I wanted to show you some of those images! I’m excited to work in this medium and be able to physically have a piece of art to hold my images.

I encourage you all to think about adding a handmade book onto your session, and as always feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have!

Bookmaking!

Hello all! I hope you are enjoying spring! I definitely am ready for the light and warmth that comes along with this season.

I do want to make a dedicated post about a exciting new option I am adding to my photography packages.

I am going to be offering a handmade portfolio book made up of the images taken during the session, there will be a choice of a pamphlet soft cover booklet or a more sturdy and artistic hardcover stab binding book. Although they won’t be included in the package price, they will begin to be offered as an add on.

Pamphlet soft cover booklets will be $75 for each set of 2

Hard cover portfolio books will be $150 for 1

I hope to make this a bit more personal when sending back the images to clients. I hope that you all will be able to take advantage of this new skill that I have been working on.

XOXO Liv