Knowing I was about to write this post didn’t help me feel any less amazed and shocked at how fast time has flown by.  I am about to embark on curating my little sister’s senior portraits from Italy.  I still see her as a toothy 7 year old who would quietly go downstairs and binge on Disney Channel shows and be so kind as to let me sleep in while I was supposed to be watching her.  The little sister who stole my clothes and wanted to hang out so badly with the big kids because we were so cool – note this is the only time I really ever was cool! LOL.  And here we are, just over a year away from Megan’s graduation.  It just doesn’t seem possible.


I think Megan and I were discussing wardrobe choices that would coordinate with the towns we would be visiting the second we purchased the tickets to go overseas!  It was a time to legitimately plan senior photos and not just randomly pull her aside along a dusty golden light-filled road and pretend she was a senior.  We knew we wanted old school Italy.   Tuscan buildings and architecture, a sundress, cobblestone streets.  We wanted it all!   I think our final selections in clothing were the perfect pairings with our Italian adventure.  Montecatini Terme, Florence, Rome, Venice, and a little bit of Milan were in our sights for the perfect photo locations.

Our first big day, Florence.  Also the day of Abbey & Andrew’s big proposal. (did you STILL somehow miss it?  Well, go see it here!) We all were so exhausted, we missed our first train from Montecatini Terme into Florence.  We made it the 600 feet from our hotel to the train station and discovered the second train was cancelled.  The third train departed about 10am so we had nearly an hour of time to kill while we waited.  Mom, Megan, and I thought we would wander across the street to see what was behind this pretty stone wall and see if it was senior portrait worthy.  That stone wall was actually the backside of a wall of crypts – the train station was facing a cemetery. While we wandered through, I really didn’t want to be disrespectful and set up shop there.  Especially with a few gravesites freshly covered (I believe some had perished from the earthquake a few weeks before we arrived).  However, seeing how beautiful their cemeteries were made me really want to suggest an upgrade on some of our own back in the states.  The architecture was so detailed, with tan and red brick walls, private family crypts, as well as waist high family crypts that held 4-6 family members.  Quite a sobering experience.

Walking back, we had about 20-25 minutes before our train arrived, so I stole Megan and we explored a good 500 foot circle around the station for the perfect backdrops.  We came across a fence that backed up to a run down building – modern, but still…it was Italy so it didn’t matter.    Then we wandered up a small suburban street that looked almost like a shot out of a movie scene.  Vespas and Fiats lined the curb and a lady walking her little dog made it that much more european. Noticing the time, we quickly started our way back when I saw the cutest most iconically Italian alley way, vespa and all.  We NEEEEEDED to get just two or three poses here!  I even snagged a pull-back shot of part of the street so you could see what we were seeing!  <3

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Once we were finally in Florence, we all split up and spent the afternoon doing our own things.  Upon meeting back up, I took the opportunity to snag Megan for a few more photos along a cobblestone road because…well, why not?!

As you can see, she is clearly my sister! LOL

Thursday Morning, our Day 3, was spent climbing to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa.  After walking over 12 miles the day before, let me just say that was a feat to accomplish!  Because of the lean, there were sides of the tower that were more difficult to climb than the other side.  It was quite trippy.  But we made it to the top in one piece.  But we weren’t actually to the top – we had only made it to the first balcony. There was another set of steps to take us to the tippy top with the bells and the insane view.

Day 4 consisted of Rome – a lllllll day.  We had an 8 hour tour that consisted of lots of walking and seeing almost every tourist site there is to see in Rome.  The tour moved quick to fit everything in, so we were really only able to snag a few photos inside the Colosseum, but come on…it’s ok because it’s THE COLOSSEUM!!!  And man oh man, we had absolutely no sun coverage at 9 am, so these photos were quite a bit brighter than how I would normally shoot, but we had no other choice and made it work!   At the end of our tour, we made our way back to our hotel/apartment and was able to get a couple photos with the fountain that was inside the doorway.  It’s hard to explain, but we had GIANT doors that opened from the road into a “driveway” that lead to a courtyard.  There were apartment doors along the driveway, so it was almost like a communal drive/parking.  I’m guessing back in Roman times, they would pull the horses and carts/buggies in the courtyard for the night with the fountain and give them food.

Saturday, day 5 was spent traveling to and within Venice!  Though we didn’t get any senior photos here – I did have the opportunity to photograph a wedding gown from Edith Elan, a designer out of Chicago. Want to check out their entire collection?  Check it out here!   Megan wore that dress beautifully!  She looks stunning with the Rialto Bridge as the background.

Finally, Day 6 was Milan and seeing the painting of The Last Supper.  The church that it is in made for the most beautiful backdrop.  Especially with Megan’s sequin shrug, everything looked gold and glitzy.  We also wandered into Milan’s city center and checked out the massive Duomo!  …here is where we were also mooned by a passerby, which made us all laugh and shake our heads.  Overall, I’m so glad we had this experience together.  It was something fun and I can’t wait to do more traveling with Megan as she grows up!!  I wonder where we’ll go to next.