The day we arrived in Milan was a very rainy day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain. I’m a Cali girl after all and we don’t get much rain so it’s always a welcome change but this was daunting at first since a nine-hour plane ride then led to a soggy three-hour drive to Montecatini which then led to a sleepy and cross-eyed pair of travelers. Joe and I were exhausted once we checked into our hotel. I kept trying to fight it but my energy was low. Needless to say, Joe checked out the local shops while I just checked out.
At 8:00pm I woke up refreshed and ready… to a sleeping husband and a huge storm outside. Thunder. Lightning. Buckets of rain. The whole nine yards. Most of Montecatini was now closed, I knew that and since I can’t drive stick and my driver was currently incapacitated, I was stranded. However, watching the storm pass by our window (and we had a tremendous view) while listening to it hum over-head was just the right cup of breathtaking that I required. That night I wrote:
“Day 1. Candle-lit and high off the local vine, the hum of Mozart harmonizing to the flash and strike of mother natures melodious rage. The rain applauds. I stand in awe. What an amazing opening night.”
My man’s snoring chimed in a little later to then add a bit of urban flavoring to the given symphony (lol) but for the most part, it was a long and beautiful night of solitude for me. So I documented it. Within our room we had these huge windows that magically jumped out onto Montecatini’s medieval ruins, small villages, personal vegetable gardens and endless rolling hills. I got out my remote trigger, opened up my shutter and got straight to work. After each shout of thunder that crackled, I began to press my trigger knowing the lightning was soon to follow. One tea-light and a whole lot of smiles later, I got my shot. I finished up my glass of wine, Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23 and slowly drifted into the most comfortable slumber. It was a dreamy moment.
This was our theme for most of our stay in Italy but we knew the risks of off-season travel and were willing to take that gamble because with the rain, comes less tourism and a greater sense of the culture and people (in my humble opinion). The costs can be considerably less as well. I kept getting up early however to try to catch that perfect Tuscan sunrise. You know the one- with just the right amount of clouds and loads of color. It was an idea I had for a shoot ages ago, the second we had booked the trip. I knew where I wanted to go and how I wanted to shoot it. Yet once there, it just wasn’t working out. It became comical actually. For three days we tried and for three days there came rain, then fog and then more fog. On our last attempt, the fog was so thick we couldn’t even see 10 feet in front of our faces!
So instead of doing a beautiful Tuscan sunrise shoot, we did a dark and foggy enchanted forest-like shoot. Tim Burton eat your heart out.
I’m now in love with these shots. They’re completely different from my original intention but I love the mystery they represent and they hold a special place in my heart since Joe & I tried so hard, worked so well as a team & nearly lost our lives while parked on the narrow foggy bridge that we primarilly shot from. We gave it our all. Bob Marley had it right when he said. “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” We definitely felt, explored, played, experimented and got drenched in the process of this shoot and we couldn’t have been happier.
Sometimes, you just gotta roll with the punches. Sometimes, the punches become your best work. Often, life’s most amazing moments come from the journey. Here’s to the journey!