It is impossible to arrive in Florence and not be completely blown away. The architecture, the food, the grumbling of motorbikes, the bustle of tourists and people trying to get to work, or the noise from those who are casually conversing with friends from an outdoor patio. The atmosphere is uplifting and joyful. From an artist’s perspective, it’s everything you’ve seen in Art History textbooks but instead of staring at a photograph, these works of pure genius are right in front of your eyes and it’s like walking in a dream.
It’s overwhelming in all the right ways. However, as I began to explore Firenze and become more comfortable in my surroundings I began to wonder and observe my new home more critically. Although these works of art; sculptures and architectures are beautiful, is that what really makes Florence so special? What about those who call this city “home?” It was after asking these questions that I became more interested in the lives of the people that work and interact in the city, beyond the tourists and those popular attractions.
Florence is expanding and changing to meet the demands of today’s world. This is very interesting considering how rich in history and innovation this city truly is. This was another starting point for me to reflect upon as I met those native to this area. I talked to merchants on their lunch break, people spending their day relaxing at the park with friends and family and visited the workplace of those performing their day to day jobs. The lives of these people was just as interesting to me as the various famous symbols that are scattered around the iconic city.
Although I’m not fluent in Italian, and not every subject I photographed spoke perfect English, a very special bond was established between me and every person I photographed. The camera has a way of bringing people together and forming its own established language. From these images I hope to convey the unique characteristics of the very special people living in this incredible city. Secondly, I hope the viewer finds a quality in the subjects photographed that they see within themselves. I think about the amazing people I photographed daily and the effect that they made on me just a couple of summers ago I do not see ever fading away.
All of these photographs were taken with 35mm film.