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Feb 28

In On Location at 3:59am

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In Milan right now, Milano, as the Italians say, which of course is in Italy, which, in my mind, means I’m in a place that’s a step closer to heaven than much of the rest of the world. Happy to come back here, as the only time I had ever been to this city before was on a corporate shoot, and I didn’t see much except an office park somewhere between downtown and the airport. You know, one of those luxurious, expansive shoots where you fly in, work all day and into the evening, stay at a box of a motel off a cargo route from the import area of the airport, the one where trucks load all night and punctuate their minute to minute departures by sitting on the air horn. After a restful 3 hours, you stagger back onto an airplane for a quick hop to the next office park, located somewhere else you won’t really see.

milan windowMilano, is great, though, now that I have a chance to wander a bit. I’m predisposed to like the place as it is evidently named after my favorite cookie in the world. Also staying at a tiny hotel, run by wonderful people, kind of a mom and pop shop feel. Folks at the desk know your name, and the view from your window is, for a change, not of a parking lot.

Teaching and lecturing here, in conjunction with an 80 picture show opening this weekend at the Foundation Bandera for the Arts. These folks are terrific, and do an amazing job of finding a way to fund the arts on a consistent basis. The trip is sponsored by the Foundation, and by Verve, a magazine that is all about Milan, and Azonzo Travel agency, expert shippers of people to far off places.

And it would never have happened were it not for Federica Brunini, who is an all around journalist and photographer based in Milan. We met at the Santa Fe Workshops, where she took a course from my wife Annie (astounding teacher, patient, kind and knowledge of all things digital) and then we worked together on a couple of National Geographic workshops in Tuscany. This was her idea, and she knitted together all the appropriate pieces to make it happen. She is a talented wonder, and very central to the active photography scene here in Milan…

Gotta go…have my fingers crossed the meeting with La Scala Ballet goes well today.

Agos says:

on February 28, 2008 at 4:45 am

D’oh! Didn’t know you were coming here! 😀
Next time I’ll be there 😉

Roberto says:

on February 28, 2008 at 7:06 am

Ciao Joe !
I have had the opportunity to meet you yesterday evening at the White Star bookstore. I bought your book and you have been so kind to shake my hands.
I’ve heard about your life as photographer. Thanks for sharing your experience. Maybe you know that the editorial business is not so good in Italy. It’s always more and more difficult to get an assignment by a magazine. Even self-assignments are often kept in a drawer.
Anyway if you have been impressed by Milan, than you have to visit Rome ! Food, weather, people, hystory will make you giddy !

But.. I’d like to make a question. How many pictures have you seen through your eyes without the possibility to get a shot with your camera ?

Thanks and good luck with your exhibition !

mauro del romano says:

on February 28, 2008 at 7:13 am

it will be a pleasure to take you to Santa Caterina del Sasso Sanctuary on Lago Maggiore, 75 km from milan or Como, or Sacro Monte in Varese. I’m from Varese, and would be great for me to show you some of our treasures!

tell me if you’re interested, otherwise, enjoy you’re stay in Milan!

Bob DeChiara says:

on February 28, 2008 at 8:16 am

Joe can you swing by Naples and shoot a group photo of all my relatives I haven’t seen in about 35 years?

Waiting to get my hands on your new book & look foward to learning more stuff.

Love the blog!!!!


Marcello says:

on February 28, 2008 at 10:13 am

Hi, where and when exactly are you teaching in Milano? Is it a open event or something for a school?

Sorry that you found this grayish weather… when the sky is clear Milano looks much better!

Oh, and what are the cookies you’re talking about? 😉


Mark K says:

on February 28, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Ah! Leaving us all abit jealous!

Enjoy the lardo.

Jon Paciaroni says:

on March 1, 2008 at 3:40 am

Good luck out there! I just my hands on the book…. some tasty tid-bits for us yocals. I read the whole thing thru in one sitting!!! LOL You’ve inspired me beyond measure Joe; so I just wanted extend a sincere thank you to you.

….Oh, and if your ever looking another full time asst., my job is always disposable!

Cheers from Denver,


Dan Mao says:

on March 1, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Woooo Hoooo!! Swung by Chapters Indigo today and found “The Moment It Clicks” finally in stock. So pysched that I bought one at full price (instead of waiting to go home and buying it online at 2/3rds the price).

Roger says:

on March 2, 2008 at 8:58 am

Joe –

Plain, orange, or mint? Surely not amaretto. (Milanos, that is.)

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