My life is a series of craziest coincidences, which seem weird when seen separately, but then fall together like a perfect puzzle I could have never imagined with a conscious effort.
Eleven years ago, when I first had the idea of learning Italian, it seemed particularly pointless: I didn’t have any connection to that country or any Italian friends, and the similar Spanish language was much more widespread and useful to know. Still, out of all world languages, I remained stuck on Italian, but only three years ago I took intensive individual classes with a really good tutor (for two months) and maintained my basic Italian alive with another professor for about a year more. Back then I was planning to move to London or New York, but had not a tiniest clue that in a few years I would end up nowhere else but Florence, getting my Photography MFA!
As a part of MFA program we are taking individual classes with a professor of a chosen specialization. Since I wanted to learn studio lighting, I started a course with Massimo, a great engineer and teacher, who did not (and still does not) speak any English. In that case usually we are provided with someone to translate, yet I was told: “You speak Italian, you’ll survive” and left alone. Quite incredibly, my barely existent Italian grew to be quite decent over few months, and Massimo and I, instead of just doing the course, ended up talking for hours and hours. We quickly found a common interest in large format photography and darkroom printing. By that time, for a couple of months already, I was printing at school thinking how great it would be to have my own darkroom, yet I had absolutely no equipment and was a student in a city where I knew no one.