These two photos were taken nearly 20 years ago on my very first trip to Italy. It was my first trip out of the country, and it changed my life. My greatest education has been — and remains — travel. It was while traveling that I got the burning desire to make beautiful photos. I finally went back to school at 27 to study photography. I had a professor who urged his students to take an art class because it “teaches you to see.” On his encouragement (and to fulfill a deep desire inside me), I took that art class and never looked back. I knew then I was a painter.