An Italian Getaway

Allie Siarto, Michigan small business photographer, travels to Rome, Pompeii, and Capri

I spent just over three weeks in Italy and France over the summer as a part of a study abroad trip that I co-led through Michigan State’s advertising and public relations department. Jeff joined me for the first ten days while the girls stayed with my parents. We took a whirlwind two day weekend tour to Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. If I did it again, I’d plan more time for each, but we were happy to be able to see such gorgeous sights.

Jeff flew home after ten days, and my group jumped on a bus to drive to Cannes, France for a week at the International Festival of Creativity. Our bus drive spoke about as much English as I speak Italian (about 300 days of Duo Lingo, I have basic phrases, but I’m far from conversational), so that made for some interesting interactions as we worked out plans along the way.

We wrapped up study abroad with a final week back in Rome, where I ate my way across the city—I found a little bookshop that sold English books and spent most evenings with a glass of wine and a book on ivy covered narrow cobblestone streets.

The heat the final week was more than my little midwestern heart was used to—it got up to 104 one day, so I bought a one day pool pass after class to stay cool. While I was floating, I saw ash flying through the sky. Apparently a nearby park had caught on fire from the combination of drought and heat. I had a small air conditioning unit in my bedroom that could cool the room just enough to make sleeping bearable, but the rest of the apartment had no AC.

In the height of the pandemic, I was resigned to the fact that I might not be traveling again for a long time, but it was so refreshing to get out into the bigger world out there and to appreciate cultures beyond my own.

Michigan branding photographer in Rome - overlooking the river
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - American University of Rome in Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie Siarto by a rock wall in Rome
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff in a cobblestone street in Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie sitting on steps in Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff sitting on steps in Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - large set of steps in Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - looking out at the river from the bridge
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - set of beer cans nailed to a block of wood to serve as a menu
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie on a cobblestone street in Trastevere with a yellow building behind
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff on a cobblestone street in Trastevere with a yellow building behind
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff on a small road
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie leaning against an ancient brick wall
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff sitting by a fountain
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - overlooking Rome from Trastevere
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - a narrow cobblestone street
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Naples train station
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff on a tour in the train station in Naples
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - train station in Naples
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Pompeii tourists
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Pompeii ruins
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - a path along the outside of Pompeii
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Pompeii fresco
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff in Pompeii
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie in Pompeii
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Jeff in Sorrento
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Allie by the water in Sorrento
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - view from the water of Sorrento
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Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Sorrento from the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Sorrento from the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Sorrento by the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Sorrento near the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the ferry
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - view of Capri from the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - view of Capri from the docks
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Michigan branding photographer in Rome - boat ride around the island of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - boat ride around the island of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the docks
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the docks
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the docks
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the docks
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri from the water
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - a row of canoes along the beach in Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of Capri on the way up to Anacapri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Anacapri lift to the top of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view looking down at the boats and water from the top of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view looking down at the boats and water from the top of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view looking down at the boats and water from the top of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view looking down at the boats and water from the top of Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - a small shop called La Gatta with a cat sleeping out front
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - a cat sleeping in front of a small shop in Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - Limoncello in small frosted glasses in Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of the beachfront n Capri with canoes and colorful buildings
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the view of the beachfront n Capri with canoes and colorful buildings
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - looking out at buildings and the water in Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the rocky beach in Capri
Michigan branding photographer in Rome - the rocky beach in Capri

Brand Lifestyle Product Photography – Injoya Dog Products

Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer

This commercial product lifestyle photoshoot turned into quite an adventure—we had scheduled it at my own house, and the power went out across the city just before everyone was set to arrive. On top of this, we were fostering a cat that had been living in my office, so she had hang out in an upstairs bathroom away from our own cats, who had to hide in the laundry room while the dogs came over. Animals everywhere!

Luckily, my lights are battery powered.

But then we got thrown for another loop when the school called to cancel in the middle of the school day (they were without power too). Luckily Jeff was able to go get the girls, and they were excited to come home to dogs.

Many thanks to our doggie models for showing off the Injoya products in use, and to everyone involved who kept calm as we went forward without power.

Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy mat, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy mat, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a lab with a dog mat, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a lab with a dog mat, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a lab with a dog toy, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a lab with a dog toy, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer
Lifestyle product photography - photo of a small dog with a dog toy mat, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing, Michigan commercial photographer

East Lansing’s Graduate Hotel School Spirits Drinks + Food Photography

East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of all drinks lined up on a stack of books, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of all drinks lined up on a table, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer

I’ve been doing ongoing lifestyle campaign work for Graduate Hotel in East Lansing since last year (you may remember my rooftop bar photos or my photoshoot with Zeke the Wonder Dog). This time, the team contacted me with a last minute opportunity to take photos of their first School Spirits Dinner—a four course meal with drink pairings.

This photoshoot gave me the freedom to jump in and do what I wanted—the event was happening, and the team simply saw an opportunity to get some shots of the food and drinks to market future events. I challenged myself to give them a mix of photos that showed the vibe of the hotel, showed off the food + drinks and left space to add text in social media.

All of this had to happen in the span of about 45 minutes using what was already there without getting in the way of the team that was actively serving up food to guests.

East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of all mixed drinks stacked on books, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo the hallway with leather chairs at Graduate Hotel, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, close up photo a man pouring blue drinks into martini glasses, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo a man pouring blue drinks into martini glasses, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of a mix of drinks and food, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo an appetizer with figs and a mixed red drink, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of mixed drinks lined up on a marble surface, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo a split pea soup and blue martini drink with a lime, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo pork chops on a white plate with a yellow mixed drink, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo a dessert pie with a red champagne drink behind it, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of mixed drinks lined up on a marble surface, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of mixed drinks lined up on a marble surface, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer

I literally used a black napkin tucked behind the mirror to take the shot below.

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East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo of a champagne glass with a red drink and raspberries on a black background, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer
East Lansing's Graduate Hotel School Spirits Dinner, photo a drink at a table during an event, by Allie Siarto & Co. Photography, Lansing commercial photographer

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