For the second summer in a row, we headed to Italy to beat the Atlanta heat and hone our skills at photo styling. There's no better time to explore this beautiful country than summer (except maybe fall, winter and spring!). And there's no better way to see it than through the eyes of someone who lives there. For us, that person is Atlanta stylist, author and entertaining maven, Annette Joseph.
Annette has had a long love affair in Italy. She owned a flat in the coastal town of Alassio for 12 years before the appeal of the Tuscan countryside and its bounty of local food purveyors drew her to buy a centuries-old fortress in Lunigiana. She and her husband Frank, along with countless local artisans, painstakingly renovated it to La Fortezza, which she now calls home for half the year. It is just steps from the local dairy, bread baker and cheese maker. And it's home to a vineyard on 27 acres with breathtaking views of the countryside.
After penning two books on Italy with a third in the works, she's definitely our resident expert. In fact, Elle Decor just published her tips to make your home feel like Italy this summer. And with decades of experience as a stylist for national shelter magazines, she's also an uber educated teacher of propping, editing, composition and storytelling.
She designed La Fortezza to be a place for creatives to commune and learn the tricks of the trade that she honed for decades. She hosts private and group workshops for stylists and photographers of all levels of experience with props that she's plucked from local flea markets. Natural light pours into her commercial kitchen and prop room and her rolling acres provide the ideal setting for location shooting.