Visiting Italy was a dream of mine ever since I discovered books on Rome and the ruins of Pompeii in elementary school.  When scouting for colleges in high school, I discovered that Gordon College offered a semester in Orvieto, Italy, and the school instantly became my top choice. My Italian opportunity came in 2004, during my sophomore year, and my life has never been the same since.  I had taken two art history courses prior to my semester in Orvieto, but even the best of professors cannot fully convey the sublime beauty of Michelangelo's Pieta or the full mastery of Benozzo Gozzoli's Procession of the Magi in the Medici family's private chapel.  Experiencing such works in their actual environment — in situ — forever altered the way I view art, and in return, shapes the way I create it.

Prior to that semester, I would never have dreamed of a career in the photography field, yet by the end of my junior year, I was photographing weddings and shooting gigs for Gordon's Stillpoint magazine. After graduating from Gordon College, I returned to Italy (this time to Florence) where I earned a Masters degree in photography at the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti.  A decade later, I’ve found myself plying my trade in a variety of countries for a wide range of people, companies, corporations and non-profits. I return to Italy every few years to continue photographing a country unmatched for the sheer magnitude of its art, architecture, history, culture, and cuisine, all of which blend together beautifully for a legacy and lifestyle like no other.  Little wonder that Italy has been the muse for generations of artists, writers, poets and musicians.

Daniel Nystedt is a professional photographer in the Boston area. His portfolio includes work for dozens of successful companies and organizations, from colleges and universities to corporations and non-profits. See more of Nystedt's photography at http://nystedtphotography.com/ .