Providence College In Rome


Orchestrating college students for a major photo shoot is like herding cats – especially when it’s done in a foreign country, within a very short time period.

Providence College needed to capture a range of images to portray student life at their Rome, Italy campus. The stated goal was to capture authentic photos of happy college students enjoying all that their study abroad program offered, in order to advertise and promote the program to future participants. We broadened the scope of the project slightly, ensuring that the resulting images could also be used for fundraising campaigns and other college materials. We also made sure the final images were “evergreen” and able to be used for years to come without appearing dated. Juggling locations, class schedules, sunrises and sunsets, and late sleeping collegiates, I used my project management skills to work with photographer Michele Stapleton to coordinate all the pieces necessary to meet branding standards and paint a true picture of campus life in The Eternal City.

I worked with Emma Weldon on an international assignment in 2016: met in Rome to interview and photograph 30 students and a professor from Providence College taking part in a study abroad program. We had just three days to complete our mission. Emma’s take-charge approach, supreme organization, and quick rapport with the students made our work easy. She scouted sites in advance — the Piazza del Popolo, Trevi Fountain, Campo de’Fiori, and St. Peter’s Square — obtained cell phone numbers from the students, encouraged them to sign up for photo sessions, and set a detailed schedule for us all to follow. To entice the students to travel to the Villa Borghese at sunset, she packed a picnic of wine and cheese, then rented Segways. Early in the morning in the Piazza Navona, she made sure students had a café breakfast of cappuccino and a Cornetto (an Italian ice cream treat). The resulting story and photographs were wonderful — they resulted in Providence College Magazine winning a District I Excellence Award from CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.” Vicki Ann Downing, Providence College