Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer: Blog en-us (C) 2018 Santa Fabio - Detroit People Photographer, Corporate, Advertising, Editorial (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:33:00 GMT Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:33:00 GMT Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer: Blog 80 120 Back Yard Challenge Fabio 2190 066Fabio 2190 066Back yard series My garden is filled with a blaze of glorious day lilies and I was surprised to find a bug flying toward the first image of the lilies!

It's hot out!  

With that, I decided to see what kind of photographs I could take at high noon. All of these were taken within 30 minutes, and then it was play time with filters and processing. Stay tuned for tomorrow's images.....

As a photographer I am always looking to push the boundaries.

Even though I only spent 30 minutes in the sweltering heat today, I was able to come up with several different scenarios to choose from. What sets me apart from others is the way I see things, the way I create and my impeccable work ethics. If you truly want a professional with all the knowledge, skill and equipment to produce stellar images, please contact me.

I work well with people, and have the knowledge to produce images that stand out from the rest. I'm a photographer with a camera and a brain.

Fabio 2190 071Fabio 2190 071Back yard series Fabio 2190 118Fabio 2190 118Back yard series


]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:33:10 GMT
"Metal" and "Dirt" Magazines are Officially Released! New editions!!!!  


Please copy and paste the link onto your web browser.



And those who love to support photographers.


Fabio Metal Cover zenfolioFabio Metal Cover zenfolio

     Today is the official relaunch of Metal (And things made from Metal or have Metal in them) Magazine. It will be shared among my social media platforms and with e-mails. The 80lb cover and exquisite photographs printed on premium pages make this a keepsake for your photography library. In addition it is helping fund my most treasured project, which is the documentation of the village of Mandanici, in Sicily where my parents and relatives come from, and still reside. I have already published one version, but my ultimate goal is a larger, more commercially viable book. (This is EVERY photographers DREAM!)

     These winter months in Michigan have dragged on and on, (It's snowing as I write this) and although this year it hasn't been that horrible. (That means the bunnies will be everywhere and my garden is in danger!) I long to go barefoot, put shorts on, go sailing and NOT TELL EVERYONE  I'M FREEZING! (What can I say, Mediterranean blood runs in my veins, and I love the warmth of a gentle summer breeze.) 

Update: It is a beautiful spring May day and I thought it would be a great day to introduce "Dirt" so that it can be purchased.

     I woke up one dark, early winter, morning from a warm bed, with flannel sheets, and thought about doing this project. Not only does this showcase my photography, but my editing, selection and design skills as a producer of photography. It took a couple of months to research, edit and produce this cool edition.

     Metal is the first of three high-quality magazines I am planning to produce this year. At 44 pages it includes photographs from over 30 years of shooting from every place I visit. It is a collection I'm sure you’ll enjoy.

     Dirt is the second of three high-quality magazines I'm producing this year. This one is also 44 pages and includes never before seen images!

     I'm using Blurb as a "kick starter" campaign, and as I mentioned above, I hope it can help fund a trip to Sicily so that I can continue the 30 plus year exploration of the town where my parents are from.

     Most importantly, I am hoping you will purchase this magazine and cherish it as part of your photography collection. Not including the cover the magazine showcases a lot of photographs.

    If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me. If you are in the area I'll even autograph the copy! 

    Thank you for your time and your support in my passion of photography.

Santa Fabio

As of this printing I've only sold two editions of Metal. My hope is that more people will support purchase a magazine.

Fabio 2135 1224 rocksZENFabio 2135 1224 rocksZEN2016 Italian Trip
August 22 - September 18
Mandanici and Rome



]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) cars detroit people photographer dirt fabio metal muscle santa vespa Tue, 15 May 2018 19:12:14 GMT
Last Days of Summer Fabio 2169 - 135Fabio 2169 - 135East Jordan camping trip
East Jordan and Traverse City
I'm not much for camping when it is freezing outside, but after spending a night shivering in a tent at 41 degrees this Labor Day Weekend, I woke up to fog covering this lake. The bright spot, aside from hot coffee, was this youth riding his bike with the fog on the lake during the early morning hours. It made the night before all worth while.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) detroit and beyond people photographer detroit people photographer lake santa fabio scenic Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:07:32 GMT
The Eyes Into The Soul On February 8th, I was working away at my computer when my cellular phone began pinging non-stop. Usually, it's from e-mails or push notifications so I didn't bother to check immediately. It was going crazy, so I logged in and to my dismay, I found out that my eldest 1st cousin passed away suddenly in Rome.

Being so far away from my family is the most heart wrenching emotion during times like these, for economy and my lack of funds prohibit me from leaving and attending  funerals. My mother immigrated and became an American citizen back in the 1960s, but my extended, family of aunts, uncles and cousins all live in England, Italy and Sicily. 

Detroit Producer of PhotographyDetroit Producer of Photography I was in Rome a few months ago and was able to visit with my cousin, Franco, and his kind and caring mother, my Zia Anna. We had a long conversation about his failing health and I was heartbroken that with the realization that he wouldn't be with us for very long. Even with that understanding, it was still a shock when I read the texts. Even though I am separated by 4000 plus miles, the modern technology and frequent flyer miles keeps me in touch with my extensive family.

For over 30 years I have been documenting the town my parents grew up in and I have thousands of images, but I also have taken photographs in Rome. Franco would not allow me to point a camera in his vicinity last year, and I'm very glad I didn't. I went back through my archives and found the most representative image I have ever made of him, which I'm sharing here.

His eyes, and his gaze reflect who he is perfectly. He inherited our great-grandfather's blue eyes, his spirit of adventure came from his father and his mischief...well that was all his own. I am honoring him in the only way I know how, by sharing the image I believe reflects his character and soul.

I am fortunate to have the skill of being able to capture and create images that reflect what I see, and even though my children run and hide when I bring my camera out, I am glad to have made the images, to record those moments and to share them. Once they are gone, they can never be recreated again, for they are time capsules to remember and to pay tribute.

My advice: Take photographs, make prints, make books and share them.

In Memory of Francesco


© Santa Fabio

No Reproduction Rights Granted.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) detroit and beyond people photographer portraits santa fabio Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:05:30 GMT
The Caribbean Is Truly Spectacular Fabio 2112 0544Fabio 2112 0544Vacation on Seahorse The Caribbean: For me it was always just a dream, words I'd read in a book, such as Treasure Island, documentaries I'd seen on the tube or the many pirate movies that Hollywood has produced over the years. Captain Jack may not live here, but the water and sky are so blue, the people friendly, the coconuts are melt in your mouth sweet, the local dish of stuffed roti's are very delicious and yes, there is no shortage of rum!

This trip of a lifetime was made possible by dear friends who let us spend 10 days sailing from Island to Island in both the British and American Virgin Islands.

I found the man in the photo below on one of those islands. His eyes captivated me, and he allowed me to photograph him with the afternoon light that filtered through the leaves of the palm trees above. As I love making portraits, he was a gift from the islands.


Detroit Producer of PhotographyDetroit Producer of PhotographyVacation on Seahorse

All photographs © 2016 Santa Fabio

No Reproduction rights granted.



]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Detroit and beyond People Photographer Portraits Santa Fabio Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:39:10 GMT
The Protection of Your Intellectual Property Santa6WebSanta6Web

Protecting your Copyright

“Copyright is the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.” Also, “These are your rights and your rights alone. Unless you willingly give them up (EX: A Creative Commons License), no one can violate them legally. This means that, unless you say otherwise, no one can perform a piece written by you or make copies of it, even with attribution, unless you give the OK.” (Definitions are from a web search and

When I first began to write this blog it was to be about how much I love photography. That part has not changed, however what changed is the whole profession of photography. Many years a photographer, I made the transition (reluctantly) from film to digital media. This new digital world has cost me clients. It seems that everyone with a cell phone thinks they are a photographer. Thankfully, there are still clients, who value my talents and skill, for that I am very thankful. Along with the loss of clients, the digital media has amplified the exiting issue of plagiarizing.

With the ease of acquiring media via the Internet, people believe they can just copy and paste and use other people’s work as their own. It is piracy, and with that everyone needs to know that it hurts the people who are attempting to feed their families, pay their mortgages and stay in business. As you have seen on countless movie announcements: Piracy is not a victimless crime.

A situation came up just the other day when I opened up a small local magazine and noticed that three of my images were used in an article and the photo credit was given to a friend. I had given a disk with some images to this person with the understanding that these would only be for personal enjoyment. This hurt, and upset me. What hurt the most was that no one will know I took the photographs in the printed edition, and as a professional, my reputation for images is one I cherish and work hard to maintain.

My first phone conversation was with the editor of the magazine. Explaining that the images were credited to the incorrect person, she assured me that she was accepting the word of the person who gave them to her. Trust played a part in this on her part, but morally, the person who gave these to her should have contacted me for my permission. My second communication was with the person who gave my photographs away without my permission. Thankfully, they have apologized and we have made amends. I gave them a chance to make it right, and they did. After I received an apology from the person who gave my photographs away, it occurred to me that there is little awareness of copyright laws for the masses, which prompted this post.

As a free-lance photographer, I register every image I take with the copyright bureau. It is easy to do and relatively inexpensive. I know that ASMP, The American Society of Media Photographers, is working diligently to modify copyright to better be served in the digital age, and with that I am thankful, but the wheels of bureaucracy move slowly. Until the policy changes, I will continue to register every image the old fashioned way, but using the link here at My hope is that ASMP will be successful in securing an easier way for us photographers to copyright our work so that we may continue to benefit from the fruits of our labor.

Once your template is set up, it’s a matter of filling in the blanks. Depending on how much work you have it is important register your images every two to three months. It will protect you and your heirs from unauthorized usage and if an image is used without your permission, you are able to collect legal fees.

In my research I found the web page below was a wealth of information, and I’m sure there are more. Remember that knowledge is power. Most importantly, protect your images as you would protect any piece of property.

In this digital age it is easy to contact and find the copyright holder of an image. A friend and fellow colleague Daymon J. Hartley took the image in this post. Before I even put my fingers to the keyboard to write this blog, I asked permission, and then asked how he wanted them to be copyrighted. Within 5 minutes of sending a Facebook message I received a response. His request is honored. This photograph is © The photograph was taken early on in my career, as I was guest speaking at the College For Creative Studies, in Detroit, where I was also a student. By the time this photograph was taken I had already worked for 5 local newspapers, I was the second woman photojournalist at the Detroit News, the third woman at the Detroit Free Press, (both summer internships) and I was currently working for United Press International taking photographs of Detroit's Professional sporting teams to put myself through school.

What every photographer must do is educate not only their clients, but also their friends on the value of their work, and to not give it away, sell it or destroy it. Most people do not understand how photographers make their living, and it is our responsibility to inform everyone we can. If we don’t take the initiative then who will?



]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Daymon J. Hartley Santa Fabio copyright Tue, 08 Dec 2015 19:53:25 GMT

With freedom comes responsibility for the project or projects. Their is the responsibility of time and resources, which sometimes can be great to fulfill the vision. With the freedom comes an enormous amount of satisfaction on knowing that you can complete something you’ve started and be proud of the results.

The most productive way I've found to keep my creative freedom working it's hardest is to pick a project and dive right in, which is why I chose to document the small village where my parents were born and where they lived as children. It is nestled in the hills of northeast Sicily, and the distance was great, for plane rides traversing an ocean have been an expensive undertaking. It also required a long time commitment away from work here in America, but it was worth every penny and every day I could breath in the warm moist Mediterranean air was heavenly.

This project brought me out of my comfort zone. It was totally self funded and pushed my shyness to the background by forcing me to walk up and down the cobblestone streets and meet total strangers. With only three or four weeks at a time, I had to cram as much photography in as I could. I’ve broken several cameras and lenses on these trips by tripping on the stone steps, and thankfully I had extra equipment with me. During film days I was carrying up to 100 rolls of film per trip, packaged in lead pouches and I spent a lot of time with security at the airports. After 9-11 that process became very arduous and I almost lost all my infrared images, because security wanted to open the canisters.

None of the above information really means anything for it’s the result that matters. It was my diligence in walking, meeting and photographing people year after year that made my project worth it. I’m not sure that you can truly know a subject without fully exploring every angle with different light and situations. My parents were from here, and I wanted to meet as many people as I could who knew them. People would look at me suspiciously; because I had two cameras wrapped around my neck, and was carrying a heavy backpack.

My conversation, in Italian, always began with the phrase, “Good day, I am the daughter of Giovanni and Giuseppa, who are you?” From that moment on people would open up and were generous with their time and with the stories they told of when they knew my parents or my aunts and uncles.

Yes, I could have visited and been a passing tourist, but I wanted more. If my parents had not immigrated to America I would have been born here, I would have walked those same streets, gone to the same schools, attended the same church and the people I met would have been life long friends and acquaintances. For the longest time I felt torn between two worlds.

My project, my vision and my desire opened the doors I needed to bridge the gap between worlds. My children would lament that it would take us at least 30 minutes to traverse town with all the people stopping us and asking how my parents and we were doing! I would smile and take it all in for it meant that I was a part of the world my ancestors had.

This book has no crime, murder, drug busts, genocide, poverty or strife in it. What it depicts is the way life is, in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else. It also shows, a way of life that is no longer lead with mules driving the agricultural society. When you look into the faces of the people of Mandanici, may you see what I've seen for the last three decades: kindness, compassion and a sensibility not seen in most modern cites.

It is a place where time moves and yet manages to stay still, and it is because I had the freedom to experiment, to meet and to photograph the lives of these unique people that my book project is complete. (Book no longer available)

But I'm Not Stopping There!

My daughter-in-law, Maria, is part of a team of bicyclists called the Cuttin Crew in Chicago. Their web site says that the name had its roots in the messenger community and street-racing scene, but they wanted to raise the banner into new territory. They wanted to work together, to sacrifice the individual, to show the world what the Chicago Cuttin' Crew stood for. They are a diverse group, but their core philosophy has not changed, they ride their hearts out whenever they toe that line. 

Fabio 2099 0045Fabio 2099 0045Maria Larkin

I was able to photograph one of her two races last week and will attempt to do more. Here is the beginning of this project, as with Maria’s determination to become a great cycle-cross contender, so do I want to continue taking on more and more projects, to become an even better image maker.

This is just the beginning.....

Fabio 2099 0004Fabio 2099 0004Maria Larkin Fabio 2099 0156Fabio 2099 0156Maria Larkin Fabio 2099 0003Fabio 2099 0003Maria Larkin Fabio 2099 0195Fabio 2099 0195Maria Larkin

Fabio 2099 0292Fabio 2099 0292Maria Larkin

For information on events, joining or sponsoring the Chicago Cuttin Crew bicycle team visit:

More than anything....go out and's a blast!

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) bicycle chicago cuttin crew detroit and beyond people photographer detroit people photographer larkin race santa fabio Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:17:24 GMT
The Blood, Sweat, Toil and Absolute Joy of Making a Photography Book. book coverIl Paese Del Mio CuoreIl Paese Del Mio Cuore, The Village That Stole My Heart. 7 x7 inch soft cover book

Some of the pages in the book.

Santa Fabio book # 1Santa Fabio book # 1 Santa Fabio book # 2Santa Fabio book # 2 Santa Fabio book # 3Santa Fabio book # 3 Santa Fabio book # 4Santa Fabio book # 4

To the people of Mandanici I owe a huge debt of gratitude. With each visit, which were numerous, people opened their hearts and their lives so that I could capture the images in these books. This little village is my home too, and I wish it wasn't so far away. With my frequent visits I feel more connected and a part of the community. Mandanici is the birthplace of my ancestors and my roots grow deep within its soil. I long for its embrace and my family who live within its borders, and throughout Italy every day of my existence. I look forward to the next time I breathe in the salted Mediterranean Sea air, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and eat the delicious meals made from the fruits of the rich volcanic earth.


Santa Fabio

Producer of Photography - Detroit  

(Book no longer available)


     This is not my first book of photographs, but it is the most comprehensive and challenging one I have ever finished. It has gone through multiple versions and I have printed many Blurb editions, sampling sizes and paper stock until this one. Each attempt has resulted in a better version then the last. Since this is a self-publishing, on demand book there wasn’t money in the budget to hire a designer. Even with that, I had many friends who volunteered and gave me many ideas and suggestions. (I owe an enormous thank you to Trish and Richard Hirneisen plus Dianna Sinovic who helped with the final polishing and typos!) The countless hours I have spent on this project were valuable, for it taught me a lot about my personal vision and myself.

    I have put together: two editions in English and Italian. They are 7 x 7 inch, (18 cm) soft and hard cover books documenting the town of my ancestors, which is located in the hills of southeast Sicily near the tourist town of Taormina. It is a deeply personal project meant to honor the people of this town, and I began making images when I was 27 years old. From the moment I walked down the cobblestone steps of the town with cameras and film, I knew I eventually would produce a book with these photographs. With the digital age came the opportunity for my dream to become a reality. As I held this edition in my hands it brought tears of joy to my soul.

     In the beginning, I thought that looking at hundreds of rolls of film, transparencies and digital hard drives would be overwhelming, but I had already selected the best images on my contact sheets, so it only left the hard drives to tackle. My best friend two winters ago was the Nikon PB-6 Bellows systems mounted on a Nikon D800 camera to convert the film and transparencies into digital files. I had already scanned numerous fiber based 11 x 14 prints on a very expensive Epson flatbed scanner, and the PB-6 allowed me the opportunity to fill in the gaps with photographs I had missed. It is a toss up on which scans I prefer, but at least I had them all.

     Without my Mac Pro, large screen, multiple hard drives and great software my goal and desire would have been unfulfilled. Again, with this project I was able to learn the ins and outs of multiple software’s and techniques. (Even as I write this blog I was changing copy on this newest version.) Book making is a MOST difficult undertaking that takes on a life of it’s own. It was the hardest and most satisfying project I have ever completed.

     The ultimate reason I have gone through so much effort is because, when I was six years old, I fell in love with the Sicilian village of Mandanici and all my family who have resided there. I remember begging to have my parents take me back when I was younger, and I only managed to visit one other time. It wasn’t until I was on my own that I made seeing my family a top priority. Multiple trips later, here is my effort. This edition is meant to honor the people who live, or have had family in this little enclave.

     I used a quote in the book and I would like to share it now: It is from the opening scene of the movie Sarah’s Key: “Sometimes our own stories are the ones we can never tell, but if a story is never told, it becomes something else. Forgotten.”

     This is my story, so the people of Mandanici will always be remembered.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) B&W Italy Mandanici Portraits Santa Fabio Sicily Thu, 06 Aug 2015 13:45:30 GMT
For The Love Of Nature..... Sicily 2014Sicily 2014Sicily 2014 for book

There is not much industry or agriculture in this little village where my roots are from. There used to be, but that was many years ago. From the four little grocery stores I remember, only one remains; only one meat market and the pharmacy is left. Thankfully, there are two bars/coffee houses and two restaurants, a bakery and a tobacco/general store. For all the other creature comforts one must drive the multitude of switchbacks down to the costal cities. As the population dwindles and ages I’m not sure how many of what I’ve seen this year will survive. I truly miss the hardware store!

Sicily 2014Sicily 2014Sicily 2014 for book

There are a few adventurous souls who are attempting to make the land profitable and are working very diligently to keep this little niche quaint. The one I met this year is Davide. He is a 24 year-old, 6th generation goat herder, who is spearheading his family farm.

When I go on my daily walks through town I can always hear the cowbells that are around the necks of his 200 plus goats that roam free on the un manicured hills, which are melting back into the earth like frosting on a hot summer day. It is a simple sound that harkens back to when the terraces were tended and toiled by my ancestors. I can imagine them hearing the same resonance of the iron bells throughout the valley.

Archaeologists have found evidence of people using these bells to track goats, cattle and sheep dating back to more than 5 millennia. Our town, in Sicily, was found in 1100 AD when livestock and farming flourished, and I’m confident that then, the hills echoed even more.

Davide, said that the reason he is doing this is to carry on the tradition of his ancestors and make it better. Not only does he have goats, but also cows, pigs, sheep and horses, which fill the barns. He is one of 6 children and hopes to pass his family’s legacy to future generations. The next item on his agenda is to build a government certified dairy farm, for his cheese and milk production that overlook his paddock, opposite the river.

Davide was born into this life and even if the profession is not as profitable as others he will continue on, because of tradition. I know how much I enjoy my little urban garden and I truly believe that farmers are those who love the land, the fresh air and have the freedom to work diligently at what they have passion for.

Cutlines:        Above: Have you ever truly looked at a goat's eyes? Right: Davide with two of his goats. Below: Two hundred goats move about the paddock and try to stay away from me! Also, it is a strange site seeing goats herded through the main street of town. 

Sicily 2014Sicily 2014Sicily 2014 for book The goats heading through town to pasture.The goats heading through town to pasture. Sicily 2014Sicily 2014Sicily 2014 for book

Davide with his grandfather Antonino and the dog.

All Photographs © 2014 Santa Fabio



]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Italy Santa Fabio Sicily black & white farm goats livestock Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:02:25 GMT
My Twenty Minutes With A Legend Fabio 1803 078Fabio 1803 0781/12/09 4:16:42 PM -- Detroit, MI
-- Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, will sing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20th. --

Photo by Santa Fabio, Freelance
Presidents, captains of industry and professional sports players have stood in front of my camera through out the years, so I’m not prone to being star-struck. Every one I photograph is treated exactly the way I want to be treated: with respect and dignity. For me, what matters most is creating the best image possible for the client. Never have I waivered from that goal, and it truly is an honor to photograph all those I’ve met, for their lives enrich mine.

A few years back I was tongue tied for the very first time. My saga began with being assigned to photograph our Detroit Diva, Aretha Franklin at the church where her father was the pastor and she sang. It was an exciting opportunity; I had done my homework and knew exactly how I wanted to photograph her.

Arriving my normal two hours before the shoot, my assistant and I set up all the lights. My window to shoot was a mere 20 minutes to make my images, and as I raised my Nikon, I became speechless. It dawned me that the woman I have been listening to as a child: Aretha Louise Franklin, one of my idols, was in front of me.

All I could hear coming out of my mouth was babbling and I began to panic. Never experiencing this type of anxiety was surprising. As my mind raced to form words, I closed my eyes and stopped moving.

Fabio 1803 Aretha FrankinFabio 1803 Aretha FrankinPortfolio Image When I opened them my mind was clear. I simply told her the truth. I said, “Ms. Franklin I have grown up with your music since I was a child. You are a gifted performer, and my goal here is to make you look as beautiful as you are.”

The next twenty minutes were heaven, and when she began softly singing one of her songs I thought angels had descended around me. With 18 total Grammy awards she has been named the “Queen of Soul” and her voice supports it. Who can ever forget her cult classic scene in 1980 Blues Brothers movie when she sings the song Respect to John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist, Aretha Franklin is a legend, who still has the talent and drive to make music, and I’m proud to have been able to photograph her. It truly is a highlight of my career. Ms. Franklin comes out with a new collection of songs today called, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. Can’t wait to have it in my collection.

Thank you Ms. Franklin for your talent and your graciousness. It was an honor and a privilege to meet you.

Fabio 1803 058Fabio 1803 0581/12/09 4:15:03 PM -- Detroit, MI
-- Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, will sing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20th. --

Photo by Santa Fabio, Freelance
All images © Santa Fabio No Reproduction Rights Granted.

Images taken with a Nikon D2XS.

Not affiliated with Ms. Franklin in any way.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Aretha Franklin Detroit People Photographer Santa Fabio Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:37:32 GMT
La Famiglia Italiana "In the family, happiness is in the ratio in which each is serving the others, 

seeking one another's good, and bearing one another's burdens."

Henry Ward Beecher

La mia famiglia italiana. (My Italian Family), are a remarkable group of individuals who I miss deeply because of the 5127 air miles, a vast ocean, and a continent that separates us. Over the years airline travel has become increasingly more expensive, and with my income dwindling I have had to be even more creative, to be able to have enough funds to purchase a ticket to be in their company. The sacrifice is worth the effort, for when I inhale my very first breath of hot, humid Sicilian air at Catania’s Fontanarossa Airport; I know I am close the home from where my roots were sown.

Last month I experienced how true the quote is that I began my blog with. I witnessed the kindness and compassion of my first cousins, Teresa and Tino, plus their spouses and children as they took care of their dying mother, my Zia Antonietta, who was bedridden in a hospital in Messina. As I held her hand and told her how much I loved her, the thoughts of all of her kindness throughout all the years came rushing back that filled me with sadness and joy. On my final visit I lingered as long as I could at her hospital door, not wanting to leave, because I knew that this would be the last time I would see her alive. September 10th she peacefully passed away in the early morning hours.

In the past 18 months 3 of the 6 daughters my grandparents had three are now gone; beginning with my mother, in April I lost My Zia Lauretta and ending with my Zia Antonietta. Plus, my godmother Rosina left us a year ago today.

I will always remember their kindness, respect and generosity they shared with me on my many visits to one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

The top photo is of my Zia Antonietta and Zio Alfredo's family. Below is my Zia Lauretta.

Trip from July 22, 2006 until August 16, 2006.
Kyle, Lauren and Santa
 Mi Manchi... Trip from July 22, 2006 until August 16, 2006.
Kyle, Lauren and Santa


© 2006 Santa Fabio All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction rights granted.

Taken with Nikon equipment




]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Italy Santa Fabio Sicily family Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:45:42 GMT
A Refuse of Inspiration, A Sanctuary of History and Spirituality, A Haven Being Repaired.... Fabio 2135 2175Fabio 2135 21752016 Italian Trip
August 22 - September 18
Mandanici and Rome


Mandanici2014 SicilyPhoto File 2060
Sicily 2014

Top New photo added August 2017, and taken in 2016.

(After some public money came in, the Church of Santa Domenica was opened back to the public in 2016.)

It was a joy to see services being held in this 300 plus year old beauty. For me the spirituality is knowing how many of my ancestors looked upon the same alters and sculptures before I ever did when I was 6 years old. I love this church as I love the town that houses and takes care of it. This entire region draws me to it and I find myself longing to be there the moment I leave.

It had been eight long years since I set foot in this church where my ancestors have celebrated many religious ceremonies in, for it has been closed to the public since 2010. I just couldn't stay standing outside its massive wooden doors any longer without out entering, so a couple of weeks ago I asked our local priest Padre Domenico, if I could take photographs of the interior and, thankfully, he agreed. As is the case every time I enter this structure, I am awed. How can anyone not be inspired upon entering and seeing the ornate baroque stucco that surrounds the altar? Even if you are not religious, it is an architectural wonder.

This is the Church of Santa Domenica, (La Chiesa di S. Domenica V.M.) in the town where my family comes from in Mandanici, Sicily. It's bones were built in the 12th Century. A bit of plaster had fallen away close to the altar, and I was shown the ancient foundation stone. The stucco, paintings and sculptures were added in 1696. Since I can trace my ancestors back to this town at that time, I know they gazed at this church when it was new, and now I visit it in disrepair.

The most famous painting is of the “Madonna Del Canestro” (Santa Maria Di Mandanici). They have speculated that artist Girolamo Aubrandi, who was a student of the famous Antonello of Messina, completed this painting in the 14th Century. The artwork on the altar is the painting of the patron saint of Santa Domenica, painted in 1768 by Giuseppe Paladino.

The paintings are wonderful, but the left angel that is above the altar has always enamored me. It is one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken in black and white, and it is a favorite of all who see it. The angel to the right of it no longer displays a face.

There are two other churches where worship is held, but this was the main place of prayer until 4 years ago. I was informed that it will require anywhere from 350,000 to 1 million Euros to repair the terra cotta tiled roof, which has been damaged by hail storms, age and water. For now, it is considered extremely dangerous to enter and I was only granted a short time within its stunning interior.

Money from the Italian Government is no longer available for restoration projects, which leaves the fundraising to the town, but with an aging and shrinking population of 600 souls that does not seem to be a viable solution. This breaks my heart.

My hope is that public money and the town’s fundraising will preserve this enchanted structure for many more generations.

Oh Dio, aiuta questa chiesa. 2014 SicilySanta Domenica V.M.

My favorite sculpture in the church is of this angel. Years of dirt and grim cover his/her face.

2014 SicilySanta Domenica V.M.Exterior of Santa Domenica V.M.  

Exterior of the church from the courtyard. It is nestled in the middle of town.

2014 SicilySanta Domenica V.M.Painting finished in 1768 by Giuseppe Paladino

The altar painting was completed in 1768 by Giuseppe Paladino

2014 SicilySanta Domenica V.M. 2014 SicilySanta Domenica V.M.“Madonna Del Canestro”

“Madonna Del Canestro” 


All photographs are © 2014 Santa Fabio         No Reproduction Rights Granted.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) detroit people photographer santa fabio sicily Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:46:39 GMT
Free To Play Fabio 2051

Since I've been a little girl, the swing set has always been my favorite backyard activity. Growing up in a working class neighborhood in Detroit, our toys weren't always fancy or flashy, but they were functional. My very first scar happened when I tried to jump off the swing of my neighbors, and the exposed, rickety metal chain gouged an inch long gash into my left arm. I still remember the shock and awe as I looked at the blood gushing from the wound. The scar is still there as a testament to my "Tom Boy" tendencies, as are the numerous scrapes given to both my knees. There were no video games, and I really didn’t like watching television all day, so I was free to invent, play and be a kid.

We had an empty lot next to us, and a peach tree in the back yard. For days on end I would beg my mom to let me have a cloths line, a sheet and some old cardboard boxes, until she relented, and with those amenities I built myself quite a fort. When I wasn’t in the fort, I would climb the peach tree and spend my time precariously testing the tolerance of my weight on spindly branches looking for ripe fruit to eat.

I learned to ride on a bike, which had no seat, and that was a great incentive to not fall, yet fall I did. From that experience I remember the largest scraped knees of my life. Plus, there was the disappointment in my father's face when he said that a young lady should not walk around with scabs all over her legs. Kids are kids and learn they do, although sometimes a bruise, bump or scrape brings the message home, and sometimes it doesn’t.

My childhood was relatively pain free, although breaking my right femur at 5 years old was no picnic, and the subsequent extended hospital stay with my leg in a splint was excruciating for a rambunctious 1st grader. The triangular bar perched over my head on the hospital bed was used more for play then for the staff when they came to change the sheets or examine me. As it turned out, I had a rare, but not uncommon condition that weakened the bone in my leg and it fractured. Thankfully, it healed quite nicely and has never posed a problem since.

I applaud my neighbors for letting their children be kids. It is delightful to photograph them and to watch them have fun. This simple swing set has given these little human beings countless hours of fresh air and playtime. When I made this image, I knew I had captured the emotion and the reality of what it is like to be a child, and even though I am an adult, that spirit of adventure and astonishment still thrives in my soul.

It is always time to play...... with or without my camera!


© 2104 Santa Fabio


Image taken with a Nikon D800 and a 70-300mm lens, converted to black and white using Photoshop, Lightroom and Silver Effects Pro 2 software.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Detroit and beyond People Photographer Portraits Santa Fabio Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:50:31 GMT
Between a Rock and a ....... Black and White photography has always been my passion, and I miss the process of shooting film, processing and printing gorgeous prints. So with digital I've been striving to recreate the process without the smell of chemicals all over my clothes. This was shot with my Nikon and through trial and error and most of the morning yesterday, I managed to make this image look as I shot it with infrared film. I think it came out really nice and I'm anxious to try more images with this technique.

SANTA FABIOSANTA FABIOCapturing the inner beauty of an individual is my goal. My work has offered the opportunity of travel and the meeting of extraordinary people from all walks of life. I never sacrifice quality for quantity.

For images that are a cut above the rest, you have come to the right place.

For me photography has always been a learning experience and digital has offered me more opportunities to fine-tune my creative talent and vision. It's very exciting. Plus, as I work on images I am constantly listening to live streaming radio from Italy.  Tune into It has helped my comprehension tremendously and I'm finding that I am able to speak faster and with more confidence than I have ever had. It's as if I have my mom or my relatives constantly at my side. 

                                                                                                                                                                      Image © Santa Fabio


]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit and beyond People Photographer Rock landscape Thu, 01 May 2014 17:22:15 GMT
Passage of Time Detroit and the entire photographic community has taken a huge hit, and I'm not sure that either one will ever thrive again. It would be nice so, I will remain optimistic for the time being. Optimistic in that I will be able to withstand the lack of employment and the downhill spiraling of professional, photographic rates that began years ago.

So, with the increase amount of valuable free time at my disposal, I chose to complete a profoundly, personal photographic project. From 1985 until two years ago, I have been documenting the village in Sicily where my parents are from. It began small, with only a few rolls of film shot, and grew into an impressive project that I am please with. Thousands of images were made during this period. I was able to look back at the amount of time that passed, and it offered me the opportunity to compare and contrast the town and its people.

Lately, new best friend has been the Nikon film scanner I used to take my black and white analog images, and convert them to digital. It took me months to win a bid on-line to get a used Nikon PB-6 with the PS-6 slide copy attachment, since Nikon no longer produces this fine piece of equipment. It truly has been one of the best investments I could have made for the digital conversion of these images.

From the camera scans I took the raw files into Lightroom, and made minor adjustments. From there the image went over to Photoshop and other programs to produce the black and white tones I felt represented my traditional darkroom approach, with out the chemicals or the smell!

So, after twenty-nine years, I have just finished my first draft of a 240-page Blurb book, which I plan on taking to Sicily and collect stories from the people photographed in it. (Paul Strand’s book Un Paese is my inspiration.) My goal is to give this city a rich legacy that it deserves for its contributions to the regional history of Italy.

The hard copy arrives the early part of April and I am anxious to put this first volume in my hands. It’s not quite ready to be viewed by the masses, but as soon as I have a few editing parties, a more refined version will be out, and my goal is to have it commercial published and sold.

My traveling companions for many of these trips have been my children and one of our favorite places to take their photos is by this sign. They have grown and changed as so has this little town nestled in a valley by the Mediterranean Sea.

Not all can be competent, professional photographers. It takes skill, dedication and time to see the world in which we do. A client who only hires based on price will never see our value, but a client who hires us based on our knowledge will always trust that we have their best interests at heart.

We are worth it.

All Images taken with Nikon Camera's.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Detroit and beyond People Photographer Italy Portraits Santa Fabio Sicily Sun, 30 Mar 2014 16:51:22 GMT
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit 2014 2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowNorth American International Auto Show the 25th anniversary According to the NAIAS web site, Detroit has been hosting an auto show since 1907, with the exception of the World War II years. It was just a regional show until 1989 when the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) made it an international exposition and this year it celebrated it's 25th anniversary. It also mentioned that the exhibitors have grown to 216, and over 124,000 media credentials have issued! With over 18 million people visiting the venue, it has done its share of bringing people into our city.

For my clients, I've been photographing this event for years now, and I've seen it ebb and flow with the amount of journalists converging on Detroit during this extravaganza held at Cobo Hall. The best times were in the 90's, when automobile displays were unique, bold and daring, and the worst was only a few years ago, when our economy took a plummet into darkness. (The sparsity of those years was sad.) Today's displays have a more utilitarian feel, and many have been jazzed up from last year. Even when I arrived in Detroit at 6 am yesterday, the crush of humanity and automobiles jamming Jefferson Avenue was astronomical. Inside, auto and design executives were everywhere, with media jockeying for a spot to obtain the best sound bites and images. (Let's face it, our celebrities are these people.) There was smoke, music, models and most importantly..... cars!

The day proved not to disappoint, for there were at least 18 press conferences announcing one thing or another. This is an international event, with thousands of participants, and everything seemed to go smoothly.

Most definitely, if you are looking for a new car, the auto show is a must. Where else can you find all manufacturers, foreign and domestic in one place? It is a great place to evaluate all the choices, and the automakers have plenty of models to choose from.

With a comfortable pair of walking shoes cushioning your feet, you can dream of horse power or ultimate luxury, or you can look for that next vehicle to cart the kids and groceries around in. Dream or be practical, for the choice is up to you. Make sure to allow for hours and hours of screening for that next passenger-carrying vehicle that you may be putting in your parking spot at home.

For me I need the practical, so my wheels need to be able to carry my gear comfortably. My lighting cases are just too long to fix in many of the smaller cars.

But if I had to abandon all practicality and budget, from this crop of newly released models, I would choose the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6. What color? Yellow! She’s a beauty.

Note: The show has now closed.


These are a few of my images......

                                                    Above: The new Chrysler 200C.... made in Detroit.

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowBehind the scenes.

     Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne answers questions from the media. Those are some big body guards! 

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowBehind the scenes.

     There was plenty of smoke, music, media and hot cars at the Mini Reveal.

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowBehind the scenes.

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowBehind the scenes.

     A rolling stage demonstrated the "fun" driving feel of the new Honda Fit.

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowBehind the scenes.

    Where there are hot cars there will always be beautiful women. It's been an Auto Show tradition.

2014 North American International Auto Show2014 North American International Auto ShowNorth American International Auto Show the 25th anniversary

     The Z06, a true wolf that dresses down for the road

Images: © 2014 Santa Fabio No Reproduction Rights Granted.

Disclosure: I have worked with Chrysler, Honda, BMW and General Motors Corporations, plus my step-daughter drives a Mini.


]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Auto Show Detroit Detroit People Photographer NAIAS Santa Fabio cars Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:04:20 GMT
Happy 2014! Fabio 2042 009 Happy New YearFabio 2042 009 Happy New YearSelf Promotion for 2014

I thoroughly enjoy mixing old stuff with new technology.

A few weeks ago I was redecorating my upstairs office and I rescued this old typewriter from the attic. It's been sitting up there for years, gathering dust and what ever else lives up there. As I stared at it, I came up with this idea for my New Year's Card.

Since we've had two major snow storms in the past week, it was easy to set aside some time and shoot this promotion. With all the software and knowledge I have acquired over the years, it didn't take long to take my idea, and make it into reality.

Does the typewriter work? Nope, unfortunately I can't use my software to fix that. It is a glorified paperweight, but it made an excellent prop.


Image Taken with a Nikon D800

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer New Year Santa Fabio old typewriter Mon, 06 Jan 2014 19:23:00 GMT
My Godmother, Radiant and Beautiful Fabio - 2024 001


   I've known my godmother, Rosina, all of my life, in fact my first couple of years were spent living in the upstairs flat of my godparents, in Detroit, while my parents looked for a home by theirs, and fortunately they managed to find a tiny two-bedroom home directly behind them. The benefit was that I was always sharing their company, playing with their dog or eating some scrumptious Italian food. Since no one could speak English very well, my first language, happily, was Italian.

     What a magnificent experience it was, growing up and being surrounded by warm and compassionate people from the same village my mom and dad were from. Not only did I learn the language, but the customs and the moral fiber that serves me well today. I am very proud being of Italian heritage.

     In addition to all the Italians, our neighborhood had every ethnic background represented within a two-block radius. I grew up hearing all the foreign languages that were spoken. It was the auto industry that brought this melting pot together and many of my family members benefited because of it. The photographs I have in my possession from that time period are priceless.

     I shot this image last week on one of my visits to my (godmother) Comare. With me I brought flowers, my Nikon D800, with portrait lens, in anticipation of taking some images of her. The light cooperated and was spectacular.

     She enjoyed my company and having her photo taken. This was the last image I shot that day. After I took this, I knew I didn't need to take any more. It was perfect. There is so much life and character in her face, and so much wisdom in her brain. It is because of her wise words that I go to Italy as much as I do, for she told me years ago not to wait until I retire to travel, do it now while I'm young. She said that when you're old all you'll want to do is stay home.

     At 92, she is as sharp as a tack, although her body is failing. She remembers everything and is quick to give me advice, which I heed. We should all be so lucky to have a memory as good as hers. I only wish my parents had lived so well and for so long.

     It’s true we can’t pick our family, but my parents chose two remarkable people to be my godparents

     The moral of this story: Take more than just cell phone pics of someone you love and care for. I know it’s so easy to pick up your phone and snap away, and I’m guilty of it also, but when you have a gifted, professional photographer with the proper equipment and skills the photographs will radiate life and not be just representations of the person.

     In this image I feel that I’ve captured the life and vitality of an extraordinary woman who has been instrumental, nurturing and generous in my upbringing. I love her very much, as I loved my godfather Giuseppe. I am a very lucky person to have benefited so much from their existence.

Comare and me in Detroit.My Comare and me.

Sad news was given to me today. I saw my Comare last Tuesday, with my husband, and this morning she passed away.

December 10, 1920 - September 25, 2013

She would have been 93 years old on the 10th of December and I miss her so much.


© 2013 Santa Fabio

All Rights Reserved


Color Image shot with a Nikon D800 and available light.

B&W image unknown photographer, taken in Detroit.


]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Detroit and beyond People Photographer Portraits Santa Fabio Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:10:24 GMT
The Meeting of Austin Jackson - Detroit Tiger Fabio - 2020 Austin Jackson

This blog is all about my daughter, Lauren, and her love of baseball.

A month ago she entered a contest sponsored by Pepsi to meet and greet with Detroit Tiger center fielder, Austin Jackson. Her text was picked as one of the 50 Grand Prize Winners who would spend the morning and early afternoon at Comerica Park,

and she asked me to go with her! We were so excited that we were the first ones to arrive at the stadium that morning, and sat right in front of Jackson as he answered questions from the crowd.

The event was run extremely well, I should know for I've shot many of these for clients! We were able to eat lunch, ride the ferris wheel, go to the press box, the championship lounge, play catch on the field and most importantly have our photos taken with Jackson in the dug out.

Having a mom as a professional photographer does have it's benefits, and I had a blast photographing my daughter. This was an exceptionally special day, for she loves baseball as much as I do! Hers and my Facebook page have photos from the baseball stadium on our main pages! These are just a few photos to document how much fun we had together. The baseball park is fantastic to be in and to watch a game.

Many years ago, when I was an intern at the Detroit News, I learned to shoot baseball at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and I've shot a few events at Comerica Park, so being on the field is nothing new for me, but this meant so much for my beautiful daughter. She was able to experience what I do on my jobs. Thank you Austin Jackson and Pepsi for making her dream come true, along with so many other diehard baseball fans. It is a day full of wonderful memories!






Lauren and every other "Big" kid loves PAWS!

She was all smiles all day long.








She got her name up in lights on the scoreboard too!!!!!

The highlight of the event was having our photographs taken with Jackson in the Tiger dug out! He is adorable isn't he?! GO TIGERS!!!!!

Fabio - 2020 150

All Photographs are © 2013 Santa Fabio          All Images taken with a Nikon D800

Not affiliated with Pepsi or the Detroit Tigers. (Wish I was!)

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) Detroit People Photographer Detroit Tigers Portraits Santa Fabio baseball Wed, 07 Aug 2013 15:57:18 GMT
Random Photographs of Summer This July has been ridiculously hot! I feel like I'm back in Kansas!

Usually our summers result in grabbing the car and taking a road trip, but with gas nearly at $4 we've thought twice about it. In order to visit my son I'm taking the train to Chicago instead of filling up the motor vehicle, and it's more relaxing. (I'll even have time to read a book!)

Saw this gas pump in California, and wouldn't it be nice if gas was 35¢ a gallon!!!! Can you imagine what you could do with the extra $47.45 you saved? Don't know about you, but we have curtailed lots of entertainment expenses just to pay for gas. Which is why we leased a Chevy Volt.

Haven't put a dime of fuel in it yet, and we've had it a month. The downside is that car insurance is MUCH higher and of course we need to pay for the electricity to charge it. The jury is still out on what it is really costing to run electric, but at least we drive by MANY gas stations now.

Note added: Could not stand it anymore and I just had to put gas in the Volt! Filled her up with 3.38 gallons and spent $13.52. The car has been driven for 1019 miles. Must say that's pretty darn good! Now I might have some extra cash to entertain! 

Fabio - 2005 2257


Summer also means that my yard is blazing orange with the tiger lilies next to my driveway. I've shot them year after year and they only have a couple more days to bloom..... 

Wanted to share some of the photos I've done.

Stay cool and out of the heat!


Photographs are © Santa Fabio - No reproduction rights granted

Fabio - 1935 Wings On Water

All Images taken with Nikon camera's and lenses.

]]> (Santa Fabio Detroit People Photographer) California Detroit People Photographer Santa Fabio Thu, 18 Jul 2013 15:14:36 GMT