Meet photographer Anne Ciotola just once, and it's easy to see how she brings out people's personality in pictures. H
Her Powell home is much like her-gorgeous but relaxed-and she flits around it in a lovely dress and bare feet, offering a drink from her pitcher of orange-infused water and playing with her rottweiler, Bear. She is friendly and warm, the type one might figure would excel at extracting the best from others.
Anne, whose youthful looks defy her 43 years, starting taking pictures when her parents moved to Europe several years ago. On each visit, she worked at her craft, looking and snapping and improving.
She studied art basics at the Columbus College of Art & Design, but built a life working in food and business when she married John Ciotola, whose family opened Dublin restaurant LaScala. Together, the couple, along with some others, ran (and then sold) LaScala, and opened (and then sold) Luce. (Anne still works at LaScala helping with bookkeeping four days a week.)
Meanwhile, Anne and John traveled. Unable to have children, they established a tradition-an annual trip to Italy.
"I crave it all year round," said Anne, whose home is filled with photos of their adventures.
About 10 years ago, she started framing and selling her shots from abroad at The Collection in Powell. Eventually, the store Found picked up her work.
After she once took photos of a friend's baby, people starting asking her to take portraits. And an accidental business was born.
Anne continues taking and selling photos from Italy, but now, families clamor to her for pictures of them, their kids and their pets-particularly around the holidays.
(Troy and Julie Coughlin, whose home is featured in "A Toast to Comfortable Luxury" on page 146, are big fans. Anne's work can be seen throughout their home.)
She specializes in candid portraiture and, even as parents often get frustrated wrangling kids, cherishes the chaos of children-especially while a shoot winds down.
"That's what I love," she said. "You always get the best stuff at the end."
For more information, visit AnneCiotolaPhotography.com.