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  • Writer's pictureLele Bonz

How did I end up... here?

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Welcome to my blog!

If we have met before, it's a pleasure to have you here. You probably already know how much I love talking, and now that I've opened a blog it's game over for everyone, ha!

However, if you have no clue of who I am, you are probably wondering what a 20-year-old Italian photographer is doing in Logan, Utah.

Welp, that is an awesome question. Allow me to rewind my life just a bit.

What brought me to the US?

In 2017, my third year of high school, I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in a study abroad exchange year. Traveling has been always my favorite thing, so I did not blink twice and signed up for the program. I heard a bit of complaints from my parents, but, after a long talk, I convinced them to let me do it. Basically, I was able to pick the language I wanted to learn (which was, in my case, English), dropped A LOT of money, and everything else was left to fate. Now, I just had to wait.

After waiting 8 LONG months, a family finally picked me as their exchange student. I was on the top of the world. While reading their file, I noticed that they lived in Lehi, Utah... to which I exclaimed: "What in the world is Utah?!"

I left for my year away from home in August 2018. Even if I was a bit disappointed because I was not picked in New York (17-year-old me had massive expectations), I was very excited to be able to go. And, in fact, it was a fantastic experience. Not only did I learn English, but I made amazing friendships and memories along the way. I also met a pretty cute boy, but I'll come back to that later.

Little did I know that, instead of going back like everyone else after a year, I would have moved back permanently. In fact, when it was time to go back, I had the idea to try to apply for college in Utah. I had no expectations of getting in, it was more of a "why not?" kind of idea. Instead, all the applications I sent were accepted. Since in Italy I would have had another year of high school before graduating (it lasts 5 years instead of 4), I decided that it did not sound that bad to skip a whole grade. I was officially admitted to BYU, which was my cheapest option. I went back to Italy for a couple of months, and then I came back, ready for college. It was 2019. I've lived in Utah since then!

Have I been studying ever since? What did I major in?

Yes, I have been studying since then, but the road to get to where I am now was a bit... turbulent.

I will not write about my experience at BYU because I would write a whole essay. Just know that, even if I earned good grades, it was a complete disaster. Not only did I not like the environment, but I chose a major I absolutely hated: economics. The reason behind that choice was: "I am good at math, and I will find a good job." As everyone knows, but apparently not me at the time, this type of reasoning is the perfect recipe for failure. Covid also hit in the middle of it all, which did not ease my experience.

A kid holding a camera
This was taken when I received my first Reflex in 2013.

I took a break from school, uncertain of what I wanted to do in life. I could not work because of visa restrictions, and I had to get back to school really quick or I would have to leave the US. I started rethinking about my life, changing all the plans I have had since I was a kid. What was I good at, other than math and being able to learn English? I was exasperated for months, and then, during a birthday party, it came to mind: I was good with cameras. In fact, I have been always passionated about photography, but I never even considered that it could have became my career. Since when I was 5, I would run around with my digital camera. At 12, I received my first reflex and started to learn manual mode. At 16, I asked for my first mirrorless. How did I not connect the dots?!

I started refreshing everything I knew about cameras, enrolling in countless online courses and groups so that I could learn more. I joined Lost Creator Academy, which allowed me to meet and learn from many other photographers around the world. It was like a dream. This is when I decided to enroll in the cinematography certificate at UCLA-E.

After 6 months studying there, it was clear: I LOVED this world. Homework did not even feel like it. I loved cameras, and everything that had to do with them. I started publishing my work, and strangers started approaching me on social platforms so that I could take their photos.

In December 2021, I decided that it was time to finish my degree, and this time, I knew what I was going to do. I would still finish my minor in economics since I had the credits, but I would major in photography. I was accepted at Utah State University, and I started in person classes this past January. Meanwhile, I am still finishing my certificate at UCLA-E. Handling two colleges at once is... a lot. However, I am finally studying what I love.

What am I doing now?

Other than studying and working towards my degrees, I am also offering services as a photographer around Utah, especially Cache Valley, since I live in Logan.

I've had the opportunity to work with amazing models and other creators, which not only expanded my portfolio, but it also helped me to meet fantastic friends.

I offer photoshoots for many types of clients because I love variety. Any inquiry I receive becomes a challenge because I always want to offer a personalized, unique shoot to my clients. I specialize on anything that is creative, which ranges from conceptual shoots, portraits, brand shoots, and many others. I am trying to explore as many fields as I can while I am still studying, and honestly, anything related to cameras excites me. Therefore, even if you do not see the service you are looking for in my portfolio, chances are that I will be happy to work with you no matter what!

Because of my love for photography, I want to create photos that not only are aesthetically pleasing, but that reflect the personality of the person or brand I am serving. This is what I am all about.

Also, remember that boy from before? He was there for it all. We met during my exchange year, and persisted until now. We did long-distance, moved in together during covid, bought a house in 2020, and even got a puppy.

I can say, now we are happily married and thriving! Sorry if I kept you wondering about him until now, I like to give a bit of suspense.

Here are some photos from our engagement:

Unfortunately, I cannot share any pictures from our wedding since, because of covid, we have not been able to celebrate it yet. Don't stress, they'll come this July!

What now?

Oof, that was quite a ride. Now you're all caught up!

If you have read everything, thank you! Now you know a bit more about me.

This blog will talk about anything photography related, from tips and tricks in the field, locations around Utah, travel photography, how to pose best, and much more. I want to share what I'm learning with you, as well as keep you imed about my projects, deals, and experiences. So if you like what you read, or want to know anything about these topics, join my email list and follow me on social media!

Now, I want to hear it from you!

What do you think about my story? Can you relate to anything I said?

And what else would you like me to talk about?

Let me know in the comments!

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Mar 14, 2022

thank you so much for sharing your story! i'm also an international student here in the united states, so i definitely share some of your sentiments. great post! - lusi zhang


Mar 05, 2022

Hi Jason Gregory from What part of Italy are you from? I was stationed at Aviano, 45 minutes from Venice for 3 years in the Air Force. I'm glad that you decided to change course for school. I left a job I hated to pursue my dreams in Film/TV. A lot of people think I was crazy, but underestimate the value of happy. It sounds like you are happy.


Cathy Trope
Cathy Trope
Feb 15, 2022

I would love to learn more about photography. One of my current questions: what is a good starter camera you recommend, under $1000, for someone who mostly shoots action (horses and horse events)? I need to be able to zoom from fairly far away and catch action, especially in lower light.

Lele Bonz
Lele Bonz
Feb 21, 2022
Replying to

Hey Cathy! I am so glad you commented!

I am very sorry about the late reply, I had a family emergency this week, and I have been all over the place.

However, that is a really good question!

So, the things you want to look for in picking a camera for low light and actions shot are a few. There are a lot of factors that influence this, but these are the most important.

For low light, the most important things you want to look for are SNR (signal to noise ratio), pixel and sensor sizes, and standard sensitivity of ISO. The higher, the better.

For action photography, the most important factors are FPS of continuous shooting and focusing speed,…


Hsiao Wei Lin
Hsiao Wei Lin
Feb 02, 2022

I can feel the passion through these words and photos, amazing story!

Lele Bonz
Lele Bonz
Feb 02, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much! :D

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