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Positano Cliffs

Taylor Stephens


Behind the Shot

Since visiting the cliffside village of Positano on his honeymoon, the area has become one of Taylor’s favorite locations in the world. Perched above the Mediterranean Sea on the edge of the cliffs of the Lattari Mountains, Positano is one of the oldest continuously populated cities along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Thousands of years ago, fisherman and hunters frequented the area, and as early as the first century B.C., Rome’s elite built structures that can still be visited today. From the 1600s until the 1950s, Positano’s economy was mainly supported by fishing. Then came a boom in tourism, attributed largely to a John Steinbeck essay about Positano published in Harper’s Bazaar in May 1953. It attracted visitors from around the globe in search of Limoncello and Cacio e Pepe.

 “When I see this photo compared to other photos, I’m brought back there because of the memories—the true serenity of being in this place and the distance from my regular life. It’s just a dream location to me. When you’re there, you just can’t believe how big these cliffs are. I’m trying to show that in this photograph. When I see this photo, I can smell the sea air. I remember the couple in the boat in the distance, relaxing and enjoying the sunset.

 “When I think about Positano, I think about where I grew up in Tennessee. There’s this whole world of beauty out there, and a lot of people I grew up with are probably never going to see this in person. I want to share this experience with them and make it real for them too.”