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Wedding vendor in the spotlight: photographer Stefano Santucci

Wedding vendor in the spotlight: photographer Stefano Santucci


Stefano Santucci is a destination wedding photographer from Florence who puts a lot of thought into his work – every aesthetic choice is philosophically justified. In this interview, we get a glimpse into his profound love of photography and commitment to his style.

MenuStefano Santucci

First photo project:

A 365 project online – taking a photo every day, shooting people on the street.

Take on traditional wedding photography:

Traditions belong to a past where no one questioned them. I am always asking myself if what I am doing makes sense. And many times, I found traditions wrong.

The most important aspect of work:

Analogue photography, the slow approach and error it allows.

Qualities a photographer should possess:

A good photographer must listen, have a good amount of empathy and be curious.

Motto for shooting weddings:

Just follow what the day gives you, and make it beautiful. Always be faithful and honest with yourself.


Can you share a bit about your photography journey and how you found your niche in wedding photography?

I started taking pictures around 20 years ago during my university/college time. For me, it was a sort of therapy. I was studying psychology and non-verbal psychology in children at the university. I made my first photo project in 2009 - I was afraid to shoot people, so I told everyone online I was going to take a 365 project, a photo every day, shooting people on the street. I sort of put pressure on myself and did it.


After that and reaching some audience, I started receiving friend requests from couples and invitations to shoot their wedding. I always politely refused to be the first photographer but agreed to be there to shoot in my way without disturbing the official photographer and without pressure. After a few events, I decided that this aspect, being in a wedding and taking pictures of love, was something I loved to do, and I decided to offer myself as a wedding photographer in Tuscany. After a few years and being published in some blogs and magazines, I found my way and, hopefully, my type of client.


How do you balance the traditional aspects of wedding photography with your creative vision to deliver a unique experience for each couple?

I usually describe myself as a non-traditional photographer, and usually, people booking my services follow this vision and approach. I find the urgency to be always clear on my style and vision and to work for people who agree on that 100%. As I always try to make everyone happy, I also feel that it is important to have the entire artistic style and judgment to deliver the kind of images my couple could appreciate from my portfolio. For me, traditions belong to a past where no one questioned what they were doing and why. I like to always ask myself if what I am doing makes sense. And many times, I found traditions wrong. So that is why I am doing things my way. And behind this choice, there is always a thought, a mental discussion.


Analogue photography adds a distinct charm and character to images. What do you enjoy most about working with analogue photography, and how does it influence your creative process?

Film photography is the most important aspect of my work. Among the many reasons that push me to use analogue is the importance I give to the error, to the mistake. I am very fond of my mistakes; they are the most intimate thing to entrust to a saint. Even more than wishes. In error, we reveal our true nature. The mistake unmasks the facade.

I never pretended to be a technical or perfect photographer. But I always hoped to find the beauty in the search, in the process towards an end. The mistake is the best testimony of this path.

To me, analogue photography also means a slow approach, a slow life, and a way to think better about what I am doing. Giving more value to every frame and shot. Not just have a burst of shots without thinking and hoping to get one or two good photos by pure chance.


I have built a darkroom, a development and a scanning room in my studio to be completely autonomous in this aspect. This means that every image I shoot is developed, processed and printed by me in my studio and has not been sent to an external lab. This is very important because I know that many photographers don’t even know where to start when they shoot on film. It is important, in my opinion, to be complete as photographers and close the circle of what you are doing: shooting, developing, and printing. It is part of an entire process. Not a separate aspect.


If you should choose one, would it be digital or analogue photography? Colour of black and white?

Definitely analogue. I am in love with analogue photography. Lens and cameras can last forever because they are mechanical. Digital cameras and electronics tend to break giving too much power to consumerism. I am using cameras from the 1950s and 1970s, some of the 1990s. Could you think of something in your life or job that can last so many years and with all that story and soul?

So, analogue and BW. Let’s go straight to the essence.


Beyond technical skills, what personal qualities are essential for a wedding photographer?

In my opinion, every photographer has to put aside their ego and listen. A good photographer must listen, have a good amount of empathy and be curious. With curiosity arrives the magic of creation, and by exploring new worlds arrives the sparkle of art. A good interpreter in wedding photography should be able to put aside himself and not project a trend or an image on the other person but picture the other without preconceptions and expectations.


How do you handle unexpected situations or changes during a wedding day to ensure you still capture the best possible images?

Cold blood. I have always been a problem-solving person; I always try to help and solve problems. If something happens, there are many ways of circumnavigating the problem and finding new solutions.

Saying that safety first, and I am always taking all the good precautions when shooting weddings. Plan B is fascinating. It is important to make silence and blank on you when shooting, so it is important not to have judgment or expectations. Just follow what the day gives you, and make it beautiful. And please always be faithful and honest with yourself and what is happening because, unfortunately, with photography, you can lie a lot.


What are your favourite environments to photograph weddings?

Old venues with a story to tell and gentle and elegant people having fun there.

Outside of photography, what are your favourite mediums to turn to for inspiration?

I tend not to have something favourite. I listen to music, all kinds, especially instrumental. I try to read books, from poetry to romance to essays. I also listen to many audiobooks. I watch interviews or videos on YouTube. I google a lot and make myself reach through the web. I am not quite someone who likes to spend time in museums, for example. I like walking with my dog, think, think, always think. And imagine. I like to watch people and try to guess what kind of job they are doing and what kind of life they have. I am curious, I like to discover new things of every kind, from gardening to quantum physics.

What is your advice to the couples planning their wedding?

Do what you want, not what someone wants you to do.



Wedding photographer: Stefano Santucci

Interviewed by Renāte Berga

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