This past August I attended a breathtaking wedding in Sicily, and even though sheets of sweat poured down my face for about a week nonstop, I've really never attended a more gorgeous ceremony and reception. The Scopello backdrop that offset the reception was straight out of Ocean's 12 (with mammoth rocks jutting up from the water and pristine beaches dotting the coastline) and the bride, Cristina D'Angelo, bore an uncanny resemblance to Scarlett Johansson.
Groom Mario Stellino and his bride, who currently reside in Verona, Italy, were set on having several-day celebrations in Mario's hometown of Alcamo in Sicily (which is also the town where Cristina's mother and father are from and grew up in) and were gracious hosts with every detail done to perfection. Guests were treated to a full weekend of special dinners and boat rides and brunches, and while most were already related by blood or marriage, those of us who weren't felt like family by the end of it all.
I was traveling with the close-knit family of my college roommate and BFF Gloria (Cristina is the niece of Gloria's husband Joe) and we all stayed at a lovely beach home owned by Cristina's aunt and uncle. Every aspect of the wedding and all the special events connected to it permeated with the theme of family, Italian culture and fairytale romance. Bride Cristina, whose parents are native Sicilians, grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, but moved back to Italy after college, where she met her firefighter groom, who came from the same town her mother grew up in. It was all very cinematic and romantic. I was extremely impressed with the coverage provided by Francesca Bosco, an Alcamo-based photographer who runs a successful photography studio with her three children—Federica, Alessandra and Mauro—each of whom play a pivotal role in the family business.
"My daughter Federica takes care of all of us and keeps us informed of all of the latest photography trends and technologies," Bosco explains. "She also does newborn and pregnancy photography and is the right-hand of my son Mauro, our videographer and the only man in the studio. Alessandra is the artist of the family; she has a very attentive eye and she is always able to capture the most intimate moments and the purest of emotions. She also photographs mothers and children, and loves fashion."
Normally, Bosco and her team start photographing the groom prior to him getting dressed, even accompanying him to the barber shop and shooting that whole scene. "We do this even for the bride, shooting her prior to her putting on the gown; however, in the case of Cristina and Mario, they preferred not be photographed in advance of their getting dressed. And that's fine...it's whatever they want, that's who we are shooting for, our couples." (In this case, Cristina's Judd Waddell wedding dress was so exquisite, intricately designed with delicate french lace and tulle, that it was more important to the bride to have several images of her already in it rather than about to put it on.)
According to Bosco, 25-year-old Mauro has been shooting for at least 5 years now, and uses the Canon 5D Mark II and III, a slider, suction-cup mount to attach the reflex on the hood of the car, steadicam, drone, etc., but, she adds, "he uses his eyes the most to capture storytelling moments. And I am always present at each wedding—the only time we ever split up is when we have two weddings in one day. We take two assistants with us, and this past summer I had the pleasure of having with me Elizabeth Balch, a photographer and friend of mine from California who helped us cover several weddings, including Cristina and Mario's."
Bosco says she is constantly trying to keep up-to-date and study new innovations in the field. "I love being able to always have new ideas and offer unique and exclusive things to our clients," she says. "For the past two years, we have been posting a photo of the week on our Facebook page, and it's been wonderful seeing the feedback from the public...they look forward to our latest posts as if we were a magazine."
I was struck by how every angle and every moment was being captured by Bosco or a member of her team. There was a drone outside the church, a camera mounted on the car that Mario and Cristina drove off in, and several shooters in the church in Alcamo, and during the reception, held in a stunning medieval fortress in Scopello, looking out over stunning views of the Gulf of Castellammare.
Says bride Cristina, "When we were looking for photographers, we were really adamant about finding someone who would capture beautiful moments as they happened without being too invasive, as well as someone with a unique style. We feel like we made the best decision with Francesca. Her images are beautiful and artistic...she really succeeded at producing wonderful photos and it all seemed so effortless. Her team was also great, each photographer brought something different to the table. I feel like not a moment was missed because there was always someone there ready to capture it."
"I love my job," Bosco says. "If I were to be reborn again 100 times, I would always choose to be a photographer. I love my studio and I love working with our clients and determining what is best for each client's needs and desires. I try to be as empathetic as possible, putting myself in their shoes, and their trust is very important to me! For a while now it has been a wish of mine to do a wedding in Manhattan…I would be over the moon if that wish ever came true!"
Francesca Bosco's Gear
Cameras: Nikon D4s, D750, several D700s
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8 (x2), 24-70mm f/2.8 (x2), macro 105mm f/2.8, 10mm f/2.8