Close up of newly-weds holding hands

“Two great guys with enormous hearts”

“Being a professional photographer was my childhood dream, but it wasn’t until ten years ago that I turned professional – after being a baker for eighteen years! Since then I’ve made a name for myself around the world as a wedding photographer and have thousands of followers online.

In my long career I think I’ve photographed around 500 weddings – I don’t keep count any more – but this was the wedding of two personal friends of mine who know my work well, so naturally they chose me. The grooms, Giuseppe and Gian Maria are two great guys with enormous hearts. They have a hair salon and are very well-known in Tuscany and admired for their humanity, so their wedding was much anticipated.

Two men in matching suits walk down stairs, holding hands while guests throw confetti.
Giuseppe and Gian Maria’s wedding was the event everyone wanted to attend

The ceremony was held in the hills around Florence, in the stunning Villa Medicea di Lilliano and around 280 guests were invited, but many more would have faked an invitation to attend. The couple had organised a lot of surprise performances for the guests that came non-stop, one after another, but the most beautiful moment was the ceremony, without a doubt. It was accompanied by the renowned voice of the famous Italian tenor, Luca Canonici and was full of very moving speeches. Everybody cried many times – me included. It became an event with a truly significant feeling, everyone in the area wanted to be a part of their wedding and it was fabulous to be able to breathe in this atmosphere.

But it wasn’t an easy shoot. The light during the ceremony was terrible, it seemed to cut people in half and besides that a lot of the guests were my friends – there were at least five couples attending whose weddings I had photographed. At a certain point I had to choose between being there as a professional or just enjoying the party. In the end, I kept to myself and chose to be the professional. After all, the couple wanted me to do the best work I could, just as they’d seen me do at many previous weddings.

Two men in matching suits tearfully embrace
“Even when I think about it now, it gives me goosebumps”

I published their photos two days after the wedding and they created a lot of buzz, in my area nobody was talking about anything else. I always show these photos during my workshops and they never fail to get a reaction, even to the point of tears. My assistant photographer, Maria Zavaglia and I had an incredible experience at this shoot. Even when I think about it now, it gives me goosebumps. I’m a man, I’m a photographer and I’m gay – being equal, being free, for me it’s fundamental.I’m not married because I haven’t found a partner I really love yet, otherwise I’d do it without a shadow of a doubt.

People who work in the wedding industry are always looking for something new and it’s a sector that really lets your creativity explode.The best possible fate for a photograph is to end up in an album of memories.”

More of Daniele’s wedding photography can be found on his website.

Written by Daniele Vertelli and Marie-Anne Leonard

Related Articles