Francesco Spighi

Hello world! My name is Francesco. I’m an Italian wedding photographer, based in Florence (Tuscany) but happy to travel wherever I find somebody that likes what I do (and the way I do it).

I started with wedding photography by chance, without a plan, in 2013. I quickly decided to quit my previous job (I’d like to say my previous life – I was an engineer and a project manager) to become “just” a photographer, at the very end of 2015.

When I was young, I loved to draw and I was pretty good at it. I would spend hours and days just observing and copying everything, and how the light shapes it. With photography, I discovered a different way to represent reality. But we can easily say it’s just a different tool to describe how the light defines what surrounds us.

Somebody says I’m talented, but I think the only skill I have is the ability to observe. This passion for light and shapes guided me into photography and forced me to study and to deeply understand the infinite ways we have to portray reality.

I slowly understood – year after year – that what leads me in photography are light and truth. I’m honest, I don’t like to lie. And I do the same with photography. I try to stay close to my vision and to not let other’s ideas or trends impact and define who I am and the way I see things. But, at the same time, I try to portray people as they are, without projecting on them what I’m expecting to get.

In my ideal process, the act of taking a photo is the very last one of a long journey that I do with my subjects, and it counts for no more than 5% in the whole process. Every picture starts with a story that I try to understand.

If you have a look at my kit it could seem HUGE, but I’m usually really light. What you see in the central stripe of the photo is what I use to get 95% of my work done.

Two Nikon D850 – I always use two identical cameras, a Nikon AF-S 58mm f/1.4 G and a Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.4 E ED. I shoot 70% of my work with the 28mm, I think this focal lens is the foundation of all my photography.

Nikon D850 is amazing for what I do, and I couldn’t desire something better. I love its huge super detailed files! I wrote a full review about this camera one year ago, that you can read here on my site.

My cameras are secured to my body with a Barbershop Single Cross Strap “Full Beard” and a SpiderPro Single Camera System. This is my killer combo, with which I feel totally at ease in 90% of cases.

But if this “cowboy look” is a bit unfitting, I switch to the elegant Genuine Strap cross belt, in their beautiful Gray Sandstone edition. These straps are handcrafted in Italy with a leather made in Florence, the city where I was born and actually live. They’re highly customizable, but what I like more is the white inner side, so you don’t risk leaving a mark on white shirts.

When I shoot weddings I always carry something to light the scene, in case it’s needed. I use an Aputure AL-H198C LED panel or a Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 (I use it together with a Manfrotto Nanoclamp – ultralight combo!) and a Nikon SB-910, that I mainly use on the dancefloor.

I have a backup flash (Nikon SB-800 – old but gold!) and – depending on the event, I can bring with me a Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8 G ED, a Nikon PC-E 45mm f/2.8 D ED (that I modified to make it easier to use – in a kind of free-lensing style) and a Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G (yep, just primes!).I never publish photos on my site that are not taken with my two favorite lenses, the 28 and 58.

I want to be sure my clients fully stick to my style! I carry around all this stuff using a beautiful Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag. For the last couple of years, I searched for a bag that can replace it, without any luck. If you’ve some suggestion, I’m all ears! The constraint that it actually gives me, is that what doesn’t fit in this bag, is useless.

Sometimes, when shooting for long weekends or when I feel it’s really necessary, I have with me, in a second bag, (a ThinkTank TURNSTYLE® 20 V2.0) a full backup kit: a Nikon D810 with a Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4 G and a Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8 G.

At the very beginning of my career I fell into a pool (late in the evening, luckily) with all my kit on me, putting an end to my wedding service for the night! Considering that I work alone about 90% of the time, I want to prevent something similar happening again.

Since I quit my previous work, I like to say that “my office is the world”. To make this possible I use a Dell XPS 13 9370 (I’m not in the Apple world) and a couple of 1TB Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD. I have Photo Mechanic, Lightroom and Photoshop running there, so I can complete my whole workflow wherever I am.

Finally, what I just started to use for my personal projects of family photography: a Sony A7 mark III paired with a Sony FE 28mm f/2 and a Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar T* (with a 95cm ROPSTER Camera Strap). I just tried out the new Nikon Z7 (my thoughts about which you can on Shotkit here) and I’m not sure the A7 will be in my kit as long as I initially thought!

Oh, I have also a Panasonic Lumix LX100 (if you’re curious to know more, I also reviewed this camera!). It’s a small compact camera with a fast zoom lens and unbelievable quality, that I use when I want to be light and thoughtless.

www.francescospighi.com

Inside Francesco’s camera bag:

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