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Ciro and Antonio Gibotta

Arm around his newlywed daughter, a father is overcome with emotion while making a speech.
A father is overcome with emotion as he makes a speech at his daughter's wedding, in this photo by Canon Ambassador Antonio Gibotta. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 1/640 sec, f/1.4 and ISO4000. © Antonio Gibotta

Canon Ambassadors and wedding photography father and son duo, Ciro and Antonio Gibotta, are known for infusing a sense of drama, emotion and poetry into shots of their couples' big days.

The pair have been an enviable photography team for more than 20 years, in which time they have seen their wedding business grow rapidly, with a seemingly endless stream of couples seeking out the renowned Gibotta style of emotionally rich and elegantly timeless imagery. "We have the best job in the world!" says Antonio. "Photographing weddings makes us very happy. Each event is different and there is a constant incentive to keep improving because the couples have placed such a deep trust in us. They've chosen us to be the custodians of their most cherished and precious memories."

Canon Ambassadors Ciro and Antonio Gibotta.


Location: Italy
Specialist areas: Weddings, reportage, travel, documentary
Favourite Kit:
Canon EOS R
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Based in the heart of Naples, dad Ciro has been capturing weddings for more than four decades, both in Italy and abroad, particularly Saudi Arabia, where he's been regularly commissioned by the country's royal family.

Captivated by his father's passion and talent, Antonio followed in his footsteps and, after graduating as a Master of Art in 2007, became a professional in his own right. His strong personality helped him to carve out his own photographic identity.

"Photography is a language for me, it is my voice," Antonio explains. "My relationship with photography started in an absolutely natural way. I remember as a child watching my father prepare his cameras before a job. I wanted him to take me with him – it was as if I felt called by the photograph, I felt it as a need. And when my father allowed me to make my first shots, I immediately knew that I did not want to do anything else in my life but shoot. Often I feel as though photography chose me and not the other way around."

A bride claps her hands above her head as women from the wedding party fan her bridal gown around her.
The pair aim to capture the unparalleled joy of a wedding and record moments that the newlyweds will treasure forever. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM) at 1/160 sec, f/2.8 and ISO8000. © Ciro Gibotta

In addition to wedding photography, Antonio has built a reputation for himself in the reportage and travel genres. His work has been exhibited across the globe, appearing in magazines, books and on posters. Fine art photographic paper manufacturer Hahnemühle chose one of his images to promote its Photo Matte Fibre 200 paper, and his photos have featured in two National Geographic books, Stunning Photographs (2014) and Spectacle (2018). "I prefer reportage photography," Antonio explains. "It allows me to externalise what I have inside of me without using a thousand words. I try to create an evocative energy in my photographs. Sometimes they evoke pain and suffering, but other times joy. I have an insatiable curiosity for different cultures and people."

Over the years, Antonio has been recognised at numerous photography competitions, including World Press Photo, the Magnum Photography Awards, POYi, Prix De La Photographie Paris and FIIPA. In 2010 he received the Golden Camera Award from the Federation of European Professional Photographers, after which he decided to complete a series of qualifications including the Master Qualified European Photographer (MQEP) Certificate, awarded to only the best European photographers.

"Someone once said that the greatest wealth that can be possessed are memories, and for this we must build beautiful lives," says Antonio, who also runs photography workshops. "Having the task of collecting and creating these memories for a family makes us love our work and photography even more."

A bride walks up steps, her voluminous lace wedding train billowing out behind her.
This black-and-white shot of a bride's voluminous, lace-edged train has a cinematic, almost otherworldly feel. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 1/8000 sec, f/2.8 and ISO100. © Antonio Gibotta

Why do you choose to work as a team?
"Because we believe that having different points of view, a different approach, and more opportunity allow us to tell a couple's story in a stronger, more detailed way."

You only have a few hours to get the shots; how do you make the most of your time?
"The key is to take a large volume of photographs well, and certainly enough to tell a story properly. We help each other, we use multiple cameras with a variety of lenses, and we shoot at the same time, so between us, we never miss a moment."

What's your lighting of choice?
"We limit ourselves, almost exclusively, to natural light to keep the atmosphere of the moment as unaltered as possible. I (Antonio) use between f/1.2 and f/2.8 in order to let in as much light as possible, while Ciro works with slightly closed apertures."

Do you change anything in post production?
"We aim to get everything right in-camera during shooting. So in post production we limit ourselves to just making small corrections of light, contrast and shadows."

With weddings there's no opportunity for a second take. How far can you trust your camera?
"Trusting one's equipment blindly allows you to work with greater serenity. I captured the annual festival of Els Enfarinats in the Spanish town of Ibi, Alicante, which becomes a riot of eggs, flour and fireworks. I applied three layers of protection to my lenses, however this blocked my view, so I had to compose blindly. Those shots won many awards including a World Press Photo."

A bride illuminated by golden sunlight twirls the skirts of her dress.
The Gibottas say it is a privilege to be asked to photograph people's weddings. "They've chosen us to be the custodians of their most cherished and precious memories." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 1/200 sec, f/10 and ISO50. © Ciro Gibotta

One thing I know
Antonio Gibotta

"When you photograph a wedding it's essential to remain vigilant. Always. Weddings are a very complex photography situation and you cannot allow yourself to be distracted, not even for a moment. Succeeding in this industry requires empathy for your subjects but also a good deal of discretion to allow the happy couple, plus their family members and friends, the chance to relax and enjoy their most beautiful day. On a more practical note, don't forget to capture all the choices the couple have made, from the venue to the floral decorations; all the things that they may forget in the years to come."

Facebook: @gibottaphotographers
Instagram: @gibottaphotographers / @antonio_gibotta
Twitter: @AntonioGibotta
Website: http://www.gibottaphotographers.it/

Antonio Gibotta's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Antonio Gibotta's photography kit.

Cameras

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

No matter what you're shooting, be assured of uncompromising image quality and a thoroughly professional performance. "This camera is never missing from my bag, its incredible technology allows me to take pictures in any light conditions," says Antonio.

Lenses

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

A professional grade wide-angle lens with a natural perspective, an f/1.4 aperture and low light capabilities. "This and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM are our favourite lenses for weddings. We love them," says Antonio.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

Favoured by many, the successor to the classic wide zoom offers stunning sharpness throughout the zoom range. "I love this lens because it helps me create strong portrait photos," says Antonio.

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