PROFILE

Fabio Mirulla

A black and white image of the father of the bride standing in a doorway, smiling with joy. In a full-length mirror you can see the laughing bride's reflection.

"We are lucky as wedding photographers because the setting for us is always a happy day," says Canon Ambassador Fabio Mirulla. "To be able to share in such joy makes it an incredible job." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/80 sec, f/5.6 and ISO800. © Fabio Mirulla

One of Italy's most celebrated destination wedding photographers, Canon Ambassador Fabio Mirulla has garnered a reputation for never repeating the photos he has already shot.

"Sometimes people say weddings are always the same and it's just not true," he explains. "Every wedding is as unique as every couple."

Born and raised in Tuscany, where he is still based now, Fabio bought his first camera during high school. While studying archaeology at the University of Siena in 2005, he took a summer job at a photo studio, where he initially worked as an assistant. "I remember the first wedding I did very clearly," he explains. "I saw a lot of different light conditions. There was a little rain and then brilliant sunshine. It was beautiful. I fell in love with this world from that first wedding I did."

After graduating, Fabio set up his own wedding photography business and his unique style quickly caught the eyes of couples from across the globe. "The beautiful part of this work is you will find weddings in every culture and each one will have a different approach," he explains. "When you travel and meet other cultures, it's magic. It's like a personal project every time and it forces me to try new techniques. One of the big mistakes photographers sometimes make is to approach a destination wedding in a touristic way. I will try my best every time to tell the story in my way."

Canon Ambassador and wedding photographer Fabio Mirulla.


Location: Tuscany, Italy
Specialist areas: Weddings
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS R
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

A bride smiling and holding her bouquet in the air. She is surrounded by three horses, one of which is leaning in to eat the flowers.

Fabio used to work on up to 60 weddings a year but has cut this back to around 25-30 per season. "After my son was born, I wanted more time for my family and more energy to shoot the weddings in the best way possible," he explains. "Now I have time to experiment and come up with new ideas." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/1250 sec, f/2 and ISO100.
© Fabio Mirulla

Fabio's talent and his quirky style have been widely recognised, resulting in an array of awards, including Photographer of the Year 2019 from the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) and Photographer of the Year 2019 from This is Reportage. "I am very proud, more for the personal challenge because you are in competition with hundreds of great photographers from all over the world," he says. "But I don't shoot for awards. I shoot for the couples that choose me. It is a strong creative challenge, but experimentation is the first part of my work. I'm always trying new things."

"The copy and paste approach to every wedding is too easy," he adds. "When a photographer changes their style to follow the trend, it's the saddest thing because that unique point of view has been lost, probably forever. If you have a unique point of view, you are like an arrow in a target. I don't need 100 couples. I just need a few who trust me and my ideas."

A black and white photograph of a young boy leaning in to take a bite out of a tiered wedding cake, the groom behind reaching to stop him.

"I have a rule to show 10-20% of each shoot on my website and blog," says Fabio. "If you show your vision and the pictures you love, you will attract the right kind of couples for you." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/2 and ISO500. © Fabio Mirulla

Today, Fabio travels the world photographing couples in some of the most spectacular locations, but at home in the Tuscan countryside is where he enjoys working most. "It is amazing to be able to combine two of my favourite things: photography and travel," he says. "Of course, shooting abroad forces you out of your comfort zone and that is a great thing for the work and for myself. But if I had to choose a place to shoot, I'd say the countryside around Siena. There's just no place like it.

"I'm so proud to be a wedding photographer," he adds. "It's my way to explain myself to the world. Like a painter or a writer might, or others who use expression to show off their work. Wedding photography works that way too; it's my way to show me."

How would you describe your wedding photography style?
"Spontaneous and funny are the words I would use to describe my style. I never force a moment, I just let the wedding flow. What I want to do with my photography is to be as close as possible to what happens during the day while looking for unexpected points of view – like the image of the father of the bride seeing his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time, and the bride's reaction captured in a mirror reflecting back at him. I always look for a different perspective."

What do you believe are the key elements to successful wedding photography?
"To be true to yourself and never follow trends. Photography of every kind is a way of expressing your point of view and to be yourself is a way to stand out among others."

What's the proudest moment of your career to date?
"Before posting a wedding on my blog, I ask the couple for a short review to introduce it. The best thing is when I'm sent those reviews and they tell me I've found the perfect moment or created lots of beautiful memories. That is so special. Sometimes couples change the date of their wedding so they can be sure I'm available. It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's an incredible feeling."

What is next for you? Which ambitions remain unfulfilled?
"I'd like to shoot weddings in Japan and Iceland. I've never been to Japan before, but Japanese culture really fascinates me. It's like another world and I'm curious to shoot there – I think it would be a great challenge. I'm also totally in love with Iceland. Ever since I saw the Northern Lights I've dreamed about shooting a wedding there. It's a mix of incredible landscapes and backdrops, like a prehistoric land. The unique lighting makes it so magical."

One thing I know

Fabio Mirulla

"Never underestimate a couple, a place or a location in front of you. Sometimes beautiful moments can happen when you least expect it. Often you can find the most beautiful stories from smaller weddings when the weather and location aren't necessarily perfect."

Instagram: @fabiomirullaphotographer

Facebook: Fabio Mirulla Photographer

Twitter: @FabioMirulla

Website: www.fabiomirulla.com

Fabio Mirulla's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Fabio Mirulla's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.

Cameras

Canon EOS R

A pioneering full-frame mirrorless camera that sets new standards. "I started working with mirrorless systems because it is the natural evolution of cameras," explains Fabio. "The chance to see how a photo will look before shooting is priceless. The colour fidelity of Canon cameras is so unique, and the result is a good photo even before the editing process."

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Designed to perform in every situation, the EOS 5D Mark IV is beautifully engineered and a thoroughly accomplished all-rounder. "This is an amazing camera and one I can really rely on," says Fabio. "I've used it in the most extreme conditions, from freezing weather in Iceland to scorching temperatures in Lebanon, and it never missed a shot. The quality of the image was flawless every time in terms of sharpness and colour."

Lenses

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

A true modern classic: a standard wide-angle lens beloved for its natural perspective, low-light capability and extraordinary optical performance. "This is my favourite lens," says Fabio. "It gives the perfect point of view. You can tell the story in a complete way. For situations where the conditions are perhaps not so good or the lighting is dim, like when the couples are getting ready, this lens is ideal. The 35mm is magic."

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

A professional short-telephoto lens, precision-made for low-light shooting and those situations where extremely shallow depth of field is required. "This lens allows me to get closer to the subject and to alternate the point of view," says Fabio.

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

The ultimate in fast aperture wide-angle lenses. A f/1.4 maximum aperture allows handheld shooting in low light. "I use this lens with the Canon EOS R for first dances and when the party is about to begin," explains Fabio. "It forces me to enter the scene and become part of the action."

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

A fast, lightweight, high-quality telephoto lens. "This is a lens of exceptional quality, one of my favourites," says Fabio. "I love to use it in photo sessions with the couple when I have a lot of space to compress the subject and the background, and I like the bokeh effect."

Accessory

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

The Speedlite 600EX II-RT is engineered for fast frame rate shooting, and performs in the most demanding situations. "This is indispensable for certain parts of a wedding, such as the first dance," says Fabio. "My way of shooting is mainly based on the light that is available and I almost never intervene with additional or artificial lighting, but in situations where I want to be creative, it is a precious tool."

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