What a crazy year 2016 has been.

2015 finished with a wedding in New York City, one that led at the beginning of 2016 to my receiving a second place at Italy’s annual ‘WEDDING of the YEAR‘ Competition. Then my first wedding of 2016 took me to Los Angeles. Joined by my lovely wife Daniela, we got the occasion to had our “honeymoon reloaded”. One week together, without kids (love them, but sometimes you need time to have rest and take care of your love) was truly a gift for us. Also, I had an awesome season, the first one where I was just a “wedding photographer”; I had a lot of lovely customers really connected with who I’m and what I do. Could things have gone any better than they did? It seems so.

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On August the 3rd, just a few days before summer holidays with my family, I received an email from Rangefinder editorial staff inviting me to join their Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography competition. – For those of you who don’t know, Rangefinder is the official magazine of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographer International), likely the most important  association in the world in this field (it seems something big, isn’t it?) – . I had just finished the first half of the season and in a couple of days would be leaving on summer vacation with my family, and i received that invitation which totally blew my mind. Somebody, somewhere in the world, told the Rangefinder editors that some guys in Italy were producing some nice stuff; I gathered the requested 30 photos, pressed “send” and then didn’t think much more about it. In late September,  not having heard anything, I can honestly share that I got a bit doubtful and I started bothering some friends with all my doubts and fears. But then, few days later, on October the 7th, I received THAT email. You must know that the first thing I do as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, after a big hug with my wife – ok, be honest Fra, not always! – is check my email, to understand how my day will be. So, try to imagine the scene: alarm rings; big hug and some kisses (I’m romantic, you know); pick-up phone from nightstand; check a few notifications – 6 new IG followers, nice! – open the email and see THIS:

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Heart stopped for few seconds. 

Hi Francesco,
Happy Friday!
Oh, and… CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have been chosen among the 30 Rising Stars of 2016!!!!!
We had almost 200 submissions, and believe me when I say the work was tough to narrow down to the final 30. Wow. Be supremely proud of this designation and achievement. 

Then, my heart exploded.

– BOOM –

I felt happier than I may have ever been about the decision I took a few months earlier, to leave my previous work. I think I couldn’t expect anything better. Of course, I have a lot more work to do. There are still so many things to learn and discover to improve my work…Certainly, this is not the finishing line, but probably a new starting. But this still feels good! And, if it’s allowed, I’d like to give myself a pat on the shoulders and say: you’ve done okay.

Before to leave you with the 30 images that made me be part of this dream, I must say some REALLY HUGE thanks.
The first one to my wife, Daniela: thanks for all your support; you never missed to be by my side in this choice; even in our most hard moments, you believed in me. I love you. Really. You are my yesterday, my now and my tomorrow; the bigger part of this dream, and without you, it could not have come true.
A second big one for my parents. It’s not easy to support your 39-years-old son, engineer, that is literally fuc**ng his safe work as a project manager in a big international company to start a new life following a fuc**ng dream. But they did. They believed in my dream, and this recognition is mostly for them.
Then few colleagues that with their words, support and critiques – especially critiques – helped me in my growth; not just as photographer, but also as a better person: Cinzia, Anna, Petar (if you don’t know these guys you definitely must see their awesome work): thanks to the moon and back dudes, you were a big part of this; it means a lot to me to consider you my friends.
A lot of love and gratitude to all my friends that supported me on this new path; you helped me in dark moments, and we had fun together in the older ones. Thanks for helping me become who I’m and thereby catching this result.
Thanks to Gianluca and Mary, two awesome photographers that created a workshop with the most incredible atmosphere you could ever imagine. There, I met a lot of truly talented guys and – most importantly – I discovered a new way to live and feel photography. If you’re a photographer check the Ostuni Workshop website and be sure to book a seat for next year.
Also, all my congratulation to those super-talented guys with which I’m sharing this year’s Rangefinder’s “30 rising stars of wedding photography”. It’s such an honor to be part of this list with such talented artists, I am overwhelmed by your awesome imagery; I feel like I must grow so much to bring my photography to your breathtaking level.

Lastly, a HUGE hug to all of you that spend time here reading my sh*t! Enjoy my selection, mates. This one’s for YOU.