PROFILE

Félicia Sisco

A model is walking away from the camera in a snowy landscape. She wears a white fluffy cape and hat.

Canon Ambassador and wedding and portrait photographer Félicia Sisco divides her time between shoots for leading bridal magazines and brands and real-life weddings. She captured this stunning image in January 2020 for a winter bridal fashion campaign. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 28mm, 1/640 sec, f/9 and ISO200. © Félicia Sisco

With a wealth of experience in photographing weddings, Canon Ambassador Félicia Sisco has perfected her style to focus on life, emotion and light.

French wedding and fashion photographer Félicia's agenda is simple: to create lasting memories that accurately, yet beautifully, reflect a couple's big day. Ambient, full of light and above all natural, Félicia's style has stood the test of time – she's clocked up an impressive four decades in the industry. "I just shoot every couple as they are," Felicia responds when asked what makes her brand different. "My photography is as unique as they are. It's their story, and every love story is unique. I ask them to be natural and be themselves, and I do that too. I'm just myself. My photography is not unique, it's simple and well lit, and that's the true meaning of wedding photography – light and love."
Born and raised on the French island of Corsica, Félicia first flirted with the art of photography aged just eight. Her obliging sisters were more than happy to volunteer as models. "Becoming a photographer became my dream, but it was very difficult because at that point photography was pretty much exclusively for men and I hadn't studied photography at all," she says. "So over the next few years I took it upon myself to learn. I took portraits of everyone around me, printing them myself in the black-and-white film lab at school."
Canon Ambassador Félicia Sisco
Location: Corsica and Paris, France
Specialist areas: Weddings, portraits, fashion
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS R5
Canon EOS R6
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
A model standing underneath a chandelier throws the skirts of her white lace wedding dress upwards.

Félicia was one of the first photographers in the world to try out the new Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens for this stunning photoshoot. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/4000 sec, f/1.6 and ISO1600. © Félicia Sisco

A bride wearing an extravagant wedding gown, and with her back to the camera, poses in front of a large window.

A bride waits before her wedding ceremony at Lake Como, Italy. "This is one of my favourites," says Félicia. "A magical moment with Nathalie a few minutes before joining the ceremony." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/7.1 and ISO500. © Félicia Sisco

During a summer break between her first and second year at university (where she was studying to become a translator), Félicia took a job at a photography shop. "I started in that shop thinking I would just be selling the films, but on my first day they asked me to shoot a wedding," she remembers. "Then, a little while later, I had to do the studio portraits, but at that time this was normal, even with no professional experience." The temporary summer job turned permanent and two years later Félicia took the leap and started her own studio. "I had no say over what I shot back then," she continues. "Being a photographer then meant being able to shoot everything, so I had to work on improving my skills for every genre."

Félicia, who now has a QEP (Qualified European Photographer) certification from the Federation of European Photographers, eventually settled into her niche: photographing bridal fashion for magazines and bridal stylists, which became a gateway for photographing real weddings. Today she splits her time between one base in Corsica and another in Paris, while also journeying to other parts of the world at the invitation of her international clients.
A model standing in the desert twirls the net skirts of her white wedding dress.

Bridal fashion for a 2020 campaign shot on the beaches of Morocco. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 1/8000 sec, f/4 and ISO200. © Félicia Sisco

"My customers already know my work when they choose me, they don't want posing, they want natural," she says. "I shoot a few formal pictures of the couple posing, but the majority are taken just as they are. For the ceremony it's very important that I anticipate every moment. I don't want 'stolen pictures'. I want to actually live the moments, to be able to capture them with good light and the emotion that I feel with them."

Along with capturing imagery, Félicia has captured the imaginations and propelled the ambitions of legions of wannabe professionals while running wedding photography workshops for over 25 years.
How does photographing a wedding with a digital camera compare to the days of film?

"For a wedding, before digital I would use a maximum of 10 films, each with 36 shots. Now it's 10 times that number, and workflow and retouching can become a problem. So the better you shoot, the less time you spend in post."


How do you divide your time at a wedding?

"I spend three hours before the ceremony photographing the bride getting ready, and 30 minutes with the groom. Then I'll be with them all day, for between 10 and 12 hours, capturing intense and beautiful moments, finishing up with the first dance and cutting the cake."


What's been the most valuable lesson you've learned during your career?

"That it's okay to go your own way. When I started I knew I didn't want to do poses, I didn't want to follow a particular style, I just wanted to be myself. That was the best decision I ever made, because if you copy someone else's style, you're stuck, and obliged to copy it again and again."


What is the wedding genre missing right now?

"All the pictures are the same. You see different styles but they all have the same look. These photographers are all missing the most important element. They should respect the fact that every couple is different, and not be closed in to a style of their own."


So how can a photographer really excel in this competitive industry?

"Shoot for the clients, not for awards. I don't want to hear 'you're an artist', I just want to hear that my pictures bring back the emotion of the day. Their memories are more important than my career."

One thing I know

Félicia Sisco



"Obviously you have to know the technical side of photography, all the 'rules' and everything, but when it comes to shooting a wedding, forget those rules and concentrate on capturing the emotion. Move around everyone and everything to find the best light. Personally, I prefer prime lenses because it means you have to physically move towards the subject instead of being passive. Primes also give you a better aperture; they create more illumination, which is ideal as I prefer natural and ambient light. But the true secret is be curious and enjoy the day!"

Instagram: @feliciasisco

Félicia Sisco's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Félicia Sisco's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.

Cameras

Canon EOS R5

Rethink what you know about mirrorless cameras. The EOS R5's uncompromising performance will revolutionise your photography and filmmaking.

Lenses

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM

The RF lens that sets new standards in photographic performance, delivering supreme sharpness, extra creative control and a low-light performance that’s simply remarkable. "For the wedding speeches I only shoot in ambient light, and use this and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM," says Félicia. "They're perfect for capturing emotion."

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

Capture the world with outstanding flexibility and quality with a super-compact f/2.8 telephoto zoom that incorporates a 5-stop Image Stabilizer to ensure great hand-held results, closer focusing down to 0.7m and fastest-ever AF.

Accessories

Canon Speedlite EL-1

An advanced Speedlite that delivers superb reliability and advanced high-speed performance in a tough, weather-resistant body. Félicia prefers shooting with natural or ambient light, but uses a flash during the wedding "for groups if necessary, at the end of the day and during the party".

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