A photographer was shot dead when a gun he had asked the bride and groom to pose with for a wedding picture, accidentally went off.

Calogero Scimea, 45, was shot in the head as Valentina Anitra and Ignazio Licodia posed for photos before they set off for the church in Sicily, Italy last weekend.

The photographer – who had stepped in at the last minute when the official photographer fell ill – asked the couple to pose with rifles, reportedly owned by the couple’s parents.

A police spokesman told journalists: ‘From what we have been able to establish, the photographer asked the parents of the bride and groom if they had any guns to use as props in the picture.

‘One went off, hitting him in the head, killing him. We are trying to establish if the gun went off as it was being handled by the photographer.’

The bride and groom were left distraught and the wedding was called off.