This week, we’re profiling a fabulous photographer, Dennis Drenner and Dennis Drenner Weddings. Dennis and I first met back in 2009 for Jennifer & Jason’s Georgetown wedding and I have thoroughly enjoyed his professionalism and ever since. I’m thrilled to introduce you all to him, and for him to give some insight into his work ad inspiration! He’s also a groom-to-be, so I’m especially interested in his advice and insight through both roles of groom and professional vendor!
1. Describe yourself in three words:
2. Why did you choose to work in weddings/events?
I was actually dragged kicking and screaming into the industry by some photojournalist colleagues who wanted me to shoot their weddings. Once I shot a few weddings and realized I could do them my way – as a photojournalist – I fell in love with the work.
3. What do you love most about your job?
The people, no question. My profession brings a constant stream of interesting and successful people into my life and often the relationships formed on and before the wedding day will last for years afterwards. I frequently do family and child portraits for former wedding clients, or see them at other weddings, or as happened recently, hire their company to do some work around my house!
4. What inspires you?
I draw artistic inspiration from lots of sources – other photographers, paintings at the BMA, great movies… I also get juiced when people tell me how much the love their wedding pictures! This is especially nice when I run into people many years after their wedding and they tell me how much they are still enjoying their photographs, pulling them off the shelf at holidays, and such.
5. Share one of the most memorable events you took part in and why it was so special.
Last year I photographed a wedding in Cartagena, Colombia, a town which has sort of become a second home to me over the years and where I myself will be getting married this February!
6. Complete this sentence, “If I did not work in the wedding industry, I would…..”
…continue working as a photojournalist.
7. How would you describe your style/product?
I think my photography at its best is both beautiful and honest at the same time. I am fanatical about great light and composition and about catching peak moments of emotion – whether they are subtle glances or big explosions of joy. When these elements all come together in the same photograph you get something really beautiful and flattering without having to pose anyone or pull out the soft focus filters.
8. What advice would you give to brides and grooms on choosing a photographer?
First of all, there has to be a comfort level with this person who is going to be hovering around you a good part of your wedding day. If they make you uncomfortable, that will show in the photographs – and vice versa. Second, you should love their photos (as opposed to being wowed by their studio, fancy albums and overall dog and pony show). Third, you should make sure they have the technical and lighting skills necessary for your wedding. There is a huge difference in the skills and equipment needed to photograph an outdoor wedding vs. something held in a dark church or reception space. If you are getting married in a dark paneled mansion and your potential photographer’s portfolio is fully of beautiful shots from beach weddings, be worried.
9. What advice would you give to brides and grooms on the wedding planning process in general?
I would mostly advise people to relax. At the end of the day a wedding is a big party, and the heart and soul of a great party are people and their interactions, not the trappings. By all means have fun with your place cards and centerpieces and such, but if you are relaxed and having fun, that energy will wash through the room and infect your guests and everyone will have a great time.
10. Lastly for fun, if they made a movie of your life,which actor/actress would you want to play you?
All of my life people have told me I look a little like Edward Norton. And then one day I met Edward Norton’s high school Spanish teacher, and she told me my personality was a lot like his too. So, I guess Ed Norton would be a good choice!
Dennis, thanks so much for taking the time to chat!!
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Check out their blog too!