Posted by Mary Cahill, Photography Expert:
Finding a photographer for your wedding can be a pretty tall order. So, to gain some perspective from a professional photographer, I asked John Dolan a few questions about his own wedding day photography (drum roll please):
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I wanted the best witness. I knew well the importance of the photographer, both as historian and as a presence at the wedding. Luckily, my mentor, Sylvia Plachy (Adrian Brody’s mother), agreed to come to our wedding. Her personality added so much to the whole event. She understood how to capture the vibe of the wedding and share the excitement of the day. She became part of the party, instead of staying on the outside.
What was your favorite moment captured on your wedding day?
Two moments: First, Sylvia was wandering around the house while my bride was getting dressed and she came upon my future mother-in-law having breakfast in bed. The portrait she made of the mother of the bride in bed, in curlers and a bathrobe, is still one of my favorites. Secondly, the last scene of our wedding was wild. We were trying to say goodbye and drive away, but it was taking so long that I had to drag my bride away from her friends, laughing. It is all captured on one roll of film. I blew up the whole contact sheet to 16x20”, and when I look at it I can still hear the band playing “Eight Days a Week”.
Any unique tips for how to archive & display your wedding photos?
Pick the 10 best and separate them and treat them special. I like to matte them and put them in a separate archival box. Today so many brides are flooded with images, but in the end you really need ten gems, and they need to be treated right.
Although John didn't have any of Sylvia’s photographs from the wedding day scanned and ready to go, he did have an image that he shot two days after his wedding: We got married in Ireland at my wife’s mother’s farm, and we honeymooned up the road near an old castle. I asked my wife to get back in the dress so I could take a few shots. Here is one I am fond of.