Brian and Kevin
Our father, Dick Donnelly (aka D-squared), was a serious photography hobbyist when SLRs were primarily the domain of pros. He passed that gene along to both of us. Kevin became a nature photographer early on, and got his first SLR in the 1970s. Brian became enamored when he started taking pictures of his now grown children over 20 years ago. Out of that grew D-squared Wedding Photography - as tribute to the father who got us started in the business of taking pictures and because it's shorter than Donnelly and Donnelly.
The hot term of art in wedding photography today is “photojournalism”. Technically, the term refers to a candid documentary style of telling the story through undirected photography. It’s what we do.
We just call it real.
We approach every shot with the goal of capturing the unique spark within and between each person that makes them real. Whether it’s a couple exchanging vows, a bride dancing with her father, or a child hugging the family beagle, each fleeting scene has an important element of reality, and special meaning, that can only be communicated through a photograph. Our photography practice is about capturing those real moments.
I have had a camera for as long as I can remember. And I have taken a lot of pictures. But it wasn't until my kids were born, some 25 years ago, that I came to appreciate that there was a difference between a picture and a photograph. While pictures are factual historical records, photographs capture the moment and its meaning or emotion in an artistic composition.
Since that realization, I have worked to make each release of the shutter count for something more than a historical record. I have become a practitioner of photojournalism - capturing real moments without creating them. Of course, at a wedding there are some shots that must be posed. But I think it's possible to find something real in every posed photograph. That's where being a people person comes into play.
While I'm invisible during most of the wedding day as I focus on candids, during posed shots I step in front of the lens and make sure everyone is having fun. It's all about having the right attitude. We can do American Gothic if you want, but we're all going to laugh about it right after!
I am not really sure when I took my first photo, but I still have pictures I took in 1967, when I was a kid. I used my father's SLR as soon as I was old enough to be trusted to hold onto it. I used that until I got my own film SLR, a Canon AE1. Following in my father's footsteps, I shot color slide and black and white prints. We developed the black and white at home, and the smell of a darkroom still brings back early memories. Today I use a Nikon D800, and don't have to wait hours for negatives to emerge from the tank, or days for slides to come back from the lab.
I have been a nature photographer for most of my life, and have spent many combined hours waiting for people to move out of the frame. I have tens of thousands of images with no people in them at all. In the past years though, I have become enamored of the challenge in capturing the sense of the person in a photo. My goal is to create a photo which provides a sense of onomatopoeia, echoing more than just an image of the person, but something that makes the viewer feel the essence of the subject, to feel that they are somehow in that moment. As an engineer, I enjoy the math, electronics and physics which are the tools of our art form, but when a photo truly reflects the sense of that person, and the moment, I'm satisfied with the shot.
There are few days that present more joyous and fun moments and more opportunities to capture jubilance, love and family all in one place, than the day of a wedding. Together with my brother, I am allowed to share that day and help capture the moments and people who together make memories.