While celebrities may sometimes be biased against anyone with a camera, it’s nice to see stars let their guards down and enjoy the moment every now and then. Like television journalist, author and talk show host Katie Couric who, on June 21, married 50-year-old financier John Molner in East Hampton, New York.
Although it was a very private and intimate event, Couric and Molner, like any other newlywed couple, wanted to have their special day documented for all eternity—in this case, by established, New York-based Brian Dorsey of Brian Dorsey Studios.
“Celebrities want to be comfortable with you, know that you’ll fit in with their event, believe that you will get them what they want and, more importantly than usual, trust in your integrity,” says Dorsey (one of American Photo‘s “Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World”), who landed the job after having recently become the “go-to” photographer for Couric’s wedding planner, Elissa Held.
Dorsey explains that, “Trust plays a greater role than usual when working with ‘members of society’ and other ‘people of note.’ It’s not just the photos, it’s also keeping the details of their events, their lives and their guests strictly private and safe.” Dorsey describes that with celebrity weddings comes, inevitably, celebrity guests. “They are sensitive to having cameras trained on them and in these situations they want to relax and let down their guard. You need to make them feel like you’re just a friend shooting for them and not for yourself.”
Another difference in photographing for celebrities, adds Dorsey, is that the photos are not only of interest to the couple themselves—essentially there are more hands in the image bank. “You’ll work not only with wedding planners but also with management representatives, assistants, public relations staff, writers, photo editors, etc. and sometimes even contend with security clearance,” he explains.“You have to be sure that you’re getting the shots that your client needs to get out to the media as well, and then be able to get them out often within hours.”
Despite all of the work Dorsey has to commit to when photographing a high-profile event, he stresses one key ingredient over all: “We’ve learned that this kind of trust gets earned over time. You need to consistently demonstrate those qualities to planners and other industry people throughout your career. It is hard won and easily lost.”
Read more on shooting celebrity weddings in Rangefinder’s April 2014 issue: “Celebrity Wedding Logistics: The Ins and Outs of Photographing Notable Nuptials.”