In college at the University of Maryland, Dennis Drenner was studying to be a biologist when he began taking pictures for the student newspaper and fell in love with photography. Fascinated as he was by the workings of the natural world, Dennis found the observation of our own peculiar species even more compelling. By graduation, he had decided to trade in his microscope for a camera lens.
Seventeen years later, Dennis has now photographed extensively around the United States and all over the world, always with the scientist's habit of looking for the basic truths under the surface of things, the common human stories that lie beneath our external differences.
Dennis' work has won awards in the national Pictures of the Year competition, three Maryland State Arts Council Grants, an Arthur Burns Fellowship to work at the German magazine Stern , and a Fulbright Fellowship to photograph in Pakistan. His clients include such publications as the Washington Post, New York Times, US News and World Report, The Sunday Times (London), and Der Spiegel (Germany).
Over the past five years Dennis has developed a passion for Latin America, has traveled extensively in the region and speaks fluent Spanish.
Early on in my career, two of my newspaper colleagues asked me to photograph their weddings one summer. Imagining myself a rugged, world-traveling photo-stud, I was of course appalled. “I don’t do weddings! I don’t shoot those cheesy, staged photos! I’m not going to spend hours arranging bridesmaids!” They calmly told me that they didn’t want me to do that either. “Just take your own pictures. We like your pictures.” they said. And I was flattered, and I relented, and the rest is history.
What I quickly learned is that weddings have everything photojournalists love to shoot - emotion, pageantry, drama - all wrapped up in a neat eight-hour package with an open bar. I also learned that there are hordes of people in the world who also want my sort of pictures, candid photographs that reflect their own particular personalities and relationships rather than Martha Stewart’s idea of how things should be.
The other thing we photojournalists love is to make a difference with our photographs, to illuminate, to educate, to make people see through our eyes. And while my wedding photos are seen by far fewer people than my work published in the Washington Post for example, the effects are far deeper and longer lasting. And so is my satisfaction when a bride tells me my photos made her hands shake with emotion, or a groom says that I took the best picture of his grandfather he has ever seen, or when I run into a couple five years after the wedding and learn that photos I have nearly forgotten remain fresh and powerful in their minds and in their lives.
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Recommended by 99% of couples
Lisa · Married on 06/17/2018
Dennis Drenner and Michael photographed our wedding at the George Peabody Library on 6/17/18. The photos were EXCEPTIONAL. He is clearly an experienced photo journalist and could easily charge double what he charged us and it would still be worth every single penny. The photos he took are so genuine and full of emotion. He truly captured the personality of all of our guests in candid portraits. Dennis and Michael took over 7000 photos at our event and somehow managed to turn the photos around very quickly (within 2 weeks!) and delivered to us about 850 stunning shots. We are so thankful we worked with Dennis for our big day. He is low key and we barely even noticed his presence but he somehow captured every single moment of that very special day. We will cherish his photos and the memories of our wedding day for the rest of our lives.
Bridget · Married on 08/19/2017
Dennis is simply AMAZING! It's hard to put into words how valuable his work was on our wedding day. We wanted to hire a photographer with a photojournalistic style of photography so that we could look back and really relive the day, rather than see a bunch of staged photos that didn't capture the raw emotions of the day. Dennis responded to our initial request quickly and had packages that were a great value. He and his wife speak Spanish, too. I almost didn't feel worthy of his time, considering the high-profile journalistic work he's done in the past-- definitely not your average wedding photographer-- but he is extremely humble :)
He wanted us to have a set list of family photo requests, because beyond those, he wasn't lining people up for "group shots" at the wedding. During the "getting ready" process and throughout the day, Dennis and his wife were so calm, relaxed, and had a good sense of humor-- when you saw them! We barely noticed them throughout the day. But then you see the final photos and realize he was EVERYWHERE! The shots he got were incredible. Dennis got a beautiful candid portrait of almost every guest there. We didn't want photos that were over-airbrushed or "Instagram-filtered" because we felt like that style will go out of vogue over time. I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous beforehand that I wouldn't get "wedding-perfect" photos of myself, but they all turned out beautifully! Dennis keeps things raw-- he captured everyone's tears, wrinkles, sweat, smiles, laughs, and emotions-- but all in the most gorgeous way and we will cherish these photos forever.
Chelsea · Married on 04/22/2017
Dennis took absolutely amazing photographs for our wedding at Celebrations on the Bay on 9/23/16. Having good pics of the wedding day was my #1 priority and Dennis delivered and then some. I could not have been happier and will truly cherish his photos for the rest of my life!! Visit the link below for proof of the wonderful work he did at my wedding: https://www.facebook.com/DennisDrennerPhotographs/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1270617362978211
Dennis captures all the little details of your wedding day with his stunning photography! With a photojournalistic background, he knows when to blend in and capture the wedding as it unfolds. But he also knows when to be more assertive, guiding you and your guests for formal portraits - like the amazing group shot of 100+ people he took at our last event together. I recommend him to all my brides who are looking for a very personable, laid-back photographer who takes great pictures.
This Baltimore wedding photographer, photojournalist and portrait photographer is truly a professional that I would recommend. He's perfect for local and destination weddings and engagement portrait sessions. He brings 20 years of professionalism to his art of photography. Mary Tankersley
I've been a makeup artist for over 25 years, but the first wedding that I ever had featured in "Brides Magazine" was photographed by Dennis Drenner. His wedding photos are not only beautiful, but convey so much emotion. His warm personality and incredible talent allows him to quietly capture the special moments of your wedding day. You'll be able to re-live your special day through his amazing photos for years to come! I highly recommend Dennis as a photographer and know that you will really enjoy working with him.