About this wedding photography duo

version française

Insert our photos into your family story. Offer you a timeless testimony of the emotions shared.

This is our goal. Simple, but ambitious.
We will do everything in our power to attain it. All along our collaboration with the young couple, from the first meeting until the delivery of your photos and often times beyond, we accompany you kindly and thoughtfully, We give you support and advice. We get to know you better, so we can better photograph you. It’s a true commitment.
On D day, there will already be a special bond amongst the 4 of us. We’re comfortable around one another and happy to get together. Images come flowing naturally.

  French Wedding Photographers

to the left: Sylvain, 37 – to the right : Damien, 32

credits Magali Toy, instants-partages

Our approach

The first thing we’re after in our photos is emotion, the closeness in the looks exchanged, the magic of the moment, the beauty of a smile.
We work as reporters. For which we must show discretion, intuition and creativity.
We strive to catch the reality, without ever getting in the way, without ever asking our subjects to re-enact, slow down, or turn their gaze here or there.
Our images then become a support for your memories, without altering the moment but sublimating it.
Working as a duo enables us to cover every moment of such a rich day. Whether it’s the bride getting ready, or the groom. Whether it’s the wedding bands exchange, or the parents looking with emotion. Whether it’s a child laughing or a friend crying. The heart of the action and the charming behind-the-scenes.
Working as a duo unleashes our creativity, one of us will go for a different angle, an unusual viewpoint, an innovative approach. Ideas come surging. Our photos tell a consistent story, made whole by two visions.

Our photography duo

Sylvain (the « Gardères » half of the duo)

Sylvain Gardères - Photographe de mariage

My personal story as a wedding photographer

I’m 37, the father of 2 girls and a wedding photographer. “Wedding” is the key word here. Of course, I can photograph other things, corporate events, portraits, landscapes. But weddings are my jam.
I’m more passionate about telling stories than I am about photography. Photography reports came to me as the perfect media to tell stories in a discreet and personal way.
I started in 2004, as I was finishing university as a cinematography major. Opportunity fell onto my lap to take part in a big photo and video project. Photography stayed with me. I pursued with contracts to cover corporate events. In 2007, I covered my first wedding, and I instantly loved it : movement, emotion, gathering. I consider it a privilege to be asked to witness shared love. After 150 weddings, my pleasure is still growing.

Meeting Damien

Early 2013, I had been working alone for 7 years. Something that looks like me, with a lots of perks, but a couple of drawbacks as well. I needed a new perspective on photography in general, and my work in particular. An informed and earnest look. A new momentum.
Damien wanted to meet me, he wanted to start his own business as an independent photographer. We lived in the same neighborhood. We met for coffee. We talked.
I saw someone who knew what he wanted, who was asking the good questions.
I saw a good communicant, who knew how to approach and connect with people.
I saw someone with a skillset complementary to mine.
And then he showed me his work, and I saw a very talented potential competitor!
I offered him to follow me on Saturdays. He said yes. That’s how we got acquainted. On the ground. It clicked right away. I never was the “teacher”. We exchanged about photography, technique, philosophy of the trade.
We were fortunate to attend a training by Citlalli Rico, an incredibly gifted Mexican wedding photographer. She reinforced our growing desire to work as a tandem.
We weren’t friends, so we built our cooperation on a sound and honest basis, without threatening our relationship.
But then it couldn’t be helped, we became friends.

The photo I wish I had

One of my daughters with my dad, gone too soon.

The photo I cherish

Family again. The very first photo of my daughters together.

An anecdote about photo

During a wedding, a young man comes fetching me to ask for a photo of him and his parents. Not my favorite kind of photos, but I accept nonetheless. He whispers into my ear he’s about to tell his parents he’s going be a dad. I didn’t know them, not even their names. Yet, they let me in into a moment of intense emotion, deep joy, laughter, tears, sharing…
He thanked me, but really, I thank him.

A word about Damien

Damien is very sensitive man, although private. It doesn’t show at first. He doesn’t really have a shell, he faces everything head first. He is naturally gifted for human relations, he cares about people. He works hard, is a perfectionist. He’s a talented photographer, with an instinct for framing, as if born with it. Even on a down day, he can rely on his instincts. Pictures come to him naturally.
One fault ? He doubts too much.

 

Damien (the « Dohmen » half of the duo)

Damien Dohmen - Photographe de Mariage

My personal story as a wedding photographer

I’m 32 and I live with a wonderful woman, we’re not married and we don’t have children yet.
I have been a photographer for 5 years now. Before that, I was in charge of HR in a big corporate business; photography at first was a way to let out some steam, it was a very demanding job requiring a lot of letting go.
At first, I was shooting exclusively empty landscapes, with no one, no human activity, maybe because I had to be overly social in my daily job.
One day I got fed up of my job, decided to devote my time to my passion and started a retraining. At the beginning, I was not attracted by social photography (wedding, portraits). But today, I can reconnect with what I liked in my HR job, help people write their own story and memories. I need it, it’s my fuel.
Shooting weddings is my media to tell a story and render what I learned about people. It helps me keep faith in humanity and in feelings we too often try to hide.
I also do a lot of corporate photography along with personal projects.

Meeting Sylvain

As I was working on turning my career around, a lot of questions arose. A lot of fears too. And the desire to start things right, not jump in head first with no experience whatsoever.
I sent a lot of cover letters to get an internship to many professional photographers in the area.
Most of them didn’t write back. Few agreed to meet with me… I knew it was going to be tough.
While thoroughly browsing Sylvain’s website, I discovered an artistic world close to mine: a love for landscapes, for the mountains, and a perspective on wedding photography that stood out. I then met him in a café.
We got along instantly. I discovered someone candid, honest, who loves his trade.
Someone with moral values similar to mine.
He agreed to let me follow him during one season. I had a lot of fears, I didn’t like taking photos of people, I didn’t trust my work at all. But Sylvain reassured me and gave me all the keys to be comfortable and focus on what truly matters : emotion.
At the end of the season, I knew I wanted to work with him. At first, I was afraid to take the plunge, but our skills, the common ones and the completing ones, reassured me.
Today, he’s a partner, a friend, a family member.

The photo I wish I had

One of me with my friends on their wedding day… I was the photographer, so seldom on the photos. (But I’m happy I have provided them with lovely memories!).
All the photos from a trip with friends that burnt in a house fire.

The photo I cherish

Every single one of them, they each have a story, a moment, a memory. My story.

An anecdote about photo

I was contacted by an old couple, they wanted me to photograph the family reunion in honor of the wife’s 80th birthday. I was given the opportunity to share that moment with them and it reminded me how important it is to capture the memories and take photos of those you love.
Each photo-shoot, each report reminds us of our own story, and I love it.

A word about Sylvain

Sylvain is a private man. Under his shell is an immense sensibility and righteousness. He lives in line with strong moral values. He has a natural eye for photography and enough empathy to easily connect with people’s emotions. He is calm and reassuring.
He is incredibly gifted for photo reports and always tries to capture the more subtle emotions everybody else is missing. He has a feel for unusual situation, not only finding them, but capturing them and turning them into life-long memories.
Sharing is second-nature, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He helped me build my new career and make a living of my passion.
One fault ? He doesn’t talk enough…




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Gardères & Dohmen sont classés 37ème International et 2ème France par L'International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers en 2017.
Gardères & Dohmen are in the ISPWP TOP 100 Wedding Photographers 2017


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