How do you behave as a photographer during religious weddings? How do you communicate with the priest, rabbi, or vicar? When do you stop shooting?
The answer is simple -
Ask ahead of time.
Seriously, with so many different religions around, who can keep track! Just as the vicar/priest/mullah/lama/grand poobah/whatever what proper ettiquette is.
Official Photo.net Villain
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]
Having just "done" a wedding yesterday, I made sure that I spoke to the Reverand prior to the day. Here in the UK most religious marriage ceremonies follow the same etiquette - photos at any time APART from during the service!! This point was emphasised!! Also, when the newly weds sign the register - NO photos can be taken. But it is okay to "mock" a signing by using a blank page in the register and have the bride/groom holding a pen! If in doubt - ask the person presiding over the ceremony!
Over the years I have only covered 5 weddings, I find them an absolute nightmare.
At any important event always go and ask the organiser. If he/she has any special requirements they will tell you! Have an in-depth discussion with the bride and groom, it is usually their local church and then discuss their wishes with the presiding priest.
Enlist the help of the best man if there is one, it can save a lot of time sorting out the in-laws and relatives.
Paul Owen stated that pictures during the register signing are not permitted, this varies from priest to priest in my experience. Some if they are fairly liberal in their approach, allow a number of pictures, if flash is not used, so make sure you have some fast film. You can always argue that if they permit video you could surely take stills without flash.
Do not under any circumstances take a picture that is not permitted by the priest, not only does it result in bad feelings between you and the priest, you might be offered another wedding in the same church, or he/she could ban other photographers completely!
Work hard beforehand in ensuring that everything is double checked!
>Here in the UK most religious marriage ceremonies follow the same >etiquette - photos at any time APART from during the service!! This point >was emphasised!!
It really varies from priest to minister to vicar... Most won't like you ducking and weaving around the couple while the main part of the ceremony is happening. But at that point, a few longer distance shots, from the back of the nave, from the choir pews or high up somewhere may be no problem (obviously depends on the church) - this is why you'll often see video of this part of the service - the friend with the camera has a tripod set up somewhere, makes no noise and just zooms in.
Scout out the church and see where you might be able to move around and not get in the way, then ask the minister about it.
>Also, when the newly weds sign the register - NO photos can be taken. >But it is okay to "mock" a signing by using a blank page in the register >and have the bride/groom holding a pen! If in doubt - ask the person >presiding over the ceremony!
Again, it just depends on the person officiating. The main reason you get posed signings is that a) It often happens in a second or two - bride sits down, glad it's all over, signs, and that's it. bride and or groom are hunched intently over the register, head down, and the bride is trying desperately to remember what name she should sign.... Not very photgenic - so you then get them to pose.
It really comes down to how open the minister is to photographers - may have had plenty of bad eperiences in the past and wants you in one spot and that's it, but on the other hand they could be totally laid back. A good few are photographers themselves and may totally understand you have a job to do, while at the same time ensuring the photography doesn't get in the way (remeber that although you have a job to do, the ceremony isn't about the photography). The more professional you are and appear to be, the better.
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