No photos in the church

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by mark dillon photography, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    anyone ever had a priest say "no photos at all in the church"? Ive been told before no flash or only photograph the actual vows, ringechange and kiss but never nothing at all. He said i can do set up photos at the end but that takes all the character out the photos. The expresions and emotions that make the moment so special are gone. I actually find it a bit selfish on the priests part. A couples wedding day is one of the most important days of their lives and they spend a lot of time and money getting it just right. They obviously want to remember the day forever.We are hired to help them remember through are photography. How many times do you get the couple saying to you when they look at the photos "oh i really dont remember that" or "so much was happening i didnt take it all in"? Because of the priest the bride and groom arent going to be able to relive the most important part of the day. Is one photographer without flash and with a telephoto really going to ruin the service? Surely it should be the bride and groom that decides . Its their day and their photos. Sorry for the rant but it really angers me.Cheers.Mark
     
  2. Explain it to the B&G. If they can't reason with the Priest, or rent a different venue, or hire a different Priest, then you will have to respect his wishes.
    I was married in a location that is considered sacred and no cameras are allowed on the premises. This is something I understood before getting married, and out of respect there was no photographer at the ceremony. I'll never have photographs as a memory from my wedding ceremony, but that's a religious decision. You can't mess with this, and certainly can't start getting your feathers rumpled and get offended. This fight is for the B&G to resolve, not you.
     
  3. Many years ago when I used to do weddings part time, I was told no photos in the church. So I sat out in the entranceway and waited until they came out after the ceremony.
    At another wedding, the bride told me beforehand that I was the only one allowed to take photos during the ceremony. When the minister was addressing those in attendance before the ceremony began, he said photos were not allowed. I took some at discreet distances, all without flash. After the ceremony I passed by the minister who did not look very pleased at me, he said "noisy camera you've got". I had turned off the motor drive and it was only the noise of the shutter tripping. No louder than someone coughing, but he obviously did not like it. It did not seem that what the bride told me was what the minister wanted. Got the shots anyway!
     
  4. Are you sure the priest didn't mean flash? Sometimes they think the flash and shutter can't function independently. :) But I'm guessing he's seen plenty of weddings to know better.
    And I wouldn't throw this all into the B&G's lap. They can help but they hired you to deal with some of this as well. Talk with that priest... ask if you can at least park to the rear with long telephoto. Also remind him... (and this is my favorite), that you expect to see all guest cameras checked at the door.
     
  5. It may be a shame that the cleints can't have all the photography they want at the church they want. It really shouldn't 'anger' you though. It not some personal affront to you. You can tell the client(s) what impact the rule has on the photography then, as you say, "urely it should be the bride and groom that decides". If the B&G want to get married there, nevertheless, then they are favoring priorities other than photography. If the number of weddings at the church plummeted because of couples decided to go elsewhere due to the rule or members of the church made a sufficient effort to change the rule, then it would likely change. Is there a rant based on 'anger' directed at clients, other couples and church memebrship who share in all the blame as well?
     
  6. Hi Hal, yes i will obviously respect his decision and wouldnt dream of taking photos in the church if he doesnt want it. I will contact the B&G and explain what the preist said. I wouldnt put my opinions on them either, its not my place. It is like you said up to them to resolve it if they want to. Cheers.Mark
     
  7. In my contract, I have a section which states that I am bound by the rules of the venue where the wedding is taking place. It's basically a confirmation of "their sandbox, their rules".
    I also always ask for the minister's contact information well before the wedding so that I can get a hold of him/her and ask about the house rules. I've found that by being proactive and asking what they allow instead of making any assumptions, I'm often granted greater latitude.
    Clergy are concerned that the photographer is going to be pushy and not heed the sanctity of the event. It's one more reason I attend the rehearsal - I get to meet the officiant face-to-face, talk to them about their rules, and get to seee the venue prior to the wedding day.
    Wedding photographers have the worst reputation of all wedding vendors and, often, deservedly so. The more we can do to let the officiants know that we'll respect their space the better time we typically will have.
     
  8. Seems likely the bride and groom are well aware of this fact or they wouldn't have chosen this venue. Doesn't seem like a huge deal at all to me.
     
  9. anyone ever had a priest say "no photos at all in the church"?​
    Yes. There was no photography allowed during the ceremony at my wedding. We were allowed staged shots at the end which we were perfectly happy with.
     
  10. Hi ,i did ask the preist if he meant no flash but he said no photography at all. I feel angry but only because i feel the B&G are missing out on something i think they deserve. As i said though ill inform them what the priest said because they need to know about it then its up to them.Mark
     
  11. Hi Rob, i did exactly what you said and i did get the priests contact info. i emailed with him asking for a time to phone then spoke to him. i didnt make any assumptions.ive already visited the church but in England we dont have rehersals
    Ryan the B&G didnt know about the churches rules about no photography.but that doesnt change the situation.Cheers.Mark
     
  12. I feel angry but only because i feel the B&G are missing out on something i think they deserve.​
    If the B&G agree to have their wedding be at a place that won't allow their wedding ceremony to be photographed, its difficult to see how the deserve to have their wedding photographed. Its their choice.
    I'm sorry their choice makes you angry.
     
  13. Mark -
    You need to let it go. You took your shot and the priest said "no, means NO". They all have their own rules and we have to live by them or we don't do the wedding. Yes, it does get frustrating at times, since you think that there would / should be some consistency, but my experience has taught me that the only consistency is their inconsistency. I've been in the same church with different officiants and the rules change. Ironically the older priest was more lenient then the younger one!
    Bride and groom can now decide how they want to proceed. If they want the photos of the ceremony, they will a) change location; b) change officiant's or c) agree / work out a deal to stage them. I'm sure that they will still want formals, plus candids before / after and reception shots.
    Dave
     
  14. I actually live in Utah and because of the heavy population of LDS faith, I photograph a lot (like 80%) of couples who are married in the temple. Latter Day Saints feel that their temples and marriage is very sacred so they do not allow any photography in the building. I wait until the bride and groom come out of the temple and photograph the emotions exchanged with them and their family when they come out as a new married couple. It actually allows for some amazing candid moments, just a different approach. It does leave you with a lot less content, but usually the couple is so madly in love you can still feed off of that chemistry. Best of Luck!
     
  15. The key think here is that this is not your problem! You just have to make sure that your clients know (and remember) that it was not you who decided this. They chose the location for their wedding and this is one of the negatives to their location.
    Shoot the reenactments and in the end, I doubt that anyone will notice that it was done.
     
  16. I should have mentioned in my previous post that I always asked the bride before the wedding to check with the minister what his wishes for photography during the wedding. Most times they reported correctly and I acted accordingly.
     
  17. Hi, thanks for your replys.The B&G have been informed of the situation. Theyve got a meeting with the priest soon so theyre gonna bring the subject up.Cheers.Mark
     
  18. Yes. At a Baptist Church among others.
    REMEMBER: You're in a House of Worship and a guest, your not in a photo studio or in the outdoors. So obey the rules of that particular denomination or minister.
     
  19. "I actually find it a bit selfish on the priests part........Because of the priest the bride and groom arent going to be able to relive the most important part of the day. .... Surely it should be the bride and groom that decides . Its their day and their photos."

    Doesn't matter one way or the other if you agree with the priest or not. It's a sacrament and not a photo-op. They chose the church and the preist, it's not up to the B/G or to you to pass judgement on how the priest performs his calling/duties.
     
  20. I shot an entire ceremony through the window once.......what fun :( but it worked out anyway.
     
  21. One wedding I did was: No photography with a camera during the ceremony . The video lady set up a tripod and left her camera on. I sat and waited for the kiss (that was OK to photograph) and made the video lady bonker-out as I stepped in front of her video rig to take the photo.
    As noted above, the rules are for a reason...it is a wedding ceremony.
    [Unless you pass out lemon juice afterwards, you should be good to take the photos needed once the ceremony is completed by the priest.]
     
  22. "The video lady set up a tripod and left her camera on. I sat and waited for the kiss (that was OK to photograph) and made the video lady bonker-out as I stepped in front of her video rig to take the photo...." -Jerry

    Feel good about that do you? Was the video not for your clients, the B/G?
     
  23. made the video lady bonker-out as I stepped in front of her video rig to take the photo.
    what an ass
     
  24. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I won't get into how it is the Bride and Groom's choice . . . to choose what Church they use.
    And as to you being angry: I agree with JH on that point also - and I too am sorry that you are angry - I add, I think it is silly and possibly detrimental to your business to get angry over this issue.
    On the main point of your question:
    An English Photographer mentioned on a thread sometime last week that there, (in England), the Wedding Service is a Public Event - by law – anyone can enter the place of Worship.
    That is so where I reside too, and I think this stems from the old English Common Law which has it roots in an hybrid mix of Church Canon and State Law – and all the turmoil and fights contained therein.
    I am a big fan of “Rapport” and I do that best face to face, so, yes to answer your question we do have Churches here who have signs on the Church Steps stating “No Photography inside the Church” – and that means at Weddings – the Church Wardens enforce it during a service, by asking people who take Photos, to leave the Premises.
    I have photographed three Weddings at a particular Church which has this rule and prior to the first; I made a formal appointment with the Priest to introduce myself. I was not angry. I stated my experience and my intent and politely put a case that I was not wishing to disobey any local rule, nor to disturb the Service nor to demean the Religious Rite or reduce the Solemnity of the Occasion.
    My purpose was to simply document the Public Service of the Rites of Marriage, which I understood, if push came to shove – I was entitled so to do, even as a member of the Public, notwithstanding the fact that I had been contracted so to do.
    It was not a fiery exchange. The Priest took a considered approach: but I stuck to my opinion that it was my right to be allowed to document the event.
    And so it was agreed - we had a trial run to prove that he could not hear my shutter.
    On the day, I stuck to my end of the “deal” to the absolute letter: I worn soft shoes – I did not approach the Sanctuary or the Altar; I did not use Flash;. I did not move during any parts of the service which were Prayer – but only made one station change, during an Hymn – and that was from the side Aisle to the rear of the Church – where I remained until the final Blessing.
    At the end of the Service I ensured I thanked the Priest personally, and that evening a thank you note way sent in the mail, to him.
    The two subsequent Weddings in that Church required telephone call to his Office and I was “OK to go”
    .
    I have no idea what your laws are over there regarding the Public nature of the event. But really it doesn’t matter – because the key element is “Rapport”.
    You have two (realistic) choices:
    a) Ensure the Bride and Groom understand what is going to happen and what the outcome will be and DO NOT take any Photographs in the Church - or let them work it out – i.e. do not take it on as your problem.
    b) Take it on as part of your job and be prepared to negotiate the terms of Photography professionally and cordially with the Head Guy. (not some Middle-manager)
    And . . .
    You have one unrealistic option:
    c) Say to hell with it and take the photos anyway.
    Options (a) and (b) require you not to be angry at all for them to succeed.
    I suggest you choose either (a) or (b) dependent upon what exactly your business is and what extent of services, you provide to your Client.
    Option (c) – I DO NOT advise – but if you are going to do it, then a bit of anger will probably assist you – but I would cut it short if the cops are called in.
    WW
     
  25. "On the day, I stuck to my end of the “deal” to the absolute letter: I worn soft shoes – I did not approach the Sanctuary or the Altar; I did not use Flash;. I did not move during any parts of the service which were Prayer – but only made one station change, during an Hymn – and that was from the side Aisle to the rear of the Church – where I remained until the final Blessing......At the end of the Service I ensured I thanked the Priest personally, and that evening a thank you note way sent in the mail, to him." -WW

    Now that's class.........good on ya' mate!
     
  26. A good bottle of scotch works good sometimes too :)
     
  27. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Rapport . . . is made easier by leveraging what is at hand at the time . . . meeting at a bar or a club, I would be the first to buy the drinks - absolutely, Dave W
    ***
    Thanks David S, I really appreciate the comment, but really, it isn't that much effort, or "class".
    ***
    I just see that most options in business are really simple if it is all boiled down to the main pieces –
    In this case either sit and get grumpy and stew on it or do something with a big smile and a positive attitude - what's the worst that can happen - the Priest could say "no way": in that case I would have defaulted to the other option and outlined to the B&G what I did and what the outcome was and I would add: "I will be waiting for you outside the Church"
    It was a bit of Poker Bluff with the law bit - but I think I indeed correct I do believe that one does have the right to document a Public Event (where I live) - but for a Wedding that would be the wrong time to play that hand all the way . . .
    [Aside: the “law” was better held in check and used for the Municipal Council who did not allow Parents to take Photos of their Kids at a School Swimming Carnival, at a Public Pool - funny how when Four Dad's were escorted by Council Security from the Pool, there were TV News crews filming the whole event. . . and three of the four Dads just happened to be Barristers . . . the Council By-law was repealed that evening and the legal cases for Damages and Losses; Assault; and False Arrest are still going on . . . three years later.]
    The way it worked out - the B&G thought I worked magic for them - as I had the meeting with the Priest without their knowledge - they wanted that Church specifically for their own personal reasons - they got more from me than they expected and at no extra cost (that's Customer Satisfaction 101) – for the extra couple of hours work . . . I got massive Word of Mouth Advertising (Advertising 101) . . .
    I booked the three Bridesmaids . . . I think I got one or two Guests’ Weddings, too.
    And Word of Mouth advertising is basically a confirmed booking at the first Phone call - one doesn’t get many of those by getting “angry” – IMO.
    Merry Christmas guys, best for 2010 – the economy is on the way up . . .
    WW
     
  28. Get the longest zoom lens you can find and setup from right outside the church entrance doors (so that you have a clear view down the aisle and to the altar) then have an assistant leave prop the door open so you can zoom in to take your shots. This technically makes it not in the church.
     
  29. I dropped a lens shade during a ceremony more than once, sorry to say. Tiled floors one time! The dang thing bounced all over the place! Bang, bang, bang, I thought the thing would never stop bouncing! It's probably photographers like me that wrecked it for all photographers!
     
  30. "Feel good about that do you? Was the video not for your clients, the B/G?"
    No . But since I followed the no camera rule , I did manage to sleep that night without heartburn...
     
  31. Bob Bernardo: It's probably photographers like me that wrecked it for all photographers!​
    Don't hold yourself in such high regard :)). Seriously though you probably have a point that it is incidents such as what happened to you that have contributed to the rules.

    But I would wager that a more prevalent problem is the rash of P&S cameras with their flashes. You know the kind. They flash two, three or four times rapidly before taking the exposure. The cameras are usually so far away that their puny flashes do nothing but annoy.

    I have photographed more than one wedding where flash photography was disallowed. Yet people in the audience flash away. One time I was admonished by the minister for breaking his rules. I showed him that my flash was not on the camera and it was other people.

    I have a friend who had problems in a church because of no photography allowed issues. No photography at all, he complied but others did not and he was blamed. So he no longer photographs in that church by his own choice. He does not mind the rules, he does not like getting blamed for the violations of others.
    I have also photographed in a church where I was to remain at the back and not move during the entire ceremony. No flash period. Tripods not allowed. Image opportunities were extremely limited. Afterwards all the posed shots had to be completed in 15 minutes and only the wedding party was allowed on the platform and only so far back. It was impossible for my assistant to arrange the wedding dress as she could not get on the stage.

    Rules are rules and you just have work within the rules. The B&G just have to understand and accept or find another venue.
     
  32. Get the longest zoom lens you can find and setup from right outside the church entrance doors (so that you have a clear view down the aisle and to the altar) then have an assistant leave prop the door open so you can zoom in to take your shots. This technically makes it not in the church.
    I shot an entire ceremony through the window once.......​
    It's sad that wedding "photojournalism" has turned it into a paparazzi event for some people. The photographer is present under contract. Accomodations will be made for you to take the shots that are required. Cover your bases, and make the event as convenient as you can, but if you are excluded from the ceremony, then take a break and get a drink of water (or whatever you drink) while you wait.
    An English Photographer mentioned on a thread sometime last week that there, (in England), the Wedding Service is a Public Event - by law – anyone can enter the place of Worship.​
    I am so grateful that as an American there is still some semblance of privacy from the government. You can still have a ceremony on private property with the Justice of the Peace and two witnesses present, and exclude the public. This is guaranteed by our freedom of religion. As some religions require privacy during the ceremony, that privacy is protected by law. As my religion is one of these, I'm glad I'm not an Englishman.
     
  33. There will be many who disagree with me, however, I feel that the no-photography rules inside churches place the emphasis on "Holiness" in the wrong place. We are to honor God above all else. Placing restrictions on photography in churches, in my own simple mind, places too much honor on brick and mortar, and not enough on the One the brick and mortar was built to honor. Sharing photos of the inside of majestic cathedrals, especially in Europe, might actually have a positive impact on the those needing a Savior, instead of keeping the beauty of the inside a secret except for those lucky enough to visit in person.
     
  34. My guess is that the "no - camera" rules come from personal experience or tradition that is passed down from teacher to student.
    I make a point to chat with the officiant well before the wedding to address any concerns / rules / expectations that they have of me, as the photographer.
    The closest I came to being told - "No Photography" was a priest who said I could do the walk down the asile, and the marriage, but not the mass itself as that was sacred and he would not allow that to be photographed. Keep in mind that this was a very traditional and old church - where the women (regardless of demonination had to wear veils for the mass.
    On the point of the beauty of churches - I have no doubt that many of the churches which do not allow photography or cameras during the ceremony will have no problems at all if you ask to come in off hours and shoot some interiors of them for "art". In my experience it's the ceremony that they consider sacred.
    As for sabatoging other vendors (such as the video person) - that's not in my playbook - nor will it ever be. If they choose not to follow the rules - it's not up to me to enforce them - just double checked my contract and it's not in there... Also - imagine what the bride and groom probably told their friends - "Yes - our photographer actually blocked the video right at kiss - so now we don't that on tape!"
    Dave
     
  35. Rules are rules ..... we have two venues with that policy. Less work for us ... we shoot a shot outside the main doors and nothing until they walk backout ----
     
  36. I agree with many above. It isn't up to the bride and groom or the photographer. I know several local churches that don't allow any photography during the ceremony, including processional and recessional. One lets you photograph through the windows in the doors to the sanctuary (you need a really, really, long tele and a tripod). The other doesn't let you photograph at all. It normally isn't due to sound issues--the ceremony is considered sacred.
    Since in my experience, church 'rules' vary considerably, I ask the officiant or church coordinator what the rules are, and I follow them. If the coordinator or officiant says that I should shoot anything and everything with flash--doesn't matter where I stand, I sometimes do, although my inclination is to be low key. If they say no photos, I don't shoot, although I will ask to sit (sans gear) in the back and observe, so I can plan my re-creations. I also make sure that the officiant will remain for a session after the ceremony. Many take their robes off an disappear immediately after.
    I also recommend negotiation, as William W. suggested. Many times, if the reason isn't due to the sacredness of the ceremony, it works very well. All the officiant needs is to be able to verify that you aren't some flake who will run amuck with the camera. A phone conversation, or best, a face to face meeting can do wonders for this, even if the meeting is just before the ceremony.
    As for re-creations, the only reason they might look fakey is because you didn't do them well. In my experience, if you plan them, know exactly what you want to do, light them so they are similar to the actual events, and direct well, the re-creations can look as if they weren't. The emotion is still there.
     
  37. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Aside:
    Hal, If the ceremony is conducted by a Justice of the Peace, then it is not a Church Wedding . . .
    it is NOT the "Government" invading one’s Privacy
    and there is NO restriction on Freedom of Religion - People can choose any Religion they like.
    If they choose a Christian Religion (for example) then they choose a typical Christian Place of Worship and Rites of Marriage - then it IS a Public Ceremony - specifically during that Ceremony the Priest / Minister asks something like: "If anyone has cause that these two should not be Joined in Holy Matrimony then let them speak now or forever be silent" - Specifically that invitation is Public and therefore the Church - by Church Canon - must be open to all persons.
    Perhaps I did not make clear enough that I was referring the Churches and typically the mainstream Christian Establishments with their roots in (ancient) Roman Catholicism.
    WW
     
  38. William: I understand what you are saying. Maybe I hastily used the term "Justice of the Peace" to mean any court appointed official. Where I am from, a Priest or Minister from any denomination may perform weddings, as well as other public officials, but only after they have registered with the courts. e.g. I can't just say one day "I'm a minister of my own new religion established today, and I hereby can marry whoever I want." I would have to first establish the proper documentation for my ceremonies to go on public record. At least, this is how it was explained to me.
    Now, without getting into any more comparison/contrast between cultural differences, it should be acknowledged that churches lie on private property, not public. As private property, it should be the right of the property owner to deny admittance to any person at his sole discretion, including photographers.
    Finally, to the best of my knowledge, the custom that you reference whereby the congregation is asked to "speak now or forever hold your peace" is not a legal requirement, but a religious custom. If this is not the case in your area, forgive me the indiscretion, but these words were not uttered at my wedding, nor were they implied. While a wedding may go on public record, it is not subject to public approval, and certainly not to a vote. A wedding may go forward regardless of whether anyone in the world objects. It may be the case that certain churches require parental approval for a marriage, but the state does not. The state only requires a recorder and witnesses. The witnesses are required specifically because it is not a public ceremony. If all weddings were performed in the public's eye, then there wouldn't be any need to designate witnesses. So witnesses are required to facilitate weddings behind closed doors. Two people will swear to the validity of the marriage, so anybody who was not permitted can go hang.
    I'm not a lawyer, historian, or international scholar, so please don't take offense if any of this seems inaccurate. But if the law permits any person to be present at a private ceremony on private property, which is required by a religion to be maintained private, then the government which upholds that law is guilty of oppressing that religion. To draw an admittedly extreme comparison, it reminds me of the custom of "Primae Noctis" as used in the movie "Braveheart", which is inarguably an invasion of human rights.
     
  39. Doesn't matter one way or the other if you agree with the priest or not. It's a sacrament and not a photo-op. They chose the church and the preist, it's not up to the B/G or to you to pass judgement on how the priest performs his calling/duties.​
    The marriage is sacred between the B&G and GOD (if thats what they believe); the ceremony is HUMAN tradition- no matter who's getting married or where they're getting married. IF the parishoner doesn't allow respectful, professional photography during the ceremony he is simply dampening the GOD given talents the photographer was hired to use to produce timeless memories of this special moment between the B&G and GOD. AND- IF the parishoner doesnt allow photos to capture the beauty of this God given moment, he/she should consider that it could be a bad witness for people of (that type of) faith. Parishoners, in my opinion (as a person of faith first), should be focused on helping the B&G set a good foundation for their future instead of hindering a few minutes of precious photography (an art based on LIGHT- the first creation in the Bible).
     
  40. It isn't up to the bride and groom or the photographer.

    It IS up to the B&G because they choose, for whatever reason, to have a ceremony where photography won't be allowed..
     
  41. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Hal, I also understand what you are saying. Also, I cannot see why I would take offense at anything you wrote. I enjoyed our discourse, although it went slightly off topic. And yes it is Church Canon (Custom) to ask that question - and when it is asked the Doors of the Church are open (actually physically open).
    But returning to the topic:
    The point of me making the comment in the first place was that I used this Church Canon (custom) to make an argument to get me into the Church to take the pictures I wanted.
    I made an effort to speak to the Priest and the result was I was good to get a few images in the Church, which otherwise I would not have obtained, if I had just gone along with the “Rules” as they were posted on the sign.
    As I mentioned - it was a bit of a Poker Bluff on my behalf and I don't for one minute think the Priest was a silly man - so I guess he kind of liked my sensibilities more than the strength of my argument: personality rather than brains, probably one the day for me.
    As JH states, it is the B&G's business to choose the venue for their Wedding – my point is that, as their Photographer, I have two choices about any “Local Rules” – either accept them and go along as per the rules; or negotiate.
    In all cases (after about three or so years in the business) my first choice has to have a chat with the head guy – and in nearly all situations I have been able to get some latitude - that’s really my point, in a nutshell.
    WW
    Aside / Post Script:
    Below is the thread where Alec Myers (Dec 01, 2009; 09:24 p.m.), mentions the Church and its Church Law (or Canon).
    Note that a “Public Place” is different to “Public Owned Property” and in Common Law there is no expectation of Privacy in a “Public Place”. As I understand it that is so where I work, too.
    As I understand – the Laws apropos Privacy are / might be different in the USA. And I mentioned that point earlier.
    Also, out of interest, the negotiation I cited was with a Church of England Priest – the Rector of a large City “High” Church – which is more similar in Tradition and Ceremony to Roman Catholic Rites than the Anglican Church.
    I work in Australia.
    http://www.photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00V8JN

    I also liked Braveheart very much, and I have studied the life and times of William Wallace to understand him and the situation in those times better - if I had Highschool over again, I would have studied more History.
    Merry Christmas,
    WW
     
  42. OK John. Then I'll change my statement to say, "It isn't ultimately up to the bride and groom, or up to the photographer".
     
  43. I know all the rules of the local churches --- when a B&G contact me with a venue of the "no photo" policy ......we both know they receive nothing of a image ~ during the governed rules of that preist/pastor. Case closed --- they made their selection :: We are absolved from are duties.....
     
  44. I haven't had a celebrant tell me "no photography" yet but I did have a priest limit me to a small area off to the side of the groom throughout the whole ceremony. That is, no moving around with the exception of a few as the bride came down the aisle. The wedding shots during the ceremony were sub-par in my opinion but since everything was explained to the bride & groom beforehand and they understood who's decision it was, they were pleased overall. Besides, it was a traditional Hispanic New Mexican wedding. Most of the excitement and memorable photos came from the reception.
     
  45. Is it any wonder that people are leaving churches and christianity in droves ? These supposed ambassadors of the church deny the couple and their families of the peak, and most important moment , in their lives. A visual memory of a momentous occasion in any familyis lost forever. I have found that most ministers and priests are great but there are a few bullies around - its all about them and not the wedding.
    I can understand if they have had a photographer running amok on the altar and getting in the way in the past but surely there is common ground ? If I were the minister, I would allow photographs to be taken during the ceremony but with instructions. How easy is that ?
     
  46. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "I can understand if they have had a photographer running amok on the altar and getting in the way in the past but surely there is common ground ? If I were the minister, I would allow photographs to be taken during the ceremony but with instructions. How easy is that ?"

    . . . well, to be even handed with the debate I think many are becoming fed up with a squillion P&S Flashes, DSLR on AUTO with Pop Up Flash and Camera Phones and also incompetent "Professional" Photographers and Video Lights detracting from the Ceremony, that a blanket No Cameras Allowed is becoming the easier option.

    That's the sense of it I got, speaking to some of the Clergy.

    WW
     
  47. Hi William for sure I agree with you. There is a a literal army of cameras at every wedding nowadays compared to 4 or 5, 10 years ago. I remember a minister telling me personally and then addressing the congregation that there were no photos during the service until the signing and then only me. So I sat down and put the camera next to me and waited for the cue from him.
    The public didnt care and proceeded to start taking images. When the minister had a spare second, just after a flash went off, he looked straight at me with a glare. So I moved further from the camera and folded my arms. More flashes went off and he looked straight at me ready to glare but realised it couldnt have been me. Anyway the offenders kept flashing but he didnt say a word.
    Its much much easier to control a photographer than a congregation after all the photographer might have to come back one day and God help you if you misbehaved previously. There certainly is security in numbers.These ministers have veeerrrry long memories so be warned.
     
  48. Our priest simply makes a announcement to the congregation -- prior to the ceremony. "All cell phones/ cameras are to be turned -off .... in infraction on this rule and I will stop the ceremony --and you will be singled-out as the individual > ruining this beatiful wedding procession" ........ Pretty cut & dry ... its his church .....
     
  49. I'll change my statement to say, "It isn't ultimately up to the bride and groom, or up to the photographer".

    It IS ultimately up to the B&G because they choose, for whatever reason, to have a ceremony where photography won't be allowed.
     
  50. Photography is not allowed in the church I attend for any reason. I don't know why other than a bunch of flashes going off and shutters slamming and so on is a disturbance. No one seems to have a problem with the policy.
    Joe
     
  51. Every venue has rules that we as photographers must obey if we wish to shoot there. Many of the rules seem unfair and restrictive but most have a reason behind them. Many of the restrictions come about after the venue has a bad experience with some photographer or wedding planner and many priests are tired of distractions during a sacred ceremony. The bottom line is if you play the game their way they can send much work your way, if you make them mad you may be banned from the venue for future jobs, and yes they can ban you.
     
  52. If you are talking about the Catholic church then there are no set rules about photography. Generally the B&G decide what they want and that's it. The Priest's that I have met just figure the photographer has a job to do and they should just do it the best they can.
     
  53. I was photographing a wedding anniversary mass. One of the two priests in attendance, the older one, came to me just before the ceremony and said no photos during the mass. Immediately the younger priest came over and asked if the other had told me no photos. I told him yes. He said, "Well, he's older and kind of conservative. Feel free to take all the photos you want. I don't think he'll stop the ceremony." Thankfully, the more conservative priest did not stop the mass to chew me out for taking photos.
     
  54. Mark:
    You shouldn't be angry; maybe a little disappointed. I can appreciate your wanting to capture the spontaneity of those singular moments, but the bride chose this church and should have been given instructions by the priest BEFORE the date and she should have communicated the "rules" to you.
    Have you ever wondered why many ministers are so adamant about "no photographs?" I have asked and found "the enemy is us!" Photographers and guests have turned this sacred ceremony into a sideshow! One priest told me of a photographer actually jumping over the altar railing to "get a shot!" A rabbi lamented about a photographer intruding under the chuppah "for a closer look!" Often, we are our own worst enemy.
    I always make a habit of informing the bride that "I respect and follow the photographic limitations of their officiant, whether I agree with them or not." My position is further confirmed in a letter I send to the minister, introducing myself as the "official photographer" for the couple. I reiterate this before the ceremony, if we have not met previously at the rehearsal, where I state, "What are your rules regarding photography? I follow them."
    Has this approach proved beneficial? Without a doubt. One wedding coordinator commented to me, "I don't know who you are or what you said to our priest, but you are the first photographer he's allowed to photograph in the church in the years I've been here."
    Some brides select "rent-a-churches", just for their opulence or lengthy center aisle. They may never return to that church and may have no meaningful relation with the minister. I, on the other hand, may be doing another wedding there next week! I want a "warm" reception by all concerned. I'd rather have the minister remember me fondly, than as "that jerk from last week's ceremony!"
    Richard
     
  55. John--I give up. I would guess most people know what I meant with my two statements, so I'll decline to attempt to explain much further. I would guess you do, too.
    Most people getting married in a church do so because they want to. Many times, the church is their church, their family's church or at least a church with which they have some connection that is much stronger than with, for instance, your local hotel or reception venue, where, if one doesn't like an aspect, it makes perfect sense to move on. That a couple would become angry and go to another church just because church rules prohibit photography during the ceremony is narcissistic and shows what such a couple really cares about, IMO. Particularly since in all cases that I know of, re-creations are allowed after.
     
  56. I know that there are many views here, so i'll share mine.
    I've had this happen before and i've spent a lot of time personally thinking this over. I've heard many respond by saying that you should respect the religious aspects and venue rules and that "IF' you want to continue shooting there, then you must obey. My thought is this - "If you proceed by not shooting any photos there, why would you ever have a need to attend again at this venue?"
    Respect can be defined on many levels, me personally i always shoot from the rear at ceremonies and i never use flash, so i'm automatically excluded from some levels of intrusion. So, i see respect as a two way street. A minister telling me the day of that i can't shoot any photos without first having the opportunity to explain the way in which i operate, or without any consideration for what the B&G wants, is IMO disrespectful. He has a job to do and I have a job to do. Ultimately, above anything else, I respect the wishes of my client and i will always and have always executed those wishes within a professional framework. Which means that you have to find ways to be creative as some have mentioned above. If this upsets the parties or venues invloved then so be it, my clients have thanked me in the past for my workarounds and that's the approval i'm after.
     
  57. weird priest and rules, perhaps thats why many people fail to go to such places anymore, however I'd rejoice for having less hassle on the day. Charge the same as if you would photograph in curch.
     
  58. I am a clergyman and have also photographed many weddings before and after my ordination. I want the couple to have a record of their wedding that they will always treasure, and I seek to work with the photographer to ensure that he/she gets quality shots, but the congregation's primary attention should be on the bride and groom as they pledge their lives to each other. It should not be diverted by an intrusive photographer, some of whom seem to think that the wedding is taking place for their benefit. A photographer who has any degree of competence should be able to take quality shots without being intrusive. I am happy for the photographer to us flash when the bridal party are walking up and down the aisle, and when the official documents are being signed. At other times, flash is not necessary and usually detracts from the ambience of the building and lighting. A good photographer will be discreet and discerning, so that the congregation will hardly be aware of their presence.
    What I find most annoying is a photographer who, once the ceremony is underway, flaunts prior agreements in the assumption that I would not dare to stop the ceremony. Although a previous contributor mentioned the public nature of such occasions, he ought also to be aware that it is an offence to disrupt such a service. Obviously, no-one wants a wedding to be disrupted but a courteous, competent, photographer who works within the guidelines agreed to, will gain the respect and trust of all concerned.
    Ian
     
  59. Let everyone concentrate on the wedding ceremony itself. Be ready for the photos when they come out of the church. Set up the classic photo shot, bride and groom, in a studio. Take pictures of people at the reception, they'll remember no photos were taken at the church, and will be more relaxed.
     
  60. "The expresions and emotions that make the moment so special are gone"
    ... maybe for you as a "photo moment". But never for the bride and groom, those to whom it matters most.
     
  61. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Although a previous contributor mentioned the public nature of such occasions, he ought also to be aware that it is an offence to disrupt such a service. "

    Whether or not it is an offense (in the legal sense) to disrupt such a service would be of no issue to this Previous Contributor in his dealings and actions; for he is all for working in harmony with the Clergy.

    This should have been apparent in most of the text, and if not, by the overall tone of This Contributor's commentary in this thread.

    Specifically please note:

    "I am a big fan of “Rapport” and I do that best face to face . . . I made a formal appointment with the Priest to introduce myself . . .
    On the day, I stuck to my end of the “deal” to the absolute letter: I worn soft shoes – I did not approach the Sanctuary or the Altar; I did not use Flash;. I did not move during any parts of the service which were Prayer – but only made one station change, during an Hymn – and that was from the side Aisle to the rear of the Church – where I remained until the final Blessing.
    At the end of the Service I ensured I thanked the Priest personally, and that evening a thank you note way sent in the mail, to him."

    WW
     
  62. My wife and I were wed in her family's living room because their family's church was booked. Luckily the minister was able to to officiate in her home and head back to the church for the other wedding that day.
    Our good friend was ready to take photos and was wedged discretely in a corner to the left of the minister and behind a lamp. We had not discussed photography with the minister in our 2 pre-nuptial meetings with him.
    Just before the ceremony he quietly said to our friend, "You are going to let me marry these nice children before you use that thing aren't you?"
    Our poor friend looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights and stood awkwardly in the corner until after the vows.
    All was fine - we got loads of shots after the vows and plenty of re-enacted shots. Of course we felt terrible for our friend being slightly embarrassed, but he was a big boy about it and after a few glasses of wine all was forgotten.
    And we have great memories and great photos of the day.
     
  63. Mark - sorry to hear your story. I'm also in England and every church wedding I've ever done has had a rehearsal so try and get along to them if you can. I'd be really surprised if a church wedding didn't have one. Registry offices don't in my experience but churches always have done. It may be the churches in your area call it something different?
    I also make sure I have the phone number and name of the celebrant beforehand so I can ring them and get their "rules" first and then the couple know what is happening / can negotiate if necessary. I find just a friendly chat a few days beforehand with the celebrant goes a long way to setting their mind at ease. All that said however, I've had the priest say "no photographs" before - there's nothing you can do but make sure the couple are aware!
    I think it's also down to all of us to make sure that however relaxed the celebrant is we never give them a reason to ban photography in the future. Many years ago as an altar boy I saw enough from photographers to understand why so many priests can object so strongly.
     
  64. I have photographed so many church weddings where cameras and flash were allowed. Does this mean they were less sacred? Did God disapprove of their ceremony because of the less orthodox priest / minister? I do believe some officiants are a law unto themselves sometimes.
     
  65. Hal:
    While a wedding may go on public record, it is not subject to public approval...​
    In the UK it is very much subject to public approval. It is the law in the UK that the public must be given the opportunity to object to any marriage. Check up on "Banns of Marriage" or "reading the banns". For civil ceremonies in this county the couple (each) need to give 16 days notice to their respective district register offices, and notices of forthcoming marriages are published for that reason.
     
  66. ...it should be acknowledged that churches lie on private property, not public.(Hal)​
    Depends where you live. In the UK (and most commonwealth countries) the church is a public entity, owned by the parish. The church itself and the land on which it lies are public property by constitution. For the purposes of convenience and management, the daily running of the church falls to the parish - hence closed gates and doors and other measures to protect and maintain the building. But there is no basis for it being considered private in law.
    A wedding may go forward regardless of whether anyone in the world objects. (Hal)​
    Not usually. If there is even a single objection the marriage ceremony is prohibited from progressing, pending investigation of the objection. See Alec's comment above.
     
  67. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Ditto the expanded general content of Alec and Neil's comments . . . which was the thrust of my original posts which I think got this all started . . .

    And for a little note about the State “interfering” and how it cannot . . . "The sanctuary" of the Church - not the specific place but when one "claims it", as I understand it still cannot be interfered with by the State . . .

    I think an escaped convict (for example) still cannot be arrested whilst within and claiming the sanctuary of the Church . . . but I think many do not now claim it - though as I understand it, is still part of our Common Law, and I guess in Great Britain, too.

    WW
     
  68. I think an escaped convict (for example) still cannot be arrested whilst within and claiming the sanctuary of the Church​
    Not sure about Oz, but that went away in the UK some centuries ago. According to Wikipedia it was James the first that abolished it, in 1623. It definitely doesn't apply now, and the police will be only too happy to march in and arrest you in a church.
    EDIT: In 1624, according to this article in the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/give-me-shelter-650500.html
     
  69. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    That's becasue around that time you guys were having all that trouble with Robin Hood, we might be a bit slower here to repeal that stuff, being that we are all just your dodgy outcasts and convicts anyway . . .
    Merry Christmas.
     
  70. William, I prefer not to believe the popular wisdom about Australians - some of you are quite nice really!
     

Share This Page