Not many couples realise that photographing a wedding ceremony isn’t always allowed. Many churches have different rules and some don’t allow pictures to be taken during the ceremony. This is mainly the fault of wedding photographers in the past who didn’t appreciate the importance of the moment. Wedding photography during a church ceremony is a fine balance between respecting the faith and the importance of the ceremony and getting the job done.
No matter how laid back you are, there are going to be nerves before the ceremony. It’s the most stressful part of the day. While you are walking down the aisle you will realise what an important and life-changing decision you are making. The emotion and the vows you are about to take will be very nerve-racking, but hopefully in a happy way. It’s crucial that your wedding photographer is familiar with the proceedings and understands what you are going through. He or she needs to be able to work quietly and not add any unnecessary stress to the occasion.
Rehearsal gives you a great opportunity to plan everything. You can decide where the photographer will be situated and who will move where, and when. This will give you an idea of what to expect on the day and should make you feel more confident. You will also be able to discuss any restrictions with the vicar. After all, the photographer is on the vicar’s territory and must obey his rules. It’s also a good idea to check the place out beforehand so you can see where you will be signing the register. You don’t want something like a church kitchen in the background, for example, spoiling your lovely wedding photographs.
From personal experience I know you have to clarify what people mean when they say taking photographs is okay. Do they mean during the ceremony or only afterwards? So speak to the person who will be conducting the ceremony and make sure you understand what is allowed. Some of the vicars I’ve met are very intolerant of photographers and they have their reasons, but I think God is happy to see people joined together in love and smiling at these memories years later when they look at their photographs.
I did hear one vicar boast that no-one had used a camera in his church for twenty years. It seems a bit harsh to adhere to this rule nowadays because most photographers are situated at the back of the church and they don’t use a flash, so they are very unobtrusive.
Unlike churches, register offices have set rules regarding photographs. You can have pictures taken as you walk in and when you sign the register and that’s it. This is their rule and at least you know where you stand. A few years ago, register offices changed the rules and allowed photographs to be taken during the exchange of rings. These they called ‘quiet pictures’, though I have no idea why! However, I was glad to read about this change because the exchanging of rings is such an important moment.
When signing the register, a photographer has to take pictures, while the couple pretend to sign a blank page. This is designed to prevent the photographer using the stills later to record your personal details. It seems odd to me, though, because a videographer can film everything and yet they also have the technology to zoom in on a picture and steal any personal information.
Well, in spite of all the rules and regulations, I shall continue to do my job to the best of my ability and provide albums of beautiful wedding photographs for my wonderful customers.