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13 Steps for Good Photography in Catholic Weddings

Frequently, a lot of complaints claim that many photographers do not respect the appropriate protocol in different places of worship. Hence, it is really essential for the photographers to know what is to be done and what is not. Not all photographers will be exposed to all kinds of communities. This article will help you know insights that are required when you step into a wedding.

Catholic weddings are usually the easiest wedding to photograph. Basically, the wedding service is an hour long process along with Catholic mass. It is known as Eucharistic celebration by the Catholics.

It might easily be the lengthiest service among any wedding services that makes it easy to photograph them, because you get plenty of time!

What Are The Shots To Be Taken in a Catholic Wedding?

catholic weding

Before getting into photography, you must go to the sanctuary and introduce yourself to the main priest over there and seek rules and regulations which you must be knowing, while you will be clicking photographs and shooting.

Commonly, there is no problem caused, but it’s nice to ask them yourself. You also need to let the priest know you will be using the flash only at processional and recessional, and not while the service happens.

You also might have to seek allowance to go up to the aisle on the left and capture the gifts that are brought by close relatives of bride and the groom, of course with the flash. Even this is never a problem, but there’s no harm in asking, is there? Your asking comes as a sort of respect for the church as well as the priest. It also shows up your commitment towards your work and your professionalism.

I will start the list from the moment where the bride is walked down to the aisle by her father. Usually, there is no need of shooting every attendant who walks down the lane. This also comprises the grandparents.

1) Father and the bride walking down the aisle (flash allowed)

Catholic wedding

Few Catholic churches do not allow the photographer from standing for these shots. You always need to oblige by the rules of the church. You could position yourself in an almost empty pew along the aisle. As the duo gets closer, you could quickly get into the center aisle and click a few pictures in both full length and a close-up.

2) Father of the bride presenting his daughter to the groom (flash allowed)

Once I’m done with capturing the father and the daughter, I usually go to the front of the church and position myself in the initial pews that are to the left of the center. As they get closer, few more shots could be captured and then the dad handing his daughter to the groom.

Once I’m done with this portion of the ceremony, I walk back to the back of the church turning off the flash.

3) Trace as many shots as possible

From behind, I trace every action that happens. After some readings, the wedding party will be called by the priest to join groom and the bride who usually sit near the altar. You could position yourself right wherever you are and use lenses available for super long photos. You could try capturing closeups with permission of the father.

4) Balcony shots

Take some Balcony shots. Few photographers wouldn’t know when the Catholic service finishes and they get held up in the balcony when priest announces bride and from to congregation and they will walk down the aisle. You’ll miss main shots! You need to stay alert! You need to run around a lot during the service and the wedding photography is very tiring. But then, that’s your job. Make sure you do it efficiently.

5) Shots after the ring exchange

catholic wedding

Offertory procession comes after the ring exchange. You can always capture the shots by zooming from the vantage point. You could effortlessly capture the entire congregation. The shutter speed of your camera matters. Make sure you capture shots from this portion of the service.

6) Click the pictures of priests too

catholic wedding

Ensure the shots of the priests while they’re in the pulpit and also few shots of the readers. Usually, the clients never buy it, but it is nonetheless a part of the story.

7) Take some good shots

Get some pictures of the host and chalice that will be raised. But ensure you do it quietly without causing much disturbance. The Eucharistic celebration starts soon after the offertory procession. This is important too.

8) Candid is the way to go

The sign of peace ceremony will offer you cool pictures if you would be able to pull them off, which is soon after the prayer. A lot of hugs and kisses will happen and you need to make it a point that you do not miss any.

9) Focus on family

Communion photographs are important too. You also need to get shots of parents, grandparents and others receiving the communion.

10) The final blessings

Final blessings can be crucial pictures. Once the wedding couple returns, they will turn up to the father. He will raise his arms over the two and bestow upon them his final blessing. You need to take it without the flash.

11) Down the aisle shots

Down the aisle shots can be interesting as well. Once the blessings are over, the priest will address the congregation and introduce the newly wedded couple. This will happen only for few moments and you need to be real quick in getting these shots without flash and without delay.

12) Kissing shot

kissing in catholic wedding

The kissing shot is the most critical picture of the wedding. You must never cease the procession and ask for the couple to kiss. If it will happen, you need to capture it. But you need to know it is a very important shot.

13)  Final shot

‘Thanks yours’ is the final pictures you have to click before you wrap up to leave. Make your final thanks to the priest.

That is all you have to know to be a good professional photographer while photographing the Catholic weddings. You must be well aware that your work must not disturb the proceedings. You need to ensure you respect the practices and also the protocols of the community and as well be committed to your work.

 

 

 

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December 9, 2015

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