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Thread: Wedding shoot in a Catholic Church

  1. #1

    Default Wedding shoot in a Catholic Church

    Hi guys!

    I m going to do my first church wedding soon and have a few doubts which I know the many kind souls here can answer

    1) Group shots at the end of ceremony: How many rows should they stand in? I think 3 will be just nice and forming a slight arc. Is it ok to ask the first row to squat?

    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.

    3) Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?

    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)

    Many many thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by horizoner
    Hi guys!


    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.



    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)
    2) bring everything
    4) i also not christian... just use common sense, tone down until like a gentleman and ask if in doubt

  3. #3

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    Clive: I will bring almost every lens I have for sure. But I need a recommended versatile lens to be mounted all the time as I doubt I will have enough time to change lens. A wide or mid zoom will be more suitable?

    I will also like to know as much as possible b4 I enter the church, rather than finding out when I m there.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Some church set rules for photographer to follow such as when they can and cannot take photos during a service, u need to check with the couple.

    Squating is ugly. Never do that.

    Some churces have steps, u can use those to arrange their standing order. The coupe should have a list, indicating the group photo taking order.

    If the group is too big, then u might have to split them in 2. I only encouter that once. Usually, everybody fit in nicely.

    Lastly, re-enactment is up to you. I do that very often.

  5. #5

    Default Check with bride & groom

    I am catholic, so A few reminders.

    During the eucharistic prayer, that is during the liturgy of the eucharist, there is to be no photographs taken. That is when the host is being consecrated, when the priest lifts up the host.

    Do check with the bride and groom on the order of the mass. there is always someone from the church who organises the wedding mass. A rehearsal is carried out before the wdding mass. So try to be there to know the whole order.

    There will be photo opportunity during the entrance hymn, wedding vows, exchange of rings, etc.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrischuawh
    I am catholic, so A few reminders.

    During the eucharistic prayer, that is during the liturgy of the eucharist, there is to be no photographs taken. That is when the host is being consecrated, when the priest lifts up the host.

    Do check with the bride and groom on the order of the mass. there is always someone from the church who organises the wedding mass. A rehearsal is carried out before the wdding mass. So try to be there to know the whole order.

    There will be photo opportunity during the entrance hymn, wedding vows, exchange of rings, etc.

    Hope this helps.
    Does this applies to all Catholic churches? I better confirm with my client .. thanks for the info anyway

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horizoner
    Hi guys!
    I m going to do my first church wedding soon and have a few doubts which I know the many kind souls here can answer

    1) Group shots at the end of ceremony: How many rows should they stand in? I think 3 will be just nice and forming a slight arc. Is it ok to ask the first row to squat?
    if you can arrange the group on steps, then you can have more than 3 rows, otherwise just go for 1 row in a slight arc on flat ground (n shoot smaller groups). typically the bride and groom are in the centre in the front row, so they should not squat.

    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.
    15-30 and 24-85. as the main photog you can get very close to the action so the 80-400 is not required. i think the 50 prime is also not necessary.

    3) Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?
    yes. the ring exchange is one of the "must-have" photos during the wedding, so you should take more shots (close ups, different angles etc) during that time just to play safe.

    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)
    check with the priest beforehand where you are allowed to stand when taking photos, and which parts of the mass when photographs should not be taken. also go through the program and plan your important shots beforehand. e.g. processional, exchange of vows, rings, unveiling and kissing of bride, lighting of marriage candles, holy communion, signing of register, recessional, to name a few.


    good luck and look forward to seeing ur pics here
    Last edited by zaren; 7th May 2004 at 08:43 AM.
    you can buy better gear but you can't buy a better eye

  8. #8
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    Default

    1) Group shots at the end of ceremony: How many rows should they stand in? I think 3 will be just nice and forming a slight arc. Is it ok to ask the first row to squat?
    which church u going? u shd go there and take a look to have an idea.

    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.
    tt depends.. and if u can change yr lens in time

    3) Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?
    nope u dun.. sometimes the pastor is blocking.. hahaha....
    .. i used to do tt too.. the JP was blocking the entire view!!!!

    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)

    some catholic church do not allow flash light. pls check with yr client. den u gotta set yr apreture and ISO.

  9. #9
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    Default No access into altar area

    Most catholic church also strictly restrict the photographer from standing or going into the altar area as its holy. You might want to check with the chuch organiser.

  10. #10

    Default Church shoot

    1) Group shots at the end of ceremony: How many rows should they stand in? I think 3 will be just nice and forming a slight arc. Is it ok to ask the first row to squat?

    If you have mutiple rows try to use a lower shutter to capture more ambient light 1/30? if not your first row will be nicely lighted up and the back rows too dark or you will blow out the the whites in the front. The best is still to keep the group small.

    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.

    I will recommend the 15-30. the crop factor of the d100 is 1.5? yah the 15 would give you nice enough space for group shots 30 should give enough tightness if you get close. Often I used 17-40 for the whole shoot. 70-200 when I cannot get near cuase in some churches you cannot stand infont of the couple for ring shots etc..

    3) Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?

    I guess if you know you missed it is better than not having the shot. But the ring is usually not the problem just try to be on higher ground shooting down. The problem is the kiss very often thats really fast. Get a battery pack if possible so that your flash can recycle fast enough.

    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)

    Usually they will ahve a rehersal. So ask the priest directly. Usually the stage is off limits until the signing. Some don't like you to shoot form behind them. Basically just ask the priest. Some are really ok with the photog running around, basically be sensitive try not to block the view.

    Many many thanks in advance [/QUOTE]

    All the best.

  11. #11

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    It's really encouraging to see so many help and advices from u guys ... thanks

    is the rehearsal normally on the actual day?

  12. #12

    Default rehersal

    Quote Originally Posted by horizoner
    It's really encouraging to see so many help and advices from u guys ... thanks

    is the rehearsal normally on the actual day?
    Ask your client. Usually its on one of the evening a few days before the actually wedding. But be prepared to spend 1 to 2 hours or so if you go. But if this is your first cat wedding then you might want to go so you know where the altar is the general flow, the communioun etc. Or you can be chop chop go there and ask the priest and then char bot :P You can look arouond too for phot ops shoot a few for fun to get the metering right. I like cat weddings cause there are alot of things you can use to make your pictures strong, framming the couple with the cross or shooting their silloette with the tainted glass background. the churches are usually quite elborate and beautiful. the altar boy clasping their hand in prayer. Lovely

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horizoner
    It's really encouraging to see so many help and advices from u guys ... thanks

    is the rehearsal normally on the actual day?
    No. They usually have it a few days before the actual thing.

    And, please don't anyhow step on the platform where the priests are during the ceremony. It's sacred during mass.

    Oh ya. which church?

  14. #14

    Smile

    based on my experience (as a groom), I observed the following things with photographers who covered my wedding (2 of them).
    1) One of the photographer usually use a 50mm 1.4 lens and usually change to a fisheye lens for a more dramatic shot of the entire inside of the church.
    2) A MUST to have a backup camera with a lens of different focal.
    3) Also bring a good wide angle lens and also a good telephoto for close ups.
    4) To make it more exciting, be energetic and for the group shots, try to encourage them to compress, to eliminate spaces between people.
    5) Since you are using a DSLR, its an advantage to take as many shots since you are not limited by film rolls (hope you have bigger CF card though).
    6) Also get a copy of the wedding ceremony so that you are also informed of the flow of events. don't get left behind.
    7) And lastly, remember to lower your self if you are crossing to the other side of the Altar.

    Hope this helps. THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM, SO GO AND CAPTURE THOSE PRECIOUS MOMENTS. Good luck!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poledra
    Oh ya. which church?
    Church Of the Holy Cross at Clementi

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy_SAP
    based on my experience (as a groom), I observed the following things with photographers who covered my wedding (2 of them).
    1) One of the photographer usually use a 50mm 1.4 lens and usually change to a fisheye lens for a more dramatic shot of the entire inside of the church.
    2) A MUST to have a backup camera with a lens of different focal.
    3) Also bring a good wide angle lens and also a good telephoto for close ups.
    4) To make it more exciting, be energetic and for the group shots, try to encourage them to compress, to eliminate spaces between people.
    5) Since you are using a DSLR, its an advantage to take as many shots since you are not limited by film rolls (hope you have bigger CF card though).
    6) Also get a copy of the wedding ceremony so that you are also informed of the flow of events. don't get left behind.
    7) And lastly, remember to lower your self if you are crossing to the other side of the Altar.

    Hope this helps. THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM, SO GO AND CAPTURE THOSE PRECIOUS MOMENTS. Good luck!
    I have already got a schedule of events from the couple. I was told flash is allowed for the whole ceremony. Memory is not a problem at all cos i will bring a long a 30GB X Drive. Using a Sigma 15-30 and Nikor 80-400 VR. I believe these 2 r good enough for wide and tele thanks for your time!

  17. #17

    Default Catholic churches

    Yes, this applies to all the catholic churches throughout the world basically. The prayer is sacred to us. ( if you want a theological explanation, you can email me...

    Yup, always best to check with the couple, since they should be catholic.

    Regards

  18. #18

    Default

    CHurch of the Holy Cross.. beautiful church..

    1) Group shots at the end of ceremony: How many rows should they stand in? I think 3 will be just nice and forming a slight arc. Is it ok to ask the first row to squat?
    in such images.. never never ask the first row to squat.. unless they are kids.. then it is ok.. a wedding ceremony and pics require a strong sense of presence and dignity. if you are shooting a sporting event.. then yes.. squatting but not in a wedding.. or a baptism.. or a honourary presentation.. or even a graduation.. it is like a big NO NO to me..

    Usually the priest will allow after the wedding for the couple and immediate family members to take pictures in church or near the Sanctuary.. certain churches do not have stairs at the front of the santuary.. this one does.. so you are lucky.. but I dont remember how many steps though..


    2) Since I have only one cam body D100 (backup is CP 5700 which i won't use often), which range of lens is more versatile in church environment? Have a 15-30, 24-85, 80-400 and 50 prime.
    Church.. is open.. is big.. is spacious.. anything that cover 28-105mm (35mm) meaning 18-70 or 17-55 or 17-35mm lenses.. a mid tele like the 70-200.. 80-400 is over kill.. you will only be using between 70-200 most of the time..


    3) Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?
    Yes.. you will.. the ring exchange is done as part of the ceremony of the rite of matrimony.. and is not an event to be repeated. so get the shot right.. and get it right the first time.. think and imagine what you would like to do before hand.. most wedding have a rehearsal.. so go for the rehearsal.. and do a test shoot. Things to be wary of.. sometimes.. the altar servers may block your view.. communicate this to the altar servers via the best men or maid of honour.. so that you will have at least 1 angle to shoot from. Have exprienced this many time in many difference churches..

    4) Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I m not a Christian)
    Yes.. no going on the Sanctuary. Generally no photography during the Consecration.. that is after the right of marriage is completed.. after offertory..

    Most Catholic churches allow the usage of flash.. not a problem.. sometimes the parish priest or the priest that is celebrating the ceremonies for the day will have a briefing before hand for the photographers and video graphers..

    if you need more explanations do drop me a mail at gadrian@singnet.com.sg..

    I shoot lots of church events, weddings, baptisms, confirmations.. kinda becomes second nature.. LOL

  19. #19

    Default

    I used to be an altar boy, so I've seen plenty of weddings... and wedding photogs at work in church.


    Will I sound unprofessional if I ask for a re-enacment for the ring exchange so that I can take a close up?

    I'm not sure it will sound unprofessional. For the record, I've never seen a single photog ask for a re-enactment. Even if you ask for one, it should be AFTER as the ceremony is considered sacred. Also, quite a number of couple are nervous when they do this, so it's not over in an instant. Some actually have a bit of difficulty putting the ring on their partner's finger! You should have ample time.

    The kiss... that's the problem. It's been a while since I've seen weddings on a regular basis, but I find that couples last time used to give a very quick and shy peck on the cheek. For me, it's not every day a priest tells me to kiss someone in church, so I will make full use of the opportunity! Sorry... OT. Where was I?

    Yah, you've got to be alert! When the priest says, "You may kiss the bride", you'd better be in position, ready to take the shot. As said before, find out the order of the mass, especially the actual wedding ceremony part (this will be after the sermon or homily) and remember it. The priest is going to carry on regardless, he won't wait for you. If you flash recycle time is not instantaneous, you have to remember when important parts are coming up. Otherwise you'll find that you've missed an important moment becase your flash was still recycling.


    Any other things that I should take note of in a church environment? (I'm not a Christian)

    1. Attend another wedding at the church if possible, just to get a feel of an entire wedding as it happens. You can see other photogs at work, where they stand, the timing and all... Ask the couple for the church's phone number, call up and ask if there are any weddings on during the weekend. Then go!

    2. Attend the rehearsal.

    3. Have a chat with the priest after the rehearsal about what you can and cannot do. Some priests are quite liberal about where and when you can take photos and whether you can use a flash. Others, not so. If you attended another wedding at that church before the rehearsal, you might have a good list of questions to ask.

    4. In general, be unobstrusive as possible. If you have to move when everyone is kneeling down, do so discreetly.

    Ah... Holy Cross. Nice church, more ambient light than most churches as the area behind the altar is mostly glass. You can possibly get a nice shot of the entire crowd from the upper level.
    Last edited by acroamatic; 7th May 2004 at 12:20 PM.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gadrian
    Things to be wary of.. sometimes.. the altar servers may block your view..
    Hahaha... exactly. But from the point of view of the altar servers, the photographers are blocking them! 'Cos the servers have a job to do too. As I said, go for another wedding at the church and observe. The positions for the priest, the couple and the servers are quite standard.

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