Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wedding photography done RIGHT!–after the service
    For many years I pastored a church.  In my role as pastor I set parameters for photographers—“The wedding service is holy.  It is not primarily a photo op, so please reserve your photo-taking for before and after the service.” Now though, I officiate at weddings outside churches and many are not “holy.”  That is to say, they are not necessarily religious.  I would argue, though,  that even secular wedding services are sacred in nature. For this reason, I still believe that photo-taking is best left to before and after the “I do’s.”   I bow, though, to the will of the bride and groom.  If they want to have picture-taking during the service, so be it.  And I understand why they may want photos of the service while it is in progress.  A re-enactment of the exchange of rings for the camera, for example, may seem disingenuous, deceitful, even.  Still, I have recently officiated at two services where the photographer, in my opinion, stepped way over that invisible, though very real line between production and sacred moment—between photo op an event to celebrate with family and friends.

   In one instance, just before the bride was to make her entrance down that center aisle, the photographer decided to get close ups of the wedding party standing in wait at the front of a large hall.  By close up I mean WAY close up.  The camera was in the Best Man’s face.  The photographer remained front and center throughout the service—sometimes moving behind the gathered wedding party to get shots of the seated guests!   And, did I mention she used flash? The guests probably saw stars!  After I pronounced the bride and groom man and wife, they recessed down the center aisle.  The rest of us, the bridesmaids, groomsmen and me, followed after, but alas, the camerawoman blocked the center aisle.  She was on her knees getting a shot of the cute little flower girl sitting on her mother’s knee, just to the left of the center aisle. That photographer caused a major traffic jam. Come on!   

   In the second instance, the photographer stayed appropriately in the background during the wedding service, HOWEVER!  However, after the service, he kidnapped the couple for a full 45 minutes.  Guests lingered over appetizers, no doubt their stomaches grumbling for real food and getting tipsy from the wine.  I imagine that the guests wanted to exchange hugs and kisses with the bride and groom and offer their congratulations.   But no, the couple was out in the vineyard, among the grapes striking a gazillion poses for the camera. I ask you, what kind of message did this send to the guests?  “We’re glad you came, but really, this is all about us.” 

    So, now I’ve had my say.  Think seriously about the role you want your photographer to play on your special day.   Don’t be shy about setting parameters. After all, you are the one with the checkbook.

And by the way, Happy Wedding Planning.  It can be happy, I promise! 

Your Wedding Preacher for Hire  


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