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Photography Question 
Crystal Williams
 

Do's and Don'ts of a Catholic Wedding?


I am shooting my first Catholic wedding and I want to know what to expect. What are the do's and don'ts of a Catholic wedding?


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9/25/2004 5:10:19 PM

 
Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
  Crystal,
Check with the priest. He will give you the do's and don'ts. Some have personal restrictions, and others donít.
The last one I did I was allowed behind the priest and the couple, so I was shooting towards the people in the pews. I could not use a flash. I used a monopod to stabilize the camera and shoot.
Most clergy will allow photographs of the ceremony from the back of the church or from the balcony without using a flash.
I would like to suggest that you get your families to the church about 2 1/2 hours before the wedding. Shoot most of your alter formals with the groom and his family, and then do the bride. After the ceremony, you can do the combined families.
Good Luck.
Doug
P.S.: Make sure you check and clean your equipment the day before, and make certain you have extra film and batteries. Always bring more than you think you will need.


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9/25/2004 5:54:43 PM

 
Crystal Williams   Thank you so much for your advice. I will update on the results next month.


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9/26/2004 4:08:14 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Everything Doug said is right on, but one last word of advice is do what needs to be done. Be respectful of the church, but be respectful of your client's dollars too. It's not fair to your client to follow some arbitrary rule. Make sure you get the shot without disrupting anything. But, don't not get the shot because you might break a "rule". Your job is to please your client, not the clergy. The church didn't hire you to shoot, the folks standing up there at the alter hired you. Just remember that. It's a delicate balance, but as long as you can figure out where that fine line is, you'll be OK.

Even if you're not being paid, if they asked you to shoot, it's your duty to do so.

Jerry


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9/27/2004 4:24:48 PM

 
Jan Van den Bergh   Another important thing: know the key moments of the ceremony and make sure you have film left when they occur. The priest will not wait for you to change the film in your camera.

Better yet: use two camera's.

Jan.


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9/28/2004 12:01:23 AM

 
Gregg Vieregge   I have shot hundreds of Catholic weddings. The clergy generally are alot more easy going then protestant clergy. Here are my thoughts:

Do the altar shots first and then get out. The outside shots and others do second. The priest generally do a walk thru about 45 minutes before and if they see the altar area empty and in tack it eases everything.
Do not plan to back up to the altar for more shots unless the bride clears it with the prist. Many times there is Saturday night Mass following the wedding and those people start showing up.
Don't expect do get a shot of the B/G with the priest, they are generally camera shy.
Do not put any camera equipment, etc. on the altar. That will set off an explosion.
Try not to move furniture and such around by the altar. I've been scolded many times for that.
Do not use flash during the ceremony. Others may but you have no control over that. Have the bride tell the clergy that her photographer does not use flash during the ceremony.
When the ceremony starts to begin do not interupt the processional by stopping couples walking down. Instead be down the aisle halfway and shoot on the fly. Get two shots of each couple to make sure the eyes are open.
I prefer to shoot the exchanging of the vows from the back. Pose the unity candle and presentation of the rose to Mother Mary before hand.
Other than that you should have no problems. Catholic Churches generally have alot of neat stain glass and arches so let your artistic eye capyur the beauty of this.

Good Luck


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9/28/2004 6:23:42 AM

 
GARY FESPERMAN   HI Crystal
I have been shooting weddings of all types for years. I'M currently located in the southwest in Yuma, AZ.
Their are a lot of Catholic weddings here, and in nearby Mexico.
Most of the advice I have read so far is good. Except I would remember this. It is traditionally the Brides Day. And for this reason I would do the photos of the Bride first. Having the Bride, Maid of Honor, Brides Maids, and Her Family at the church 2 hours or so before the wedding. Do these photos first. If you can have the Groom, his best man, Family ect. at the church an hour before the wedding. Explain to them
you will get their photos after the Bride is finished. Should events not allow this you will do their photos after the ceromony.
After the ceromony do any group photos you need to do. The Grooms side, if you haven't already done this.The bride and Groom with both families. The Bridal party. Bride & Groom w/ Best man, Maid of Honor ect. Last after everone in the Family, and wedding party have left, do the bride and groom - so you have them and their pictures all to your self.
It is good idea to have an assistant to also shoot these photos for backup. I always do this.
As for churches it's a good idea to respect any church. Since the Bride and Groom are usually closer to the Priest, Pastor, church, it's a good idea to get them, and their families involved in working out the rules for taking the photographs. I also recomend that you leave most of your equipment in the rear of the church until you need it.
Extra lights tripods ect. for group photos. Another good reason for having an assistant, or second photographer.
Every wedding is different, so their will be times you will not be able to acomplish everything in the church. Most Important. Get the photos of the Bride & Groom, and their families if possible in the church. Everone else can be done outside the church or at a different location.
The Bride in some cases may also want photos of her getting her hair done, putting her Wedding Dress on at home, with mom's help. You may also do an engagement or wedding announcement photo months before the wedding for the newspaper.Also their is the photos at the Reception in most weddings. Just remember all weddings, and everone is different!
Gary


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10/1/2004 10:37:09 AM

 
Crystal Williams  
 
 
I shot the Catholic wedding without too many problems. I believe that some of the pictures could have been better. I was able to use my flash during certain portions of the ceremony. Some of the pictures without the flash were the best ones. All in all it worked out well and I took a lot of pictures to ensure that I captured the moment. Thank you for all the helpful advice.


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11/4/2004 5:23:37 AM

 
Crystal Williams  
 
 
Here are some shots from the wedding


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11/4/2004 5:28:53 AM

 
Crystal Williams  
 
BetterPhoto.com Editor's Pick   Blushing Bide
Blushing Bide
St. Anthony's in Ft; Lauderdale, FL
With Flash

© Crystal Williams
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
  At The Altar
At The Altar
St. Anthony's in Ft; Lauderdale, FL
Without Flash

© Crystal Williams
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
  Gift to Mary
Gift to Mary
St. Anthony's in Ft; Lauderdale, FL
Without Flash

© Crystal Williams
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
  With This Ring
With This Ring
St. Anthony's in Ft; Lauderdale, FL
With Flash

© Crystal Williams
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
  The New Mr. and Mrs.
The New Mr. and Mrs.
St. Anthony's in Ft; Lauderdale, FL
With Flash

© Crystal Williams
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
 
Technical Difficulty before. Here are the pictures.


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11/4/2004 5:49:59 AM

 
Lori Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/31/2004
  Crystal, those are great pictures!!!! Looks like you really did well.


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11/4/2004 5:25:58 PM

 
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