Update: if you are new here and desire an explanation of what my Wedding Vendor Love Series is allll about – click that link! This week I’m chatting about working with Officiants & Ceremonies!
Since I was raised Catholic, I started out with an easier time than most photographers. I knew those “long masses” like the back of my hand. When to sit, when to stand, how to be respectful and STILL capture the images I needed.
I was told again and again by photographers that I wouldn’t be able to capture it without flashes, or even get the candids I wanted without longer lenses. I’m happy to say they were all wrong.
When working with couples that have a ceremony in a Catholic Church, I immediately chat with the coordinator and/or Priest. Why? Because contrary to popular belief: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DAY. This is the moment my people will be married.
I want to know everything I can – what is specific to this church, or if there are any restrictions: if I am allowed to squat in the middle of the aisle, if the couple is placing a rose at the statue of Mary and so on. Some churches require photographers do specific things, and I want to make sure I am extremely reverent when performing my job. This doesn’t bother me if I’m not allowed to stand in a certain place, or stop shooting at a point in time. I don’t mind following the rules to the Churches, because they are providing the most important service of all – the marriage! My couples are quite understanding of the specifications when it comes to these restrictions, for which I am incredibly grateful.
When working with Officiants and Ceremonies outside of a Church – my approach remains the same. I make sure to explain what I will be doing and go over the layout of the service (short or long). I make it a point to state that my aim is not to distract anyone, and act as if I am blending into the floor. If they have any questions for me or suggestions on what would work best (especially if they have worked at the venue before) I take them with a huge smile on my face.
Pro Tip: Regardless of what type of service, THANK the officiant at the end of the service. Tell them it was wonderful, and they did a fantastic job! 🙂 Kindness goes a long way my friends.
🙂 And, there you go.