tips for wedding photography in a church

16, January 2016

Photographing a wedding in a church is an important part of wedding photographer, however, there are aspects of this which make it particularly challenging.

1. Be discrete

As a wedding photographer in a church, you need to be extremely discrete. You are there to record the event but not be part of it. Church weddings often impose strict limitations on where a photographer may go, limits the photographers movement during parts of the ceremony and  many prohibit the use of flash lighting. 

Understand what the correct protocol is for the church as each one is different. Ensure the client is aware of these limitations, check with the church officials on arrival, be pleasant and understanding and arrange your photography to comply as you do not want to cause issues for the clients.

2. Lighting

Lighting is critical in churches, often with low lighting and a mixture of fluorescent  and tungsten lights. Also there is the effect of the stained glass windows. Use a camera that allows you manual control over the main exposure settings. Use the largest aperture lens you can and have steady hand. 

White balance will be critical with the varied lighting sources, Shooting in RAW will allow you to make white balance correction during your post processing work flow.

3. ISO

Boost your sensitivity by setting the ISO higher. The higher ISO can introduce graininess and noise however there are many newer high spec cameras where extreme ISO can produce reasonable results.

4. Shutter speed

You will more than likely need slow shutter speeds but remember to keep it no higher than the focal length of your lens to limit camera shake and blurred shots. e.g 100mm lens – keep shutter speed higher the 1/100th sec.

5.  Aperture

Usually the aperture will be as large as possible for the reduced light but this will mean shallower depth of field. Shallow depth of field can enhance the image however it makes focusing even more critical to get the sharp images.

Come along and learn from real wedding photographers and partake in a real wedding to understand today’s wedding photography and quickly gain the knowledge that will make your wedding shoots more successful.