Friday, April 23, 2010

Keeping The Faith: Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and More

Good Morning Everybody,

I can't believe this is our last full day in San Jose del Cabo. The weather has been perfect all week and the entire gang has enjoyed their stay. We head out tomorrow about noon and don't get back to Dayton, Ohio till about 10:00p.m. Then make the hour long drive back home. One day off and I start my Digital Master Class on Monday. That's always a good time too.

Friday Photo School Hey, on a completely different note, I got an email from Will Crocket about doing an episode on his brand new Friday Photo School. If you haven't checked it out yet, here is the link to some great education by some of the best instructors.

I talked with Will yesterday and it sounds like quite the operation he has put together. His FPS reaches over 6000 photogs worldwide on a monthly basis and continues to grow. It looks like I'll be scheduled the first Friday in August. It all sounds very exciting - I'll keep you posted.

OK, gang, time to get on with today's post. I've written it a bit differently than the last "Keeping the Faith" posts because of the similarity of two previous posts on Catholic and Baptist weddings.

This week I'm walking you through the service from start to finish and pointing out what to shoot and when. It provides a good overview of non-catholic Christians weddings and some shooting suggestions for good measure. So, let's get to it.

Keeping The Faith: Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and More

I already discussed Catholic weddings [link] and Baptist weddings [link]. Let's try to cover the rest of the bases today. Most non catholic Christian weddings are all pretty similar to the Baptist weddings which I discussed in a previous post.

The order of the events goes something like this.

Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.

1. Music starts before the wedding - I always try to get a few shots of the guests arriving and being greeted by the parents. I also capture a few of the guests being seated and take a few over-all scene setters too.

2. Girls line up in the back of church. the bride may or may not be with the girls - she may be with her dad. This is a great time to get a few reportage types of shots.

3. The girls head down the aisle. Once they are all in place in the front of church, the church assistant will open the doors so that all the guests can see the Bride and her dad at the back of church. This is a good time to get some some great shots of bride and dad alone. Often there are shared glances and loving whispers.

ars09474. Bride and dad start down aisle. I position myself about half way down the aisle and take several shots of the bride and her dad both full length and close ups.

5. Next I move quickly to the left aisle, move quickly to the front of the church to catch the dad handing his daughter off to the groom. Dad will stop at the front of church, lift the veil from his daughter's face and give her a kiss.

6. He will shake the groom's hand and place his daughter's hand in the groom's hand. There is lots of action not to be missed. Be sure to get mom's reaction to the moments where the dad gives his daughter away. Be sure to get some great reactions from the groom too. It is OK to shoot all these with flash. We use a two flash set up to get a much more dimensional feel to the images.

7. My flash is now turned OFF until the bride and groom come back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. I quickly make my way to the back of the church down a side aisle.

aws10848. Next there will be readings from special guests of honor. I always take photographs of the readers, but they are seldom purchased by the couple for the collection. I still take them because I think those images make for a more rounded coverage.

9. One we have the readings and a little more music, the minister will call up the wedding party to be with the wedding couple in the front of the church.

10. Everything proceeds pretty much like I described for the Catholic and Baptist weddings earlier. The minister will ask for the rings from the best man, I always try to get that shot, and then hand the bride's ring to the groom.

auz286711. Next will be the bride's turn to put the ring on the groom. These are super important shots to take. I usually use my 70-300mm IS DO lens on my Canon 7D. that gives me almost 500mm's of up close and personal shooting.

12. The wedding party will make their way back down to their seats after the exchange of the vows. Oh, I forgot to mention it, but I like to take the ring exchange shots from the balcony. Plus, don't forget to get a few overall shots as well as to range your focal lengths for good variety in the images.

avv288613. Now it's unity candle lighting time. Don't miss the bride and groom lighting the center unity candle. After lighting the candle, they will stand usually facing each other while a song is being played.

14. Now it's back to their regular position in the front of church where the service will continue sometimes with the Lord's prayer. OK, here is where things can get changed up a bit depending on the faith denomination of the church. The Catholics ALWAYS have a communion service if it is a full mass. And, the entire congregation participates.

15. Non-Catholic Christian weddings may have a communion service but only for the bride and groom. Pay attention to what's going on and don't miss the communion service if it takes place.

ayc127216. After the communion service, if it takes place, the ceremony wraps up with the minister saying a few final words and the music picking up again. The bride and groom are introduced to the congregation, they kiss, and begin the recessional up the aisle. Be sure to get lots of shots. I would suggest you re-read my post on Catholic weddings, link below.

That pretty much wraps up the services for a non-catholic wedding. They are about half as long, usually 20 – 30 minutes, as a catholic wedding so pay attention and be sure not to miss any of the ceremony's activities. In a nutshell, it's procession, readers, wedding vows, unity candle, prayer, and recessional with a few minor items sometimes added, but you should know what those items are based on your planning meeting with the bride and groom before the wedding.

Next week I wrap the series with a discussion on an Indian/Pakistani wedding. They are really fun to photograph and can be up to a four day event. So, stay tuned!

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Hey gang, that's it for me today. This is our last day in paradise and we are going to make the best of it. I'll plan to see everyone back on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati next week.

Have a great weekend and I'll see ya' on Monday.

Adios Everybody, –David

Related Links:

Shooting Catholic Weddings [link]

Shooting Baptist Weddings [link]

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