3 Top Tips for Taking Photos in a Church
Words by Utterly Printable
This guide is for anyone hoping to have some beautiful photos after their big day in church. Whether you’re hoping to put together some christening thank you cards, communion thank you cards, or even some affordable wedding thank you cards, then this article is for you.
Many events you’re invited to take place in a church, specifically weddings, christenings and first communions. It is natural to want to capture the event but there are certain things you should be aware of when you are taking pictures in a church. So, here are some great tips to help you get the best images at the end of the day.
There May be Restrictions
A good photographer is never seen. Of course we do not mean that literally, people will be aware of you, but you should not cause any disturbance to what is happening around the ceremony that is in progress. Some officials are just not fans of having a photographer in their building, so you need to make sure that it’s allowed before you begin. You are looking for a camera that has a silent shutter and doesn’t make any noise. You also need to ensure that you are not a distraction to the other guests who are there to be part of the celebration.
In some cases, especially for weddings, there may be a rehearsal in which case attending that will help you to understand how the ceremony is going to flow and give you a chance to spot some really good shots and work out where you want to position yourself.
Consider Your Surroundings
Churches tend to be dark buildings, and a simple mobile phone flash is it going to have very little effect on lighting the area. A large professional flash could also be distracting so again you need to take good care when you plan your shots. One advantage of churches as they have interesting backdrops, with stained-glass windows, ornate pews and much more. This will give you the opportunity to capture some posed shots after the ceremony in which case a brighter flash won’t matter as you will not be disturbing anyone. Bear in mind though that some churches do not allow flash photography at all, and this is something you need to get to the bottom of before you begin.
Learn the Settings of Your Camera
Most of us spend our days doing point-and-shoot photography with very little composition, or forethought. If you are going to be doing a church photo shoot you need to learn the settings for your camera. Mobile phones cannot always replicate settings offered by professional cameras but if you had the choice you would set up as follows:
A full frame camera will offer the best performance in low light conditions. It also has a better tolerance of higher ISOs and gives quality images. The larger the camera sensor the more light it is able to gather. Using a prime lens gives you access to a wider aperture which again gives more light to the sensor in the camera to counteract the darkness found in churches.
Finally, you need to consider your aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Your aperture should be open to allowing light, the shutter speed should be slowed down, and the ISO should be high.
If you do manage to nail a great snap at a big ceremony, your friends will definitely thank you, especially when it comes to thank you card printing. For those with church photos from their wedding day, we have a charming range of folded wedding thank you cards. For those of you going to church with a baby in tow, we have an unbeatable collection of christening thank you cards which always look great with a photo from the font. Likewise, for those of you with a son or daughter going to church for their First Holy Communion, we have photographic communion thank you cards. Finally, to send out solemn gratitude to well-wishers after one of life’s saddest events, we have our range of funeral thank you cards which pair particularly well when paired with an elegant church photo.