No one seems to want to talk about this, but if you were to ask any photographer or cinematographer, I bet they would all share similar experiences about how strict churches dramatically limit the quality of their work. There is nothing worse than having an unhappy church representative walk up to you and say you aren’t allowed to do your job because of some unprofessional videographer or photographer who set a bad example in the past.
It’s vital for the cinematographer and photographer, no matter their beliefs, to respect the sanctity of the ceremony, but it’s also essential that the church officials understand the wishes and expectations of their couples that hired these vendors. When this mutual respect is forgotten it leads to unhappy officiants, frustrated vendors and, most importantly, a disappointed couple. It may seem impossible to bring all of these different people together, but this complex problem can be fixed with one thing, communication.
- Before booking church ask for all rules and regulations for vendors
- If any rules seem strict ask for the reason why
- Understand and be comfortable with the rules given by the church
- Share rules with your cinematographer and photographer and ask if there are any concerns
- If there are issues share them with church and express your concern
- No Tripods: The main reason we can get solid footage in your ceremony is specifically because we are on tripods.
- Literally No Movement: Although we stay in the same position for 90% of the ceremony we may need to adjust a few feet forward or back to avoid obstacles that can ruin our shots.
- Can only shoot from the back of the church: The reactions of your family and friends are important to capture. Did the father of the bride break down, was grandma smiling ear to ear? If we are stuck in the back of the church all you will see is the backs of their heads.
- No moving up during vows: Many churches institute this rule because they are worried about the cinematographers and photographers blocking your guests. It’s an understandable worry, but a good vendor will know how far he/she can go up before crossing the line. The fact is the closer the angle the more emotional the footage.
In the end we found that we regularly get compliments from churches because of how unobtrusive we were during the filming process. Remember, that as long as everyone is respectful towards each other, we can all be happy.