Good Afternoon. Wedding season is approaching. I can hardly wait! Last night I had an engagement session and it got me so excited for wedding season 2014. Today I have another Wedding Tip Wednesday article for you. The tips expressed are from my standpoint of a seasoned wedding photographer.
For today’s tip we are talking about the placement of the pastor.
For those who have seen me in action, you know that I am a non-obtrusive photographer. I like staying way back with my zoom lens so that I am not a distraction to guests, the bride, groom and their families.
I love the photos below as the couples are saying their vows and placing their rings on. The thing I love about each photo is that you can see the look on their faces as well as the beauty of the bridal gown.
The reason I wanted to discuss the placement of the Pastor is because I have photographed several weddings lately where the pastor has stood in front of the couple with his/her back to the guests.
I inquired about this trend and found that the purpose was so the guests could see the faces of the couple and the couple could see the guests. That I do understand. But in my opinion this is a misconception. You see, with the pastors back to the guests – his back is what they see. They don’t actually get to see the faces that well. And most of the time guests cannot witness the exchange of rings because their view is obstructed.
If the guests have this view then you guessed it… so does the camera.
My job during the ceremony is to capture the highlights of the wedding. Vows, ring exchange, loving expressions, sometimes tears. But, when the pastor is standing with his back to the congregation/camera those shots are often not possible.
I recently asked a couple whose pastor stood in front of them if they liked seeing their guests. Their answer was that it actually made them more nervous. The bride realized (and so did the mom of the bride) that the guests couldn’t enjoy the beauty of the back of the bridal gown which was something that this particular bride loved most about her dress.
Pastor’s aren’t photographers so they aren’t going to have the same perception of this stance at the wedding. They are used to facing a congregation full of people each and every week during their church service. I do think that this was intitially intended to be a good thing for the guests and the couples. But in reality it just doesn’t work well.
There you have it. My 2 cents today for Wedding Tip Wednesday.
Have a blessed day.