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As a wedding photographer, you will most likely find yourself photographing weddings in all sorts of locations. While some couples love to have an outdoor wedding, others choose to go for a church wedding ceremony. As beautiful as it is to photograph the colorful stained glass, architecture, and interiors of the church using different angles and perspectives, church wedding photography also presents its set of challenges. That’s where we come in. If your next wedding is set to be in a church and you’re looking for some simple church wedding ceremony photography tips to help you create stunning pictures, this blog is custom-made for you.

The Beauty And Challenges Of Church Wedding Photography

a grand church wedding ceremony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

You might have trouble with lighting or finding the right angle to photograph the ceremony, or not enough space to stand, but since the wedding ceremony is a crucial part of your couple’s big day, you need to be ready and come prepared to switch between different camera settings and modes. Here are some tips that could help you shoot spectacular church wedding ceremonies. 

Related Read: Wedding Ceremony Photography Guide

Church Wedding Ceremony Photography Ideas And Tips

1. Acknowledge Church Wedding Photography Restrictions

Before the wedding day, make sure that you and your couple are aware of the church’s photography restrictions and limitations. Some church officials might not like you getting in the way and disturbing the sanctity of the wedding nuptials, or they might also request you to take pictures from certain places and at certain times during and after the ceremony. Most churches are also strict about the “no flash” policy. Hence, it is important to learn about the photography rules of the church and have an open discussion with your couple about what kind of photos they can expect during the ceremony. 

Our tip: Don’t leave this task till the end. Go to the location before the wedding day, so you are well aware of the rules and have time to discuss them with your couple. 

Suggested Read: 10 Tips For Indoor Wedding Photography

2. Light Up Photos Using Your Camera

infographic stating use in-built camera settings to improve picture quality

Like we said above, you are most likely to face lighting issues during a church wedding ceremony, especially when you are not allowed to use flash. In a church, you need to get the best shots from all the right angles, and that may not always be possible as the lighting may not be perfect. Some church wedding ceremony lighting tips include pushing the ISO of your frame camera to a desirable limit. You will need to increase your ISO limit if you are in a low-lit church as it will improve your camera sensor’s sensitivity to light and provide higher exposure levels in your images, helping you capture a picture-perfect moment of your couple.

Our tip: If you really want to learn how to shoot a wedding in a dark church, we’d suggest that you get acquainted with your camera. This will help you create amazing photos in not just low light scenarios but even when there’s too much light.

Suggested Read: Photography Lighting Setups For The Wedding Family Formals

3. Shoot Through Spaces

the groom waiting for the bride at the altar viewed through a small gap
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

Are you looking for different wedding ceremony photography angles to create magical portraits for your couple? When your couple is having a wedding ceremony in a church, try peeping your lens through small openings and create a great frame-in-frame picture! In your church wedding photography shot list, try incorporating some easy, safe shots. If you get one shot wrong, chances are that your couple might still be standing in the same position for a few more minutes. Once you are done with taking all the must-have ceremony photos, consider experimenting with angles and perspectives using things around you.

Related Read: 30 Must-Have Wedding Ceremony Shots To Add To Your Shot List

4. Experiment With Silhouettes

a silhouette image of the bride and groom standing in front of a big church window
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography

If you are shooting a church wedding ceremony, and the church has massive stained windows, you could pose your couple by the windows and try capturing some killer silhouettes by using the natural light. Try lowering your ISO and increasing the aperture value. After the wedding ceremony ends, you can request your couple to step inside the church and direct them to stand in front of the window and photograph some great church wedding silhouettes. 

Related Read: Silhouette Wedding Photography Inspiration From SDE Customers

5. Post-Nuptial Photos

a newlywed bride and a groom standing holding each other's hands in front of a church
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @photography_by_orlando

Your couple’s church wedding ceremony has finally come to an end, and they’ve just been pronounced as husband and wife! Another must-have wedding picture of your couple is them walking up the aisle with guests on either side, cheering them on and high-fiving them! If your couple has planned and provided their guests with confetti or flower petals to throw in the air as they walk together, be prepared and stay in front of the couple to capture all their emotions! 

As your couple exits from the church, smiling ear-to-ear, with the bridal party following them, make sure you capture this special moment so that you can provide them with a memorable couples portrait. You can also collect everyone from the ceremony to stand on the church steps and photograph a wholesome group picture! Moreover, if your couple has time and the church’s architecture calls for it, take some portraits of them with the church in the backdrop. This is when you can really add some drama to the wedding photos. Alternatively, you could also take more photos of your couple inside the church once everyone has left. 

Our tip: Remember to change your camera settings when you move outdoors for more couple portraits and group pictures. Also, since you won’t have much time, prepare a list of poses and guide your couple through them to get the best shots.

Further Read: Ceremony Photos Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

While capturing your couple’s church wedding ceremony can be challenging, as their photographer, it’s also your job to ensure you do your best. Whether you have to change your camera settings for church wedding photography, or shoot through different spaces or carry an extra set of lenses, try to make sure that you reach the venue prepared to deal with any kind of photography issue so you can capture all the key moments of your couple’s big day. Also, a wedding photography tip that we always stand by: Scout the location in advance to get a better idea of how you’d be taking photos on the big day.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you hone your craft! And besides offering you tips on how to do that, we also help with that by taking editing off your plate with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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