This is the second in a two-post series about christening photography–see the first here.
Photographs tell stories, and planning your christening event includes giving some thought to the images you want to have your photographer capture on your special day. Arpi Pap, a master at shooting baptismal ceremonies, advises:
“Imagine that your best friend missed the event and you want to show what happened with all things…not just the ‘VIPs’.”
I love that advice–it’s a great perspective to have in mind, and a good way to inspire creativity. How would you document the day for someone who couldn’t be there?
“Look for details: a hand, a bracelet, shoes, a cross, a bible, stained windows…all are part of the story and they build up to the culminant moment/picture. Candid moments are all around, just let the moment happen, [think beyond subjects looking] at the camera. Look for emotions [and interactions:] a joke told by the grandfather, a kid running, annoying the priest, etc.”
At a minimum, it’s important to make a list of the shots you for-sure have to have. Here’s a comprehensive list of ideas:
-‘Before’ shots: hanging dress/outfit, accessories, child being dressed, invitations
-Venue: exterior, interior (as allowed by the church), service folders, flowers or event decorations
-Ceremony details: parents/godparents with baby around the font, clergyman w/baby (as allowed by the church)
-Individual shots of baby held by: mother, father, Godparents (singly), siblings, grandparents
-Group shots of baby with: parents, Godparents, siblings, grandparents, all attendees
-Close-up details: dress/outfit, baby’s feet and hands, crosses or religious jewelry gifted to the baby, baby with a bible
(Be aware that each church has its own guidelines and policies on photography. Many denominations and/or clergy do not permit actual photos inside the church or of the ceremony itself. Be sure to consult with your officiator to know what is correct for your service.)