“Let your speech be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each
Colossians 4:6

Let’s have a conversation about wedding photography in the church. A friendly, open, helpful

Imagine you haven’t been inside a church building in years. Perhaps you’ve never been inside a
church building. You have no idea if you’re going to be made to feel welcome, or made to feel
like an outsider. But you’ve got a job to do. For clients who’ve hired you and paid you money.
This is not a hobby. Instead it’s a job that’s important. One you’ve trained for. The kind of job
where you’ve got one chance to get it right. There’s no practice run, or re-take. You seek out the
church officer, or the minister, ready to say hello. Because they’re part of the wedding team. You
all are. Weddings are a team effort.

And then. Instead of smile you’re welcome with a scowl. You’re hit with a barrage of negativity:
rules of where you can and can’t stand, of not moving, of only being allowed to take 2
photographs throughout the entire ceremony. You might even be told you’re unable to do your
job at all, or worse that the ceremony will be stopped and you’ll be physically ejected from the
church if you so much as move the camera to your face.

I wish I could say that none of these things have happened to us in our 24 year photography
career. I wish I could say that we have felt the welcome and love of Jesus in every church we’ve
stepped into over the years. But sadly in many cases that has not been our reality.

Of course we’ve heard all of the stories: photographers who ran around the church causing a
distraction, climbing on pews, once even a pulpit. Photographers who blinded ministers with
their frantic flash. Urban myths passed on throughout the presbytery, or regular occurrence we’ll
never know. But right now we would like to say sorry on behalf of all wedding photographers for
any occasions where this has happened. Where anything short of professional conduct has
taken place. We agree that none of this behaviour is appropriate. And we know all professional
wedding photographers would agree.

We think now it’s time to change the narrative and the urban myths that abound. It’s time that
churches become a place where people want to get married, where all are made to feel
welcome. And we believe it should start with friendship. With open conversations. With
kindness. And with speech that is gracious and flavoured with salt.

What will be remembered in the years to come? What is remembered is what is felt and what
seen. Photographs of a wedding ceremony will always help people remember how they felt in
that moment and the commitment made. As a photographer and as a Christian these are the
kind of photographs I want to take.

Niels and Alie Calvert from Blue Sky Photography