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Watch this Officiant Stop a Wedding to Tell the Wedding Photographer to Leave
Read the original blog post
September 18, 2013
10:11 pm
Eric Reagan
Forum Posts: 2678
Member Since:
December 1, 2006

Wedding Officiant Asks Photographer to Leave

Oh man, this is just painful to watch. I feel bad for the bride and groom, who are clearly caught off guard by the exchanged.


Muffled in the background, you can hear the photographer ask them "Do you want me to leave?" After the bride responds, the photographer and…

September 18, 2013
10:51 pm
Tim L

Bad form on the officiant? I think you mean the priest or pastor, a religious leader who conducts religious ceremonies.

I can't agree with you on this one, Eric, for the exact reason the priest/pastor expressed. If you view a marriage ceremony as a solemn event centered around God, the photographer's actions are distracting and disrespectful. If it was a secular ceremony then it would be different. You hit the nail on the head when you say that this should have been discussed beforehand—assuming it wasn't—and if the photographers didn't take the time to find out then this is what happens. Very unprofessional.

I can understand why anyone who wasn't brought up in the church might feel differently but I can guarantee that the priest didn't go to this couple and solicit them to have their ceremony conducted by him. It was almost certainly the opposite.

September 18, 2013
11:49 pm
Geno T

They're up there laughing (how solemn was that?) The guy is a jerk.

September 18, 2013
11:54 pm
dave b.

exactly...guy was up there cracking solemn was that?...guy was a pompous ass...clearly making it all about him and not giving a rats a** about the bride and groom...what a douche...

September 19, 2013
12:09 am

Sorry Geno don't think the priest was a jerk he may have been rude but the photographer and videographer were certainly un professional. All you could hear over the vows was the clicking of the shutter on the camera no need for that, was there any fast motion going on don't think so why the need for consecutive release mode? Was he hoping to capture a special moment we could not see? These are the types of photographers that give the real photographers a bad name and because of them the clergy/priest have certain rules. I am pretty sure this guy did not speak to the priest before the ceremony because this priest would have certainly told him when it was appropriate to shoot and not.

September 19, 2013
12:14 am

Fuck that crap, He was in the wrong!!

The photographers were doing the job they were paid to do, They dont need to talk with the priest... He is just the hired help, Nothing more

September 19, 2013
1:12 am

What an ASSHOLE!! All those so called church old farts are full of themselves. The photographer was doing his job as he sees fit. The couple hired him to do just that. This guy knows how irrelevant he was five minutes before the ceremony and how irrelevant he is after, so he didn't want anyone sharing his minuscule limelight. I agree he is just the hired help, when he's not molesting boys that is. JERK!

September 19, 2013
1:59 am

I number of years ago when scouting a church for a wedding video with the bride, the church coordinator started telling us where we could and could not shot from... essentially it was mostly where we could no shoot from, which was most of the church. After a quick discussion with the bride where we told her that we would not be able capture any of her or her groom's faces and expressions, etc. and that we would essentially be filming their backs for the entire ceremony and they shouldn't waste their money, the bride took the coordinator aside for a quiet discussion. Soon thereafter about half the do not go areas became accessible to us.

September 19, 2013
2:34 am
dave b.

...he was probably afraid that if he got his picture taken someone would recognize him...pervert...

September 19, 2013
8:43 am

I always, always talk to officiants before wedding. I also discuss my photography with the videographer. I ask them whether I can stand here or there, I ask for permission. I always got possitive reactions. Our task is to capture the moments of wedding - for years to come. This is how pro photographer needs to prepare wed photoshoot.

If you forget to ask, if you are disturbing, no wonder that you are later surprised - you were not prepared, you well deserve it. Sorry, your fault.

Quite frankly - the officiant on the video is kinda oversensitive, but I blame the videographer rather than him.

September 19, 2013
10:19 am
John C

The officiant was entitled to complain. If the ceremony was done by a non religious person, you could expect as many photographs as possible to be taken but as soon as the couple commision 'God' to officiate, they have to go by the cleric's rules. Inconvenient but they should accept that. I have been told to back off myself and I was annoyed, you only want the best shot. It's about standing in someone else's shoes.

September 19, 2013
11:28 am
Allan Gichigi

As a wedding photographer I have been in similar situations. it's a double edged sword, if you talk with the priest beforehand. Sometimes the restrictions are way too much, that it renders your service useless. Then if you don't you run a chance of having this happen. So just a matter of reading the mood and at times pushing your luck, what works for me is not to stay in the same spot for too long, so you don't become a target.

September 19, 2013
3:00 pm

If this was inside of a church, It would be a bit different. But the Officiant does not own the grass and has no right to ask the photographer to move. Not to mention that doing it so vocally in the middle of the ceremony is horrible...and obviously not what the couple wanted judging by their expressions. But seriously, if you want to be a pro photographer, get some pro gear. A 70-200 2.8 lens is a must have and my 5D3 has a silent mode that makes the camera very difficult to hear. They should never have been this close to begin with.

September 20, 2013
5:57 am

I concur with your comment.
First off, this does not look like a Catholic Wedding since it did not happen inside the church- a vital requirement.
The clicking of the cameras in the background is annoying and no wonder the officiant is annoyed. This is an occasion where the sanctity of marriage is affirmed so the officiant needs to be respected no matter how short his role is.

September 20, 2013
1:16 pm
Gary E. Karcz

And this is why I shoot real estate instead of weddings: I've yet to have a house kick me out...

September 20, 2013
4:12 pm

The pastor should have quietly asked the bride and groom if they were as distracted by the photographer as he was. As much as the pastor is a necessary part of any wedding, so is the photographer. I have yet to attend a wedding that isn't fully photographed. If the bride and groom were distracted, then, the pastor could have QUIETLY asked the photographer to use a longer lens and stand to the back of the last row. This pastor was way out of line with the way he handled it. And, frankly, should have kept his mouth shut. Just as much his fault for not asking the photographer ahead of the ceremony to stand to the back. If I were the groom, I'd be pissed at the pastor.....not the photographer.

September 20, 2013
6:22 pm

Any real professional knows to shoot from distance as soon as the religious part begins. Clacking of the shutter is disruptive and if the officiant has to stop and start it ruins his concentration. The onus is on the photographer to ask beforehand what is acceptable. The onus is on the photog and videog to meet the officiant on their own time before and set guidelines. And put the camera on silent mode and use a long 2.8 lens and not the same 24-70 for every picture. The priest is employed by gratuity for the church and the photog is all for profit. I'll bet there's five minutes of annoying sounds interfering with the guy doing his job of marrying the couple and entertaining the guests. That's what happens when weekend warrior shooters call themselves makes the real pros look both good and bad. All the haters here have either never shot a wedding or are just as bad as the twits in the video.

September 20, 2013
10:40 pm

I think you miss the point - this photographer didn't just walk up to this wedding and take photos without permission, he was paid to fake the images that the bride and groom will cherish for the rest of their lives. If they wanted the photographer to not catch the vows, the kiss, the rings - they could have told him. But the reason people hire photographers like me is to catch those moments while everyone they love and care about can focus on the moment. This religious moron knows this, he looks like this wasn't his first rodeo...

I have never once heard from a bride and groom to NOT catch those moments. True, I speak to the official )(pastor, priest, whatever) ahead of time to discuss what is appropriate. But if this photographer did not take the time to speak to him - the official should have... and they could have found a middle ground.

But to stop the wedding because of shutter noise is extremely rude to the bride and groom. They wanted a beautiful day without any drama. This idiot should know this too. Making a scene at a wedding by stopping and acting like an ass - he is wrong - more wrong than forgetting to discuss it again.

When you get married - if you think its just about god - don't hire a photographer. I am sure you would want those moments caught on film yourself. I happen to be really religious - but you're just looking for an argument about god - and that is despicable as well.

September 21, 2013
11:25 am

I hate to say this, get a quiter camera...I don't think the officiant mind them being behind him...but the shutter sound is just unbearable. I can hear them very clearly in the video. Technology has moved away from the noisy mechanical shutters. Mirrorless is going to sink the SLR sooner or later...mark my word.

September 21, 2013
1:49 pm

I agree it was rather annoying to hear the shutter going off like that! And besides the angle he was shooting if he wasn't shooting with a zoom lens why was he shooting this angle anyways he would of been greeting nothing but the back of the priest head if he was shooting with a wider lens!

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