Weddings are ‘one-off’ events and it is understandable that people wish to try to capture the special day. However, weddings are primarily acts of worship that have their own, often complex, dynamics. In trying to take photographs good photographers will be aware that they need to be careful not to change what they are observing.
We are grateful that most photographers and videographers are professional, discrete and considerate. However, experience has shown that some are less discrete and are not considerate. To avoid any misunderstandings that would cause the priest to stop the service and have the photographer/videographer removed, please find below the rules that the Rector and Parochial Church Councils have agreed for photography and videography in St. Peter & St. Paul, Saltwood and St. Stephen, Lympne.
- We do not allow photographs or videos to be taken during the service by members of the congregation. At the exit of the bride and groom this rule is relaxed.
- Videographers should possess the relevant MCPS licence and professional insurance. They also need to complete the church’s own indemnity form. Copies of licence, insurance and the indemnity form must be presented to the officiating priest at least two days before the day of the service. Presentation ‘on the door’ as the service begins is not acceptable and permission will be refused.
- Photographers/videographers should not leave bags or tripods in places that constitute a trip hazard. The safekeeping of equipment is the photographer/videographer’s responsibility and should be covered by their own insurance.
- Generally, photography of children in Church is not permitted by our Safeguarding Policy. However, we recognise that whilst weddings are public services, in practice, they mainly constitute gatherings of family and friends. A notice is usually given at the start of the service to advise carers of children that photographs and/or video are being taken.
- Videographers are not permitted additional lighting. Photographers may use flash at the entrance of the bride, the signing of the registers and the exit of bride and groom. Flash must not be used at other times during the service. Photographers must not take photographs during the exchange of the vows – ‘mirror-slap’ is quite audible in both churches.
- If videographers have spoken with the priest before the wedding rehearsal there may be some flexibility in positioning. If no such prior arrangements have been made videos will be taken from a static tripod at the back of the church. Photographers/videographers stay at the rear of the church during the service and must only move discretely (see overleaf). At the declarations, the couple face the congregation and at the exchange of rings they face each other. Photographs may not be taken during the exchange of the vows. At the signing of the registers photographers/videographers may join the wedding party. Photographs/video of the register entry may only be taken if it is the only entry on the page (Data Protection Act 1998).
- A non-professional photographer/videographer (e.g. a family friend) may be used in place of a professional photographer but they should be made aware of these rules and be sensitive to the setting and occasion. In this case, attendance by the chosen photographer/videographer at the rehearsal is requested for everyone’s benefit.