Reverence and Wedding Photographs

In September a shocking video hit the Internet which showed a minister pausing a wedding to tell the photographer to leave.

It seems obvious to me that wedding photographers should not be disturbing or distracting people from the wedding service. No sane person thinks that the photography is anywhere near as important as the actual joining of two persons in holy matrimony. The photography is handmaid to the solemnity, not the solemnity to the photography. Because the ordinance of God is greater than the preferences even of the couple to be married, even the approval of the bride and groom themselves does not justify the irreverence that mars many a wedding. That the photographer in the video is impenitent – whatever one thinks of what the minister did – is proof positive that he should not have been hired.

I am beginning to wonder whether photographers should take shots at all once the wedding service has begun in earnest, at ‘Dearly beloved’. While I can appreciate the videography that captured for the world the beautiful wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I also wonder how well the videographer was able to participate reverently in the service, focusing not first on capturing shots but rather on God and on the solemn calling into which William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton were entering. At no time, I dare say, is a Christian attending a Christian worship service not obliged to take reverent part; nor should Christians rely on the services of pagans to do what Christians cannot, for we expect at the Resurrection of the Dead that all who live will be Christians. What we ask and allow wedding photographers and videographers to do, then, should be only what we can expect a Christian wedding guest to do without sacrificing the reverence of either himself or the other guests.

After the wedding, of course, there are still many moments worth capturing, which the wedded couple will wish to have and share. What’s realistic to ask of wedding photographers?


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