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Old October 27th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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It's discriminatory, but discrimination law seems mostly based on race, creed, national origin and sexual orientation factors. If you have one of those factors and are refused access you would have a case.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #17
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IT is great loss since it is one of the most prestigious churches in Chicago downtown area; It creates a precedence and if it is not confronted it could set an example for other churches; that would create very unbusinesslike, uncompetitive situation, inviting corruption etc. when vendors would have to "be creative" to get on the "preferred vendors" lists. Can you imagine that??? If you have client interested in your services because you are better than other companies (that's healthy competition and that's why they come to you and NOT to company from "preferred vendors list") and suddenly you are prohibited to provide service for entire wedding day because this particular church will not let you work there, that's not fair. They (church) don't know ANYTHING about your company (although you might have worked there before), they never had a problem with your company, they never interviewed you and still hey PREEMPTIVELY ban you based on "past experience with other comapnies"!!! That's the POINT. If they want to ban some other companies from performing services on their premises based on "bad experience" with them in the past - that's different ball game BUT to create a list of "allowed vendors" is kind of discrimination (and I think it touches anti-trust laws because I am not allowed to compete with the company from "preferred list" even though I have client who'd choose my services over theirs but they can't due to limitations set by that church they'd like to have their weedding at); and quite frankly it is misunderstanding to call such a list of "preferred" vendors since there is no chance to get on it!

Last edited by Marius Boruch; October 27th, 2009 at 01:51 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #18
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Here in the south the churches are very strict about camera placement. Everything from the back... NO MATTER WHAT!

Cameras be gone!

Sometimes I think it would be worth to have an assistant arrive early with a camera and shoot from the pew since guests aren't forbidden from snapping away every last shot!
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Old October 27th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #19
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Sorry, it has nothig to do with our discussion. Here we can't even be allowed to the church to film the wedding.....enjoy your freedom on the south side ;-)
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Old October 27th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #20
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is it worth aproaching the archdiocese and trying to discuss the matter at that level. I'm sure their concern is maintaining the sancity of the church & the ceremony and it's been spoiled by a few.

creating sensible guidlines for both photo & video is in everyone's interest.

"their house, their rules" ?

sorry, it's not their house - it's god's
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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #21
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Interesting that similar problems, and almost identical opinions are on UK based forums. Pretty well UK video people are saying the same things, and the overview here is similar, churches making rules video people don't like, and video people looking for legal reasons they can't do it. Sadly, I suspect it simply boils down to the fact it's their church, and if we don't like their rules, they're quite happy for the 'problem' wedding to go somewhere else. If they don't mind losing the booking - which is the worst that can happen, nothing we do will make any difference, because they don't actually care. Pursuasion, arm-twisting, even begging work if compromise can be reached - but if they don't wish to compromise, it's their right - isn't it.

Stupid it may be, but who knows what is really behind it? almost certainly bad behaviour by somebody in the video industry, and we all get tarred with the same brush!
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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #22
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I've had to talk my way into churches that didn't allow video at all. They're allowed to define the rules of that community... it's part of what makes them a separate denomination from other denominations... even separate churches within the same denomination are run differently, it strengthens the community. I've seen catholic churches completely change from priest to priest as they are reassigned as well.

In the end, it's a house of god and the priest/pastor is the arbitor of the communities access to worship and services. Whatever they believe is the "correct" way to run their worship center is the only way there is to run it.

In one church, we weren't allowed more than halfway up the place, glad I had a nice zoom lens on my camera :)
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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
is it worth aproaching the archdiocese and trying to discuss the matter at that level. I'm sure their concern is maintaining the sancity of the church & the ceremony and it's been spoiled by a few.

creating sensible guidlines for both photo & video is in everyone's interest.

"their house, their rules" ?

sorry, it's not their house - it's god's
Well, as a person who has shot in that particular church (aswell as many many many others that are under the Chicago Archdioses) I can tell you this, every church has their own rules and every priest, minister, Reverand and Rabbi has their own rules. There are some that let you have the run of the house and others in that same church that restrict you some are very restrictive. It's up to the officiant(s).
As for going to the archdioses it would be a waste of time because they will tell you the same thing. It's up to the priest in that church. The head preist is the one in charge of that church and it's he that decides and enforces the rules.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #24
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Unless you specifically have done something to cause yourself to be banned, then the church is discriminating against you. Even though it's legal discrimination, it's still a form of discrimination.

You have the legal right to protest any organization. Especially one that claims a moral high ground. My sign would say "Cameras are not evil" "Don't discriminate" ..or maybe something more specific. You won't win, but you at least bring to bear a consequence for their action that they didn't take into account.

We live in a free country in which everyone has the right to peacefully protest and it's wrong to say otherwise.

If I lived in Chicago I would start with next Sunday's service.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #25
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Rules in churches and other places of prey are common and well-known to vendors. I always like to ask my customers to talk to the priest at the rehearsal and discuss all possible issues with vendors. It always works.

But in my area there are at least two churches "suggesting" annual donation from vendors in exchange of "untouchable" status. And there is that 3rd church which has in-house vendor and will not let anyone else film it. B&G are being informed about it when booking the ceremony - many couples leave and never go back.

My thinking is - it's a business - also running a church. If you restrict access to it in any way (I'm not talking about making rules), it will draw customers and vendors away. Less customers/couples - less income from special services. I'm sure that when a couple ask you about particular church (ie. how well the pictures/video come out there), and you know that it's a headache to work there - you will do everything to convince the couple to change their mind.

Now, on a good note - my last wedding I did this season. The priest pulled me to the side before ceremony, when I was setting up, and said: "Place your camera right there on the altar - you'll have he best angle". My jaw dropped - I said it's not necessary, that I'm good on the bottom (still could easily see the couple), but he insisted. I was the 2nd most important person in the church :-) (not counting B&G)
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Old October 27th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #26
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I dont know about your neck of the woods but here in DE the churches make the rules and the Brides go by them. some churches dont allow Video or Photo at all but most are really easy going. from a spiritual aspect I think its not a good idea for a church to "blackball" without good reason because many of us are Wedding shooters on Saturday BUT Church goers on Sunday if you know what I mean. We have a hall in this area that only lets house people in and if you get lucky enough to get in they make your life difficult. Unfortunatley we are paying the price for the amatures that have gone before us. Personally I think Photographers have become the more disctracting factor now with digital and all. It used to be us.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #27
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VERY interesting topic. I too wonder of the legality of creating a list of 'allowed' vendors that excludes other vendors for no other reason than the simple fact that they haven't shot there before. Blacklisting vendors for infractions is one thing, but blacklisting vendors for no reason is another.

I just had the experience this summer of having such a confrontation with a church pastor that I have decided to never shoot at this church again. As a Christian, it is REALLY frustrating for me to have such horrible experiences with a person who supposedly represents my faith at the highest level.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #28
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The thing that bothers me is: I can see a Church banning video or photography but making an approved list is wrong. They simply need to have rules as strict as they want but just rules that everyone needs to follow and if they dont then they get banned. I think its legal but if you think about it the Bride is paying the church and the pastor so its really up to her.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:28 PM   #29
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Rather than making an "approved" list of vendors, maybe they should have made a list of "unapproved" vendors based on their past experiences. That would be fair to an out of town videographer or someone just getting into the business.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #30
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I'm not sure how it can not be legal. As a private organization they have the right to not allow any and/or every business to engage in commerce on their property.

My church has a contract with the local Coca-Cola distributor for a couple of vending machines. Does Pepsi have the right to say, hey, you can't discriminate, and set up a couple of their own vending machines? No. My church, for whatever reason, has chosen Coke as the "preferred distributor" for soft drinks on the premises. If Pepsi doesn't like it... too bad. If some third party rents the gym or something and says they a Pepsi vending machine... if the church says no, you can only use Coke, too bad.

Remember folks... when we're shooting someone's wedding, we're businesses, not people. If a private organization doesn't want us doing business on their property for whatever reason or no reason, that's their right. That some third party hired us to do their wedding on church property is irrelevant. That third party isn't the church. If the third party agrees to use the church (even if they are paying the church), they also agree to follow the church's rules. If the third party doesn't like it... there are other churches.

Yes, it's dumb. Ridiculous, really. As a Christian, I hate seeing houses of worship get so bent out of shape over this stuff because of a few bad apples. But, it is their right... however dumb and arbitrary it may seem.
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