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-   -   Can anyone say "uncomfortable?" (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/519049-can-anyone-say-uncomfortable.html)

James Manford September 20th, 2013 04:05 PM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
I'm so blunt with my views because i'm agnostic.

You obviously believe in the priests views and look up to a priest as some one higher than you, hence why you feel the need to defend him.

In my opinion he could have just tolerated the clicking sounds from the SLRs and got on with it without ruining the whole ceremony with that interruption and may be said something in private afterwards.

Fact is, he thought he's better than everybody else. And he's not. Just another attention hungry individual masking his nature behind religion.

D.J. Ammons September 20th, 2013 04:29 PM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
While the priest had a very valid complaint he took a bad situation and made it way worse. The photographer and videographer may have been very annoying to him and somewhat of a distraction to the people in the audience but what that priest did pretty much destroyed the entire ceremony. His sour face and threat to stop the ceremony took a joyus occasion and made it very awkward.

Noa Put September 20th, 2013 04:52 PM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"

They are in charge, and have the power to stop a ceremony if they wish
They are being paid to perform a service, just like all other vendors during the wedding, imagine a caterer threatening to take away the food because he is annoyed by a photog flashing away, or a limo driver threatening to go home, or a dj threatening to stop playing, well, you get the point I guess. That's just not done, the priest could have made a friendly comment that the clicking of the photocamera was too distracting, the photog would surely take a step back or take 1 photo at a time and not just fire away. The priest clearly has no understanding of how to communicate and he has no respect at all for any other people that are being hired as well to perform a service, he is also very disrespectful towards the couple and guests. If I was the groom, I would really be annoyed with the matter and probably wouldn't pay the priest his asking prize.

Roger Gunkel September 20th, 2013 05:11 PM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
The trouble is that in the UK, civil ceremonies are pretty straightforward, and rarely present any problems to videographers or photographers, but Churches are a completely different matter. CofE churches have clear guidelines issued for the organisation of weddings and these include video in church.

Most churches charge the couple extra if a video is being taken and the guidelines recommend that only extra costs incurred by the church are charged plus an extra fee for the organist to cover performing rights. Sometimes though, totally outrageous charges are laid on the couple if they want a video. At a wedding show that I was at last weekend, one couple that I spoke to loved my prices, but couldn't also afford to pay the extra £450 that the church demanded for allowing video. That amounts to about £800 per hour and generates little respect for the solemnity and religious significance of the ceremony.

In my experience, there are frequent and unnecessary displays of lack of respect for the officiant by photographers, taking pictures from too close and using burst shooting with very noisy cameras as well as constantly changing position. I find that very annoying and can sympathise with the officiant getting irate, as I feel the same way.

There really needs to be a balance between the religious aspects of a wedding ceremony and the wishes of the couple to have their once in a lifetime experience recorded for them. Perhaps a code of conduct could be agreed between the churches and videographers and photographers that all could follow to everyone's benefit. I am actively involved in trying to do this in my own area and maybe others could also look at something similar.


Steve Bleasdale September 21st, 2013 02:55 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
Same here Roger, I contacted the Liverpool arch diocese and wanted a meet with them to organise a conduct for the wedding days around Merseyside, there are old fashioned priests vicars clergy then there are decent young ones but not many. The diocese told me they would not have a meet because each church has their own rules? But maybe that was a get out clause for hassle free...Best way I found after 7 years is to turn up on the day go straight to him her and explain what I do and this is the position I would like, if he is awkward just get around him saying well the bride and groom are lovely people and paid me to film there wedding and I need the best footage I can get so when they arrive lets all get together for a meet and sort it out!! Then they do not want to know! And I get my way. The awkward ones that dig their feet in, well, its hard work but in the end we all get a decent position. Last week I got on with a guy never seen before, we agreed on a position for me and the photog. But in all honesty the photog was a pain, I had my camera set up tripod and my shoulder rig for b-roll, the photog came near me knocked the flowers over trying to get under, walking about getting in the way, the priest gave him some right looks and I could see later he would get a blast from him. The photog was out of order, why don't they just stay pretty still like us and move slowly and discreetly. You cant get every shot, but this guy was a pain. He was putting his camera up in the air getting stupid shots that I never see any photog doing in church,.

Roger Gunkel September 21st, 2013 05:22 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
The clergy can quite easily tell you that each church has it's own rules, but there are very clear and precise guidelines and advice regarding weddings laid out in the C of E website for vicars, which a number choose to ignore. The are also some charges that are made that are actually illegal, again on the same website with warnings about it. Unfortunately a Christian attitude is tailored to suit on occasion.

The trouble is Steve that you and I who remain in one discrete position negotiated politely with the Vicar, still get tarred with the same brush when you are working with an inconsiderate and disrespectful photographer.

I did have one pleasant surprise in my local church recently when the photographer went against the vicar's request and walked about taking very intrusive pics. At the end, the vicar came over to the two of us, shook my hand and said 'A great pleasure working with you Roger, as discrete as always, (turning to the photographer) as for you young man, you won't be taking pictures in my church again!'

So it does pay to be polite and respectful, attempt to negotiate carefully, but sometimes have to put up with sanctimonious BS!


Peter Rush September 21st, 2013 11:00 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
Unfortunately I find that officiants lump us together - so if they've been p****ed off with togs in the past then we just look like potential trouble to them - I back this up by pointing out how many guests stop what they're doing and smile for my video camera and wait for the flash - they can't tell the difference.

Regarding registrars - I once had a registrar take off the groom's lav mic, remove my zoom from behind the flower arrangement and place them at the very back of the room - afterwards she told me it was because I was not allowed to record the groom's pre-ceremony interview - note that I said 'afterwards' had I not noticed the mics had gone i'd have been in trouble!!!!

Peter Rush September 22nd, 2013 03:30 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
1 Attachment(s)
Where churches are concerned I used to fret over not getting the very best for my couples but now i don't sweat it - the venue is their choice and if there are restrictions then the consequence is also theirs! I point out in my meeting with them that the priest may have filming restrictions - I also try to go to every rehearsal (at a cost to myself so mainly only relatively local ones) and I cover it in my terms and conditions.

If there was a last minute restriction imposed on me by the priest I certainly would not start a debate with the bride as she stepped out of the bridal car - I simply do what I'm told. If then (and this has never happened) the bride was unhappy with the ceremony coverage because of the restrictions then I'd point her politely but firmly back in the direction of the priest - not my battle.

Let's not forget though the good priests (who's numbers far outweigh the arsey ones) who are really accommodating - here is a still from a wedding a few months back - the priest would not allow me or the tog anywhere near the front (he allowed 2 locked off cameras though) but did let us stand in the aisle at the back and occasionally turned the couple round to smile for the cameras - he was a nice guy.

Don Bloom September 22nd, 2013 05:58 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
While it sounds on the surface that officiants in your country are really tough to deal with, it also seems like they are the same everywhere. I've had the ones who think they are God and make life sucky for everyone trying to do their jobs but the majority of them are just doing their jobs as well. I always go with my rule of "it's their house, their rules" and I'm the kind of guy that prefers to ask permission than forgiveness later.
It's may just be me but I have found the best place to shoot the actual ceremony, not all the stuff before and the communion later (Catholic) is center aisle. After all the B&G are facing each other and they are positioned in basically the center aisle so if I was relegated to that position I wouldn't care. Have 1 or 2 unmanned on the altar is a win for me. Some officiants won't allow that, some do.
As for telling the bride about how bad the conditions are before the wedding, not a chance. She's already nervous, possibly upset and maybe even 1 or 2 sheets to the wind. I don't need the grief and she can't change anything anyway. Later on after she's viewed the DVD, if she has a question as to why I did what I did THAT is the time for the conversation but honestly, I can not think of 1 time that's happened. I don't tickle sleeping bears!

Paul R Johnson September 22nd, 2013 09:35 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
Wow! It matters not if you are agnostic, atheist or a believer, your rights are protected in most territories in the world. Agreeing with them isn't important. I'm a bit shocked that equal rights don't seem to apply. Join a club, but don't follow the rules? As most of my work is in theatre, I often have to shoot shows that as a customer, I'd have avoided because I find the content unacceptable - but my job requires me to be professional, and follow their rules. When I work for the Magic Circle, I follow their rules on secrecy, even though I'm not a member, and don't place my cameras in the wrong places. When I shoot a religious convention for a less than mainstream one, I don't do certain things at certain times because it's inappropriate. If I'm shooting football or sport where they hold a minutes silence for somebody I don't know, do I choose this time to move my noise and clatter about? Of course not.

Frankly, the attitude of some people makes me wonder if getting a wedding contract makes you feel you have some elevated status, making your part of the service the most important. I use the word 'service' on purpose. The entire point of a wedding, legal, or religious, is to make a statement, heard in public and having legal status for the future. When I went to California, I discovered the civil wedding to be a sit down, repeat after me, you're married kind of event, in a waiting room, surrounded by people asking for their drains to be unblocked, or their vehicles to be re-registered. The other option of a religious ceremony is miles apart, so they have a mid ground one, where somebody gets officiant status for a day. A great idea, which I assume is all across the states? My friend who is British, had to become a US citizen (almost) by swearing to uphold your constitution etc etc. Then he conducted the ceremony, inserting at the end of his own 'special non-religious service the words required by the State to make it legal. If somebody had disrupted his carefully put together special occasion, would he not have the moral right to stop people spoiling it - even when he gave his time and effort for free.

I can't see why wedding people (not all, of course) believe they have some kind of high status in the pecking order? The caterers who made the cake, the dressmakers all take pride in their elements of the happy day, all being contracted by the couple. If the dress maker got in the way of all the shots keeping their element of the day pristine would they have a lesser or greater status in the heirachy?

You never see this kind of outrageous behaviour on a film set when the photographers are working - they know their contribution, while important, isn't the most important.

I do know, that if I saw a particular firm of photographers treat the wedding as a whole like this, I'd recommend anyone that would listen to find another one, more sympathetic to the occasion.

Wedding contributors all have a part to play - but all are servicing the event in their own way, but I'd suggest the person conducting the service has a damn sight more clout than somebody taking the pictures.

I can remember the person's name who married me 33 years ago, who the photographer was, I have no idea!

Noa Put September 22nd, 2013 10:10 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
I think the problem was that there have not been made any agreements whatsoever about expectations on the priests side which for me is poor communication, obviously he didn't expect this kind of disturbing "behavior" but what is worst is the way he reacted to it which was totally uncalled for. Like I said earlier a friendly comment that the camera clicking was disturbing should have done the trick. The wedding was also at a public place, not in a church as far as I can see so his "status" was just a s high as the video or photoguy performing a service at that same moment, they only should have talked to eachother before the ceremony started.

Tim Bakland September 22nd, 2013 06:16 PM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"

Originally Posted by Don Bloom (Post 1814085)
I don't tickle sleeping bears!

Don - I hear you. You are a seasoned guru and I'm normally with you 100% on this forum.

I would only reiterate, though, that the *setting* of this wedding is what, to me, puts this Priest in the "meddlesome monk" category, that is, way over the top.

It's one thing if the wedding is in the sanctity of his holy nave, however, this wedding is clearly on the verdant lawns of some other venue. Maybe a country club. Maybe a venue ostensibly known as "Manor Meadows" or "Highland Hills" or "Indian Creek Country Club" or something of that ilk. But we are not at Holy Cross Cathedral. Granted, it still might be a ceremony "under God" -- but to think that the Bride and Groom were planning on a full mass (and all the things which would correspond to such) in this setting is, with the Priest in mind, laughable.

Clive McLaughlin September 23rd, 2013 02:16 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
I don't think the venue should come into it. This man is just totally disconnected from the real world. As a christian myself, I can tell you that generally speaking, couples that are really 'into' their faith don't even want the pomp and ceremony, but rather opt for a more 'real' and less traditional expression with elements like worship bands etc…

Here in northern ireland, the church thing is very traditional. Probably 80% of my church weddings are couples who don't go to church.

But thats another story.

Point is, this minister is more demanding that it is 'solemn' than claiming it IS. He ignores completely whether or not the couple believe it to be. If he thinks cameras are the only potential issue interfering with the couple's spiritual state, he is living in a fairy tale land.

If the couple is truly, spiritually, making these vows, then nothing will distract them. If the couple are saying the vows (to God) simply out of tradition, then they won't give two hoots how 'solemn' it is.

The priest has a hunger for power, and perhaps confrontation issues. Simple as that.

P.S. I know what he was getting at, but the adjective 'solemn' i don't think is correct anyway. I think God is happy when people say vows.

sol·emn *(slm)
1. Deeply earnest, serious, and sober.
2. Somberly or gravely impressive. See Synonyms at serious.
3. Performed with full ceremony: a solemn High Mass.
4. Invoking the force of religion; sacred: a solemn vow.
5. Gloomy; somber.

Dan Burnap September 23rd, 2013 05:13 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
I live in probably one of the most catholic of countries in the world (Brazil) where religion is extremely important and present in the lives of nearly all. Compared to most though it seems, videographer and photographers get the run of the church.

It is normal to stand next to the priest, behind him, walk behind the altar to change sides \ angles etc. Very rarely to do they refuse to be lav'ed up. It really does make for a more varied edit for the ceremony, which usually go on for about 40 minutes or so.

If anyone's interested they can see one here:

password: ceremony

James Manford September 23rd, 2013 07:45 AM

Re: Can anyone say "uncomfortable?"
Slightly off topic ... but that's a nice clean video Dan, what was your lenses / setup / equipment if you don't mind me asking?

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