If you’re marrying in a church, then you’re going to want wedding portraits there after the ceremony. After all, it’s important to have at least one shot of the two of you in your venue! The easiest way to do that is to pose you for a quick picture after you tie the knot. But wait, you might be thinking, aren’t wedding portraits inside a church boring? And you’d be right. Partly. Some church wedding photography is a little stiff and dull. The classic portrait of you posing by the altar? Not the most interesting picture. However, with a little time and freedom, we can do church wedding photos that are creative and unique. We can give you portraits like this colorful picture we took in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. Ones that look beautiful in addition to allowing you to remember your church wedding venue forever.
When it comes to wedding photos, churches offer a lot more creative possibilities than you might think. The altar isn’t the only place where we can take the first portraits of you as newlyweds. Here’s a quick list of some creative ideas for wedding portraits in a church:
This is by no means a complete list of all the different fun, unique post-ceremony pictures we can take of you in your church. The only limit is our collective imaginations! Assuming, that is, that we have enough time to play around after your church wedding ceremony. Which is, unfortunately, not always the case.
In our experience, churches have pretty busy schedules on weekends. So it’s common for them to have another event booked right after a wedding ceremony. Though the administrators will typically leave a little time for a few couples portraits and family formals at the altar, they usually are in a hurry to set up for the next thing. So having an extended amount of time to play with is not often the case.
Not to worry, though! We come to every wedding with lots of creative ideas for portraits, whether it takes place in a church or somewhere else. So even if we only have a few minutes to do something one-of-a-kind, rest assured that we’ll get it done.
We didn’t have to rush through the portraits of this particular couple. Their wedding ceremony at St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill was unique in a lot of ways. For starters, it took place during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. So it was a very intimate ceremony! With only a handful of close family and friends present, there wasn’t much of a crowd competing for the couple’s attention after they exchanged their vows. (Getting newlyweds clear of wellwishers is another challenge to making creative church wedding portraits.)
Perhaps more importantly, the bride’s father (an ordained minister) officiated the ceremony. (Though he did not serve at St. Joseph’s, he worked out an arrangement to preside over the wedding.) This was an absolute godsend – pun intended – when it came to documenting the ceremony. The bride mandated that we could go anywhere and photograph from any angle, and her dad had no choice but to agree.
This also allowed us to use the church as a site for their wedding portraits and really explore all the creative possibilities of the venue. After the standard “in front of the altar” pictures, we went up into the choir loft. From that vantage point, we took hauntingly beautiful pictures of the newlyweds in the aisle, illuminated in the otherwise darkened church. Then we had them lie down and created unique images of them from above.
Our favorite image, though, was this one. As you can see, we had the newlyweds sit in the pews and cuddle up close. We then asked the bride to kick her heels up on the seat back in front of them. That gave the image a relaxed, intimate feel. A splash of orange from one of our flashes, and bam! A colorful, creative church wedding portrait!
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Location: St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 13 2nd St NE, Washington, DC 20002, United States.
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