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10 Tips for photographing a church baptism

Annabelle Rose Joachim's Baptism
Annabelle Rose Joachim's Baptism
©Pearlescence Photography

Have you never photographed a baptism? Here's are ten great photography tips for baptisms:

Detail of baptismal dress
©Pearlescence Photography

Lighting is everything: Any church is bound to have some funky lighting situations, especially the older ones. Many churches have high ceilings which creates an uneven amount of light. You may even encounter mixed lighting from the sunlight through the regular windows and stained glass windows, candles, and artificial lights. You can combat that.

  • Ask the clergymen ahead of time on their photography policies
  • You can check out the location ahead of time to see where the best spots might be and whether or not you'll need a tripod
  • Use a powerful flash if that is allowed- or change the ISO to a higher setting (this will increase film grain but make the pictures come out brighter)

Black and White pictures give the pictures elegance. Shoot in color and then change some of the pictures to black and white later.

The picture you absolutely need is the action shot of the baby near the sink. Make sure you get an unobstructed view of this.

Family and friends will want pictures with the baby in various breakdowns. Be patient and include every combination desired, watching for details in the expression, blinking, red-eye, etc.

Babies cry. Deal with it. Screaming baby pictures can be funny and endearing.

Make sure to get special pictures with the godparents. They are taking on a huge responsibility as Plan B parents.

Capture those moments, both posed and candid. Everyone says they want forward facing big smiles, but when they see an intimate moment in time with the child interacting with someone or artfully looking away, they adore it.

Photograph those details in the baptismal wear. Moms and dads spend a lot of time and money on the outfits that these babies wear. Get some macro shots of the lace, bracelets, crucifixes, bonnets, shoes, etc that the child is wearing.

There may be more than one baby getting baptized. Find out when it is that baby's turn.

There may be an after party or luncheon. Find out if you are supposed to attend. Shoot colorful presents, cakes, and the crowds of loving people that attended.

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