I can tell you I probably spend more time in churches now than I ever did – at least after about the age of 13 or so. Back then – when I was a regular – I know I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about the quality of the light or what it would be like to shoot a wedding there. Now, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about light. And churches can be the greatest places in the world for photos and they can be the absolute worst. First, they’re usually dark. Now keep in mind you can almost never use flash during a wedding ceremony. So you really need a camera that allows you to shoot with a high ISO. That’s the hard part because during ceremonies you usually have to shoot with a high ISO, a wide open aperture and a slow shutter. Those are not always the best combinations when people are moving and when you want a little more depth of field. So that’s the bad part.
The good part is churches are so cool inside. There’s stained glass. Sometimes you can get great window light. Silhouettes are usually pretty easy to execute in stained glass. Plus, there are tons of great and interesting detail to help you frame your shots. Plus, you will occasionally get a church inside that is just spectacular. Enter St. Ann’s in West Side. It’s just a giant place with plenty of room to move around and shoot. There’s all kinds of little details that you can use in your shots. Throw in a wedding around a holiday and there are lights and Nativity scenes to help get the creative juices going. With that being said, here are a few ceremony shots from St. Ann’s of Amy and Sean’s wedding. There’s even a shot from outside when they were met with sparklers. Love when that happens!