Recently I photographed the christening of gorgeous little Georgia at Mary Immaculate Church, in Waverley. I really enjoy documenting orthodox and traditional ceremonies such as these because they always come with such a sense of occasion and are filled with such wonderful traditions, and this Catholic ceremony in this spectacular church was no exception.
I think my favourite part of the ceremony was when the Georgia’s cousin, unable to contain her enthusiasm nor bear the crying of the newly baptised baby any longer, ran up twirling to the steps of the altar to greet her favourite baby. She held her hand, made her laugh, and entertained her for the rest of the service. It was a truly sweet sight!
Old churches like these, along with the services contained within, don’t come without their challenges. Often the light is dim or patchy, and more often than not there are strict rules about where a photographer can and cannot go. Some of these things can get in the way of great event photography, and sometimes it’s just not possible to get the shots you want. But look – if you think you can’t get great documentary photos of an event when your photographer has to stand in the one spot most of the time, think again. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity, or with a beautiful document from only one or two angles. It’s about having a conversation with your photographer about the limitations of the location, trusting in your photographer, and realising that it’s the ceremony itself that is the most beautiful thing in the room.
And I think it was worth it for Georgia’s lovely parents, because now they have the day recorded for all of history – and they didn’t have to spend a second behind a camera themselves.