Uh oh. Pastor Blasts Photographer During Wedding Ceremony

If you said, “Uh oh” when the Pastor turned around…. you were right.

Angry pastor warning photographers.
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“This is not about the photography.  This is about God.”  That's how a pastor BLASTED a photographer and videographer in a scene recorded on this Youtube Video.  Right in the middle of the vows, the pastor whips around to chastise the photographer whose DSLR shutter sound had apparently annoyed the pastor.

Few details are known of the story behind this unfortunate occurrence and we don't know the back story here, but two things are certain: (1) All this bride and groom will remember of their all-important, life-changing vows is that their Pastor lost his temper–making a tiny annoyance into a massively embarrassing scene.  Did you see the bride and groom's faces?  (2) Photographers should always, always speak with both the couple and the officiator before the wedding ceremony to understand proper etiquette for that particular ceremony.

What are your thoughts?  Was the pastor right?  Was he justified?  Was the photographer right?  Was this simply a miscommunication?  Should photographers carry bodies with electronic shutters while photographing certain ceremonies?  What about the couple?


73 thoughts on “Uh oh. Pastor Blasts Photographer During Wedding Ceremony”

  1. From the limited information in the clip this should have been over very quickly when the pastor asked the photographer and video team to leave. At that point things get worse because the two groups have different agendas.

    At this time in the ceremony, the control belongs to the pastor and the photo crew should respect that. If this was during a different point and the pastor got in the way of a good shoot, the the photo team would be in control and have the same right to ask him to move.

    Lastly it is the responsibility of the photo team to get with the pastor and others to ensure that they know the ends and outs of things, as many have said here.

    At the end of the day, the couple will eventually find this funny and be an anecdote about their wedding. However, no matter what people think about who is at fault, the person most hurt by this at the professional level is the photographer, as that is where people will see comments and ask for names.

    I doubt that many people will say “stay away from that pastor, he does not like photographers”. That is why at the end of the day, if you want to succeed as a wedding photographer, you must look at this entire scenario as the fault of the photographer for not doing the work up front.

  2. I think standing right behind the pastor during the ceremony is not necessary, but it was a good shot… that said – it should have been a quick shot and then gone. Although most religious ceremonies don’t allow that perspective. Communicating before hand is key. Beside, who wants to look back on their wedding video (you can see the camera setup dead center) with the bride, groom, pastor, and the entourage behind him during your vows? As a photographer you should be discrete, not paparazzi. The purpose is to capture intimate moments while they’re happening, not make yourself a part of the event – and you want to keep the equipment out of the shots as much as possible. As others have said, there are different angles and different lenses for this purpose. You can hear the shutter on high speed right before he turned around. I think he might have been less annoyed had it been selected pictures, but to just be up there holding the shutter button down like they’re doing a sporting event or fashion shoot wasn’t necessary. I can understand why he turned around to ask them to leave – it was distracting. However, he didn’t have go on to say that he was going to leave, etc. At that point, when he turned around they should have (silently) apologetically left, and that was the end of it. I feel bad for the bride and groom, they looked mortified – what a thing to remember from the day!

  3. I can’t say that I blame the pastor here. The ceremony is THE event here. It is more important to allow the event than to ruin it by placing cameras front and center to the assembly. Never place a camera in the middle of the altar where is becomes the centerpiece. Try to be unobtrusive for everyone’s sake.

  4. so, no one sneezes, coughs, laughs or cries during a ceremony? Those darn shutters are such a distracting thing…..What if that shot was the one to die for? skip it? This is just beyond me, sorry.

  5. I think the pastor was a bit ridculous, seems like it was his first wedding. Maybe he has something against photographers.

  6. A pastor is to be an example… fine example he just set! If he had a problem with it, wait until AFTER the ceremony and speak to the photog, making a scene is just tacky and very un-christian like… what a joke. I’d never listen to a jerk like that again. Every last shred of credibility he had would be GONE!

  7. I am a minister and have officiated at almost 60 weddings in just under 11 years. The key is indeed, COMMUNICATION. I encourage photographers/videographers to attend the rehearsal so that together, we can block out the best spots to take pictures/videos for maximum value to the couple. Most times when we do that, we function as a team and the service flows smoothly, with the photographer being as discreet as possible; the couple is usually thrilled with how things go then, and no-one’s feathers get ruffled.

    Obviously, not knowing any of the backstory behind the pastor’s outburst does not allow us to make judgments, but I can share this: I know some ministers who have had so many weddings turned into circuses for one reason or another (not solely the fault of photographers, just so we’re clear) that they have actually refused to perform anymore weddings! We generally WANT this day to be the happiest it can be for the couple; we have been hired to not only represent God, but to bring our professionalism to the ceremony. Having people get in the way or be rude while we’re working is an interference to OUR JOB. We take these things seriously and we expect some degree of courtesy while we’re working. Suppose some goofball decides to photobomb all the wedding pictures a photographer is taking after the ceremony? Eventually, you’d lose your cool and probably explode – that’s simple human nature. So please don’t judge the pastor too harshly: he’s undoubtedly gone through this numerous times already and he probably unloaded all his frustration at the wrong time.

    I personally experienced a videographer who was so arrogant and obnoxious before and during a wedding that I honestly did want to stop the wedding. He refused to co-operate, acted like his work was more important than mine, yelled at me, stationed his equipment in highly-visible areas that interfered with movements throughout the ceremony, used high-level lighting that made it difficult to see, intruded into the ceremony… his behaviour made it VERY difficult for me to concentrate on MY JOB and ensure that I gave my absolute best to the couple, which is what they were paying me for. I still don’t know HOW I managed to not turn around and yell at that jerk, so I can completely empathize with the pastor in the video.

    Communication is key: Rule #1.

  8. The pastor and the photographer were out of line there. They both probably cost the couple a valuable moment in their wedding. It seems the pastor just flipped at the sound of a shutter. The videographer is a casualty in this. He didn’t disturbed anyone. And while the pastor might perform future weddings, the photographer and videographer might not get future business because of this incident. But the bottom line is the photographer should’ve consulted the pastor beforehand to learn the limits.

  9. I agree with Rev. Bob. I was married back in ’84 before the current onslaught of media. The Lutheran minister, a good friend of mine, made it clear we had chosen to have a religious ceremony and that that needed to be respected. He was not happy about my dad wanting to video the proceedings, but eventually allowed a camera in the choir loft. I was ok with all of that because it had been explained beforehand and made sense. My photographer was informed of restrictions and complied beautifully.

    Since then, I have been appalled at what I’ve seen at some weddings (I’m also a church musician) and I appreciate that this is, first and foremost, supposed to be a religious commitment – everything else should be in support of that. A good photographer needs to be able to work with the couple, the parents and the minister and be as unobtrusive as possible. Let the couple enjoy immersing themselves in this special moment – they will be happy the photog worked for them instead of taking over.

    The minister? Who knows. Not his best moment.

  10. As a former pastor – and a photographer – I think the pastor was out of line. I always spoke with photographers before the service to make sure that basic guidelines were clear and what would be allowed/not allowed. Even if a photographer broke the previously stated rules, the time to speak with the photographer is after the service, not during.

  11. I think that both were a little off. The Pastor should have sucked it up. And the photographer should’ve left as soon as the pastor said something. My guess is the couple and the photographer had discussed where they wanted the video done from and the photos. Yes, they should’ve discussed it with the pastor but when they didn’t he should’ve waited until after the ceremony to chastise the photographer.

  12. I too have a unique perspective. I’m a pastor that does weddings not only as the officiant but as a photographer, sound tech and a musician. I was going to say that I think the photographer and videographer were somewhere he had told them not to be. But with the response of “where do you want us to go?” it’s clear it was not discussed. After reading all of these posts I think we all agree talk to the bride and groom AS WELL AS THE PASTOR. I personally don’t care where the bride and groom want pictures taken from I have had photos shot from over my shoulder much like in this video. Although I thought it odd, it’s what they wanted. I too have taken a few shots from there. (and moved on). all parties were in error. They should have moved on, quickly and quietly and he should not have lost his cool. I would have leaned in closer, and quietly told them to move… now! Or I might have even asked the B and G if they asked them to shoot from there. if that was the case, then shoot away. (you should have talked to me first, but it is what it is) could have been handled better by all.

    1. I don’t know now. at the very end of this when the photographer leaves you can clearly see a stool I believe they were using. He really wants to be in control of everything. Like that’s going to happen. Talk people talk before hand. This goes for pastors and photographers. I let people know what I expect and they let me know what they would like to do.

  13. Neither the continuous shooting photographer or the pastor handled this situation correctly. Yes, the ceramony is about God and the couple uniting, but truly right in the middle of vows…the bride nor groom will erase that which will be etched in memory for a long time. I don’t do continuous shooting in weddings during ceremony for just this reason.

  14. I feel bad for the bride and groom for this outburst in the middle of the ceremony. You can see the frustration and confused looks on their faces as if to say what do we do now?First I agree it should have been spoken about prior to the wedding engagement ,portraits,places, areas where any photographer /videographer( you )can be. where it (cameras etc)could be hidden on /off with you with a remote during the precious ceremony although I do feel the pastor went a bit overboard. 1 on what if it was already pre arranged thing he did have every right to.I have had a few small experiences .But I’ve alwaya checked with church rules officials and bride and grooms to find out first “THE RULES” It appears the paster called them out first maybe a little bit too overboard .bought if they were already free announce not to be with a camera/video then they were WRONG and he basically just pointing out unfortunately it kind of ruins the poor bride and grooms ceremony MEMORABLE day of such a wonderful day that should be shared forever in good terms I believe that the wedding or if the marriage last this will be something that they will probably laugh at yours from now I certainly would learn all we as photographer’sand videographers we need to get together with the pastors but with the wedding parties on times places all items that need to be factored in and up before being photographed meaning things to the couple would like memories need of whether the video for portraiture I’m just basically starting out but I have done a few in the past and I’ve always gone to the pastor and to the Odd Couple being married and got very good um for benches back on where when why how I also have to move fast in were to text someone with shop all as I get older you need to be more than one or two shooters free would be wonderful because then you could have a videographer at the front looking down Astro um you could have a photographer closer to ceremony area one on either side of your needs somebody else they exit and going to the greeting party area you need one for women exit the church itself and then use course you have the reception with charger I am most receptions you’re pretty free to go and shoot to remember whatever at the ceremony I don’t forget to get the DJ the food on the table on the table decor prior to people getting there um I’m not waiting on you get the full Effect of the whole ceremony in my work and you know and my opinion um I really enjoy doing that all weddings I think I’m straight home it is it’s a great way to get exposed to. But I also enjoy doing family portraits babies Pets, things like that to senior photos on so haven’t quite got my Avenue all on you now on a test of course for your time and that’s what I’ll use the tiger for $50 for shelter for weddings summary Z song are just tough as nails best of luck to all bye

  15. The pastor ruined the moment. This is not about him it is about the couple. The good thing is that now he’s going to be known internationally as “that jerk pastor” (to be charitable).

  16. The pastor is an idiot.

    If the photographer was violating an unknown rule, the pastor should have spoken quietly to him/her at his first opportunity, NOT during the ceremony. And he should have informed the photographer in advance.

    If he did inform the photographer in advance, he is still WAY OUT OF LINE to do this during the ceremony.

    No matter how you slice it, this is on the officiant, who, as I said, is an idiot.

  17. Never shot a wedding before, except using a long lens at my nieces wedding in which I wasn’t the hired photographer, but the photographer/videographer were obviously too close. On the other hand, the priest could have handled that in a much calmer manner than what he did. He only embarrassed the couple and ruined their moment by showing out the way he did. I, for one, would never go back to his church again.

  18. Sure, the Pasture lost his cool – but I really felt that the photographers in this case really showed a huge lack of respect in the first place. The pasture was right – this is not a photography session – this was a ceremony between him, the B&G & god – and it doesn’t include the 4th element – the photographer. I agree with the masses who say that the photographer should be discrete throughout the ceremony – not like some idiotic paparazzi. I’ll bet you that if the photographer got in from behind, took a snap or two then walked off, he would’ve been fine – a little bugged, but fine. However, the photogs stayed there snapping away – I’d be irritated too if I was the pasture. Granted, he could’ve handled it better – but to me, it showed little class on the photographers part. It just shows that some people are not thoughtful in that respect, or have little respect for religious norms or the sacredness of religious ordinations/ceremonies.

  19. I’ve made a habit of talking to both the couple and the officiant. You never know, and if you know that your couple are looking for particular shots that you know you might have to get invasive on to a degree, I throw a disclosure out there. If you explain that you’re going to have to get closer than you feel they’d like, tell them that. And if they say it’s ok, pay close attention during the ceremony, look for ‘cues’ that tell you to back off. And I try to use a longer distance lens if possible so that I’m not in the way.

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