View Full Version : Opinions on shooting in churches

03-22-2011, 11:28 AM
First Off:
I'm merely looking for opinions, not a religious debate. Whether you do or do not choose to shoot in churches is fine with me! I was simply surprised to find out I felt this way. :)


Recently I did a photoshoot in a local cathedral. I am a member of the parish, and had permission to shoot there. I greatly enjoyed working with my model. It's a beautiful space, and I loved having the chance to promote it.

However, I'm not sure how I would feel shooting costume photos in places of worship for another faith. It would only feel appropriate to me if I or the model were a member. I would not wish to cause offense by treating someone else's important space as just a pretty building.

Has anyone else run into this? What are your thoughts?

03-23-2011, 07:53 PM
I havent had a chance to do location shoots in sacred spaces, but as a tourist I have taken pictures of/in Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, churches. I think just like in any other location, it's best that all parties involved get some sort of benefit (the owners of the space, the model, the photographer).

03-29-2011, 09:42 AM
I think as long as you get permission, I think it's OK. Churches are SUPPOSED to be for everyone, a sanctuary I guess. but some places like masque, I would definitely get permission for. But for the catholic churches and I know my baptist church wouldn't mind at all. Most places will want you in their church :)

03-29-2011, 12:17 PM
Get permission from the religious establishment, regardless if you are a member or not. The establishment is private property. Discuss with the people in charge what you wish to do.

03-29-2011, 04:49 PM
I've shot in a church before. I went to the church office to get permission first, and I spent possibly less than half an hour inside the chapel itself so as not to be a bother. It was early afternoon on a weekday so there were very few people inside, mostly the homeless (it was a downtown city church and snowing heavily outside). I kept to the sides of the pews, was very quiet so as not to disturb anyone, and had no troubles.

I think as long as you act as one ought to in any private property establishment (are quiet and respectful, don't make a fuss, etc), and get permission first, you shouldn't have any issues. Good behavior/respect is what it comes down to, really- it'd be the same for a library, a restaurant, etc...

04-07-2011, 07:35 PM
I would add that after you get permission a small donation will go along way especially if you think you might use the location again in the future.

04-07-2011, 11:00 PM
I agree to most of the posts above. In general, asking for permission, scheduling the photo shoot for the moment when you would interrupt the least and leave a small donation as thanks are all great ideas.

Also, I believe as long as you are respectful while in a sacred place, it should be okay. Even if you do not share the faith, avoid being noisy, respect their holy symbols and all the obvious should be a must. :)

05-30-2011, 09:53 PM
I think that as long as you got permission, made sure to do it on a day where people aren't likely to be there (like, no Sundays and no Wednesday nights for Christian churches, as an example), were respectful and didn't damage anything, and maybe left a small donation as thanks, it'd be fine.

06-30-2011, 01:04 PM
Get permission from the religious establishment, regardless if you are a member or not. The establishment is private property. Discuss with the people in charge what you wish to do.

You took the words right out of my mouth.

And if there is a problem, explain to the person/people in charge that they could be with you while you're doing the photoshoot so then they can verify that you're not destroying or going to destroy the property.