If you're attending a church service at which the child of a friend or family member is getting baptized, this will be an exciting day that you'll want to document. If you have experience with a camera, the child's parents may even ask you to snap some photos of this big event in their child's young life. If you've taken on this important role, here are some dos and don'ts that you should keep in mind.
Do: Obtain Permission First
It's a good idea to call someone at the church office and explain that you're hoping to take some photos of the baptism ceremony that is approaching. Ask if there's any problem with you doing so. This way, you'll feel more confident on the day of the church service, rather than be partially wondering if you're even allowed to take photos. You'll generally find that churches are accepting of photos during such parts of the service, but may have some specific requests for you to keep in mind.
Don't: Use The Flash
When possible, it's ideal if you can avoid using the flash. In some cases, the church will ask you to turn your flash off. Even if there's no hard rule about the use of the flash, it's ideal to avoid. It may startle some of the children who are being baptized, and the last thing that you want is a child starting to cry at the front of the church because of something you've done.
Do: Take Some Test Shots
Getting to the church well in advance of the start of the service and snapping some photos to test the lighting will increase the likelihood that you get good shots when the baptism is underway. Church lighting can make photography a challenge. For example, the stained glass windows can cast different-colored glows into the church, while some churches can be on the darker side. You may need to make some manual adjustments to your camera to ensure that your photos turn out right. This is something to play with before the service, rather than during it.
Don't: Block Peoples' View
Baptism ceremonies are always popular parts of a church service, which means that everyone in attendance will be trying to see the children at the front of the church. You don't want to simply stand up in your pew and begin taking photos, as this could block the view of people behind you. It's better to reposition yourself before the baptism begins — perhaps by crouching somewhere near the front of the church.
Talk to a service like Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church for more details.