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Shooting for my Church

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by jon595, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    I was asked to get some pictures for my Church's website because they knew I was a hobbyist. Of course I said yes to help out and I showed up one day with my small bag of m4/3 gear.

    I guess I never really thought about how to shoot during a service. They wanted shots of the music team, the Pastor and of various other things they have. It was actually difficult to get in the right mindset of being there during service, but taking pictures instead of participating. It felt very odd actually. I spoke with the Pastor before hand who is very open to whatever and as long as I didn't rush the stage, he was happy. I chose not to use any flash as both a test of the system but also trying to keep it low key. Everything was done with primes, mostly the Oly 45mm and some with the Pana 14mm. I realized that I needed a longer focal length, so I ordered a Minolta Rokkor MC 100mm f/2.5 that just arrived today. So I'll have in the arsenal for next time.

    Let me know your comments and or tips for the next time. If anyone has any first hand experiences, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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  2. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    Wow, seems like you did a great job! I'm sure your church will be happy with them.
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Looks like a cool church. Interesting mix of folks.

    I'm not sure I like the wide shot. Lots of dark ceiling. What about staging it, rather than doing it during Sunday service. Or asking them to stay before/after service, so you can light it better?
  4. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    I hadn't really thought of staging it with people in the seats. I figured I could maybe do it for the musicians, but not for the congregation. I'll have to get some more feedback from the Church to see what else they might want.
  5. CUB

    CUB Guest

    #2 is a fine shot. Less is more.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Btw, I like all the rest except for the one with all the ceiling in the shot. I think the rest are pretty useable.
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Good job! :thumbup:

    I work for a church in the children's ministry and one of my jobs is photographing the big events. I almost never use flash for several reasons. First, as you said to keep it low key. Second, from any large distance flash would be ineffective{at least one on the camera}. Lastly flash can often provide the light but ruin the subject of the shot.

    I have to agree that the shot with the ceiling is a bit off BUT if you recompose it by cropping I think it would be a good one! You might want to crop the one with the guys legs under the table too. They all have great color, all but the black and white one that is.
  8. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    Thanks for all the comments.

    On the comment of 'less is more', I took this to heart and found an old Minolta Rokkor MC 100mm f/2.5 on eBay since my longest fast glass is the Oly 45mm. So, should the need arise, I'll be able to get more detail shots.

    This whole experience has been brand new to me so I'm having lots of fun learning and trying to get better. The next thing they have me doing is some events, but the next one is outside, so it'll be a bit easier lighting wise and not feeling like I'm intruding on a service.
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    The pictures seem to give a pretty good overview of what to expect if someone attended a service. I assume that would be the purpose of posting them on the church website. Nicely done.
  10. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Looks very entertaining.
  11. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    These really are great shots. It's difficult to shoot during a service. The pastor at my church asked me to do the same thing a couple of years ago and I did it with my Canon 40D. The pictures came out great but the whack of the shutter every time I took a shot made me feel very self conscious and made me take fewer pics than I would have otherwise. I would love to have the opportunity again now that I have my EM5.

    Well done!
  12. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    good job. i used to shoot for our church but mostly "special events" not during service. it's fun especially if you know pretty much everyone in the congregation as they are more willing to give you a smile or doesn't get bothered when you have a camera in front of them :) 
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If the event is fast paced - AF helps a lot! The other thing with events is that people often don't want to have their picture taken. One thing I like about having a camera with a flip screen or a tilt EVF is holding the camera and looking down at it. People think you are adjusting the settings or something and go on about their business allowing you to shot them in a candid fashion. Good luck,
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