WHY SHOULD I BOOK A CHRISTENING PHOTOSHOOT?
Your little one. They’re your entire world resting in your arms, and now at 3 months old you want to formally welcome them into your flock. To do so you spend heaps of time, effort and money, arranging the perfect christening or baptism. An iconic celebration that doubles as an excuse to bring your family together.
So, these occasions, just like weddings, only come around once in a blue moon, which means they’re defiantly a moment you want to cherish. It’s hard to do that though when you’re ‘playing photographer’ behind the lens of your smartphone. You yourself are a key part of these memories, so it’s vital that you ‘do you’ and get involved. That’s exactly why christening photography makes so much sense!
WHAT HAPPENS ON A CHRISTENING PHOTOSHOOT?
So much happens at a christening. Choose me as your photographer and I’ll be with you every step of the way, from getting ready and arriving at the venue to the ceremony and your reception. Although they’ll be some parts of the day where you won’t see me at all, but you needn’t worry.
I’ll be likely scoping out shots from a distance, catching you when you’re not looking or photographing the food before it’s vandalised by your knife and folk. You see, the aim of my christening photography isn’t just to capture you, it’s to capture the entire day: event, food, flowers – everything.
And while the majority of my photography is candid, particularly during the ceremony, I will do you some slightly more posed group portraits, so you receive a rich variation of shots.
*If your little one’s wearing a christening gown that’s been handed down through the generations, a nice idea is to recreate the shots of previous generations. Do so and christenings as well as the pose may remain a tradition for generations to come.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY CHRISTENING PHOTOGRAPHY?
You’re best to book your christening photography as soon as you’ve got the date from your venue. That way we’ve got as much time as possible to perfect how we’re going to capture your special occasion. Plus, it’ll let you get to know me a bit better, which should lead to more natural images on the day.
Something else to base your booking around could be your christening gown. If you’re planning on using a specific gown, it’d also be wise to consider how fast your baby’s growing. The last thing you want is your little one to have outgrown it come the big day.
Booking at least 12 weeks in advance is my usual advice, especially if you’re after me on a certain date or time. But that’s not to say that last minute bookings are impossible – in some cases they can fit in rather well. Only I wouldn’t rely on this being the case as I don’t like to disappoint.
CHRISTENING PHOTOGRAPHY: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Christening VS Baptism: Is christening same as baptism?
Although a Christening and a Baptism do sound very different, they are in fact part of the same ceremony. The ceremony through which we welcome babies into the world.
Christening refers to the part of this ceremony where the priest asks the name you’ve chosen for your baby. Whereas Baptism is one of seven sacrements of the catholic church. It refers to the part of the service where your child is cleansed with water as a symbol of washing away sin and starting a new life.
So in actual fact, what happens at a christening is much the same as at a Baptism – in many cultures the two are regarded as the same. It’s more of a choice of which word you prefer to use, christening or baptism.
Why do babies get christened?
Why babies get christened can differ quite substantially.
Traditionally, babies are christened to welcome them into the Christian faith. However over the years, the reason behind christenings have grown.
Today, children are often christened because it qualifies them for certain schools or even because it’s a good excuse for a post-birth family get together.
What age is a christening?
The age of a child at their christening can vary, but it’s usually around three months from birth. Around this age a baby should fit comfortably into a christening gown, but to be honest that’s not the ‘be all and end all’. Heck, some people get christened in their 40s and beyond.
Who can baptise a baby?
Although you wouldn’t think it, anyone can baptise a baby within reason. You don’t have to be a priest, just a Christian who’s been baptised themselves – even if you’re a non-Catholic.
But it’s worth remembering that not all those who’re being baptised are babies. Many are fully grown adults, which can mean the rules slightly differ. In the case their life is in danger, they can even be baptised a non-christian as long as it’s done with the right intent.
Can you have a christening at home?
Yes. Although christenings were traditionally held in places of worship, you can certainly have a christening at home. These tend to be less formal and known as naming ceremonies or baby welcome parties. I photograph these too!
I’m stuck for a venue - how do I choose?
If you can’t decide on a venue, you first need to establish which route you’re going down. The formal route where you christen your baby at a place of worship. Or the more causal route where you plan a party or ceremony.
Choose the more formal route and you’ll first have to find a couple of venues that permit flash photography. Most will be alright with it, but it’s worth checking. To decide, ask yourself what you want from a venue. Is somewhere grand and full of character a must? Is there a place that’s meaningful to you that you’d like to revisit? Perhaps where you tied the knot. Or are you after somewhere that’s conveniently located for your guests?
Go for the more informal route and you’ll have a lot more options. You could keep it simple and stay at home, maybe put up a gazebo or marquee if your garden’s big enough or even have a BBQ, providing the weather permits. Then again if you’re a after a slightly more stately feel, you could book out a function room, hotel or even revisit your wedding venue (cute!).
Is lighting an issue in places of worship?
Yes and no.
Yes, lighting can pose as a slight hurdle in a place of worship, but that doesn’t mean it’ll affect the quality of your christening photography – well that’s if I’m your photographer.
I purposefully turn up early to a shoot to assess lighting conditions. Plus I carry a flash gun everywhere I go to ensure that a lack of light is never an issue. Although it’s not just places of worship where lighting can be an issue – function rooms, hotels and even marquees are all places where lighting can be challenging. Therefore, you could say hiring a professional christening photographer is an wise move. Why? Because it allows you to enjoy your day knowing that all the key moments are being photographed in high definition.
What if we need to reschedule our christening photography?
If this happens, don’t panic. I know from doing wedding photography that coordinating such large events is never quite as simple as it sounds. Booking places of worship can sometimes be tough, so in there case you have to rearrange your venue, that’s exactly what you can do with me. We can rearrange.
*Although before you change the date with your venue, run it past me first to ensure I have sufficient space in my diary.
How many photographs do you take at a christening?
Lots. On a typical shoot I can take a couple of hundred images. How many you receive depends on the package that you opt for and also how the day unfolds.