Blog Archive

Sunday, July 31, 2011


copyright Geoff Thompson

Copyright Geoff Thompson
When you are covering a wedding and have time and room to move around, look for shots of the Bridesmaids and their reactions to the wedding during the exchange of vows.
I love the expressions on the girls, 2  who are sisters of the Bride in this wedding on Kangaroo  Island South Australia.Also make sure you get shots of all speakers etc during the ceremony.

Saturday, July 30, 2011




By Geoff Thompson  1/2/10

When I became a Christian in 1974 it was in a Church where it was traditionally accepted that the Minister called to  that Church, that whatever else he did it was expected that we would be taught thoroughly about the doctrines concerning our Lord’s return for his Church and the end of the Church age. In other words the message of the book of Revelation and all other scripture both old and new testament that supported it.

The minister who led me to Christ as my Saviour, Harold Long, was vitally interested in such teaching and we heard many informative sermons on the subject many of which I still have on tape.

To a young Christian couple like myself and my wife we enthusiastically embraced this teaching which was all very new to us .

We became very expectant that at any time the Christians of the world would be taken up in the air to meet Christ which was also signifying the ushering in of the period of the Great Tribulation on earth and then the battle of Armageddon. In some circles this is called the Rapture, the seizing up of the Church.

I had a sticker on the glovebox of my car that said. “ you ride in this car at your own risk, the driver may disappear at any time!” Some people asked me about it but others probably thought they were riding with a weirdo. Notwithstanding that I don’t have such a sticker in my car now, the situation could still arise if the theology of the “Pre Millenial Rapture” is correct.

A prominent Author at the time was Hal Lindsey who wrote “There is a New World Coming!” “The Late Great Planet Earth” and “The devil is alive and well on planet earth.”

Many people ridicule his books today but I believe we are foolish to ignore this particular part of Christian Theology. The Lord himself said “When  I return will I find Faith on the Earth?”

Of course there are many commentators on the end times.

And you have all the myriads of conspiracy theories which are also in my opinion designed to lead us all astray and look to things other than the Bible to answer questions about where the world is heading.

I get  sick of hearing people talk about them.

To cut a long story short I made the mistake that so many do of really focusing on that subject for a while and getting caught up in what the bible tells us not to do. That is trying to read the signs of the times and working out how much time we have left. This was pre 1984 and having read George Orwells’ book ,1984, I though that this could well be a prophetic date in itself.

Anyway one of the things mentioned in the  Bible is about the Jewish temple of Old Testament times being re constructed in Jerusalem as being one of the signs of the times for the approaching end..

Well we can read below a report from local ABC Radio.

Orthodox Jews plan rebuilding of sacred temple
Anne Barker reported this story on Friday, January 29, 2010 12:34:0
ELEANOR HALL: Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans under Emperor Vespasian destroyed the city of Jerusalem and according to Judaism demolished the second temple sacred to Jews.

Orthodox Jews have prayed ever since for the temple to be rebuilt and an 18th century rabbi even predicted that construction would begin in March 2010. 

But one modern-day institution in Jerusalem has taken on the task of preparing for the temple's reconstruction now.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker has our report.

(Sounds from the Western Wall)

ANNE BARKER: Every day thousands of Jews in Jerusalem pray at the Western Wall, said to be the last remnant of the second temple which was demolished by the Romans in 70 AD.

Jews believe the second temple and Solomon's ancient temple before it were both built on the same site that today houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque - the third holiest site in Islam.

(Sounds from Al-Aqsa Mosque)

It's arguably the most contested piece of land on earth because of its historic importance to Muslims and Jews.

And for nearly 2,000 years Orthodox Jews have recited daily prayers for the temple's reconstruction in keeping with the biblical commandments.

(Sound of prayers)

Today one Jewish institution has taken on the job of turning the prayer into reality.

YEHUDA GLICK: I believe that we're like 2,000 years late, but I'd say that in our modern era, in 1967 when the state of Israel united Jerusalem we should have immediately begun. And I think every single day is a day late.

ANNE BARKER: Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a director at the Temple Institute whose sole purpose is to plan the construction of the third temple which many believe must be done in time for the coming of the Jewish Messiah.

YEHUDA GLICK: One of the 613 obligations in the Jewish Torah is an obligation to build the temple and it exists every single day, whether the Messiah has arrived yet or not.

ANNE BARKER: Already the Temple Institute has spent around $30 million preparing for the temple's reconstruction.

Architectural plans have been drawn up and vast funds have been spent employing the best craftsmen to make the priestly robes and vessels to be used once it's built.

YEHUDA GLICK: We have the altar which is made of stone as you can see.

ANNE BARKER: Rabbi Glick shows me glass cabinets filled with dozens of objects fashioned on those in the Bible - among them a pure gold menorah, silver trumpets (sound of trumpet), an incense altar, even a new Ark of the Covenant to hold the tablets of law given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

YEHUDA GLICK: Actually it's very interesting because they were brought from the exact location of the altar built originally by Joshua.

ANNE BARKER: There are even plans to produce a sacrificial red heifer which the Bible says must be slaughtered before the temple can be built.

For all the biblical specifications though Rabbi Glick believes the third temple will be a thoroughly modern building.

YEHUDA GLICK: The third temple doesn't have to be as was the second temple or the first temple in terms of, I mean there can be air conditioning, parking lots, computers. I mean just the fact that people used it at the time used oil doesn't mean that today we can't use electricity.

ANNE BARKER: There is of course one not-so-small problem. The temple site has for around 1,300 years housed the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Many Muslims in fact say no Jewish temple ever existed here and that Jews are yet to produce a single shred of archaeological evidence.

Not surprisingly some, like one Palestinian leader Mahdi Abdul Hadi, warn of warfare if Jews try to build another temple over the Dome of the Rock.

MAHDI ABDUL HADI: We will defend it, we will fight for it, whether we are religious, non religious. It's our place. It's our holy place. And this is bringing us back to the Middle Ages and the empowerment of self with the idea of killing each other.

ANNE BARKER: For now though the mosques are safe. But if the 18th century Rabbi Vilna Gaon was correct in his prophesies the temple's construction would begin in about six weeks.

This is Anne Barker in Jerusalem for The World Today.

Below is one of the Bible Chapters touching on the subject of the end times.

Matthew 24 (New Living Translation)

Matthew 24
Jesus Foretells the Future
       1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
       3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?[a]”
       4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
       9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.
       15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration[d] standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.
       23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.
       26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man[e] comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.[f]
       29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days,
         the sun will be darkened,
            the moon will give no light,
         the stars will fall from the sky,
            and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.[g]
       30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.[h] 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world[i]—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
       32 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation[j] will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
       36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.[k] Only the Father knows.
       37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
       40 “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
       42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
       45 “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Well why am I thinking and talking about this today.

I am because it is a much ridiculed doctrine of the Bible and even Christians are guilty of this.

It doesn’t help of course when recently a Man in the US had lots of people thinking the rapture was going to happen on 21/5/11.

It didn’t of course and the Bible tells us no one knows except God the Father when this will happen.

The thing is though it could have happened.  

At least the man who warned the world was warning them even though he didn’t help by naming a date.

I made myself look stupid when I told a friend one night, as alluded to earlier that I thought Jesus would return in 1984.

It didn’t happen of course and now I am older and wiser.

There are 3 things I think are very important about the return to earth of our Lord.

1.  We need to be ready when He comes. We don’t want to be caught napping.We don’t want to take our salvation for granted and enjoy what some call cheap grace.There is a cost in being a Christian.
2.  We should tell people about the first coming of Jesus and all that it means to them.
3.  We should not neglect also this teaching of Jesus return  as it gives a real hope to those who despair of the world and it’s injustice and evil.    

Geoff Thompson.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Passing of John Stott

Willie Wagtail
I just read this evening of the death of the noted English Theologian John Stott. I first heard of him when I was a new Christian in the 1970's and he came to speak at Holy Trinity Church in Adelaide. My wife and I were encouraged to attend but the crowd was so big we were in an overflow room and had to listen and watch John Stott on closed circuit television.I recently inherited a collection of audio tapes of those meetings.The experience at the time was bit empty as we seemed so remote from the speaker.Listening to the tapes now they are wonderful teachings on all sorts of things. He even brought in his interest in what he called Orni-theology. If you have a copy of his book "the Birds our Teachers" you will know what he meant.I notice in many of the comments on his passing on the Christianity Today website that many referred to him as Uncle John. In the tapes I have someone asked him about manners and how we should address our elders as young Christians. He  said he was comfortable with Uncle but did not like young people calling him by his first name which is pretty common these days.People in that particular Q and A then started addressing him as Uncle John, I have several of his books and coincidentally bought a bundled collection of some of his books today in a Christian Bookshop.
A wonderful Christian Teacher and Theologian. A Birdwatcher and Photographer also.
We are rich in the Christian world from his contribution and use of his gifts.

Come to Australia

To the many from overseas who are following this blog I thank you for looking. I would encourage you if you have never been, particularly the photographers, to come for  a holiday here. My wife and I on our recent trip to Melbourne sat next to on the plane  a young German woman who was on her 2nd trip to Australia and was very enthusiastic and is still planning to come again.I would be happy to point you in the right direction for good places to go and stay and take photos.To those who take photos and watch birds I doubt there is a better place in the world to that safely and with such light and colour and variety.

see this latest video promo from Australia .com

Geoff Thompson

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Photography- Stills operator working with the Videographer.

Copyright Geoff Thompson

In weddings still and video photography or movies have been around for a long time. My Dad captured all our Weddings in my generation, family and some of our friends, on 8mm and super 8 mm movie film. Those movies mostly only went for 3 minutes or less but they are priceless to us .
Not even any sound.Such things gain in value through the years.
I worked with a man who told me every wedding anniversary he and his wife watch their wedding video as they believe it is important to review and re evaluate their marriage continuously.
A great idea I think.
I have always suggested to couples when quoting on stills for a wedding to consider video of the wedding.
Many for some reason don't like it although that may now be changing with the social network media now available.

If you can find someone who is really good and you work well with it is possible  to recommend him or her and you find yourself doing lots of weddings together.

The same person we found also often hired my Canon XL1 digital video for some years as a back up to his own gear and when he needed a second camera in weddings or other shoots.

I have videoed a couple of weddings myself and also assisted my youngest son in some wedding videos when he started to enter this field. He was very good and in those days just using super VHS panasonic cameras(analogue).

He has now worked in the motion picture industry doing special computer stuff in hollywood and other movies including Superman, Harry Potter, and various other big time movies for quite some time.

We learnt , he learnt, I learnt,  that video of a wedding is much more demanding than still photography.
You have to get so much more right including sound.
I once did a wedding video for a couple  who came to Adelaide by themselves from England for their wedding. Thay had eloped and were going to party back home after the wedding.
The only people present in an outdoor wedding at a local popular wedding location, was the still photographer and her assistant, the celebrant and his wife, and the couple and myself.
The very bright back lighting under a shady tree was challenging  as I did not have a video light with me.
I was getting this right and concentrating so hard on this I did not get the sound right.
As the couple were signing the register and relaxing I played back some of the 10 minute ceremony and realised I had no sound.
All the way from England and no sound on their wedding video, what would you do at that point?
I swallowed my pride and said what had happenned and could we do it all again.
They agreed after a surprised and quick collaboration and as there we no other weddings following and no other timetable at risk.
So they got married  twice and we had 2 versions to play with in editing.
They went back to England happy.
I learnt some lessons I'll never forget but I doubt anyone else could be that lucky.

There is lots of editing to do on a wedding  and also there are issues in supplying popular music soundtracks.
The stills photographer these days of course also has lots of editing to do.

You more than likely will need to stay to the end of the reception.
A very long day.
We once left home at 7am saturday morning for a country shoot that started in Adelaide and moved to the Barossa valley for the reception, (1.5 hours out of town) and got home at about 3am Sunday morning.

So if you are a still photographer respect the video person.
If there is one hired be it professional or keen amateur, it is important to talk to them during the planning stages of the wedding.
Make sure you are going to be able to work together in harmony.

Make sure they are  aware of your timetable and that it fits with their style and approach.

We have,my assistant and I , whoever that may be, where the customer has not wanted video, still taken along small video cameras with us and shot video snippets of the wedding and given them as surprise bonus to our customers.
It has not however  been at the expense ie compromising, of our still photography.

Much is now talked about converging with Digital SLR's capable of high quality wedding work. I really believe to do still or video properly, professionally at a wedding, you need to have one person or couple doing video and same for stills.

Geoff Thompson


                           By Frank Hunting

Yes Lord, I need and must continuously turn to You. It is amazing that I still want to think of myself as having arrived at a certain stage of Christian growth never again needing to retrace my steps to maintain this stage. Or to think,”Well now, at last, in that regard I have got myself right with Jesus, I have finished with that.” I think I have arrived permanently at that stage only to find I haven’t .I must start again afresh. I must go back with You Lord and make a new beginning. The reason?

There are depths in me still needing to turn to You ,Lord to be converted- changed-cleansed- transformed. I do not turn to You once and stay put. I do not repent once, and dispense with any need to repent for all time. If I am to walk with you Lord I must continuously repent. If I walk in the light as You are in the light Your blood is cleansing me from sin. But that cleansing must go much, much deeper, than conscious sin of which I am aware. This cleansing must go to the deepest depths of me- and it must be continuous.

Continuously do I have to learn that I am nothing. Continuously do I need to  learn that that nothingness  can only be met by Your sufficiency, Lord

(from Off  Beat Responses to the Bible) 

Footnote: Even though as Christians we can know salvation from sin and assurance of Heaven,  Salvation , Full Salvation, is a continous process. There is always more of us that needs to be taken to the Cross. I know this to be true in me. I have a long way to go. Too often as Christians we criticise others in their "walk" but none of us have any right to.  Geoff Thompson

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Holy Spirit of Promise-The Dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit

White Dove 

Crested Pigeon ("Toppy")

I have noticed today that a pair of White Doves which are native to Africa are starting to build a nest in a tree over the back corner of our fence. This species has been establishing itself in recent years in the suburbs ofAdelaide and they would surely have originated from escaped aviary birds.They are beautiful birds, reasonably tame and have a very characteristic cooing  call.I usually hear them before I see them.We have many doves and pigeons native to Australia and one that has gained strong foothold in Adelaide and other states is the Indian Turtle Dove. I have got into the habit of whenever I see a dove or hear one I remind myself that the Holy Spirit is ever present in my life.
The Holy Spirit descended onto Jesus at His Baptism in the form of a dove and dove was also used by Noah to find a landfall after the Flood.

Even though I can't always see the doves I know they are here.Also a common species around here is the Crested Pigeon or Topknot or "Toppy" as we call them.

If you watch doves and pigeons you will note that they drink by suction unlike most other birds that lift their heads to swallow when drinking. The doves and pigeons do not raise their heads. I am told there is an Australian Finch that does the same.

One folklore has said that the pigeons and doves are pagans as they don't lift their heads to Heaven in praise of God when drinking.
This is nonsense of course.

I am reminded though that we are told to drink of the living Water who is Christ.

If you are a Christian the Holy Spirit is living in you and walking beside you each day, every minute ,every hour.
If you are not a Christian He is seeking to be and do the same for you.

He is our Comforter and so much more.

Geoff Thompson

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


“ His name shall be called: Counsellor.”  Isaiah 9:6 Be careful when you look at the word : Counsellor. I would suggest as you apply that word to Jesus you divest your mind of all the humanistic counselling we are often advised to seek. Counselling is the “in” thing today.Everyone needs counselling. Flood victims, bushfire victims, accident victims, mothers, fathers, children, all need counselling for one reason or another. Life is simply too much, too overwhelming for most of us without the help of a counsellor of some sort or another. Look at that word: counsellor. Who or what is a counsellor? A short answer is : A counsellor is someone who is trained to give advice, expert advice in some area of mal adjustment in human behaviour.  We are placing more and more dependence on such counselling advice for people with all sorts of need. However, counselling such as is everywhere being offered to people in need or in crisis has, no matter how good and wise it may be , an inbuilt weakness. It is humanistically based. It is the study of man by man. It is man trying to help man. This follows the advice given by Alexander Pope: “Know then  thyself, presume not God to scan. The proper study of man is man.” The proper study of man is man ,and that confines us to all the limitations and inadequacies of human beings. And this is not good enough. Counsellor when applied to Jesus has connotations above and beyond all that is human. It introduces  the limitless ability of God. As Counsellor we are able to call on Jesus and all whom He is and can do to our side. We have Jesus who is coming to our side not to blame, find fault, criticise or judge, but to aid us , to help us. Jesus comes to aid us , to make good our  insufficiencies, to make us complete and whole. And no one else can do this. Sin can and literally does ravage  a man or woman’s life. In the region of the soul sin can leave sores that never heal until they are healed by the atoning death of Jesus. Some trail memories  along with them from their past that cripple and crush their personalities and which make the beginning of each day a nightmare. There are areas of the soul which only Jesus does , when called to our side , heal and make whole and restore. His name shall be called Counsellor and fulfilling this role by being called to our side, Jesus guides us with the wisdom of God. He can heal and restore , and finally adjust the deepest regions of our being. He makes the wounded spirit whole. He sets the prisoner free. Why?          Because His Name is called Counsellor. Taken from the booklet “Is this the real Christmas? The way it really was.”    By Frank Hunting

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pentax Special Effects

Brooke and Scott. copyright Geoff Thompson

My then 2 yo grandson playing toy piano to the members of the Nativity Scene.Copyright Geoff Thompson
The above shots  I produced by playing with the filters on my Pentax KX. These effects can be quite gimmiky but I find them great fun and useful for wedding shots.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding Photography Shotlist

 Wedding party at Marble Hill South Australia. Luke and Libby.

Detail shots

Detail shots

This shot could have also been taken at cake but this was straight after their outdoor wedding at Hahndorf South Australia. Cassie and Travis

I usually get Bride and groom to put outside arms around each other and knife held with inside arms.It is easy and quick to set up.Note soft lighting. I was using film with quite high ceiling in room but bounced my metz flash off the ceilling and also the white tablecloth bounces light back up to them
AT THE GROOM'S HOUSE or where groom and family are getting ready.

*Groom Individual full,half length,head only  portraits. Indoors outdoors weather and surrounds permitting.
*Same shots for groomsman if time but important to get shots of all males in wedding party as duos or a whole group. Look for interaction.Get people looking at each other as well as camera and encourage silly talk between them.
* Getting ready shots of the above and parents if they are ok with that.
* Groom with parents and siblings, relatives in various groupings. Shots in particular with Mum and Dad. Always try to include any grandparents who are there.
Shots with wedding cars in particular if cars are a feature of the day.(Boys toys)
Mixture of formal shots and casual. Allow from half hour to an hour if no more than 3 groomsman. If more in wedding party allow an extra 15 mins.
Don't forget little kids in wedding party.

AT THE BRIDES HOUSE  or where she is changing and leaving from.

*BRIDE: These are very important shots. full,half length,head only  portraits. Indoors outdoors weather and surrounds permitting.
*Same shots for bridesmaids if time but important to get shots of all females in wedding party as duos or a whole group. Look for interaction.
* Getting ready shots of the above and parents if they are ok with that.
* Bride  with parents and siblings, relatives in various groupings. Shots in particular with Mum and Dad.
Always try to include any grandparents who are there.Allow an hour if no more than 3 bridesmaids.

If more in wedding party allow an extra 15 mins.
Get people looking at each other as well as camera and encourage silly talk between them.
*Bride on Father's arm at front door when leaving from house to go to ceremony.
*It is a nice photo to get shot of bride with veil over her face. If you miss it here remember to do it later.
*Use furniture and beds where appropriate for props.
Mixture of formal shots and casual.
Don't forget little kids in wedding party.

Remember it is not important that you have smiles in all photos.Some Brides may be that excited and nervous that they won't stop laughing.If you realise this try for a few what I call more "demure" shots.

Also if there are mirrors anywhere during the shoot try to take advantage of them.


*Bride and father, or one giving her away, at car on arrival for ceremony. Also with Bridesmaids. A shot through window or of bride half out of car and sitting and looking at dad or camera is nice.I think it is important to get Bride and Bridesmaids and dad or significant other lined up in front of car and on red carpet before entering the church.
*Get shots of anxious groom before ceremony starts and bride has arrived. Also try for this as she is walking down the aisle.
*Get them exchanging glances as she approaches the front and the Minister or official.
*Ceremony: Couple shots, group from back of church from balcony if there is one,exchange of rings,vows,kiss, blessing,signing register( I usually have arranged with minister to do this as set up after the actual signing) you can still take a few candids in real time.Minister handing over certificate,singers,musicians,scripture readers or other readers of poems etc,greeting parents and friends in Church after announced to congregation,walking out down the aisle, bride and groom on steps or at front of Church (add Bridal party to this)Candids confetti throwing etc.I advise people to allow 15 mins out front of ceremony venue before taking off for next photography location.
I always ask if a balcony available in churches but make sure you have pre- arranged to make sure the door to the balcony is not locked.

Keep a lookout and anticipate an opportunity to get this type of shot


* Bride and groom and both lots of parents. 2 groups of 4 and one of 6.If there have been separations or divorces with parents  this may need to be done with new partners also.
* bridal party. Formal and informal. Learn to be creative. look for humor.
*Bride and Groom. Important to get a good supply of these.Vary poses ,let them be creative and share ideas if they have them.Close ups, fall length, sitting on ground or seat,kissing in bridal car, standing outside the car.
I usually have a small aluminium stepladder with me to get elevation on shots for group photos or others. Also this is helpful particularly if a large group photo has been requested of all the guests straight after the ceremony.

RECEPTION  ( I stay up to an hour at the most at weddings.)

*Cutting cake. Set up or in real time.Capture kiss ,looking at cake, looking at camera,looking at each other. A toast with glasses(drinking glasses ie., I did have one bride who wore her glasses all day and did not want to take them off) by the cake also is a good shot.
* The cake itself,Marriage certificate on table with rings and flowers is a nice traditional shot.
*Quickly get detail shots of reception and table decorations or get your assistant to do this.One wedding I did the couple were "foodies" and they particularly wanted food shots of all the dishes being served.
* Bride and Groom and wedding party formally entering the reception venue.
* Bridal party at bridal table.
* Couple shots of parents.I usually try and get these shots also prior to the wedding but if you haven't do it at reception.
* If you have missed out on any grandparent shots do it at reception before you leave. It is sad but at my own wedding no one took a shot of my grandmother with us. She died soon after.Also my Grandfather died some years later but no shots with him also.This has happened in lots of weddings I have done.Parents have also died soon after a wedding and even a little baby from one we did a video of.
* Weddings are times to capture family memories and love.
( note my blog topic on emotions at weddings)
* guest at tables if requested and also candid shots if it is a cocktail party or do this during pre wedding drinks and nibbles.

* if staying for whole reception then:
    *Bridal waltz,candies,speeches,car decorations, throwing garter, old lang-syne, dancing,MC.

SUMMARY: When I first started out I learnt this by degrees. As in the first several years I shot film only and budget kept the number of films down,  I developed a system of 4 little cards that I kept in my top pocket during the day.I worked out how many shots per location I had pre allocated eg Shots of Bride by herself with bridesmaids, parents etc. I ticked off each shot  in groups of 5 as I went, By the time I got to the church I wasn't usually ticking as I went but it helped to keep my objectives in mind as I compared how many films I had progressively shot as to how many I had  allocated. After a while this shot list become embedded in my head and I no longer need a shot list. That should happen to all photographers  as they gain experience. You know soon what is required. You will also learn the hard way if you leave someone out. Having an assistant and going throughout the time sheet and important stuff before  the shoot begins is a good idea.Also talking to each other in the car between venues is good. If you realise you have missed something earlier ask your assistant to remind you to get it later.A shot list like this reminds you of essentials but is used as a stepping stone to your creativity.Sometimes couples will give you shots from a magazine to try and replicate.I explain that I will keep them in mind but I cannot guarantee to re create another's shot but will attempt if opportunity and time permits.Even though it is great to get a documentary candid look to your wedding photography your couples do need direction.If they were left to their own devices you might have them never together in a photo.You do need to take control in a wedding shoot but if you do it well that will not be the impression left with your clients. They will just love how their day just naturally flows. That is the aim of having a plan for the shoot and a timetable.

You might also like to read my post on preparing a wedding photography timetable.

And this one on the wedding photography reccy.

Also some thoughts on photography in the church.