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Photography at church?

Christos3

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I was visiting a different church, and they had signs posted everywhere saying you may not take pictures. The church is beautiful, so I took one picture anyway (it was atthe end of service and made sure faces were not visible), then an older woman got upset with me. As long as the photography (Camera or phone) is not distracting, and you are respectful, I find it another way to spread our faith. Am I missing something?
 

LBK

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When in Rome ...

IOW, respect the rules of the place. Many churches allow photography, others don't. It is not up to the individual to flout the rules, nor to question them. It's rudeness and egotism to think you know better by disobeying a clear directive..
 

J Michael

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I was visiting a different church, and they had signs posted everywhere saying you may not take pictures. The church is beautiful, so I took one picture anyway (it was atthe end of service and made sure faces were not visible), then an older woman got upset with me. As long as the photography (Camera or phone) is not distracting, and you are respectful, I find it another way to spread our faith. Am I missing something?
Yes, you are missing something-respect for the rules of the church you were in.
 
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Maybe some of their icons are photosensitive.
 

LizaSymonenko

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While one should follow the local rules of any parish... I do understand what Christos3 is saying... and honestly agree with him.

There is no reason why we cannot take photos in church, if we do so respectfully...without disruption. If we are able to depict Christ due to His Incarnation... onto wood planks... why are we disallowed of depicting Him to the world via photographs of those images?

I agree that it is a disservice to the Church in these times to not share the beauty and majesty found within our churches. The beauty was one of the things that struck the emissaries of Prince Volodymyr, which led to the baptism of all the Ukrainians in 988 AD.

I understand that when people pray, they do not wish to have their photos taken... however, if you take a discrete photo from the back... or wait until after the service to simply capture the beauty of the icons and architecture... there should be nothing wrong.

I once went to a large old monastery which forbade photography... and little women in green capes kept chasing after everyone to ensure they did not raise their cellphones for a photo... Those little ladies in green capes were far more intrusive and a distraction... if not an absolute turn off... than had someone actually snapped a photo. ....AND... if you left a generous donation, you would be given a pass allowing you to take photos. So, if I can PAY to take photos... it is not the photo-taking itself which they find offensive... as they allow it under certain circumstances.

....and if the issue is the "respect" of the icons... and that the photos might be misused, or thrown out, or in some way disrespected... what about all the images we plaster over our bulletins, correspondences, brochures, and such? Those get thrown out more than anything.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Maybe some of their icons are photosensitive.
You are permitted to take photos in museums of masterpieces... as long as you do not use the flash. I would assume the paint used on the icons would also not be damaged merely by a photo being taken, as long as the flash was turned off.
 

J Michael

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While one should follow the local rules of any parish... I do understand what Christos3 is saying... and honestly agree with him.

There is no reason why we cannot take photos in church, if we do so respectfully...without disruption. If we are able to depict Christ due to His Incarnation... onto wood planks... why are we disallowed of depicting Him to the world via photographs of those images?

I agree that it is a disservice to the Church in these times to not share the beauty and majesty found within our churches. The beauty was one of the things that struck the emissaries of Prince Volodymyr, which led to the baptism of all the Ukrainians in 988 AD.

I understand that when people pray, they do not wish to have their photos taken... however, if you take a discrete photo from the back... or wait until after the service to simply capture the beauty of the icons and architecture... there should be nothing wrong.

I once went to a large old monastery which forbade photography... and little women in green capes kept chasing after everyone to ensure they did not raise their cellphones for a photo... Those little ladies in green capes were far more intrusive and a distraction... if not an absolute turn off... than had someone actually snapped a photo. ....AND... if you left a generous donation, you would be given a pass allowing you to take photos. So, if I can PAY to take photos... it is not the photo-taking itself which they find offensive... as they allow it under certain circumstances.

....and if the issue is the "respect" of the icons... and that the photos might be misused, or thrown out, or in some way disrespected... what about all the images we plaster over our bulletins, correspondences, brochures, and such? Those get thrown out more than anything.
I understand both your point and what Christos3 is saying. However, if a particular parish publicly requests (or forbids) the taking of photographs there, that really ought to be respected, especially by a visitor. I'm sure there are plenty of other churches where Christos3 could have taken pictures where they are perfectly fine that he do so, if that is his preferred way to spread the faith.

If someone comes into my home and I've requested them, quite explicitly, not to do something and they do it anyway even if they have the "best of intentions", what is that other than disrespect?
 

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Try taking photos before the service, or afterwards.
 

Christos3

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When smartphones first became popular for photos (2010ish) I thought it was disrespectful to take pictures during service. But times change and now it is a regular occurrence at the church I attend. Photos during 40 day blessings, Mom's taking pictures of their children during their first service as Altar boys, flower arrangements around icons, decorations during feast days, when we have special guests. Etc. Many of the photos are uploaded to our social media and helpful for those seeking a new church.

Also, with so many churches and monasteries that went to live streaming during Covid lock downs, I am surprised photography is discouraged. Yes, in hindsight, I shouldn't have taken the picture. I will be more respectful next time I encounter this situation.
 

DeniseDenise

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You are allowed to...... except where a place (museum, church, etc ) tells you not to.

Following the rules of the place one is in...regardless of whatever 'rationalization' one can make to the contrary, is how you show respect.
 

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How would you know if there was someone there in Witness Protection? Or if there is someone with a stalker? Or an abusive predator looking for the victim? How do you know the Why? In the future ask permission if you may take photo after service in an empty church. Then if they say no you can ask why respectfully if you are so curious. Maybe someone is hiding there. Maybe it started when the whole Mask VS No Mask thing came up with distance protocol. Protective of parishioner’s privacy? Maybe it’s a pet peeve of the priest that people are making this into a spectacle of entertainment or a distraction from Christ. As far as justification of online streaming, maybe remember “The doors! The doors!!!!” Some things are ok being hidden.

And as far as outreach, the “come and see” thing turns into “stay put and be entertained”

Just some perspective to think about. I don’t know.
The above poster who stated a situation where one can take photos if one gives a hefty donation makes me vomit. Selling the holy?
 

Christos3

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There were several people taking photos during the service (one with a real camera, long lense and flash). So their signs made little sense to me (they posted signs outside, not on the church door).

I have visited several churches where the small t is more important than the big T, and it's not surprising they are having a hard time keeping parishioners.
 

DeniseDenise

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There were several people taking photos during the service (one with a real camera, long lense and flash). So their signs made little sense to me (they posted signs outside, not on the church door).

I have visited several churches where the small t is more important than the big T, and it's not surprising they are having a hard time keeping parishioners.

Ever consider that you might not have all the info about the situation? They might have -hired- a photographer for a particular reason etc.

The request to refrain should be enough.... to have you refrain....it doesn't have to make 'sense' or be explained to you more than it was.

Don't conflate this with other places you have visited and your judgementalness of those.
 

RaphaCam

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I have visited several churches where the small t is more important than the big T, and it's not surprising they are having a hard time keeping parishioners.
Obedience, rather than taking pictures at will or following the crowd, is part of Holy Tradition. We live in times of many conflicting authorities competing for allegiance in the market of ideas, while we all deep down feel too informed, and perhaps even too special, to submit to the ones we actually admire. Anyway, obedience is not some vague spiritual concept of the Desert Fathers, sometimes it's as simple as following an irrelevant church rule you disagree with. If the sign outside were one of these horrible anti-almsgiving rules (IDK whether they can be seen in public places in the US), then what you said would make sense.

Next time it's better to simply approach someone in the clergy and ask...
 
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Shanghaiski

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Church etiquette norms vary and often seem arbitrary to the people found violating them, but can have a deeper meaning for everyone else, as well as the person not following the norm since that person can gain much spiritually from simply following the norm and not doing his own will.
 
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