Stupid alter ego Dan likes the cold rainy gray weather (when it’s gray he doesn’t have to put on sun screen), but rain just makes Mr. Crankypants even more cranky than usual. That means it’s time to tell wedding photographers about what they may and may not do during weddings.
Here are eight rules for wedding photographers to memorize:
1. Wear clothes that look respectable but do not stand out. Black is good. Blue-and-white checked shirts are not acceptable. Jeans are totally unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if you feel more comfortable wearing jeans, because this is not about your comfort — you’re getting paid to do this.
2. Once the ceremony starts, no flash photography. When you aim your flash directly at the minister’s eyes while crouching in front of the wedding couple, you will probably blind him or her — it’s not a good idea to blind the officiant, even momentarily. (Besides, if you were a real photographer, you’d have a camera that can take existing-light photos.)
3. No, you may not stand on pews. No one else is standing on pews. What makes you think you’re so special you can treat the church that way?
4. When the wedding couple are repeating their vows, you are not to stand up in the front pew to take their picture. If you do so, you will block the view of family and friends. They are there to see and participate fully in this religious ceremony, and religiously the ceremony requires their presence. But wedding ceremonies do not require your presence at all, so go to the back of the church, buddy. (Besides, if you were a real photographer, you’d have a good enough telephoto lens so you wouldn’t have to pop up in the front pew like a damned Jack-in-the-box.)
5. Just because that ill-behaved four-year-old is running up and down the aisle doesn’t mean that you may do so. Once the ceremony begins, the wedding photographer’s role is to be in the back of the church, and be entirely unobtrusive. The four-year-old’s parents don’t know enough to stop the little hellion from running in the aisles; as an alleged professional, you should know better.
6. Mr. Crankypants just made a new rule. If you take an intrusive close-up picture of someone in the congregation crying, that person is now allowed to smash your camera immediately after the ceremony.
7. Do not hum to yourself. No, not even under your breath.
8. The wedding photographer is not the center of the wedding. The wedding photographer is less important than the wedding couple. The wedding photographer is less important than the officiant. The wedding photographer is less important than anyone in the congregation (yes, even less important than that little four-year-old hellion). The wedding photographer is not essential to the wedding and is actually completely unimportant. The wedding photographer should therefore be just as unobtrusive as he/she is unimportant.
One last word: Since Mr. Crankypants is not a Universalist (unlike stupid alter ego Dan), he can assure you that there is a special place in hell reserved for wedding photographers who violate any of the above rules. Oh, the suffering you will undergo there will be far worse than the suffering that you have inflicted over the years on poor Mr. Crankypants, who will pray for you while you writhe eternally in hell’s stop bath of boiling acetic acid.