The Most Awkward Wedding Photography Video Ever

As photographers, many of us will do the occasional wedding or two to help supplement income and boost our careers. Wedding photography can be one of the most stressful and challenging aspects of photography, but is often considered the most important because of its purpose. However, how do you handle an awkward situation where you're asked to stop photographing all together, in the middle of a ceremony?

In the video posted above, we see the officiant giving his blessings and speaking during a wedding ceremony. Seemingly out of nowhere, he turns around, and aggressively tells the photographer and videographer to stop doing their jobs, and go somewhere else. The worst part of it all however, is the look on the bride and grooms face, as this officiant makes everyone feel uncomfortable in the blink of an eye.

Certainly as wedding photographers, it's important for us to be like ninjas, and do our job as silently and nonobstructive as possible. But what happens when the officiant doesn't want a ninja, but someone nonexistent entirely?


[via SLRLounge]

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John Dewberry's picture

They got totally church lady'd.

Julie Gowler's picture

Could it beeeee......SATAN??

John Cowan's picture

Well, isn't that special.

Jon Sharman's picture

The officiant is a jackass, but to be fair if they'd have taken a minute to touch base with him beforehand about his preferences, they'd have probably avoided the whole thing. Plenty of times I get an officiant who doesn't want me in certain places, but I convince them otherwise. Also, Jesus, they were pretty close to the couple.

Ben Perrin's picture

Yeah I think I agree with you on this one. The priest could've handled that much much better but the whole situation might have been avoided with a little communication. I feel for the bride and groom.

Jon Sharman's picture

Yeah me too, they looked completely flabbergasted.

Kane's picture

They looked so mortified! Here they are paying money to have the most important day of their lives photographed and videotaped and the officiant ruined it. :'(

Michael Null's picture

That's what B roll is for ;)

Bert McLendon's picture

Yea, you gotta go over the rules with the officiant beforehand just to check and AVOID this kind of reaction. On the other hand there are a few people that the officiant could have explained the rules to before as well, also to avoid this, like the Bride, the Wedding Planner, the Photographer, Videographer etc... "This is not about the photography"...

He is now immortalized as a jackass, poor dude.

Zach Sutton's picture

Rightfully immortalized in my opinion.

He's willing to stop someone elses wedding because he doesn't like what the photographers are doing. That's arrogant, that's selfish, and thats being a jackass.

Sometimes you need to let things go...something he should have did in this case.

DeathNTexas's picture

Agreed. Even if he wanted to stop right there to make them move, he could have simply whispered quietly and calmly to them. People would have figured out what was going on, but it would not have been disruptive or awkward. I think the words he needs to learn are courtesy and professionalism.

Ciclismo's picture

Fully agree that this was completely tactless: The photographer at our wedding last month got a little too close for the priest's comfort, but he just took a moment when everyone was distracted by the music to quietly lay down a ground-rule or two. No-one noticed (except us two) and everything went smooth after that.

Kamrul Hasan's picture

@Ciclismo:disqus that would have been smart move!

Justin R Mayfield's picture

We're talking about a man who dresses up in a fancy suit to go
charade as the mouthpiece of an invisible being that claims
responsibility for the creation of the universe and all the actions of
every molecule contained within. Arrogance, self-grandeur, and disillusion are built into his job description. A lot of priests get off on the power.

And honestly, how the hell did the notion of a wedding being a "solemn assembly" sneak back out of 1842? Even Jesus went to weddings that raged so long that people were too drunk to drive their donkeys to the store for more wine. That doesn't sound very solemn to me.

All that said, it's obvious the video crew/photographers did not communicate clearly beforehand. Poor couple. One thing I will say about this though, there are volumes being spoken between the bride and groom. It's a lot of fun to go back and watch this again focusing only on them. :)

Graham Marley's picture

This isn't even vaguely fair to clergy. For every one outrageous jerk with a collar, there are ten who are selflessly working quietly with their communities in vital ways, for very little pay. I personally know a lot of these people, and the way they "charade as the mouthpiece" usually involves working damn hard to help people out. There are absolutely bad apples, and I've dealt with them on various levels, but they are vastly in the minority, especially once you leave the United States.

ikeithb's picture

Amen to THAT!

Kamrul Hasan's picture

@DeathNTexas:disqus Agree, thank you. that would have been professional.

Jon Sharman's picture

Completely agree that he took it way too far, you could tell that he was embracing the idea of telling these photographers/videographers what's what.

But it doesn't change the fact it was a reaction to the photographer/videographer being way, way too close to the proceedings.

Graham Marley's picture

I don't know about "being a jack ass." There's a pretty strong chance that the photographer was distracting the couple too. I often get little glances from clients at the altar, and I'm like "PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING!" and I NEVER get that close. If the priest felt that the sacrament wasn't being performed correctly because of the frankly ridiculous positioning of the photographers, it's his job to make sure that's protected. Be a little nicer? Yeah maybe, but I was way more horrified by the photographer making it worse by turning it into a negotiation. "Where do you want me to go?" Agree or disagree with the priest, just do it at some other time.

sboerup's picture

I can't say the Officiant did it with the proper tact and respect for his "office", but, the principle behind it was correct.

While we can only view a small portion of "where" the photographers were (it looks like there was a ton), standing behind the altar and hearing "click click click" would piss me off too if I was a minister. In his mind he's doing something far more important, and this was probably the tipping point for him after seeing similar behavior by other photographers. So I can't blame him for sticking up for what he believes is right.

The fact the photographers had to ask "where would you like me to be" solidifies to me that the photographers didn't care where they stood. I'd be mortified if I caused a scene at a wedding! I think there is room to blame on both sides, although the Priest just did it more publicly, because its easier to forgive a photographer for being disruptive to your wedding, rather than the priest.

Jr Miller's picture

Well stated.

Matthew Johnston's picture

With that said though, it is the photographers job to capture that moment, after all that is why they are there. That video and the pictures will live on forever, the memories of the photographers being "in the way" to get the best shot possible will die off.

Kamrul Hasan's picture

Thank you, for understanding. It was about Bride &
Groom. It wasn't about that crazy Priest. Regardless he shouldn't have done that right before he pronounces them as Husband and Wife.

wendell's picture

Did you stop shooting the wedding all together? No kiss or ring exchange?

Kamrul Hasan's picture

Right, Thank you @ZSuttonPhoto:disqus

Kamrul Hasan's picture

Dude, I did ask him before ceremony began. if he has any
rules or restrictions during the ceremony. Only thing he told me was “DO NOT COME IN THE AISLE”but no clue why he snapped during the ceremony.

wendell's picture

Everyone knows that when a priest says "Do not come in the aisle" He means don't even get those cameras out of their bags.

kdduck0524's picture

Actually the photographer should have backed off on the first request rather than push the issue in the middle of the ceremony.
The official didn't become agitated until he was talked back to.
I've used a lot of professional photo people and this was just a relative or friend who owns a camera. Professionals know their place and don't question when they are asked to move which I agree with your statement about asking placement prior to the ceremony.
Don't blame the priest, he's just trying to do his job as eloquently as possible.

Jon Sharman's picture

I quite clearly placed the blame on the photographer.

But I wouldn't use the word "eloquently" to describe the approach the priest took.

Kamrul Hasan's picture

I did back off, after the first conversation. I wasn't in the aisle; I was shooting from side and back. I didn’t know I had to have telephoto lens for wedding photography, if I knew I would have bought one and actually shoot this particular wedding from the lake that was behind us. LOL!

Lola's picture

Kamrul, if you want to be in a wedding business, having a telephoto lens is a must. This officiant is not THE only one who will not let you shoot in the aisle, behind him or anywhere close to the altar.

wendell's picture

You people that blame the photograher are tards. The photographer was clearly stunned at what was going on it took him a couple seconds to realise the priest was talking to them. The couple was stunned as well. It's about the couple and God not the stupid priest.

Louise's picture

The photographer should have known his place and the priest should have been more "eloquent"...

Guest's picture

It doesn't even matter who the priest was talking to. He was rude and unprofessional. I don't even care what what going on behind him (it could have been a party for heaven sake!) a professional he needed to handle it differently. Regardless of what the photographer might have done or not done it doesn't matter (its how the priest drew attention to the matter and STOPPED the ceremony to do it!) We wouldn't be having this discussion and no one would even know about this had he continued to perform his duty as priest (as he was hired to do) There are distractions in EVERY wedding, crying babies, honking cars, things get dropped, family members who are want to be photographers, service staff working in the back, weather, planes overhead the list goes on! For him to go off on anyone is incredibly unprofessional! Imagine what this discussion would look like if he had yelled at a mom with a crying baby! If this is an issue for him to be able to perform the service he was hired to do...then he should have included it in his contract with bride and groom...not power play with the photographer. And even then no matter what happens he needs to pull it together....its the right thing to do. Priest in in the wrong here. End of story!

Jr Miller's picture

This...always talk to them asap before the ceremony starts.

Kamrul Hasan's picture

I did speak him before, he told me not come in the aisle,
but when he started to argue I was actually at the back shooting with my 70-200
mm. He did not warn bride and groom before. Everybody including bride and groom
was socked with his behavior. After the ceremony everyone came up and thanked
me to be cool. No one at the ceremony was happy with his strange behavior.

Ale Vidal's picture

I totally agree with you. I made many wedding, and I'm used to explain my kind of job to the officiant, telling in advance that I will try to be as less intrusive as possible. Never had a situation like this

David Neitz's picture

Another reason why I dislike "Priests" so much.This video makes me so angry. If I were the Groom I would have lost my sh*t.

Marlon Correa's picture

Exactly, especially if YOU'RE the one that hired them. It's not like they were walking by and stop to shoot a random wedding.

jerry tosh's picture

RIGHT @marloncorrea:disqus !

Akeem Casey's picture

Bride and groom are paying them to do a job....they should have told him to shut up and do his job

Nikola Milasevic's picture

Amen to that brother!

Dan Zahra's picture

As I would have!

Yuuzhan's picture

As a Christian I am gonna say I bet they didnt because they were taught to obey their priest prob from childhood. Unfortunately it happens in some of the more extreme churches. They prob didnt dare talk back to him, which is a shame.

Trevor Dayley's picture


Norm Cooper's picture

during he beginning frame you can here the photog rattling off a barrage of shots, maybe following the "spray and pray" advice... and at what, the back of the officiator's head? So I think the photog caused the ruckus and the por videographer was stuck in the crossfire

Ben Mitchell's picture

I have to agree with you here, you can even see the groom and bride both look to their right just as the pastor is starting to turn. I'm thinking that the photog set off that firestorm.

Robert Pilla's picture

sounds like the guy was rattling off an AK-47. I would venture a guess if he shot one frame and move on, none of this would have happened. fauxtograpghers should not be allowed to work a wedding.

Spray and Pray's picture

I think people missed on what may have started it though. Firing enough to fill your buffer. We only see when the priest snapped. I want to see 2 minutes before, if he actually fired enough to get him agitated.

Noam Galai's picture

This guy cant be more annoying. If it was my wedding i would sue him.... they hired them to shoot it, they hired them to be there and document the ceremony. He can't just make them stop because he feels like it. And even if he decide to make them leave - he can be way nicer.

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