The pictures of the christening of Prince Louis are all over the media at present, and it’s given new parents a lot to live up to!
Why christen your baby?
For parents with a religious faith. Some kind of ceremony that marks the arrival of a family member into their church is a vital and significant moment. For some faiths this happens later in life. But for many Christians, an early Christening is commonplace.
The best way to get wonderful christening photographs
Consider hiring a professional. If you really want wonderful christening pictures it’s worth finding out what a local photographer will cost you. Often they gave very reasonable package prices and all you have to do is pick your favourite shots to share with friends and family.
4 steps to great christening pictures
If you decide to go it alone. Here’s our guide to make the day a pictorial success as well as a spiritual one.
Begin by checking out the location
Many churches are not particularly photography friendly. It’s important to get some sense of the light and temperature of the church at the time of day the christening will take place. Because churches are often chilly. You may find the guests look cold or even stern so allow extra time for relaxed shots at some other point in the proceedings.
Make a list of the shots you really must have
Eg a few pictures at the font, some of the new baby with siblings, parents and grandparents. As well as close-up pictures of the christening gown and maybe of the catering. Many of these pictures can be prepared in advance. Our picture of the Christening cake shows just how easy it is to get great photographs before (and after) the big event. As you take the shots, tick them off so that you are certain not to miss anything in the emotion of the occasion. Note that in our list any pictures with an asterisk can be taken in advance of the ceremony itself. Common shots are:
- Christening invitation*
- Baby in gown
- Baby with siblings
- Detail of Christening gown*
- Church exterior*
- Guests arriving at church
- Details of ceremony as agreed with officiant
- Group shots after ceremony
- Baby with parents
- Post ceremony decor including cake
- Post ceremony candid shots
- Baby asleep!
Have a back up plan
If baby screams all the way through the ceremony, you probably won’t have the pictures you were hoping for. So knowing that she normally sleeps around 3pm may give you the chance to settle her on your lap. With the family around you, for a relaxed picture. If you’ve already taken some lovely pictures of the christening gown without the baby in it, laid out in the nursery, you can also be relaxed that you’ve got fantastic photographs already in the bag. Which helps everybody around you to look happy.
Consider your clothes carefully
Princess Kate excels in choosing dresses that make a perfect backdrop to christening gowns. As the new mum is most likely to be photographed with her baby in her arms, this is a vital consideration. Plain rather than patterned and pastel rather than bright are the general rules. Although any rule is made to be broken!
Above all – enjoy this special day because that’s the one thing that shines out of every photograph.