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This is a feature christening / baptism gallery illustrating just a few from the very many he has shot. If you are planning an event in the area do take a look at the Photo Galleries. This gallery illustrates just one of many for you to browse e.g. christenings at St Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral Bayswater London.
The Brompton Oratory in Kensington London regularly hosts christening and wedding ceremonies.
This Catholic Church sometimes known as the London Oratory, or as the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or as the Oratory of St Philip Neri, has a cathedral-like magnificent elaborate and beautiful interior which has got to be one of the most photogenic of churches in London. Unfortunately unauthorised photography and video will incur the wrath of the Holy Fathers - the church is after all a busy working site often with visitors deep in prayer - but some exceptions are made for christenings and weddings.
The Brompton Oratory's central London location means that travel in the area by car can be a frustrating experience. However there is a pleasant private car park right next to the main building and it is possible for professional photographers and videographers to reserve a space by contacting the helpful staff beforehand.
Coverage can start at the parents home before moving on to the church. Then coverage can continue with a party, a restaurant meal ..... or anything else!
Peter usually starts the photographic coverage with some establishing photos of the exterior of the Brompton Oratory. These shots can be particularly valuable as many clients from this part of central London have strong family ties in other parts of the World and it is great that those unable to attend can see and appreciate the location from thousands of miles away. The Oratory is on the Brompton Road at a busy junction so choosing the moment when both vehicle and pedestrian traffic is minimal can be quite a challenge!
A photograph from the rear of the building to the High Altar in the Brompton Oratory. What a breathtaking view!
Peter also shoots some photographs inside the Oratory just before the arrival of the guests including St Patricks Chapel where baptisms usually take place shown in the next photo:
Peter typically shoots some scene-setting photos inside the venue before the start of the christening ceremony:
Coverage may start at home before we departing for the Brompton Oratory. We were then treated to a lovely party just off exclusive Eaton Square in an interesting old house which was once the home of Noel Coward.
Our proud mum arrived with the - very young - man of the moment and spent a few minutes mingling with the guests before the serious business got underway:
The man of the moment awaits his christening:
Just time for a few semi-posed photos before the start of the ceremony:
The baptism ceremony can start outside to signify the gradual entrance into the church:
The godparents made their pledges:
We then move into St Patricks Chapel to continue the ceremony. It is very dark and challenging to shoot photos inside the Brompton Oratory. Professional photographers must have the appropriate camera bodies that can perform in low light accompanied by fast lenses. For the technically minded, Peter uses the eye-wateringly expensive Canon 50mm f1.2L and currently the terrific Sigma 20mm f1.4 Art and 85mm f1.4 Art. Peter shoots some extreme wide angle photos with the Canon 15mm f2.8L. The current camera bodies are the Canon 5DS-R and the Canon 5D Mark IV. Current flashguns are the Canon 600EX II RT. Limited flash photography is permitted during ceremonies in St Patricks Chapel (but not in the font room) but flash may adversely affect the general ambience so should be used with care.
The priests who conduct baptisms at the Brompton Oratory are fine with professional photographic coverage during ceremonies so long as its kept unintrusive:
The font is in a small room adjoining St Patricks Chapel and this is of course where the second part of these short ceremonies take place:
The ceremony continued at the font:
This baby was barely a month old and kept his eyes firmly closed for most of the proceedings but Peter did manage to capture a few moments when curiosity got the better of him:
Back to St Patricks Chapel for the remainder of the service:
After the ceremony in St Patricks Chapel this mum spent a few moments with her baby praying at Our Ladies Altar in the Lady Chapel:
Photography inside the main area of the Brompton Oratory is strongly discouraged. It must be quick and unintrusive to other users of the church, so the shooting conditions for portraits are far from ideal. But it is nice to have a few photos inside posed with the parents and if possible some guests as well:
Once this baby's christening ceremony was completed we shot some group photos inside the Oratory near the High Altar and then adjourned to a nearby private park for a relaxed picnic and a few more photos.
The steps to the entrance of the Brompton Oratory are the obvious choice for group photos as it is so easy to arrange the guests so that everyone can be seen:
If the steps are overrun with tourists or in direct bright sunlight the private garden area just to the left of the Brompton Oratory can be a good location for shaded unrushed photos. This area also serves as the private parking area and spaces can be reserved by calling the porters lodge.
There are no photography restriction on the steps outside the Brompton Oratory and that can be a good place to shoot some of the essential portraits. These proud parents have twins:
The private park close to home was a terrific location for a celebratory picnic:
A French connection meant that this was not just any old English picnic, more a stylish Impressionistic affair:
Mans best friend!
The mature trees in the park gave us plenty of shade, enabling pleasing portraits to be shot without bright contrasty direct sunshine compromising the results:
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