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shackleton12
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Civil ceremony in UK


Hi all, I'm an established, long term wedding photographer and am, this weekend, flying to the UK to photograph a civil ceremony. I'm originally from the UK but it's been a while since I've photographed a wedding there.

My question is to wedding photographers familiar with shooting UK weddings. I have a faint memory that the signing of the register, near the end of the ceremony is considered, for want of a better expression, a sombre and legal duty.

Therefore, I believe it can't be photographed. Instead, the couple will have the opportunity to pose for a 'fake' signing, immediately afterwards?

Can anyone please confirm this? I don't want to embarrass myself in front of the registrar!

Many thanks.



Aug 10, 2017 at 05:29 AM
deckitout
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Civil ceremony in UK


Yes this is correct, all my Weddings have a fake signing after the real one. It is supposedly to do with copyright laws.
Some registers will announce that once the real signing has taken place, the prof Photographer will take the shots followed by any guests.



Aug 10, 2017 at 06:05 AM
shackleton12
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Civil ceremony in UK


deckitout wrote:
Yes this is correct, all my Weddings have a fake signing after the real one. It is supposedly to do with copyright laws.
Some registers will announce that once the real signing has taken place, the prof Photographer will take the shots followed by any guests.


Brilliant, thanks for the confirmation. That's how I remember it.



Aug 10, 2017 at 06:17 AM
Mikehit
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Civil ceremony in UK


It is entirely dependent on the B&G and the registrar. We did our signing in front of everyone, as did my cousin and her groom.

See also:
http://www.imaginethat.uk.net/blog/2013/7/29/law-on-photographing-the-signing-of-register

So, it would seem that the official line is : The Data Protection Act is not a valid reason to stop anyone photographing of the signing of the register.

One thing just to keep in mind though before your go off on a rant - The Registrars are in charge of their own register office.Therefore if they request no photographs during the signing of the registers, they they are I am afraid well within their rights to refuse you photography. However quoting the Data Protection Act as the reason why is simply wrong.


I believe the 'signing in secret' came from continuity with standard practice at churches, but of course they have been doing that long before cameras were used to film the ceremony.



Aug 10, 2017 at 08:19 AM
shackleton12
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Civil ceremony in UK


Thanks so much for the additional information and the link. It's interesting to read. I remember in the past being asked to not photograph the signing out of respect for the importance of the act, which is fair enough.
I always like to meet the registrar briefly, before the ceremony, if possible, just to say hi and let them know who I am. It's also a good chance to find out if they have any specific preferences about how I work. It's always good practice to have these people on side.
I'll go with whatever they say. At the end of the day, a picture of a fake signing looks the same as the real signing.

Mikehit wrote:
It is entirely dependent on the B&G and the registrar. We did our signing in front of everyone, as did my cousin and her groom.

See also:
http://www.imaginethat.uk.net/blog/2013/7/29/law-on-photographing-the-signing-of-register

I believe the 'signing in secret' came from continuity with standard practice at churches, but of course they have been doing that long before cameras were used to film the ceremony.




Aug 10, 2017 at 08:48 AM
glort
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Civil ceremony in UK



Here in oz it's up to the official and is certainly not a legal restriction.

I generally take a couple of candids as they sign be that in front of the congregation as about 90% are or in a room off to the side.

One wedding I did last year the minister took them out the back but that was more for the B&G to relax a bit and the fact the priest didn't like people trampling his altar or everyone holding up an iphoney. I shot the real and the posed signing.

Some priests will ask what I want to do, shoot as they sign or afterwards. I generally tell them I'm happy to do what they prefer. Most will just direct the people to look up and smile after they have made their scratch and then proceed to the next victim. I ask if I could also do a shot with the couple and themselves presenting the certificate at the end.
They all seem to like that and it improves the co operation and rapport.

Again, this is Oz not the UK but I'd be surprised if they were not similar.



Aug 10, 2017 at 10:23 AM
 

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BKphotography
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Civil ceremony in UK


I tend to shoot both, the real deal and the fake take.

Some of the older registrars will tell you they don't wish to have the real signing photographed but they're a dying breed.

The best part is most registrars are there in a professional capacity, so they're friendly and helpful, unlike some of the other ceremony overlords who LOVE to flex their power.

I usually find introducing myself and asking if they have any questions or rules regarding photography during the service is a great way to start things off.

Best of luck!



Aug 10, 2017 at 12:22 PM
J Knight
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Civil ceremony in UK


I have found most Registrars to be quite laid back, but you should not assume all have the same rules, so its best to check.

The most common rule has been that you do not fire the camera while the Registrar is actually speaking, but any time they are not saying things to the couple, its fair game.

I have also found them extremely helpful and friendly if you drop them an email a few weeks before the service if you have any questions. Its a more polite thing to do than corner them on the wedding day when they already have plenty of stuff they need to do.



Aug 13, 2017 at 07:44 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Civil ceremony in UK


It is perfectly legal to photograph the document. It's legal to get up close and photograph the whole page with all the other names on in full high res.

Alas, many officiants don't know the rule of law and have for years quoted copyright / data protection etc, and they're quite wrong.

And of course at the actual signing, none of us is going to make a big fuss or row, so this misconception goes unchallenged.

The other argument is that there should be no distractions at the point of signing such an important document and that is fair enough.

I would say that you'll most likely get less issues from officiants / registrars than vicars / priests.

I don't shoot many weddings and I've always hated the fake shot afterwards. But I have had success with a low angle that ensures the page is not seen and you can get all the fun of the moment. A long lens, a quick chat with the officiant beforehand, and you may find this works a treat. Obviously absolutely no directing or interruptions and you have to get what you get.

I have a very silent shutter so I shoot like a stealthy ninja, which helps.



Aug 14, 2017 at 10:52 AM
shackleton12
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Civil ceremony in UK


Just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone for the advice and information.
As an update, the wedding was on Saturday, in Windsor and it couldn't have been better. The registrar actually came to find me before the ceremony to introduce herself and to say that I had a free run of the place to do as I wish, which I thought was a really nice touch. Funnily enough the only restriction was when she asked me not to photograph the signing, as I expected, which was absolutely fine. I had no intention of claiming a right to do so and she happily arranged a 'fake' signing. It was a great day all round.



Aug 14, 2017 at 07:09 PM
ashton lamont
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Civil ceremony in UK


Yes, the registrars for Windsor have for many years been some of the easiest to work with. It may be something to do with the large numbers of showbiz couples in the "Maidenhead and Windsor" registration area. The showbiz types would think it ridiculous that any photography and video be restricted. They are helpful almost to a fault, even taking shots using guests cameras so that said guests can be included in the camera owners own cameras when groups with the fake register are around.

The one thing that district is tight about these days - and it wasn't always the case - is not to shoot the signing for real. Data Protection legals can be trotted out even though it isn't really the case. Indeed a few years ago in an adjoining district the staff encouraged us to sign the real thing, explaining that the Data Protection Act thing did not apply.

Much of the South of England is pretty easy-going now. I don't know about the North as I don't cover that area. What a change from a few years back when I wasn't even allowed in the room during the ceremony (North of Swindon) and even got told off for shooting a surreptitious couple of shots a long way off through a window when I was indeed outside!

I pointed out to some "restricted" venues that I would only book couples whose venues were not restricted by silly rules; why would any couple book a venue like that when they could do anything they wanted just a couple of miles down the road. The local head registrar discussed this with me and some other photographers and then changed the rules to comply with the more flexible districts.

Most churches don't seem to be bothered one way or another, probably mainly because they do so few weddings that it does not occur to them.

Pete



Aug 14, 2017 at 08:28 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Civil ceremony in UK


Thank you for the update and it is good to hear it went so well.


Aug 14, 2017 at 10:05 PM







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