Photographing a Wedding

With permission, here is a question I was asked by email yesterday and my response.

PhotographerI have been following your blog for some months now. Keep up the good work.

My brother has just set up a wedding photography business. He is anxious in case he should be called on to shoot a gay wedding and doesn’t know what to do. Depending on the day and the mood I am in I swing from yes one day to no the next!! Could you shed some light on this?? It could be an evangelistic opportunity. Jesus Himself had the strictest of sexual ethics yet shared His life openly with prostitutes and others.

My response.

Dear Anne,

The fundamental question I would ask myself is – what is my general attitude to doing business with sinners? For example, almost every wedding that your brother is going to take photos at will be of two unrepentant fornicators (for want of a better word). Why should it be different because of the particular style of fornication? In practice, what your brother is doing for unbelievers is giving them the best possible service on a day that is special to them, even if their lifestyles are not ones he would approve of, and for most of them that is the case! Whether a fornicator is sleeping with someone of the same-sex or opposite sex is neither here nor there.

Of course, one thing that it is possible to say to a couple is this – “I would be delighted to be the photographer at your wedding. However, you should be aware that I’m an Evangelical Christian and whilst I will do everything possible to record your day in pictures as well as I can, there might be parts of the day that make me feel uncomfortable and you might not get the best service from me than you would from someone else. If you still want to go ahead we can book you in, but if you felt that someone else might be a better choice I won’t be offended and I can even recommend a few people to you”.

If you say that then the decision for your brother to do the work is in the clients’ hands. You haven’t said “no” (and you should be willing to do the job and do it well if they say “we want you”) and the couple can’t feign “offence” because you’ve been as polite as possible, offering them your work but pointing out that because of what you believe you might unintentionally not give them the best service possible.

Does that make sense?