I know I will be doing additional sections on Seniors, Quiceneras, Bar Mitzvahs, and Confirmations.  Then we will delve into Corporate and Business Photography.  In conclusion, alternate choices using the tools you have, survival currently means simply put: be diverse, think out of the box, look for new territory, expand your horizons and start wearing boxer shorts with patterns and color.

Think about it. All the above topics are about either “coming out” or "going into" a community or for communication with a community in the case of business photography. There is business there for the smart one. And it’s not surprising when I wrote to be successful in this business you need a split personality.  

Not just a shooter but a business person.We live in a world of cultural difference and nothing shows that premise better than the Wedding ceremony which you, you lucky devil, have been retained to perform at.  Those folks have selected you to be the court scribe on the most important day of their lives.  

In the old days, going as far back as the Neo-Babylonian days the court scribe recorded all the events and rulings and changes the Kings, Judges and others made.  The scribe was a fairly-safe job since many could not read or write in those days.  Few critics...If he did screw up, boiling oil fixed things. If you screw up, the results could vary so the point is the more you know the less you will not know when it counts.  

Your job is different, you get to participate in a multitude of different religious acts and if you don’t know what you are getting into you better learn quick, this entire section is not about religious preference or differences but it is and an explanation of what a minefield looks like when you try to tap dance through it worryin more about the shoes you wore rather than the path.

So many religions,  so many difference’s, so many rules and regulations...How Come?

Simple we are a complex life form with many differences and religion being man-made in recognition of a divine presence tends to go off the rails at times.

I compared religion to SUBWAY, the folks who bring you mechanized sandwiches in different sizes, six or foot long,  flavors, everything from turkey to meatballs and all kinds of  vegetables and condiments on top.

Man has done the same thing with religion.  If you look at the diversity chart it shows you the differences in Mans being. Courtesy Of John Hopkins University.

All these factors,  if you have an open mind,  create religion in many directions depending on where on the wheel are you located.

Unfortunately religion, some have built in rules that profess anything other than dogma or doctrine is anti-religion. Religion does best with followers, not challengers.

Look back in time to those followers of the Jim Jones massacre and WACO texas, religion, perverted resulting in loss of life.


Here are a couple of clues as to what to look out for. And I mean no harm or inference to anyone, just telling it like it is or in my case was.  One must respect the difference and cultural beliefs people have.  That’s what we will be talking about in this section.

•   Some ethnicities of the middle eastern nations prohibit the taking of photographs that show elbows, faces or feet. These religious virtues sometimes transfer here to the states and you should be cautious when doing the Wedding by finding out what the rules are.  

•   The US is the cultural center of the world, so many different cultures live here but still follow their beliefs and customs.  Knowledge of these things will open your business to new business and possibly fill a niche in a community bringing you more work. 

•   Surely, things are moderated here in the states, at a local mall, I saw a woman in a burka, with veil dressed head to toe all covered up in black. Obviously, she was not shopping at the GAP or Dillard’s for a low-cut evening dress.  It was 93 outside and 80% humidity.  After I wrote this, I started to think how hard it is for a photographer doing weddings in certain countries that prohibit human form in the pictures.  If they allow pictures at all!

•    It would be too presumptive to think the Taliban or ISIS is hiring Wedding Photographers as one Blue Burka is the same as another Blue Burka. I doubt if we will ever see the Bride of the Month in a Blue Burka.  You’d be in the soup literally or in the oil whatever boils quicker…so respect of cultural beliefs is important. 

•   The best advice is you never know where there is a winner.  I just glanced over my shoulder at these two, I was a friend and guest at the wedding and the Nikon Coolpix did the rest.   She was chomping on ice to cool down after some fancy dancing, her grandma was a New York Radio City Rockettes so dancing was in the DNA.  The follow-up shot sans ice cube was perfect.  That is till he smooched her with cake. The $100 spent for the hair and makeup girl meant nothing to him…


•   Why am I pushing this in this introduction , simple, if you as a photographer or the visual scribe of the happening and limit yourself to one brand or belief you have just cut your income to nothing unless your father, or Rabbi is the pastor of the church you go to.  I left off Catholic Priests as they are not supposed to have children.  ( This last statement might not be 100%)

•   Just so you know.  I insist and repeat myself that you should visit the Church a week before or if possible be an onlooker at a Wedding function there before yours.  You need to accomplish three things on your mission.  Pre-check the lighting, check the service for nominal or abnormal changes, and check out the demeanor of the clergy presiding.   A conversation with the clergy asking him about the ground rules is imperative.

•    Again, there are so many man-made versions of Christianity it is impossible to keep up with them.  The others like Judaism, Baha’i are fairly cut and dry.  If you are not familiar with the process at the church, go there and see for yourself. 

•   One bride told me how special her pastor was, how kind and easy going.  He could have gone further with his writings and religious poetry but his arrest for Pedophilia a week before the wedding got in the way.  

And they dragged the music minster away soon after.  I will not comment on the replacement they sent, other than it was a catastrophe, about as warm as some performed at the local prison.  

•   I live in Florida and we average one arrest a month for Music Directors or Youth Pastors getting arrested.  I always ask the Bride about the Reverend, Pastor, Priest or Rabbi.  Then I go look for myself with a background or without the Bride.  

•   I want to see up front, it’s beliefs, traditions, smoke blowing, character assassinations, false prophets, ridiculous rituals, and it will vary from Church to Church.  Think of churches as franchises and no one’s on the same menu.  They will all diversify, stretch, shrink and manipulate the rules.

•   The largest group, Christianity goes from the liturgical beliefs to some fairly out on the limb concepts because they are man-made.   Diversity comes in two forms.  Religious Diversity relates to the customs, traditions, and processes.  Human Diversity is simply who we are, short or tall, black, yellow, red or white, rich or poor, Klingon or Romulan.  A working knowledge of these diversifications will make your life easier and trains you to avoid problems by knowing what’s next but at best it’s still a 50/50 shot.