Top tips to take beautiful photos inside churches

Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support Studiopsis and buy from B&H and Amazon. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Here are a few things to remember before you visit a church/cathedral for church photography.

Photography Gear

  • Telephoto lenses: Helps you get closer to the detail/patterns on the roof.
  • Wide-angle lenses: Great for shooting architectural shots.
  • Macro lens: For capturing close up details
  • Tripod – Note that certain churches/cathedrals stop photographers from using tripods, or ask for a fee.
  • Camera bag – Keep it as light as possible, may not leave you much room to maneuver if its frequented by tourists. Some churches may ask you to leave your bag with
  • them if it’s too large.

Tips & Technique

  • Switch Your Flash Off: Churches may not allow flash photography; besides, it can disturb others so leave it in your bag. Make sure your camera’s built-in flash is switched off too.
  • It can be dark: Churches lack light inside, and because you cannot use a tripod, you have to be good at standing still for long periods of time (or find something to support your camera on) if you want to use longer shutter speeds. Another alternative is to use a higher ISO and wider aperture, or take multiple exposures and combine them later in Photoshop.

    how to take church photos inside

  • Reflections & Glare: Some churches have items that are protected by glass cases, which can cause problems with reflections and glare. Using a ND or polarising filter or cupping your hand around your lens can minimise these issues. Also, have a cloth handy to remove any fingerprints that are on the case.
  • Photographing people: Want to capture people visiting the church, shoot from the hip so that they’re not aware you’re photographing them, or use a longer lens so that you can zoom in without disturbing them.
  • Look For Light: Many churches will have large windows so find one and work close to it. Make use of the rays that fall through the large windows to guide the eye to a specific object, even stained glass can make an interesting subject for photography.

Watch: How to shoot inside of a church without a tripod Lightroom & photoshop tutorial

Useful Links