Sóla Snapshot

Explore. Create. Snap it up

Lessons Learned – Photographing Churches


Sometimes you have to wait and watch for the perfect opportunities when dealing with photography….Including photographing churches or other religious structures. It can be disheartening at times, I know, when there are obstacles standing in your way such as other buildings, street furniture or even people. I experienced this recently when I went to one of London’s iconic landmarks, St Paul’s Cathedral. Photography was forbidden inside this magnificent building. So I was left with only one option – to photograph the exterior instead. It was just as good anyway.

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

I’ve learned there’s a few things that should be taken into consideration when photographing churches. The time of day when taking these photographs should be carefully thought through. What exactly do you want the picture to say? Sometimes churches are lit up on evenings and the dusk lighting could make for a beautiful image along with the subtle hues from the sky. The different seasons may also impact on how the image could look. However, most of us normally opt for a daytime photo of these buildings – it certainly is the safer route but, most importantly, better to capture the detail these buildings have on show.

Due to the sheer size of these structures, churches and cathedrals can be quite overwhelming in size, but once you have taken a step back and absorbed it all, you can start to see all the interesting architectural detail; grand columns, entrances, stained glass windows, carved figures of saints, popes and gargoyles. When you’ve got an idea of what you want to capture…go for it!

If you have any other helpful tips on ways to capture churches or other religious buildings please feel free to comment below….every little helps.

Peace and love guys,

jp.PDF - my signed name




“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”— Ralph Hattersley


Author: Sóla Snapshot

Photographer and blogger - Street | Architecture | Travel My photographic adventures, whether close to home or far away. Lover of good food, dogs (even though I don't have one yet), orangutangs and travelling the world.

6 thoughts on “Lessons Learned – Photographing Churches

  1. I agree with Joshi … you’ve captured a lovely image. I also would love to see your take on some of the smaller details you mentioned in your second-to-last paragraph, though. (Sometimes to architectural details speak volumes about the “personality” of a place — and they’re something many photographers don’t notice.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree totally Heather 🙂 Sometimes we do get so caught up when out and about photographing and forget about the finer details that could tell a story a whole lot better than say a standard wide shot. This is why it’s my ‘lessons learned’ for this particular shoot and something that I have definitely learnt from. Thank you for the reminder though – it’s always good to get feedback from this community :). Have a lovely evening.


  2. So much to consider, as with any landscape shot.

    Liked by 1 person

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