Greek Baptism Photography: Hagia Sophia
This was the third baptism I’ve photographed at Hagia Sophia (an Orthodox Greek church) in central London. I love photographing christenings again at the same church because it’s a great challenge to keep photographing the building with new angles and perspectives.
The guests were wearing such colourful clothing – it made a wonderful contrast against the darkness of the church’s interior and the golden decorations.
I photographed the grandmothers holding the baby and making her laugh. She was such a happy jolly baby – it was so lovely to see her following her newborn portrait session. As usual, I photographed the symbolic items that play a role in a baptism: the oils, the candle, the Bible. I found some more interesting angles to photograph the service from – a particular favourite of mine in this church is to frame the family between a candle and the cross at the altar.
Throughout the service, I photographed family members and guests smiling as they watched on; and the parents looking adoringly at that little baby.
There are several places in this church that no one can stand except for the priest – I was careful not to back into these areas whilst taking photographs.
As is often the case, the little girl was startled by her baptism but recovered swiftly in her parents arms. The photographs of the baptism itself aren’t shown on this page for privacy reasons, as the little girl was nude.
I love the drama of baptisms in this church: the swinging insense, the family and godparents walking around the altar, and the dramatic voice of the priest.
The light in this church is very low – it’s dramatic, but can be challenging so I have to stay on my toes to make sure I’m finding viewpoints where the light is falling on the family and where they’re not in the dark.
Straight after the service, family members dived in to hold the gorgeous little baby – she was delighted to have some fun and games after the service.
We then went to Hotel 34 for the reception, where I photographed the guests enjoying some delicious canapés and catching up with old friends.
Christenings are such a great opportunity to get the nearest and dearest together and to have a big celebration with everyone close to you. It always tugs at my heart strings seeing how much it means to people to have their closest friends there to celebrate with them.