Now also available in Spanish: “Photography in Divine Service”

“In the divine service, the photographer should be practically transparent”—relates a South American cameraman. This is a wish that photographers around the world often hear. An e-book on the subject offers helpful tips—and it is now available in the Spanish language too.

“In our District Church it is completely normal to take photos in divine services or at other Church events,” explains Viviana Aloy, our correspondent in South America. With a smile she goes on to repeat a very familiar bit of photography wisdom: “One of our leading photographers always used to say, ‘In the divine service the photographer should be practically transparent.’”

Be at the right place at the right time, get there quickly, quietly, and unobtrusively—and then take the best possible photos too—that is a good way to summarise the job description of the church photographer. And a good photographer is always in demand in the scope of public relations events, weddings, baptisms, confirmations, and the many different activities that take place in a congregation.

Supporting the volunteers

Both professional photographers and other members who work as volunteer photographers can master this challenge. The e-book “Photography in Divine Service” summarises experiences and tips that make it easy to work behind the lens. For some years now, the work has been available for free download—and now the German and English versions have been complemented by a third language too.

In South America—as in other countries—this specialised knowledge is expanded and taught in seminars and lectures. “We have already begun offering workshops, and also plan on doing more of them in the near future,” explains Viviana Aloy. She is in constant contact with the Church’s photographers in the various congregations and districts. There are 500 Spanish-speaking congregations in the New Apostolic Church of South America alone.

From packing your bag to publishing you photos

The book appeared for the first time in 2013, and a new edition was published by the New Apostolic Church International in 2017. A total of eight chapters spanning 172 pages explain the technical fundamentals, as well as the very specific challenges associated with working in a church environment. What sorts of consultation would make sense beforehand? Are photographs even allowed during sacramental acts? The questions are quite varied and extensive—and so are the answers. Dozens of images and hundreds of photos illustrate examples of things to watch out for.

Now this “useful guideline” also exists in the Spanish language. The guide is comprised of 31,898 words, which our members in South America have translated into Spanish—in addition to their other work. Two professional photographers, who have a good grasp of the technical terminology, also took part in the effort. And they are very enthusiastic about the explanations the book contains: “The topics are very clearly structured and offer many practical tips. Any brother or sister who is interested in this kind of task will find something interesting to learn in the e-book.”

The e-book can be viewed here in three languages and downloaded in PDF format:

E-Book "Photography in the Divine Service", English, PDF Link
E-Book "Fotografie im Gottesdienst", Deutsch, PDF Link
E-Book "Fotografía en el Servicio Divino", Español, PDF Link

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Oliver Rütten