Greek orthodox baptisms are some of my favorite family events to photograph. In addition to taking place in stupendously beautiful churches, there is always an air of mystery to the service. Follow that with a helping of delicious food at the reception, and you can easily see why I say ‘yes’ to all Greek baptism photo requests. With everything that is going on in the news today, I think we all need a minute to escape back to life as it was. So let’s sit back and enjoy little Penelope’s Greek Orthodox baptism photos in today’s blog post.
Baby Penelope’s Greek Baptism
Let me begin by introducing you to precious Penelope. Her mother, Mary, requested my photography services and I was more than happy to oblige. The service took place at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn. This was my first time visiting the cathedral. From the outside, you would never guess the beauty of the cathedral’s interior. Indeed, stepping inside took my breath away. There is a choir loft that gives a fantastic wide-angle view over the entire church, and the stained glass windows let in enough light to dazzle any visitor.
Greek Orthodox Baptism Order of Service
The service for Penelope’s baptism followed the usual orthodox course of events. For those of you who have never been to a Greek orthodox baptism, I have a link below to a schedule of events as provided by St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa. This is an excellent guide to know what is going on during the hour-long service. Greek orthodox baptisms always begin at the back of the church and the priest, baby, and godparents work their way towards the altar. Highlights of the baptism include a precious naked baby, the official dunking, anointing the baby with oil, and even a haircut. You will always be entertained at a Greek baptism.
Greek Baptism Photos
My personal motto is to never distract either the priest or the guests attending a family event. As such, I try to limit my flash use during the ceremony. For Penelope’s baptism, even though it was quite dark in the church, I did not need to use my flash. My camera settings were f/3.2, 1/125, ISO 1600. In truth, if I really needed to use flash it would be quite difficult since the ceilings in the cathedral are so high.
Instead, I chose to reserve my flash use for the family portraits following the ceremony. Mary and I had spoken prior to the baptism, and I knew she wanted to have family portraits taken at the altar. Knowing as I did from my venue check that the altar area was quite dark, I brought along additional lights for the portrait session. Before the family arrived, I had already set up my light stand, and it was ready to be moved over to the altar when we began taking portraits.
Penelope’s reception was a wonderful celebration of all things Greek. First, let’s start with the food. All the dishes were made with love and provided by the church. In addition to the wonderful vittles, Mary had an adorable cake, complete with personalized topper. Finally, there were also soft drinks from Greece.
Enjoy the photos, and next week I will have photos from the over-the-top wedding of Max and John at the Greenpoint Loft. Until then, stay safe everyone!
- Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn
- Greek Orthodox Baptism Service by St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, Tampa, Florida
Would you like to see images from another Greek baptism? Check out photos from baby Nicholas’s baptism at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan here.
Are you planning a Greek baptism for your little one? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my portfolio, then please visit my website — KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.