First Congregational Church Recessional in Los Angeles
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First Congregational Church Recessional in Los Angeles

The First Congregational Church in downtown Los Angeles is perhaps the finest example of Gothic church architecture in our region. 

It certainly on my list of my top three favorite churches in LA. But that must mean that I'm a glutton for punishment because it is not a an easy church in which to photograph a wedding ceremony. It is incredibly dark everywhere in the church except for the altar, and so the use of flash is required during both the processional and recessional — which is fortunately allowed at this church. The aisle is easily 100 yards long and so in order to achieve interesting angles from the center back involves quite a bit of will walking back and forth.

For this wedding recessional photograph of our bridegroom, I began photographing them just a few paces forward of where I am standing for this photograph. I don't like to get too close to a bride and groom and thus I use zoom telephoto lenses most of the time. For this photo, I was walking backwards shooting with a wide-angle lens and I was fortunate to be able to include the wedding guests on the left-hand side of the frame who is obviously enthusiastically cheering on this couple as they made their exit. 

Speaking again on my philosophy of wedding ceremony photography, one of the rules that we follow in order to ensure that we do not intrude on the ceremony is that neither me nor my second photographer will position ourselves between a guest and the bride and groom. This helps make sure that friends and family keep their attention on the most important people in the room instead of photographers who wear black and who look like not so stealth ninjas.

First Congregational Church is located in Los Angeles, California. Phone: (213) 355-5240. Website:

Location: 540 Commonwealth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004.

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