Stephanos' parents chose the truly magnificent Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia in Bayswater London for his baptism.
Located in Moscow Road and just a stones throw from Kensington Gardens this has got to be one of the most photogenic venues and best locations in the west of London.
Browse some more Christening galleries:
Ria at St Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral London
Filippos at St Andrews Greek Orthodox Cathedral London
Patrick at The Brompton Oratory London
Carlos at The Brompton Oratory London
Henry at The Brompton Oratory London
Information about the christening / baptism photography and video service for London, the Thames Valley, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, and beyond.
Awesome is an overused word in photographic circles but in the case of the interior of St Sophia's Cathedral Bayswater it is fully justified:
Everywhere you look is an assault on the senses (yes another overused phrase but again in this case justified) including directly above:
Since this is central London and space is of course in short supply, there is only a very limited area available outside the cathedral suitable for group photos. And since the cathedral has a busy schedule during its opening hours you may need to "fight" for your corner. On the day Stephanos' baptism was preceded by a very busy Mass and followed by a wedding - so lots of activity absolutely everywhere. Needless to say parking is very much at a premium so visitors and guests should allow plenty of time. The next photo shows an exterior view of the building. There are small courtyards to the left and to the right of the front which can be used for group photos weather - and other cathedral users - allowing:
Our baby's elder brother had his own somewhat exotic baptism in Jerusalem. Her we see the brother with his dad lighting candles prior to the start of the baptism ceremony:
The parents main priority was for Peter to capture a good video record of their son's baptism ceremony just as they had done with their other boy. Peter knows that sometimes high resolution stills photos can provide a better record of certain parts of the day than an alternative few seconds of handheld video footage and so he usually aims to shoot both stills and video during the course of the event. The next two images show this in action with shots of each of the godparents shortly before the ceremony started:
It seemed that one moment the Cathedral was full for Mass, then briefly it was virtually empty, then all of a sudden full again with guests for the baptism. Scene setting photos such as the next one can work great in photo albums as you tell the unfolding story:
Very soon the baptism ceremony was underway. The cathedral's own sound system was not in use and our priest was reluctant to wear a miniature digital recording device so the audio for the video was not perfect but it did work reasonably well using "shotgun" microphones which concentrate their efforts in a focused narrow area. Other than that there were no onerous restrictions on professional photography or video during the ceremony and indeed the priest and his assistant went out of their way to be helpful - much appreciated ..... are you listening Church of England!!!
The interior of St Sophia's Cathedral is so drop dread gorgeous (another one of those phrases - sorry!) that its tempting to shoot everything wide angle. Here's another view Peter couldn't resist:
The coverage would not be complete without a good selection of closely cropped images showing greater detail in the participants. Don't you just love this shot of Stephanos studying our priest's user manual - obviously he wanted to ensure that his own baptism went off without a hitch!
Stephanos endured two changes of clothing during his orthodox baptism ritual. "Endured" seems to be the right word as he shouted his little head off in protest the second time around:
Peter was able to capture all the main elements of the baptism ceremony with both photos and video, such as this blessing:
Of course no christening would be complete without a good dunking of the main man in the font. His older brother couldn't help but make fun of little Stephanos at this point and this was captured on video. Should be great fun to watch in future years!
The little fella's modesty is preserved in the next couple of photos:
Our good natured celebrant wished everyone well at the end:
Making everything legal with the paperwork:
No sooner was the ceremony finished than guests plus a photographer and videographer started to fill the cathedral for a wedding. Remember Peter is a very active wedding photographer and videographer and so if you are considering St Sophia's Cathedral for your own wedding please do get in touch! We did manage to squeeze in a few essential posed photos before our time was up, including this of the VIP with his parents and brother. These sorts of photos are seldom works of art - its a good result just to get all the kids looking at the camera - but it should always be attempted:
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