Tarpon Springs Baptism Photography


How a Professional Photographer Documents a Traditional Greek Baptism

In closed set productions you can practically have full control of every action and single element in frame. But on open sets where the your job as a professional photographer is to document a live event happening in that very moment, you have to be ready to adapt!

When it comes to filming a child’s christening in a holy setting with family and loved ones all around, so much activity is happening all around you- it seems almost impossible to capture every single moment in theory. This is especially true if you are a solo camera operator.

That’s where pre-production preparation comes into play, and here at GoLive Tampa Bay, it’s what we call PHASE ONE of every single creative project we have the honor to complete.


No matter what size your team is, no matter what you are filming- the first step to any successful video or photo shoot is preparation. The better your planning, the better prepared you are for anything the actual shoot day may throw your way!

For the GoLive Creative Team, preparations begin weeks ahead of a scheduled event photo shoot or video. The process kicks off with a Creative Discovery meeting headed by our Creative Director wherein key questions are answered that inform how to best execute the project.


For this shoot, our agency was booked one month in advance of the scheduled baptism and lunch. We were contracted for both photography as well as a 5 minute highlight video edited together with user-submitted-footage from people attending the christening.

Professional Video Editing Service: Submit Footage of Your Special Day and We’ll Make a Video!

We held our planning meeting two weeks out to confirm the baptism and reception locations, review the itinerary, and collect any vital requests or notes from the client to ensure all parties are well-informed on the expectations and deliverables.


Depending on the church architecture, you may be dealing with stained glass windows or indoor lighting. For this baptism, we shot at Holy Ascension Greek Orthodox Church which allows in plenty of indoor light through windows that flank both sides of the building.

Understanding the lighting and composing your angles before the baptism begins is to your advantage- so you don’t have to think twice about an overexposed or blurry shot. You will have a mental map or blueprint that will guide you as you follow the live action wherever it goes!


There are 9 main parts to a Greek Orthodox Christening to document:


1. The Exorcisms – Godparent + baby + Priest
Godparent holds child and faces west then denounces devil 3 times and blows at child.

2. The Confession of Faith – Godparent + baby + Priest: Godparent holds child and faces east then recites the creed.

3. The Blessing of the Oil and Anointing – Godparent + baby + Priest: Priest blesses the water in the font and Godparent offers bottle of oil. Priest reads prayer for the banishment of evil then pours oil three times in the shape of a cross on the water in the Font. Godparent anoints baby with the holy oil on the forehead, nose, ears, mouth, chest, legs, feet, hands and back.

4. The Immersion – baby + Priest: Baby will be immersed three times in the Font then placed in the arms of the Godparent with a white sheet.

5. The Chrismation – baby + Priest + Godparent: Priest makes the sign of the cross on the baby’s forehead, nose, ears, mouth, chest, legs, feet, hands and back.

6. The Tonsure – baby + priest + Godparent

Priest cuts piece of baby’s hair while Godparent holds baby

7. The Vesting and Procession – baby + Priest + Godparent + Chanter: Priest blesses the child and places a “garment of righteousness” on it. Godparents take child to be dressed in fresh, clean garments while Priest reads additional prayers. Child the returns to the front of the church fully dressed then prayed over with a symbolic washing away of the oil. Priest then places a cross around the child’s neck. Godparent, holding the infant, is followed by a child holding the baptismal candle (lambada). All are led three times around the baptismal font for The Procession. Priest and Chanter sing “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia”

8. The Readings – Priest: Bible readings follow then Priest reads the Conclusion prayers.

9. Holy Communion – baby + Priest + mother + father + Godparent: Child is then given its first Holy Communion.  Priest calls mother of the baptized child to make the sign of the Cross and kiss the Icon of Christ. Baby and lambada are passed back to the parents and service is concluded. Parents kiss the hand of the Godparent.

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