angryhampster wrote in post #9623992
Why is this? A flash is certainly no more distracting than CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK.
Noise can be ignored, but seeing spots because someone wants to nuke you with a direct flash makes it hard to read vows, follow the liturgy, etc. that is required. Most people don't just wing it up there nor do they have it all memorized, and just because someone pinky-swear promises to not be a problem doesn't mean that they won't manage to distract bride/groom/minister at some important point of the ceremony with their thermonuclear flash. Churches are often very dark (as I am sure you well know), and not every photographer is experienced enough to know how to deal with it (hence all of the "I've been asked to shoot a wedding next week" threads). Sometimes they know just enough to be dangerous.
"Oh my, I'm getting a weird color cast form bouncing off the dark wood ceiling. I'll ruin their special day because I don't know how to fix this in post, but I do know that direct flash won't give me that problem. Surely no one would really be that upset if I twist the flash head forward to give the bride and groom better pictures." And variations of the same story happen over and over...)
You also inadvertently tell every other person in the pews with a camera that it is fine to start popping flashes. If you have not run up against a no-flash ceremony at some point in your career, I would consider yourself lucky. Around here more and more churches are moving towards it or setting strict rules that only the paid professional photog is allowed flash. I know that as dSLRs become more and more prevalent, there is an even greater desire to get out there and shoot. I am a pretty firm defender of those that want to shoot wedding for fun and to improve their skills, but I don't think that everyone else is subsequently required to lower their expectations to provide for that. I am not a professional, but I have learned to use fast primes and good post processing to make up for a lack of flash (when it is not allowed). A steady hold and good IS means that I don't have to pop a flash in museum, but I learned how to deal with the region rules (and meet the challenge). I am personally offended when I see someone popping a flash in a museum that has plainly posted that no flash photography is allowed. There are venues that I go to that have said said "no photography allowed", but when I asked if I could shoot without flash, they agreed happily. Unfortunately, I sensed that some hesitated for the same "If I let you do it with only natural light, there will be others trying to shoot with flash that I will have to deal with."
Case in point, my one and only trip to Graceland, there was this little German tourist that acted like a second skin on me because I had an SLR which was a "bigger" camera than her own. She knew that they didn't allow flash, but she didn't have the equipment or skill to pull off pictures in the basement. She would pop her flash and then hide her camera hoping that the security would assume it was me. I turned her in. I was following the rules that were inconvenient for me, but she didn't care because her trip, her memories were more important than anything else. When there are people like that in the world, you sometimes just have to stick to your guns on enforcing the rules...