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Photography and the Cathedral

We welcome photographers who wish to capture the many architectural, artistic, and sacred images in the Cathedral. Please take a moment to read through our guidelines for photography at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, which are designed to ensure that all visitors may enjoy their experience here and to protect the dignity of this house of God. These guidelines and the permit process are for professional photographers, not for the visitor who wishes to take a few tourist snapshots. We do, however, request that anyone taking photographs abide by the basic rules of courtesy out of respect for those who are here to worship.

Times for Photography

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is open to the public for many hours each day of the week. However, it remains a private building in which Masses and other holy services are held throughout the day. Out of respect for those who have come to this sacred place to worship, flash photography and tourist visits are not allowed during daily or Sunday Masses, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharistic Adoration), or other ceremonies including weddings and funerals. Please see our Mass Schedule and Calendar, for the current liturgical schedule. As you photograph the beautiful architecture and art, please not that it is not permissible to photograph a person or persons without their consent.

Photography Permits

As a historic monument, as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and a holy sanctuary, it is important that images of the Cathedral not be used in any way that would not be considered dignified and respectful of all that it represents. Therefore, if you would like to schedule a photo shoot of the Cathedral, please send an email to the Director of Communications or call 414/276-9814, ext. 3117 to make an appointment and acquire a permit. Photo shoots in which a person or persons are the primary subject with the Cathedral as a backdrop are not allowed. We offer a very simple permit process and trust that all visitors will honor our guidelines for photography.

Wedding Photography

Photographers and videographers may begin to set up no more than 60 minutes prior to the start of the wedding, though they may arrive earlier to view the building. This policy includes the use of the Cathedral grounds as well as the interior of the building. Pre-wedding photography must be completed 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. As long as the families and wedding party remain available near where the photos are being taken, this timeframe will be sufficient.

Cameras are not permitted within the sanctuary - no exceptions. Photographers may pose the wedding party and families on the sanctuary steps in front of the altar, and in no other part of the sanctuary.

Flash photography may occur during the processional and recessional only, but not during the ceremony. While the ceremony is in progress, photographers must remain behind the seated guests, and they are asked to refrain from obtrusive or disruptive movement during the wedding. Videographers are to remain stationary during the ceremony. Photographers are not allowed in the choir loft. Please note that there are very few electrical outlets in the Cathedral.

After the ceremony, all final photography must be completed within 30 minutes. The Cathedral respectfully requests that wedding photographers and videographers cooperate with the spiritual nature of the wedding celebration, remain respectiful of this sacred environment, and work within the guidelines presented here.




Copyright 2012 Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.