An experienced wedding photographer who works around the country as well as in the East Riding of Yorkshire has said officials here have used the pandemic as an excuse to reinforce what he says are 'draconian' rules.

James Revitt, 37, of Flawless Photography, has 15 years of experience in the industry having captured over 500 weddings and has even taken his trade to other countries.

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He says that the situation in East Yorkshire has become one of the worst for his profession in recent years and he claims that the pandemic was used to further tighten control over photography.

The issue is specifically with civil ceremonies and James said that overzealous application of the rules had ruined the happy day of more than one couple.

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James said the unfair rules were ruining some wedding days
James said the unfair rules were ruining some wedding days

James, who is based in Goxhill, said: "It is a strange one really, I work all over the country and I have to say that the East Riding of Yorkshire is one of the worst places for me to go.

"Ninety nine percent of the time I'm requested to remain respectful during the ceremony as I would be in other areas of the country and I have always been fine with that.

"What is unacceptable is being told minutes before the ceremony is due to start that there will be no photography allowed by the registrar and to be put in a situation where I'm telling a couple they can't have any pictures at all.

"I had one where I told the couple that the registrar had threatened to stop the ceremony if I took pictures which was only communicated at the last minute, they requested that I go in regardless and the ceremony was completely stopped mid flow.

"At the end of the day I am working for the couples and I have to respect their wishes and this inconsistent application of what the officials say are the rules just puts everyone in a difficult position."

Like so many professions, wedding photography took a massive hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The cancellation of so many weddings during the two lockdowns and the restrictions placed on them afterwards has been a massive burden.

Like the whole of the wedding industry, James saw long months without work and was very much looking forward to getting back in the saddle even if it was in a slightly reduced capacity.

Unfortunately, on his return to the East Riding of Yorkshire he found that, once again, rules were being added to civil ceremonies to make his job impossible.

He said that at one of his recent jobs, he was given a place to sit from which he could not move for Covid safety reasons that was behind all of the other guests with a partially restricted view.

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James said: "It isn't like this in the rest of the country and that is the really frustrating thing. I see how it should be done in other areas and I find it difficult to accept how hard it is made here.

"When I work in other areas the registrar will get in touch well in advance with any specific requests and we're able to work together to give the couples the best that we can.

"Here there seems to be a bit of an attitude of control through arbitrary rules, they're draconian and they're ruining the memories of what should be one of the happiest days of people's lives.

"It just seems to be completely random as to if we'll be allowed to photograph or not and it is one of the most ridiculous situations I've come across."

James said the application of the rules was putting him in a difficult position
James said the application of the rules was putting him in a difficult position

A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “Our main priority during the pandemic has been to keep guests, staff and the couple as safe as possible and measures were put in place within each venue to do this through the registration and venues Covid-19 safe, risk assessments.

“The way we have worked throughout the period of the pandemic has been advised and supported by the council’s safety services and public health teams to ensure maximum safety.

“We ask that all photographers are directed by their couples to liaise with us prior to the ceremony beginning to discuss what the constraints will be on the day.

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“The General Register Office has previously supported our stance in not allowing photographs through the legal words that form a short part of the ceremony, which we are entrusted to keep solemn and dignified.

“We have received support and thanks for the excellent way in which we try to keep our staff and guests safe, including during ceremonies, and this is our main priority during this challenging time.”

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