I might use these tips myself sometime! (Although I don't suppose I should be encouraging these techniques at St Peter's Cathedral in Marquette!)
Ever wondered how to take better pictures inside churches? Wonder no more! I found the answer while browsing Flickr. A non-Catholic photographer is kind enough to share the secrets.
My method for getting tripods into cathedrals and shooting is this:Do you have any tips for taking good pictures inside of churches?
1) Go in the exit and act like you are lost if someone asks
2) Wear a long matrix-coat and stuff your tripod up inside like a shotgun. Try not to walk with a limp.
3) Stride confidently through the crowds like you are in a hurry on a photo assignment.
4) Work your way into the pews and have a seat. You can even pretend to be Catholic and say a few Latin words as you sit down. I suggest “Pater Noster (My Father) or Quid Pro Quo (Rub Beads and go to Heaven)”
5) Slide out the tripod and assemble along the ground, When other parishioners look at you suspiciously, give them the sign of the cross.
6) Watch for old people in the main aisle, because they have trouble getting around tripods. Jump out, take your long exposures at 100 ISO, then sit back down.
7) If securty comes to get you, blame Stuck In Customs and that will confuse them long enough so you can make a getaway.
8 ) Don’t worry about getting caught. The church is much more leniant than they were during the Inquisition. Most big cathedrals do have crypts, but they are full of dead saints and they have never put a photographer in there.
9) If you see a tourist with a tiny camera taking a picture with the flash on, please tell them to stop. The flash does nothing in that situation. It’s just embarassing for them, really.10. See #9. It’s your duty to stop tourists from using flashes… next thing you know, they’ll have their flash on when shooting the Eiffel Tower at night.