A bar / bat mitzvah is a significant event in the life of a young man or young lady and their family, and it’s my job to make sure that all the memories of this special occasion are preserved forever. Here’s how I approach capturing the special moments of a bar mitzvah:
Planning & Preparation
As a professional photographer, I understand the importance of planning and preparation when it comes to capturing the special moments of a bat mitzvah or bar mitzvah. Before the event, I research the schedule of events for the day, understand the flow of the ceremony and anticipate key moments that need to be captured. By having a good understanding of the schedule and event flow, I am able to be prepared so that I am in the right place at the right time to capture the moments as they happen.
Capturing the Main Event
During the ceremony of a bar or bat mitzvah, I make sure to be in a good position to take pictures of the boy or girl as they read from the Torah, as well as his family and friends who are listening. I carefully select my positions to get different angles, and move around quietly and respectfully.
I also pay attention to the lighting in the synagogue or venue, which can be sometimes be challenging. By understanding the lighting in the location, I am able to adjust my camera settings accordingly and capture the occasion even in low light conditions. I focus on capturing the emotions of the boy or girl and his/her family, as well as the guests during this powerful and emotional ceremony.
When photographing a bar mitzvah, I make sure to capture not just the main event, but also the candid shots, family dance, the hora, the candy bar, any games and other important moments that make the event special.
For candid shots, I focus on capturing the laughs, tears, the guests enjoying themselves and anyone who makes a speech/toast and the reactions to it. I wear appropriate attire so I blend in instead of standing out. I also wear soft sole shoes so I don’t make any noise walking around. I carry two cameras on me with different lenses so I can capture images close and far away at the same time.
It’s important for me to be prepared for anything, including equipment failure. So when photographing a bar mitzvah, I always make sure to bring second camera body, several sets of batteries, back-up flash and many memory cards, as well as a variety of lenses to capture different kinds of shots.
I bring several different lenses with me, including a long lens which allows me to capture candid shots of guests without being too close or in their face. This allows me to preserve their privacy while still capturing their natural reactions to the event. I also have wide-angle lens, telephoto lens which allow me to capture different perspectives of the bar mitzvah, providing a more complete picture.
Communicating with the Family
I make sure to communicate with the family or the event planner for the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah to understand the expectations and any special shots that are requested. I can meet with the family/event planner before the event to go over a timeline, shot list and answer any questions they might have.
Having a clear understanding of the family’s preferences and expectations helps me to tailor my approach and ensure that I’m able to capture the photographs that they are looking for. It is also important for me to provide excellent customer service. I will keep the family and/or the event planner updated on the schedule, timing and make sure they know when and how they will receive the final images after the event.
I offer a range of services to my clients:
- I provide as many hours of coverage you would like for your bat or bar mitzvah.
- I re-touch all the images before they are delivered.
- There is no limit on how many images I will take at the event.
- A private online gallery that family, friends and guests can view, share and download the images.
- A USB drive of the high resolution images that is yours to keep.
- I offer album design and several kinds of albums in different sizes that you can choose from so that the family can have a physical album of their photographs to look back on and share with loved ones. The albums are high-quality, tailor-made to the client’s specifications and printed in the best paper and printing techniques.
- I also offer printing services that include professional enlargements, gallery-wrapped canvases, plaques and metal prints.
How many hours are included in your package and/or can we customize the hours of your coverage?
My availability is flexible to match your needs. Some clients request coverage for only the post-ceremony party, while others prefer complete coverage of the entire day. The cost is determined by the number of hours of coverage requested.
Are digital files included? Do you include a print release?
Yes, digital files are included. They are re-touched and you are free to use and print them as you like.
Can you recommend an Event planner that specializes in Bat and Bar Mitzvahs?
Yes. I have worked with Alicia Thompson from Alicia Thompson Events & Design. She specializes in Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs and does an incredible job from the planning stages to the execution of the event.
Roughly how many digital photos will I receive? Will these be available for download or on a USB or other type of drive?
I don’t put on a limit on how many images my clients will receive. The more time I am at the event, the more pictures you will receive. For an event that is 5 hours long you will typically receive 400 + images.
Yes the images will be made available for download after the event and I will also send you a USB drive in the mail with the full size, retouched images.
Do you offer an online gallery? Can that be shared with family and friends? How long will this be online?
Yes I provide an online gallery that is password protected to the family. They in turn can share that gallery with family and friends. The gallery will remain online for 6 months.
How quickly will we receive the final deliverables?
My turnaround time is usually 7-10 days and a little longer in the high season of summer.
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes, I am fully insured and I take the responsibility of my profession seriously. I understand that accidents can happen, and having liability insurance in place is an important aspect of operating my business.