I still remember my Bar Mitzvah. The hours (and hours and hours,) spent studying, going to the temple, meeting with the rabbi and cantor. I recall how on the day of the bar mtizvah, the temple looked and felt differently, the excitement of standing in front of the congregation and reading from the torah. The luncheon at That Place on Bellflower. Afterwards, the party, that night, with friends and relatives.
I document ritual, and celebration. Both are essential. I strive to create images that the bar / bat mitzvah will cherish in 10 years, 20 years, images that they will want to share with their grandchildren. Recently a client told me she woke up one night to find her daughter rummaging through a box of photos they had received a few weeks before, pulling the photos from her bat mitzvah she wanted to take to overnight camp. She didn't want to risk asking permission, for fear her mom might say no.
As a photographer, it's essential to know when to become invisible so I can capture a fleeting moment in time so you can view it for... forever. And it's also important to know when to step in and choreograph, whether it's a formal photo of the siblings, or to ask if the parents can pass the torah during the rehearsal as they might do during the ceremony (as often times, the temple won't let the camera discover those moments on the Sabbath.)
Coverage begins at the temple. I have the vocabulary and experience to work in this sacred space, the understanding of how to interact with the staff to discover what their expectations of our work there entails, and the technical skills to make artful images during our time in the synagogue. Whether we have the space just to ourselves, or whether the temple requests that I photograph a rehearsal, I have the tools and experience to make the most of your time.
Formals are never the most entertaining part of the day, but they are so important to have for historical purposes. We have many options, depending on the specifics of how your day is scheduled. Sometimes we can do them at the temple, before or after the service, other times we do them before the party, every once and a while necessity dictates we do them as the party continues!
At the party, it's my job to make photos of the fun, not to stop the fun to make a photo. Once the celebration starts, once the mitzvah has accomplished their task, it's time to leave the family alone, and for you to let me do what it is that I do best. I'm great at being in the middle of the action, documenting the expressions of joy that friends and family have gathered to share. Even if I am close, you'll forget I'm there.
My business is a great mix of event, commercial, and fine art photography. Each project I do is unique, has it's own flavor, informs me on how to approach the next job. I have worked on location, and in the studio. I have the tools to create technically proficient, artistically composed images for you to have real memories of an important passage in the mitzvah's life.