Sam’s South Florida Bat mitzvah
Showing flawless skin, and detail in a persons eyes, is the signature of a great portrait, headshot, and in this case, a Bat Mitzvah photo. As a South Florida Bat Mitzvah photographer, my goal is to create images in which the people in front of my camera look beautiful.

Sam’s South Florida Bat mitzvah

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Samantha had a wonderful South Florida Bat Mitzvah and I was thrilled to be her photographer!

As with many of the Bat and Bar Mitzvahs I photograph, Sam’s photography coverage started with a pre-mitzvah day photo session. Working as a bat mitzvah photographer in South Florida, I have a wide variety of beautiful picture locations to choose from. The  pre-mitzvah photo shoot is one of my favorite parts of Bat and Bar Mitzvah photography.  The fact that I get to take fun, creative pictures with no time limit, combined with being able to be as creative as possible, make the pre-mitzvah session my one of my favorite aspects of Bat / Bar Mitzvah photography.   The pictures of Samantha below were both taken at the Boca Raton Resort Beach Club.   The Boca Raton Resort Hotel and Club consist of two different hotels, there is the main hotel, then there is the Beach Club.  Shooting Samantha’s Pre Bat Mitzvah pictures at the resort was a terrific idea.  The wide range of fine artwork on the walls and the vibrant colors around the beach side pool gave me plenty to work with.

Samantha's pre bat mitzvah pictures taken in Boca Raton, Florida.
These sepia pictures were taken inside the main lobby at the Boca Resort Beach Club. I don’t usually use wall paintings as portrait backgrounds. However, this flower artwork worked perfectly for this shot.

 

Pre Bat or Bar Mitzvah photoshoots are the best way to get a feel for how your photographer works and shoots.  Most of my clients have no idea what to expect when standing in front of the camera. In addition they usually don’t  know how to pose when being photographed.  My job as your South Florida Bat / Bar Mitzvah photographer is to set your minds at ease.  By getting involved and posing clients in a easy to follow and fun manor I can get great shots with good smiles.  I can’t stress enough how important it is for a photographer to take charge of the photo session and not leave people hanging in front of the camera.   I have  had many wedding and mitzvah clients hire me, and later tell me, they had a bad experience with a previous photographer who didn’t control the photo session.  If you hire me, I promise you.  I will show you how to pose in such a way that looks natural, feels right and produces natural smiles and expressions.

Pre Bat Mitzvah photography shot in Boca Raton.
Since vibrant colors made up the theme of Sam’s mitzvah party, I wanted to make sure to get some pictures that played into these colors. I’m also a big fan of double reflections, the Boca Beach Club’s lobby has plenty of glass and highly reflective walls. How could I not take that double reflection shot when we walked past that glass wall.

 

Because different temples or synagogues all have their own set of rules regarding Bat or Bar Mitzvah photography, the time allowed, and the temple photography session date, varies from temple to temple.  Some temples allow photography on a different day from the actual service date.  NOTE: A Bat or Bar Mitzvah ceremony is referred to as a service.  Other temples allow the photographer some time for pictures before the service starts.  In addition, some temple will allow the photographer the option to remove the torah for pictures, others won’t.  I have found that it’s best to ask the parents if they could consult with the rabbi regarding the temple rules.  In the case of Samantha’s temple pictures, I shot these about two hours before her service started.  During the temple photo session, I take a wide range of pictures.  Some of the pictures I take are creative and others are basic casually posed photos.   I always use my own lighting because I want the light on everyones face to be soft and even.   Many temples do not allow the photographer to be present during the actual service, other will allow photography but only from the very back of the sanctuary, and with no flash.  Because of the high restrictions imposed during the actual service, I always reenact the important service parts for the camera, this way, if I can’t capture it live during the service, I can have my previously setup shot as a back up.

Bat Mitzvah temple photos shot in Parkland Florida.
This album page layout was custom created to show some of what takes place during the temple service.

ABOVE AND BELOW:  In addition to the photography, I also design my own custom Bat and Bar Mitzvah albums.  As an album designer who also shoots, I consider how the pictures are going to look when designed into an album.  Clients who receive the proofs of my images, will notice that some of the pictures are of small details,  for example the album layout above includes the star and light which hung above the torahs.  I intentionally shot this off center, so that there would be room for pictures on one side.  The picture below is the same thing.  I wanted to have some page backgrounds that would add a dynamic feel to some of the pages.  Most photographers, take the pictures to cover the event, then try to figure out how to design an album after the fact.  I thing this method is better, would you agree?

Family Bat Mitzvah Pictures taken on the temples bema.
Before the Bar Mitzvah day, I always ask the parents of the could create a list of special posed pictures. I know well enough to take pictures of, parents, sister, brother and so on. It’s the extended family, or important family friends pictures that should be on the list.

When I arrive at the temple to start the Bat or Bar Mitzvah photography, I arrive early.  Even if it’s a place I have worked at many times before, I like to spend some time, checking the natural lighting, looking for places to take pictures that I have not noticed before.  As an artist, I have found that arriving in a relaxed state of mind, gives me that ability to think clearly and creatively.  In addition, I’m an equipment freak.  I always bring more photo gear than I would ever use at a job.  My camera gear case includes, several cameras, several flash units, a range of lenses, some filters, tripod, fully charged batteries, a charger, and some  fresh new batteries just in case I need them.  I also bring along some camera great that is used to create some of my artsy images.   During a photo session, or while covering a Bat Mitzvah party, you never know what unique situations my arise.  Sometimes the simplest small piece of equipment could assist me in creating a unique image.

Temple pictures taken at a Parkland Bat Mitzvah.
Some of my album page layouts are simple, these are designed to show the pictures in the largest possible size and as clearly as possible.

 

Bat Mitzvah ceremony pictures taken in Parkland Florida.
These sepia toned Bat Mitzvah service (ceremony) pictures were taken live during the actual service.

Sometimes at a bat mitzvah I’m allowed to take pictures, other times I’m not allowed.  However, if I am allowed, it’s always from the back of the sanctuary and only within the center aisle.  If the photographer moves to the sides to get a shot, the rabbi will see that and point to the photographer to move back.  Trust me when I say that, it’s a privilege to be allowed inside the sanctuary during a bat or bar mitzvah service. When I’m hired as a bat mitzvah photographer in South Florida I’m expected to capture all the best parts of the service.  That is if I’m allowed to photograph the live service.

Bat Mitzvah pictures taken at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, Florida
To get these pictures I had to keep the camera perfectly steady. In order to do so I used a tripod. Because I was so far away, I also needed a long lens, that is designed to allow the most amount of light into the camera.
The sanctuary at Congregation Kol Tikvah is one of the prettiest around.
One of my favorite parts as a South Florida bat mitzvah photographer is photographing a live service. The fact that, it’s dark, the people are moving, I’m not allowed to move makes this a real challenge. With my eye pressed against the camera, I’m waiting for the very second to that that perfect shot. Isn’t the sanctuary at Congregation Kol Tikvah pretty?   Before we move into the party pictures let me share this shot also taken in the Kol Tikvah sanctuary.  Bat Mitzvah portrait taken inside Temple Kol Tikvah
Bat mitzvah pictures captured at Congregation Kol Tikvah
How about bat mitzvah service pictures taken in candle light. Photographing Havdalah services requires being ready to shoot in the most difficult lighting.

Once the service ends and the cocktail hour starts, I taken the bat mitzvah into the ballroom to see all the awesome decor and to take some creative pictures that feature Sam as the center of attention.  Photography time is limited to one hour, so I spend my time wisely.  In addition the host of the party doesn’t want to spend all of her time taking pictures.  She just participated in a ceremony (Service) that was well over one hour long, and all of her friends are enjoying the fun and games that are taking place in the other room.  As the photographer, I finish the pictures with the bat mitzvah (girl) and then I photograph the party and the room decor.  Sometimes we have two photographers on the job.  By having two photographer, one could shoot the room decor, while the other shoots to people enjoying the cocktail hour party.

Bat mitzvah in Parkland Florida
Sam posing with her beautiful party decor.

 

Beautiful decor at a Fort Lauderdale bat mitzvah
The decor at this Parkland bat mitzvah was simple stunning.

 

South Florida bat mitzvah party
During the cocktail hour I shoot as many pictures of people having fun as possible. It’s my goal as a bat / bar mitzvah photographer to make sure every guest is photographed several times.
Bat mitzvah action photos taken at a Parkland Bat Mitzvah
Getting in the flow at a bat or bar mitzvah party is the best way to capture the best action shots.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.
Album photo page taken from a South Florida Bat Mitzvah.

Photographing both bat and bar mitzvahs is by far one of my favorite types of event photography,  Check out these links to some of my other bat and bar mitzvahs.  Boca Raton snow ski theme bar mitzvah.   I love to snow ski, so of course I had to blog about this one.   Have you ever been to Broken Sound Country Club?  This bat mitzvah happed at Broken Sound another one of my favorite places. Broken Sound County Club Bat Mitzvah    YES, we also offer video!  Check out this bat mitzvah video from Stonebridge Country Club.  Paiges Bat Mitzvah    If you are into cars, this Bar Mitzvah may spark some ideas.  Cool cars at this bar mitzvah

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