Bar and Bat Mitzvahs hold a very special place in my heart. I have been photographing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in Los Angeles for over fifteen years and there is nothing else quite like the day a young man or young woman is called to the Torah. The celebrations and parties may have evolved over the years, but the significance of this moment between childhood and young adulthood remains constant.
My approach to Bar and Bat Mitzvah photography is just like my approach to weddings, I like to do a combination of both classic and editorial style portraits mixed with documentary-style candids to really capture the feeling of the day. If your synagogue allows photography during the service, we meet about an hour and a half before the service to do your portraits. I like to start with the classics – your child reading the Torah, opening the ark, putting on his or her tallit, but then I take a few minutes to grab some fun, editorial style of photos that capture the essence and personality of your child, too. I approach photos of your family in the same way - classics first and then a few casual and more candid moments and top it off with some magazine-style images to really give your album some variety and texture. If your temple doesn’t allow photography on the day of the service, we can easily do a “rehearsal” photo session, typically during the week before the actual Bar or Bat Mitzvah, to capture those photos. If they do allow photography, I can photograph the service as it happens. Then from kiddush luncheons to evening parties, the celebration really begins! I strive to get a wonderful variety of photos of not only the kids, but also of you and your friends and family celebrating - on the dance floor, giving speeches and playing “Coke and Pepsi” if you so choose!
I have photographed Bar and Bat Mitzvahs all over Los Angeles and am very familiar with many of the Synagogues including Stephen S. Wise, Temple Israel of Hollywood, Temple Isaiah, Wilshire Boulevard Temple and Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, amongst many others. Favorite mitzvah party spots include Mr. C’s, the Peterson Automotive Museum, The Four Seasons Hotel, the Ahamanson Beach House, Pacific Design Center and Hillcrest Country Club.
I also offer portrait sessions in the months leading up to the event if you would like photos of your child or family to use as part of your invitation or décor for the party. Portrait sessions can be at your home or on location! I have done creative shoots in Venice, with a basketball theme (with the Bar Mitzvah boy playing basketball with the Rabbi and Cantor!), as well as a graffiti theme in front of the many murals in downtown Los Angeles. If you have a vision for a photo session for your child as part of the style of your event, don’t hesitate to ask and I would be happy to collaborate on a fun, themed photo shoot.
The last step is the album, of course. Designing an album that documents the day is the final piece of the process. I have many examples of finished album designs online and am happy to send over the links upon request!
It is a great privilege to photograph such an important moment in your child’s life and I would be thrilled to photograph their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.