[A small] Affair to Remember

By Marc Millman

For the Saturday night of New Year’s weekend, an existing client hired me to capture her second marriage. The wonderful small ceremony and reception took place in Westchester at the Bedford Post Inn located in the beautiful town of Bedford, NY. This beautiful historic property was first built upon in the 1860s. It was rescued almost ten years ago by local celebrity Richard Gere and some friends. In addition to the eight luxury rooms in which to stay there are also two restaurants overseen by Chef Michael White.

Mara & Frank were going to tie the knot in a small non-traditional ceremony (she is Jewish and he is from a large Italian family) followed by a cocktail hour for around fifty guests and then a sit-down dinner at two large farm tables. Unlike her older son Jack’s Bar Mitzvah, which I photographed a year earlier, this was not a “party.” This was an elegant & simple “celebration.”

What mattered to Mara & Frank was that I was there to capture images of four elements:

  • The immediate family before the ceremony
  • The wonderful ceremony itself
  • The cocktail hour with their closest friends & family
  • A “snapshot” of the dinner

Not all weddings have over 200 guests. And more and more brides these days seem a bit less concerned about images of themselves getting ready. For me, it makes no difference. My goal is to use my unique style that blends the feel of photojournalism with my unique style of Live Concert Photography imagery. And most important most of my clients and myself is that I blend into the background unless specifically requested [you can see Mara’s kind words here].

Wedding season is just around the corner. This snow will melt. The trees will turn green again. Flowers will bloom. People will walk down the aisle to say I do. But whether it’s a large wedding under a tent in July or an intimate one inside an old bard in January, I would love to have a conversation with you about the imagery that you will cherish for years to come. And even more importantly, I hope that we can build a relationship that leads to my sharing in more than one special day in your life


Mannish Boy[s]…or how Girls become Women and Boys become Men (Bar/Bat Mitzvahs: the Best of 2015)

[Editor’s note: this is not a post about the legendary Muddy’s Water’s Mannish Boy. I only wish I had been able to shoot legends of the Blues like him. This post is about one of the most important Jewish traditions]

Since this blogging thing is new to me, it’s going to take a little time in order to attempt to catch up with myself. After culling and then editing almost every individual job I shot in 2015 (this includes my passion project, otherwise known as my daughter, Julia Summer), I am down to almost 56,000 images kept from the last year. Bear in mind that, in general, I keep only about 25% of what I actually shoot. So, like most working photographers in the age of the DSLR, there is an awful lot to consider when trying to put your “best foot forward.”

For me personally, the goal is always – less is more. It’s something that I talk to many potential clients about in what I consider the “interview.” At some point during this initial conversation, I am almost inevitably asked how many “photos” they will get back. The first thing I tell them is that I will never be held to a specific number. I let them know that the “images” they see will represent the very best of what I captured during their big day. I then go on to explain that my ultimate goal is to give them back a selection of images that they can then manage. To me, this means that when it comes time to select a few choice images for prints and then tackle the larger task of putting together an album, they can actually get through the task without needing Ritalin!

I want you to enjoy reviewing your images as much as you did the actual event. And to me, too often we, as professional photographers, are guilty of giving you too much to process in a meaningful way. If I’ve done my job correctly, you won’t be asking if there are any other images with your Great Aunt Trudy or an alternate image of your husband’s side of the family, where his older brother is smiling and not making that face you warned me he always makes.

But in the case of the Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah or B’nai Mitzvah, the real goal is to make sure that my budding Rockstar is the focus of the day. However, with my style of shooting, it’s not about a lot of intensive time spent with them during the day. If we’ve done a shoot before the big day, that’s a different story. But when the “House Lights” go down and the “Stage Lights” are turned up, I want this young person, who has now entered adulthood in the Jewish religion, to feel like this is his/her moment to shine. The images in the gallery below represent the best of what I captured on these days last year. It was my busiest year yet with 13 year olds. And although some of these images are of random guests and other family members, this is mainly about your Rockstar in action

[You can see my complete Bar & Bat Mitzvah portfolio here]

The New Year is shaping up nicely. I have really fun Bar & Bat Mitzvahs lined up. There are great themes that will lead to wonderful images for the families. But I still have plenty of openings. Are you ready to let your child shine in the Limelight?