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?

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