By Marc Millman
The last weekend of January and the first weekend of February found me in Westchester and Connecticut to capture Kate Leffler’s Bat Mitzvah. Kate’s mom has become a good friend of mine over the past year. We share both a feverish obsession with live music, and a general tendency toward insomnia; which means that while I spend late nights editing most of my shots, she is the ideal person with whom to converse via text! It was through one of these conversations that Andrea decided that I should be the one to capture their special day.
It is my belief that when you choose an event-photographer for any important occasion; be it a wedding, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a milestone birthday, or an anniversary celebration, you need to make sure that you and your photographer share certain aesthetic values. Every professional photographer has a particular style, so when choosing someone to shoot your special event, you should ask yourself whether that photographer’s style matches up with what you are looking for. As an example, I like to shoot in a “modified” photojournalistic style. I aim for a balance between capturing the essence of the moment as it unfolds, and creating photographable moments that capture the feeling of the celebration. In this way, I’m able to present clients with the wide variety of photos they expect from an important event.
I believe very strongly in “the moment”; something I learned from my father’s Kodak slides shot on his Nikon and Honeywell Pentax 35mm cameras during my childhood. That said, understandably, people want to see themselves in the best possible “light”. Although I am not a Photoshop specialist, and my images are not heavily retouched or altered, I will work to “fix” a handful of images if a client requests that. Again, it comes down to a shared aesthetic—the more “in the moment” a client wishes their photos to be, the more I’m able to shoot in my particular style.
My connection to Andrea and her husband, Michael, is easy. They are laid back and fun. They love live music. They love their children. And they love my work (in addition to the photos I shot at Kate’s Bat Mitzvah, they also own some of my music prints on canvas that hang in their home). Connecting on a personal level with my clients, and sharing a sense of how an event should be captured is, to me, a match made in heaven! And, when you add in a beautiful place to shoot at (Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY), and a great party at The Loading Dock in Stamford, CT, put together by Eric Schiff at ESP (including a surprise appearance by the Berean Community Drumline, lead by the Director of the Brooklyn Steppers) it really made for several great days of “Killin’ It with Kate!”