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Shooting my first Bar Mitzvah

Jay D. (Los Angeles) , Apr 14, 2006; 12:24 p.m.

I'm shooting a Bar Mitzvah at the end of this month. Just don't know what the fair going rate is. It's my first one. I've done plenty of weddings with my Dad, but don't know if the rates are similar. If anyone could help me, it would be great, thanks


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Paul A. - Los Angeles, CA. , Apr 14, 2006; 12:35 p.m.

No, BM rates are not the same as weddings because they are not nearly as complicated as a wedding event.

What is your skill level? Is this a Beverly Hills BM or eastside? Matters alot what clientele you're serving. What do THEY want and expect of you? How long is the gig in terms of hours? Lots of questions first.

If your dad'd shot weddings he might have a feel for pricing this gig. Consult w/ him as well. Good luck. oeyvey!

Steve Levine , Apr 14, 2006; 12:59 p.m.

I don't know where the previous poster got the idea that these are easier than weddings? In fact, we usually have to shoot on 2 different days to get all the shots needed. Saturday's are the Sabbath, and photography isn't allowed in most temples. This means formals often must be shot on Thursday PM, in temple.

As for the day of the event, we spend the same 8 or more hours covering these, as a wedding requires.

Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Apr 14, 2006; 02:50 p.m.

Same as a wedding. If you are only shooting the reception, 4 - 5 hrs., same rate as wedding coverage for that period of time. Usually you also have to do family/formal shots and very often Bemah shots. It quickly turns into the same amount of time as a full coverage wedding.

Paul A. - Los Angeles, CA. , Apr 14, 2006; 03:10 p.m.

"I don't know where the previous poster got the idea that these are easier than weddings? "

For one, my name is Paul.

Secondly, I got it from experience shooting BM in Palm Springs. You are entitled to believe as you choose. IMO Bad/BarM's are not as complicated as weddings by any stretch of the imagination. That is, unless you're very weak in weddings.

Paul A. - Los Angeles, CA. , Apr 14, 2006; 04:05 p.m.

BTW, Jay, you asked the question and I gave you my opinion based on my experience. My experience is different than yours, no. Some BM are very large and they do take much effort and the same can be said about weddings. If you believe its the same difficulty level, go for it. I'm capitalist.

If BM's are so difficult I wonder why they only teach wedding photography and not Bar Mitzvah photography?

In any case enjoy the shoot and don't step on any broken glass.


Steve Levine , Apr 14, 2006; 04:51 p.m.

I meant no disrespect Paul. In the Northeast perhaps BM's are a bigger deal than in the desert? These typically cost as much, if not more than an average wedding. Most have 150-250 guests, with DJ's and bands at some.

The logistics of dealing with a dozen or more, snotty 12 years olds, is only made worse by shooting 200 people in the dreaded "table shots".

The lack of standard shots at a BM, is much lower the standards at a typical wedding too. This means to keep shot counts high, I do very little sitting at the receptions too.

So added all together, I should charge more.

Paul A. - Los Angeles, CA. , Apr 14, 2006; 05:23 p.m.

"The lack of standard shots at a BM, is much lower the standards at a typical wedding too."

Well you have a point there. Sure does make for a long day though.

Thanks for the clarification, Steve. Appreciate it.

Steve Levine , Apr 14, 2006; 07:18 p.m.

For the record the standard shots are: the candle lighting, the bread blessing, the chair dance (Hora) , the table shots (ugh) , and of course all day you have to keep pressing them for small group shots. I try to grab cousins, uncles, aunts, school-chums etc. I tend to shoot a lot of "couples dancing shots", as album space filler too(LOL). I also will shoot a few big groups with all the kids. And then maybe all the cousins, etc. Lots of family group shots, is the key to "filling an album" too.

Also at BM's I shoot the buffet before it gets eaten, and some of the messy tables at night's end. And of course the "sign in board" shots, and if there is any theme to the BM, include it in some shots. When Mom & Dad spend $1000 on baloons(or something), they want to see them in the photos.

Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Apr 14, 2006; 09:26 p.m.

The reception for a Bat Mitzvah I shot a couple of weeks ago was held in the Copacaban. While the guests were upstairs having coctails the finishing touches were being done on the room while the sound check for the 8 member group was bing done. We started doing bemah shots at noon, followed by famils shots at the kiddush and the reception ended at 10:30.

You would charge less for this than a wedding?


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