Shooting my first Bar Mitzvah

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jay_d.__los_angeles_, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.
  8. "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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. So for a 8 hour shoot at a BM about what would most charge? I was asked about shooting one and I came across this in a google search. No one has really answered the question.
  12. Same as a wedding, which also varies according to metro/country, and location.
  13. My wife and I shoot Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (no weddings) in the Phoenix-Scottsdale AZ area. The rates here range from a low of about $1500 to a high of about $5000. Market pricing is very important; you can charge more and get fewer jobs, especially these days.
    But it's a grind. We do a sign-in board session weeks ahead, then what we call the "faux mitzvah" during rehearsal at the temple on the preceding Thursday. We then do family portraits before the celebration for about an hour (not including set-up and take down of portable studio lighting). Finally, we shoot the cocktail hour and party for 4.5-5 hours. Total hours at this point is about 12.
    When you add it all up, we have close to 2,000 images to edit down to about 600-800 that we offer as proofs in either print or web gallery format. Then design the album and handle print orders from the portrait session.
    Steve's comment above about the kids and table shots would be funny if it wasn't true. Table shots at a buffet? The worst. We are generally hard of hearing by the end of the night as well, because if you're going to get good shots then you can't just hang out on the perimeter of the dance action. You have to get in there. I use earplugs for standing in front of speakers.
    You can see why it's so hard to put a price on all this work. Oh .. I almost forgot the biggest factor in pricing around here ... your reputation. The more well-known shooters get more, plain and simple. But we looked at our first year as an investment to build our portfolio and then slowly raise the rates. You have to figure out what it's going to take for you to shoot the scenario I (and others) have outlined. This amount of work is the rule, not the exception.
    Hope this helps somewhat.
    Good luck,
  14. Here's one of my favorite shots from "getting in close" as referenced in my post above.

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