Why A Pre-Mitzvah Shoot – Ira Casel Photography Shares Thoughts

Written by Ira Casel of Ira Casel Photography – Millburn, NJ

Why A Pre-Mitzvah Shoot?

The pre-mitzvah portrait shoot is great for a lot of reasons. Of course, we get to create some amazing images of the bar/bat mitzvah boy/girl, which are most often on display at their celebration. These photographs capture the bar/bat mitzvah kid as they really are at this moment in life and provide a counterpoint to the bima/temple portraits, which are more formal and religious in nature.

BarMitzvahjuxtapose

Bat Mitzvah juxtapose

Photography by Ira Casel Photography 

Get comfortable with each other and the camera

Stepping back, the shoot is also a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. We hang out in a fairly relaxed atmosphere and get used to working together. At these shoots I always keep the mood light and fun, so everyone leaves feeling lighthearted and excited about the next time we’ll be together.

Ira Casel Portraits2

As much as it may seem counter-intuitive, these shoots are wonderful for kids who may be a bit shy or reticent or who don’t think they like being in front of the camera. The pre-shoot lets us work through all of those feelings and also, provides the bar/bat mitzvah kid with some great pictures to share on social media. So that when the big weekend arrives, I’m more a friend than some guy with a camera.

IRA CASEL PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIAL PROMOTION : 
FREE 20″ x 30″ MOUNTED PRINT FOR DISPLAY AT PARTY – $150 value!
JUST MENTION MAZELMOMENTS

Location

Ira Casel Location 1

 Options, Options, Options!

The location is usually selected based upon the desires of the bar/bat mitzvah kid. The major choice is between an urban or urban looking environment and a natural setting, which could be a nature preserve, arboretum or large park.

Even though most of my shoots occur in suburban communities, the images can be shot in such a way so that a downtown/main street location looks more urban than it really is.  Sometimes, a bar/bat mitzvah child’s interests, such as a sport or dance, are worked into the shoot. I’m always open to suggestions for out of the ordinary locations – the family’s favorite beach, gritty and great looking spots in downtown Manhattan, a grandparent’s Fifth Avenue apartment – there is really no limit to the options.

Wardrobe

Ira Casel Wardrobe

This is something I always discuss beforehand.  With girls, we typically suggest 2 or 3 outfit changes, to a get a variety of looks, some casual and some more formal. Some kids don’t want to change at all and some want to use more than 3 outfits. I try to balance the desire for more looks with the need to minimize time spent changing  outfits. For the boys, I suggest keeping things timeless and classic and avoiding any shirts with large logos and brightly colored sneakers. It should go without saying, but basketball shorts and track pants should also stay at home for the portrait shoot. Boys often change clothes for different looks – maybe a jacket, then just a button-down and then a simple T – or even a jersey from their favorite team.

IRA CASEL PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIAL PROMOTION : 
FREE 20″ x 30″ MOUNTED PRINT FOR DISPLAY AT PARTY – $150 value!
JUST MENTION MAZELMOMENTS

 

AfterwardsIra Casel Display1

Once the music stops and lights come up, the display prints of the family’s favorite pre-mitzvah portraits live on. They can propped or framed and hung at  home.  And any of the images from the shoot can be used in the bar/bat mitzvah album. Some families even choose to create a small album from the pre-mitzvah shoot as a keepsake and memento of this time in their lives.

Thanks to Ira Casel for sharing his tips and expertise!  See more of Ira’s fabulous work at Ira Casel Photography.

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