I covered my first Mitzvah reception about 5 years ago. Before then, I had never even been to a Mitzvah and didn’t really know much about it. I was just starting out as a photographer and needed to get some event experience to test my skills. So I contacted the brother of a friend who owns a DJ company and he agreed to let me work to get some experience for almost no pay. I really just wanted the experience, because I wasn’t a photographer…….yet. I began working for him as a zap shooter. Those are the people that work for the DJ company and take pictures to put them up on the projection screen or plasma while the reception is in progress. They are not usually photographers, but someone using the DJ’s camera equipment to take still pictures.
Well, I learned more that day than any other time in my career. Event photography is not just walking around with a camera on auto and composing shots. I learned how to push my camera to its limits given the low light situation of a quite large, yet almost pitch dark catering room. A lot of my pictures in the beginning were blurry as a result, but they did get better. If it were me, I would not have hired me to shoot another day unless I was working for free and there were a more experienced shooter present. Well, the DJ dude didn’t actually look at the pictures I took and gave me several more jobs. I have to say, although he did not pay attention to the quality of the product he was delivering to his clients, it gave me an opportunity to grow with this craft and I knew I needed to do this exponentially with each assignment. I was reading everything I could get my hands on that spoke about photography, but nothing ever proves your understanding of it until your doing it yourself.
I have had the pleasure of covering quite a few Mitzvah ceremony’s and receptions in my career. I cover as many mitzvah events as I do weddings each year, and from my approach, they are almost no different. In fact, covering the mitzvah assignments is how I gained the experience and confidence to start shooting weddings. I keep a very similar mind set when covering these events. There are plenty of family present, a beautiful and structured ceremony and reception, lots of portraits and plenty of tender moments to find and capture.
My clients have been very good to me as my business has grown by word of mouth. I am thankful for the opportunity that my friends brother has given me to get started and for my wonderful clients that I have grown to know over the years. Here are some pictures from a recent mitzvah. I had a blast covering it and I look forward to many more this year.