Why Us?

Sarah Merians Mitzvah Photographer and Mitzvah Mom Too!

Mitzvahs are my FAVORITE!! Having photographed hundreds of Bar, Bat and B’nai Mitzvahs – then going through the experience myself with my own daughter Emily – has given me a unique understanding of this incredible milestone event. I bring my intimate knowledge of this special process, along with my intense love for all thing’s “family”, to every Mitzvah I capture. My photography style is passionate, affectionate, and warm, which allows me to be patient and loving with grandparents, parents, siblings, etc. and to work successfully within the family dynamic. I love growing with families as they return for their second, third and fourth mitzvahs and genuinely share in their excitement!

The Mitzvah service is probably the first time your child will stand up in front of the congregation, family and friends in a formal public setting. After months of hard work, studying and preparing their Torah portion, your child certainly deserves a celebration to acknowledge this huge accomplishment! You will see that it will be one of life’s proudest moments - I remember smiling so much my face hurt! I was so proud of my daughter, and so grateful to our friends and family for being there to support and applaud her. It should not be overlooked that the Mitzvah celebration is meaningful to your guests as well, particularly family members such as grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins. It is not every day that your entire family gets dressed up and gathers for a happy occasion! Don’t miss the opportunity to capture and memorialize it. why_us

A casual life-style shoot before your Mitzvah is a great opportunity for families to come together and acknowledge that this is a special time in their lives. It is also the beginning of the photography process! It is a great time to test hair and make up for the big day, as well as to have fun with your photographer and get to know each other. These shoots can take place in our studio or on-location if it works more for the décor at the party. For instance, a NYC themed party may want to do their pre-shoot on the streets of NYC with yellow taxis or graffiti art. These images then become part of the photo décor at the celebration. Girls tend to be a bit more interested in the pre shoots as they love different clothing fashions and outfits. Boys will often bring hobbies or sports clothing and props. It is OK to not have any props but merely use this opportunity to be in front of a camera and work with a professional photographer sometimes for the first time. why_us

Many temples and Synagogues do not allow photography or video coverage during the actual service as it is Shabbat. We often will come to your temple the week of the Mitzvah to capture family and Beema photos before your dress rehearsal with the Rabbi or Cantor. We love capturing the beauty of the space as well as capturing religious traditions and key moments of the service that we would not otherwise be able to get. It is on the weekday that we can take out the Torah for photo ops with your child and family. Some children have never even held a Torah before, and it is a great opportunity to practice this!!! Should clients have a Saturday night celebration, their clothing will be party clothing and not temple outfits. It is great to capture family portraits both times and continue to practice feeling comfortable in front of the camera. why_us

We just love Mitzvah parties as they are young, energetic and fun parties where all generations come together to celebrate their Mitzvah child with family and friends. The flow of the day is structured to have family portraits an hour or two before the Invitation and/or cocktail hour. This will allow everyone to look their freshest (not having hugged and kissed 200 guests) as well as create a timing for the day that allows you and your child to enjoy every moment of the event. We will allow time before the event to capture all the beautiful décor and unique details that make your event special for you and your child. When we cover the party, we shoot candid’s documentary style allowing the moments to happen as opposed to setting them up or creating them. This is what is so great about social events. There is so much action and love in the room for us to capture. We love all the high energy on the dance floor and use many different lenses to capture all the events throughout the day or night. Long lenses are used to photograph parent speeches so we can be far away (like a fly on the wall) capturing action and reaction without interrupting these powerful and proud moments. why_us

There are so many photographers out there…but what separates us from the pack is not just our high-quality digital capture, but what we do with your images after! We believe in working hands on with our clients to design and create the most incredible album and family heirloom for you and your family to enjoy for generations to come. After your party we help you to select the best images that tell the story of your day – which we then retouch and color correct so that you look your very best! Our designed layouts are creative and modern, and we incorporate details from your décor, logo and color scheme throughout to make the book custom to you and representative of your unique event. We have a variety of album cover options ranging from Italian leather and faux skins to acrylic covers fused with metallic photos. But we don’t stop there! We believe in adding meaning and value to your album by incorporating text from parent and sibling speeches and even your child’s D’Var Torah portion, which we insert amongst photos to tell your story. Your child, and their children, will be able to read your advice and praise for years to come! Our unique albums capture the spirit of your child and your celebration – The album is where we will really shine for you! why_us