The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Day

This is your special day and I will be there to capture the spirit of the event and all the great family emotions. For more than 20 years now, I have specialized in photographing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. I love capturing these events because I enjoy the innocence of the kids, the pride of the parents, and ultimately capturing your family history.

I take great pride in getting not just the standard pictures that you would expect, but also the truly unique and exciting photos that represent your family and the day. Because of my Olympic photography for Team USA over the last 15 years, I am lucky enough to be sponsored by Canon and many other companies, who provide me with latest in digital camera equipment.

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My style of photography is very relaxed with a good balance of formal and candid shots. As a good friend of mine (and accomplished photographer) likes to say, “The camera looks both ways”. In other words, the mood, the attitude and the emotion that I feel is reflected in my pictures. It is important for the photographer to understand and interact with the people they are photographing, putting everyone at ease so that the pictures capture their true selves. I never want the photo to show who I am, it needs to show who the child is, who the family is, and the personalities of those individuals.

Read on to see how things work...


Pre-Event Portraits

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Edit_Ascher_Kids_Portraits_0076Edit_Ascher_Kids_Portraits_0076Ascher Kids Portraits itzvahitzvahEsti Smith Portraits

Before the big day, many families want to have a nice photo of their child. This way, we can create a sign-in board for the party and also have some nice photos for the beginning of the finished album or book. Typically we will shoot these a month before the service.

I like to take these photos in an outdoor setting. They can be formal or informal, depending on what and your son or daughter wants. This can be at a local park or a location of your choice. If your child is into horseback riding, we can photograph them at your stable. If they are a swimmer, we can photograph them at a pool. Once again, it is important that these photos reflect who they are, not who I am. 




On the big day, not all events start or end at the same time, but here's an example of a fairly typical day of shooting. This gives you an idea of how I work and what I'll be capturing.

  • 9am - Family photos at the Temple (both outside and inside)
  • 10:30am - Photography of the service (if permitted - otherwise captured a day or two before)
  • 12:30pm - Photos of the kiddush lunch at Temple and mingling
  • 6:00-10:00pm - Photos of the party (may also be a lunch party)
  • 11pm - Wrap up, download, and backup all of the day's photos to local and remote servers.

As you can see, I'm with you every step of the way. And when I capture your day - you “own me” for the day, so you can determine what images you want, and when and how you want them.


Family Photos

Edit_Coby_Wagonfeld_Bar_Mit_0051Edit_Coby_Wagonfeld_Bar_Mit_0051Coby Wagonfeld Bar Mitzvah

Edit-Henry-Ross-Bar-Mit-0182Edit-Henry-Ross-Bar-Mit-0182Henry Ross Bar Mitzvah
Edit-Rayna-Beck-Bat-Mit-0198Edit-Rayna-Beck-Bat-Mit-0198Rayna Beck Bat Mitzvah Edit-Josh-Griffith-Bar-Mit-0566Edit-Josh-Griffith-Bar-Mit-0566Josh Griffith Bar Mitzvah

Since everyone is dressed up and looking great, this is an ideal time to capture pictures of your immediate family, your extended family, and your close friends. Typically I will first capture photos of everyone outside the Temple and then move back indoors to get images of the family at the bimah. This is also a good time to get photos of the child and family reading from the Torah.



The Service

Edit_Jake_Lager_Bar_Mit_0477Edit_Jake_Lager_Bar_Mit_0477Jake Lager Bar Mitzvah Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Edit_Allison_Cohen_Bat_Mit_0264Edit_Allison_Cohen_Bat_Mit_0264Allison Cohen Bat Mitzvah

I love photographing the service (with the permission of the Temple) because I love capturing all the emotions that come to light during this time - the relief, the love, and the accomplishment. For those who belong to a Temple that does not allow photography during the service, I make the most of the rehearsal day to get beautiful images that tell the story, even in the days before the service. 

Most of the time, I will stay in one spot in the back of the Temple and avoid any distractions or interruptions. I absolutely NEVER shoot with a flash in the Temple, as this is disruptive and usually against Temple rules.

Because of my Olympic work, I own the best cameras and lenses which allow me to get the best high-quality images, even in tricky settings or low light situations. Each of my cameras has a silent mode so you will not be distracted the sound of loud shutters during your mitzvah.



The Party

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Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

The service is over and now everybody is ready to have a good time celebrating! I go to work capturing all the greatest and most important moments - the smiles, the laughter, the friends, the dancing, and maybe even a candle lighting ceremony.

From morning until night, I'm always looking for great pictures to capture, and can even project the images from earlier that day at your party following the service.



The Details

Edit_Ari_Krane_Bar_Mit_0214Edit_Ari_Krane_Bar_Mit_0214Ari Krane Bar Mitzvah Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
Bay Area MitzvahBay Area MitzvahSan Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
Edit_Talia_Shapiro_Bat_Mit_0585Edit_Talia_Shapiro_Bat_Mit_0585Talia Shapiro Bat Mitzvah are expecting the pictures of the service and the party. You know that you are going to get great photos of your child at the bimah and up on the chair during the hora. But, there is so much more happening throughout the day and I pride myself on catching the smallest of details. The young child who can't sit still during the service, the macro shot of the Yad on the Torah, and the proud dad in the Temple. I am always looking for the “other shots” to bring out the details of your day.



After the Mitzvah

The day may be over, but my work continues, because now I need to get all the images back to my studio to be downloaded, graded and backed-up. 

In the days that follow, I will publish a web site with all the best images from your day. You, your friends and your family can then view all these images and select the photos you want. I will then fully retouch the images that you have selected and deliver them to you in a very timely manner. Many of my clients have a hard time narrowing down their choices from the hundreds that are posted. But don't worry! The gallery remains posted for at least 6 months, so you have plenty of time to browse through your proof photos. Most other photographers limit the gallery time in order to force their clients to move quickly. I would rather that you take your time and not feel pressured.

You have a choice of getting those photos in an album (which is the most popular choice these days), single prints, enlargements, or digital images. You can choose one or all of these options.

I mentioned photo retouching, but need to expand on that a little more. Most photographers use a batch process (in programs like Adobe Lightroom) to make global adjustments to all the photos with one keystroke. This may fix some of the lighting and white balance issues, but does nothing more. I fully retouch every image that you order (for digital, print, album...). I literally paint out every fly-away hair going through a face or sticking out, remove skin blemished, remove exits signs and other distractions, and so much more. And I do this on every image, one at a time. I figure that you are hiring my to get the best images possible, and the finishing process is almost as important as the image capture. 

All of my images are securely archived in multiple locations and maintained for the long term. Yes, I literally have every image that I have ever taken on my own servers. This equates to more than 2 million photos. 


The End...But Not the End

By the end of this process, we have probably spent a great deal of time together. Talking on the phone, trading email messages, spending many hours together on the “big day”, and discussing the final images.

I feel that it is an honor to be a part of so many family gatherings, and even when your final images have been delivered,  I hope that we can stay in touch. 

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To contact Jeff Cable Photography about an upcoming mitzvah, please click here.

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