Choosing a Photographer

Here are some frequently asked questions that Brian Masserman gets regarding “how to choose a professional photographer.”

Q.  What are the most important pictures to take at a Mitzvah before the service?

A.  It is important to take a well-posed shot of the celebrant in front of the Ark and with an open Torah. Bringing parents and grandparents in with the child is also important.  Looking at their parsha and looking at the camera are important shots.

Also, a it’s important to photograph a nice combination of immediate and extended family members well posed on the bima or somewhere in the Temple/Synagogue that has pleasant backgrounds.   The parents and siblings should be included in most of these shots.


Q.  Is there really that much of a difference between a wedding photographer and a Bar Mitzvah photographer?

A.  A Mitzvah photographer must know the traditions that go along with ALL types of Mitzvahs, including orthodox, conservative and reform.  This photographer may not be taking photographs of the actual ceremony since it is not permitted in most congregations.  However, the photographer should be able to re-enact some of the ceremonial parts such as grandparents putting the tallit on the celebrant.  Another plus, is that the photographer must know how to work well with children and teens. This person must be easy going and quick.  Patience is a virtue!


Q.  I am hearing so many photographers are shooting the event and giving the clients a disk of the photos.  Isn’t it cheaper that way? Do I own the rights?  Is it recommended to go this way when hiring a photographer?

A.  It is an utter disservice to shoot an event and only put images on a disk.  First, while many clients will share them via social media, most will not put in the time in to make prints or create a book for themselves.  They end up paying several hundred dollars for a CD but never wind up with a retouched, printed album.  Remember, you still spent anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars for someone’s time without receiving a beautiful heirloom album.  It is best to invest in an album package and to invest with a FULL TIME photographer or photography studio that is well established. Your package should include retouched, printed photos in the album of your choice.


Q.  How far ahead do I need to book if I want Brian Masserman to shoot my Mitzvah?

A.  It really depends on the time of year.  We suggest 6-8 months out at the latest. Our philosophy is simple: Offer our customers a personal experience, deliver high quality, professional photographs at an affordable price and provide flexible options and packages. Feel free to call Brian at 248-346-6791 or email him at