In our last blog, we talked about going beyond professional wedding albums. Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations are another excellent opportunity to create a photographic keepsake. Professional wedding albums are steeped in tradition. A wedding album is a family‘s first heirloom. It documents the celebration of a new partnership, a new family, a new generation. Professional photo albums for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs perfectly showcase a coming of age custom, a family’s pride, and a community’s celebration through photography.
Not sure where to start? Let’s begin by reviewing the celebration. Next, we’ll talk about workflow and how to create beautiful albums that your clients will love.
What is a Mitzvah?
Mitzvah is a Hebrew word meaning a precept or commandment; a good deed done from religious duty.
A Bar, Bat, B’nai, or B’not Mitzvah is a coming-of-age ritual for 13-year-old Jewish boys and girls. It signifies that the young person has all the rights and obligations as a Jewish adult in the community. The milestone usually centers around a ceremony in a synagogue. The celebrant may read the Torah, lead the service, or deliver a speech. This joyous milestone is then celebrated with a party for families and friends.
Traditionally, a party with lots of food, fun, and dancing happens immediately after the ceremony. In some cases, the ceremony is actually held on the individual’s actual 13th birthday. If so, there will be a small dinner that day, and a larger party will be held at another time.
It’s fair to say that planning a mitzvah party is a mitzvah in itself. Modern mitzvah celebrations can be on the same scale as a wedding. Although the spiritual preparation that goes into the ceremony holds great personal and religious value, the parties can be seen as the social event of the season.
Individual Portrait Sessions
A slightly more modern occurrence is a custom portrait session for the individual celebrating their mitzvah. This session might be done similar to a senior portrait session, with multiple locations and outfits. These personalized images make for great portrait displays and a sign-in book for the party venue. A sign-in book session can be a great add-on to your Mitzvah Collections.
Family Portrait Photography Typically the family of the young adult does a portrait session prior to the temple ceremony. It can be a mix of indoor and outdoor settings. These portraits include parents, siblings, grandparents, and of course the rabbi. The synagogue may not allow photos during the ceremony. However, often significant parts of the traditions are reenacted. This part of the event may take place on a different day than the party.
Party Pictures No two mitzvah celebrations, or Simchas are alike. From the venue to the theme, these celebrations are very creative. There’s a lot to cover during this time and the details matter. Room shots and images of all the specialty decor and design need documentation – with and without people. Other photo opportunities include more family photos, blessings, speeches, and of course the Hora. It’s best to get a timeline and shot list to get thorough coverage.
When the Party’s Over
After all the festivities are over… then what happens. A photographer will deliver images to the family, but how? Sure everyone loves seeing the online gallery and the sooner the better! However, if you are only delivering digital files you are leaving money on the table and memories in the cloud.
All those images of family, tradition, and celebration cannot just live on a hard drive. A professional photo album created to match the celebration is the best way for families to relive and share the day.
Of course younger generations like the ease of digital files on their phones and devices. However, mitzvah celebrations involve multiple generations. It can frustrate more conventional folks when photographers don’t offer a high-quality photo album. Parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents want a traditional album.
Offer a way for them to remember
At Zookbinders, we only work with professional photographers reselling albums to their clients. The number of calls and emails may surprise you that we receive from parents looking for a way to create a handcrafted professional photo album. They simply want a way to remember their child’s celebration. However, they were not given this opportunity because their photographer didn’t offer albums.
Unfortunately, we can’t work with consumers directly. Our team does encourage those who inquire to reach out to their photographer and introduce them to Zookbinders, explaining that they would like an album.
How to Get Started
There are a variety of reasons why photographers do not offer albums. Some say it takes too much time. Others don’t have the skills, the interest, or the software to put together an album design. These are all fair considerations, but if families have an interest, isn’t it worth exploring professional albums to increase the value of your brand and your earnings?
Steps to Get Started:
- Edit and cull your images for your client to select their favorite photos for the album. Be diligent about removing images that will not print well. Photographic prints are less forgiving than screens. Be sure to remove files that are blurry or contain exposure issues.
- Create a Selection Order in your ZookiePro account. In a Selection Order, our team chooses a specific number of images, indicated by the photographer, for the album. The selection is based on the best images to tell the story of the event. However, your client can swap out images and add new ones to the order before approving. New images are assigned a fee that you can collect from your client. To learn more about selection click HERE.
- Once the image selection is final, you can do any additional editing to the album images (if applicable). Next, start your design order. Choose from three different design styles, the most popular being the Contempo design. To learn more about our design service, click HERE.
- Once the design is complete you can share it with your client. They can request any revisions if needed. Zookbinders includes four complimentary spread revisions with the design service.
- Once the design is approved you can move your album into production. Your finished album will ship to your studio or to your client in the posted turnaround times. Before submitting the order you can add replica albums for those grandparents. Replica albums are smaller copies of the main album with a photo wrap cover.
Of course, if you need a little help with your first order you can set up an appointment with one of our specialists. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Creating professional photo albums for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs can be a great revenue stream. Getting tangible products into the hands of your clients is a sure way to increase your recognition. It can also get your brand noticed by other potential clients looking for your services!