I am an event photographer and also a photojournalist. Either way, this means that one day I may be doing an engagement portrait on a subway platform, the next I may be shooting in a maximum security prison with Tina Brown . One week I may be in New Mexico shooting for the WK Kellogg Foundation and the upcoming week-end I’ll be shooting a wedding in Eastern Long Island. It means that not only am I versatile photographer but I am always thinking about how best to tell each story.
So, when I shot Davi’s Bat Mitzvah I don’t just see a kid having a big party, I see a rite of passage. I see a Jewish tradition that up until the 1960’s was not widely offered to Jewish girls. I see the subtle nuances of a thirteen-year-old girl and her friends trying to strike the difficult balance between wanting handfuls of Swedish fish and pixie sticks but also wanting to be sophisticated and attractive at the same time.
Davi wanted me to do an urban photo shoot with her before her temple rehearsal, which gave me the wonderful opportunity to get to know her and to make some playful street portraits. Yes, she is beautiful. But she is a whole lot more than her good looks. On the photo shoot she was present, intelligent, playful, honest and sincere and she allowed me to see and photograph all of it. Sure she will make a silly face for an instagram selfie but she can also rock those four-inch-red-platform heels while singing and parading the torah around the temple – impressive to say the least.
Davi is more than a pretty face and I am more than an event photographer. It doesn’t matter whether I am shooting an event or a forest fire I treat it the same. I anticipate. I watch people. I go into the forest with the firefighters or I go on the dance floor with the party guests. Either way, I know how to capture a great moment. I know when someone has the habit of throwing their head back when they laugh because I saw them do it earlier and so I wait for the moment to arise again. But mostly it means that I am always striving to get the best photos to tell the strongest and most visually interesting story. It means that if the room’s design and lighting is awesome, as it always is when Pamela Newman of Urban Art and Design is involved, or if there is a shooting range in the basement of the of Tiro A Signo club, then I will use the cool lighting or the shooting range to make my pictures.
The day after delivering the photo gallery to Davi and her family, I got a heartfelt thank you from her mother – which I always appreciate. But a few days later there was another email, “Davi has decided she wants to buy a camera – she want to know if you can you recommend one.” This was the best compliment ever.
Having an event? Want more than an event photographer? Get in touch.