Leo | Bar Mitzvah
Date | 2.1.2014
Service | Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA
Reception | Cal Berkeley Memorial Stadium
DJ | Denon & Doyle
Decor | Balloon Thrills
San Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah Photographer | Cheryl Bigman
When I first met with Leo’s family about photographing his Bar Mitzvah, they told me they were hoping to have the first ever Bar Mitzvah party at Cal Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. I always love the opportunity to shoot somewhere different, and this was definitely not going to be your typical hotel/country club venue. So many ideas were running through my head, especially when I found out we might have permission to shoot on the field before the party. This was one of those ideas…
Leo’s big day began at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette with family portraits before the service. I knew my favorite outdoor spot to shoot would be under construction that day, so I scouted around earlier in the week and found a great location where I could shoot from under a shaded overhang while keeping Leo and the family beautifully backlit by the morning sun. (A little photography tip – when taking pictures of people in bright sun, face them away from the sun, try to find a darker solid background, and position yourself so your subjects are between you and the sun. Best of all, you won’t have anyone “squinting” in the pictures!)
As we moved inside the sanctuary for our more traditional portraits with the Torah, I decided to grab this shot of Leo with his parents looking on in the background. Temple Isaiah has the most beautiful glass ark backlit by a very brightly colored wall of stained glass windows. As beautiful as it is, it can be tricky to get a proper exposure of both the background and the people in the foreground. I purposely shot this in Manual mode, giving me full control of my camera, and diffused the background so only Leo was in sharp focus.
And then I focused on the details. I’m always looking for the little things that help to tell each family’s story in a very personal way.
Using my Canon 5DMkIII pro camera mounted on a tripod, I was able to shoot Leo’s service as well. This amazing camera allows me to shoot in Live View mode just like a videographer, in low light with no flash, and silently with no shutter click sounds. Using a long telephoto lens (100-400), I was able to get up close and personal from the very back of the sanctuary.
After the Kiddush lunch, it was finally time for me to head out to Berkeley and set up for the evening party. This was my first time at the newly renovated Cal Memorial Stadium’s Field Club, so I confidently walked into the elevator, not realizing that you need the “special” card key to access the Club level. No matter how many buttons I pushed, the elevator doors wouldn’t open and the elevator wouldn’t move! All I kept thinking was I’m going to be stuck inside this elevator all night (which is not a good thing if you have claustrophobic tendencies like me), and this is going to make a really funny story… someday! I finally got a cell phone signal and called the event manager who rescued me. Whew!
Before the guests arrived, the family and I were escorted out to the stadium field for our own private shoot. So much fun!
Then it was party time!
I loved this shot of all the guests with their hands in the air, but what followed was even better…
One of my favorite things about the Field Club was the many LCD screens scattered throughout the space displaying Leo’s Cal-inspired logo.
Later in the evening, we used the screens to play a Same Day Slideshow of all the best pictures I had taken that morning, plus a few from the beginning of the party. They also played Leo’s montage, and of course, the Cal Bears basketball game. Leo and his friends got just a little excited watching the end of the game.
Out of curiosity, I ventured upstairs to see if there might be a way to shoot from a higher angle and sure enough, I found the perfect place to take some group shots of all the kids.
This party was nonstop fun and Leo had the time of his life celebrating with family and friends. Thanks to Leo’s family for allowing me to capture all the great moments from his special day!
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San Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah Photography
I hope you enjoy this San Fransciso Bay Area Bar Mitzvah Photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography specializing in Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah photographers. Each Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah is one of a kind, and we feel your Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah photography should be one of a kind as well. Every Bar Mitzvah and every Bat Mitzvah is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together the story of your day.
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Cheryl Bigman Photography offers Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah coverage throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
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