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Author Topic: Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions  (Read 2387 times)


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Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions
« on: May 15, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »
My cousin is having is Bar Mitzvah at the end of June, and I was going to be doing some of the photography there, and as my family is all going to be there I'm definitely going to be doing quite a bit of family shots (before, after, possibly other days as well). So, my problem is, of course, lighting. I have the 5d3 that I'll have with me, and I have the 580 EX II currently. The majority of the event (and reception) will be indoors, however with the family shots we might do some out of doors. I was thinking of renting a few speedlites w/RF triggers and stands to put in the corners for the general reception plus perhaps 1 on my camera (not blazing right in their faces), and for some more family shots, bring the stands out to the sides, put my camera on a tripod, and get some even lighting on everyone.

I'm looking to do this on somewhat of a budget (hence renting, prolly from LensRentals.com). Recommendations? Is what I have now probably more than sufficient? I'm honestly more concerned about getting the family shots, since we're basically all going to be together for the first time in forever.

Oh, and since I'm sure some in my family will with prints, whats a good quality (not super pricey tho) online photo printing service? The Walgreens of the world are OK, but even my Pixma Pro 9000 II can print much better prints with a small effort.
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Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions
« on: May 15, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »


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Re: Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 08:03:53 PM »
Chances are you will not be able to photograph the Bar Mitzvah itself.  At least in our synagogue all Bar Mitzvahs are held on Shabbat, when photography (or use of any electrical device) is prohibited.  Generally, though, you should be able to photograph the reception - which is often held that Saturday night or on Sunday and therefore not during Shabbat.

One way I managed to get some decent shots of my nephews' Bar Mitzvahs was by photographing them during their tefillin ceremony.  This is usually held early in the morning and is lightly attended but as it does not occur on Shabbat it was my only opportunity to photograph them in the synagogue with their tallit and reading the Torah.  This is actually a very ideal time to photograph as I was able to wander around the room to try different angles due to almost no one being there.

I am not a lighting wiz, but I have received good results from a single 580EX mounted to my camera.  If you can bounce, that is great, but otherwise you should consider buying or renting a flash bracket.  Your most important shots will be the lighting of the candles, cutting of the challah, etc. - which generally are not WA shots requiring multiple strobes.

Where you will want to rent/buy is in terms of lenses.  A 70-200/2.8 is basically required.  Most true pros I see have a 70-200/2.8 mounted on one camera and a 24-70/2.8 on a second body.  Some photographers also like to use a 85/1.2 - but I would not do that if you haven't used one before.

In terms of printing services, Costco offers decent quality for a low price.  When I care about prints, I generally send them to MPix.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 08:05:42 PM by kirispupis »
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Re: Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 08:52:34 PM »
I dont know the lighting rules for Bar Mitsvahs but for the situations that you will be using lighting, for example your scenario in taking family photos, your thoughts are in the right direction. Since you already have a 580 I feel that you can get away with renting 1 more 580, two light stands and preferrably a couple of soft boxes, although umbrellas will do fine. This way you can light up the group with the 2 stands and fire them with a camera mounted transmitter. No flash required on camera with the stands. Your 24-105 will work fine for these shots. As far as renting other lenses, you need to consider your lighting in areas where flash will not be allowed. Your 85 will work good in dimly lit areas and be great for portraits, with or although flash. I understand you are on a budget so my recommendations are based on that. Since I own a flash bracket I would use it for this event. But still have it set up to bounce whenever possible. You may want to consider renting one of these as well but that all depends on your budget and ask yourself what are you going to be doing with these photographs. In other words, how important is it to achieve the absolute best results and at what cost.
As far as prints go, I use Mpix and have had good results with Adorama's services as well.
I hope all goes well!
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Re: Bar Mitzvah lighting suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 08:52:34 PM »