September 18, 2012
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Bar and bat mitzvah ideas

Snap back to reality

for The Brooklyn Paper

The traditional role of the photographer has changed dramatically over the past several years with the increasingly competitive digital camera market. Seemingly everyone these days is walking around town with an SLR hanging from their neck, eager to snap the next great photograph.

And if you’re one of these people — who believes they’re a picture-taking Jedi because they have some fancy camera, we don’t mean to go all Yoda on you (although, this needs to be expressed by someone who is all-knowingly wise) “photographer” not you are.

“Owning a camera doesn’t make someone a photographer,” says Alia Shaalan. “By no means do I imply that a novice can’t come up with a few great shots but consistently being on the look out for many great shots requires skill and talent.”

Shaalan is an event coordinator and office manager with The Main Event, one of the nation’s leading photo favor and event entertainment companies. Together with her team, Shaalan has orchestrated hundreds of bar and bat mitzvahs, and knows a thing or two about throwing a stellar party with memories that’ll last a lifetime.

“Our professional photographers are trained in posing, lighting, and composition,” she says. “When there is a great picture taken, it is the photographer that took the picture, not the camera. A professional photographer has the capability to capture special moments and make memories that not just anyone can do.”

Professional photographer John Chan agrees.

“If your aunt made a great stew, you don’t ask her which pot she used, do you? The cameras we use are available to the general public and they’re becoming more and more affordable,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean that the guest that is holding the same camera as mine can do the same things. You need a qualified photographer to freeze those little slivers in time so you can see the images and refresh your memory and remember those precious moments.”

To help create those special moments, Shaalan shared some of her industry secrets, revealing some of today’s hottest bar and bat mitzvah party trends.

“Some of our hottest and most popular items other than photos are table games, tattoos, caricatures, wax hands, casino tables, airbrushing of apparel, and so much more,” she says. “A party is not a simple equation of great food, fun dancing, and a few entertainment booths and activities. A true celebration is about the ‘wow’ factor. And the ‘wow’ factor comes from our clients. Each party is individual, each guest of honor unique.”

While it may sound overwhelming, Shaalan does have one tip for parents — organize.

“Planning your child’s bar or bat mitzvah is one of the most amazing, rewarding, and hectic times in your life. Make sure you stay organized. Everything always falls into place.”

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