Special Features
Useful Links
Planning Your Simcha
Non Profits

1.  Determine What You Want – There are two general types of photographers -- photojournalists & traditional photographers.  If you love candid black-and-white action shots, you're probably leaning toward a photographer with an eye for photojournalism. If you prefer portraits and posed shots, a traditionalist is for you. Not sure? Seek out the professional that can do a mixture. When choosing a photographer, think about what it is that you want to see when you look at your photos 10 years from now.


2. Investigate - Start compiling a list of candidates by looking through the albums of any friends or family who have recently celebrated a simcha whether it was a wedding, bat/bar mitzvah, or anniversary.  Other great resources are the experts you've been working with with whom you may already be working, such as an event coordinator, caterer, D.J., etc.


3. Meet Your Photographer - Don't underestimate the importance of “clicking” with your photographer – look for someone who is fun to deal with and can help you feel at ease.  A photographer’s personality should be one of your most important deciding factors on picking the right professional for you. This person will have a lot of contact with your family and friends, and in general be a very visible "guest" at your party. To get the best photos, he or she has to be assertive enough to hunt for great moments, persuasive enough to coax relaxed smiles and natural stances from guests, and calm enough to be a positive force. The photos will be as wonderful as how the guests felt at the time their photos were taken Photography is a visceral product. It's important that you like their portfolio.  Choose a photographer that can accommodate your personal preferences and who will work with you to produce the photographs you wish to capture.

“Your photographer should have a sense of fun” says Photographer Sue Lund, “SIMCHA means JOY...Your photographer should have a sense of the simcha…of the JOY of your event!”


. Pick a Professional
Get a list of references from the photographer and check them out personally. A photographer who doesn't have references, or is afraid to give them to you, may not be the person to hire.  Seasoned event photographers will have a portfolio of their fine work to show potential clients. If a candidate doesn't have one, think twice -- s/he may be too wet behind the ears or too disorganized for the job. While browsing their work --look for crisp images, thoughtful compositions, and good lighting. Do the more journalistic shots convey a sense of emotion? Do people in the portraits look relaxed?  Is the photographer candidate really professional, or is this just a weekend hobby? Do they have insurance, backup equipment,

how do they present themselves?  E.g. wear jeans   Versus a suit, etc.?


Although hiring a Jewish photographer isn’t an absolute must for a simcha, there are definite advantages to hiring a knowledgeable, Jewish photographer. Ms. Lund points out, that being Jewish gives her a better understanding of: a.) How to deal with the Torah and the importance of the yad. b.) Getting a dramatic blessing shot with the rabbi. c.) Knowing how to capture the best possible shots of your guests dancing the hora.



5. Get specifics - Price Range - Although shopping by price isn’t the necessarily best way to choose a photographer, make sure this professional is within your budget. Is he or she worth their pricier bid over the bid of a different photographer? Make sure you understand what everything costs, including reprints and albums. Is this the photographer that will be photographing your simcha or will they send who ever is available? Be certain that you know which photographer is going to be at your simcha; that you see his or her work, and meet with that person individually.  Offering - Whether it's a la carte or a package, do you understand what you are getting? Is there any room for changes and what will it cost to do so? Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask. How much time will he/she spend? What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what's coming.  Delivery - How long does it take to get your images back, your family portrait, your finished album, etc.? Who owns the images?  Can you buy the negatives, are the digital images extra?

6. Get it in Writing - Do you understand the contract? Is it fair? Is everything spelled out? When it comes down going to court, only what is WRITTEN really counts, not what was promised. Make sure that you have no doubts before signing. Read it ALL.

7. Develop a Shooting Script – Think of yourself as the “director” of your engagement.  Before your event, develop a detailed plan of “must-have” shots of family and friends with the Bar Mitzvah…and develop a detailed plan of “must have" shots of family and friends with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah before your event.  Don’t underestimate a good working relationship between the entertainer/DJ and the photographer in helping to get the best possible action shots of the evening.  A great photographer asks lots of questions and should be a good listener to make sure that everything that needs to be photographed is captured.  Make sure that you and your photographer are on the same wavelength.  Make sure you schedule enough time for your photographer to get the best possible shots of your immediate family, and other V.I.P.s

Nearly all of the photos for FunSimcha.com are courtesy of Sue Lund Photography.

·        Sue Lund has been a member of the Twin Cities Jewish Community for almost 2 decades and a photographer for Twin Cities’ synagogues for 13 years.

·     She is a recent past co-President of Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul (2003-2005)

·     Mom of a bat mitzvah (2005) and a bar mitzvah to be (December 2008).

As a result of these experiences and background, we believe that she is well qualified to capture the most meaningful moments of your simcha, and is able to serve you in the best light.

To see her photo galleries log on to www.suelundphoto.com

Email her at sue@suelundphoto.com

Or call 952-217-0594
Sample Photos from the Sue Lund Collection