I had the pleasure of working with Sarah Fillman, owner of FillmanFoto at a recent Bar Mitzvah and was so excited to learn more about her and her business. Sarah is so easygoing and was wonderful to work with. And on top of that, the her photos from the event were beautiful!
How did you get started with FillmanFoto?
I’ve always loved photography. As a kid I would pose my animals and create a sheet backdrop for Glamour Shots with friends (if you lived through the late 80’s/early 90’s, you might remember GS). Then later in life when I’d finally bought my first DSLR, I followed a friend’s photographer around at her wedding and we became friends. She invited me to build a portfolio by tagging along to her events and taught me photography as both an art and a business. I guess that was 12 years ago so I’ve been doing events ever since. I specialize in bar/bat mitzvahs but also enjoy doing weddings, family portrait sessions, and the occasional boudior shoot.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
Since I’m also an English teacher by day, storytelling is extremely important to me. My favorite part of photographing an event is telling the story of it through pictures. My goal is to reveal the joy and love in each story and to give it to each family/client as a gift through each photo gallery. Hearing clients’ reactions as they look through the story is the best part.
What’s your pop color–that something special that makes you, you?
I think my clients will tell you that I make them feel comfortable, that I’m unintrusive, and that I have a knack for capturing natural moments. I’m not the type of photographer that puts babies in bowls. Instead, I aim to capture humans as they are naturally.
What’s your favorite moment of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
I do love a good horah! There’s so much joy in the dance as a community comes to celebrate together and literally raise up a bar or bat mitzvah. I love capturing the joy and sometimes fear on each face that is hoisted up on the chair. It’s almost symbolic of the feelings of coming of age and looking into the future. The first time after quarantine when a small group joined hands and began the dance brought a tear to my eye. I think we all missed dancing together during that time.
What questions should parents ask someone in your field?
I think style really matters so knowing the eye of photographers is important.
Need a photographer for your event? Find Fillman Foto here or on Facebook.