Tales from a San Francisco Bar Mitzvah Photographer - 3 Ways NOT to do the Hora

September 25, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Tales from a San Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah Photographer - Top 3 Tips on How NOT to do the Hora

 

As a San Francisco Bay Area Bar and Bat Mitzvah photographer for the past 10+ years, I have experienced a LOT of Horas - the traditional chair dance done at Jewish celebrations where everyone gathers in a big circle, and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, bride, groom, etc... is lifted up in a chair in the center while everyone joyously dances around them. SO much fun, and such a great photo op!

 

Hora-Dad-Celebrates-Bat-MitzvahHora-Dad-Celebrates-Bat-MitzvahBar & Bat Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating while being lifted in the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

But Horas don't always go as planned. In this installment of Tales from a San Francisco Bar Mitzvah Photographer, I'm giving you my Top 3 Tips on How NOT to do the Hora. And keep scrolling for photos from the Trifecta of Hora DONT'S all in one Bar Mitzvah!!! 

 

How NOT to do the Hora

1. DON'T Use a Flimsy Chair - Make sure the Hora Chair is sturdy, and preferably has arms to hold onto. Avoid seats with slippery material. Typical rental dining chairs are not usually the best choice.

This chair with arms made the perfect Hora chair (especially after Max caught some air)!

Airborne-Bar-Mitzvah-Boy-HoraAirborne-Bar-Mitzvah-Boy-HoraBar Mitzvah party photography of a boy lifted airborne in the hora chair. By San Francisco bay area photographer Cheryl Bigman photography.

 

2. DON'T Let Just Anybody Lift the Chair - Make sure you have designated chair-lifters who are strong enough to do the job. Prep them ahead of time on the importance of keeping all sides of the chair even to avoid the dreaded "tipping chair".

Max's Mom felt secure enough to put hands in the air with all those strong guys in the driver's seat.
MaxGoldbergBar-1024MaxGoldbergBar-1024
 

 

3. DON'T LET GO - UNLESS YOU ARE CONFIDENT THAT YOU HAVE #1 & #2 COVERED. It is SO tempting to let go, and do "Look Ma, no hands"! This is especially true for us adults. We SO want to celebrate in front of all our friends and family. (And most Horas happen AFTER cocktail hour - enough said.)

As your photographer, I have to admit that these are the moments I live for! But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, make sure you are safe. There is nothing worse than having an accident and bringing the entire party to a screeching halt!

Fearless! Even with a tipping chair.

Bar Mitzvah Little Brother HoraBar Mitzvah Little Brother HoraBar Mitzvah photography of a little brother celebrating in the hora chair during his big sister's Bat Mitzvah. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

3.5. For the girls, DON'T uncross your legs! Especially if you're wearing a short dress. I've had a few amazing Hora shots where this one tip would have saved me hours of hemline photoshopping to cover the unmentionables. Guess I can now add "Digital Seamstress" to my resume. No photo needed for this one - just keep those legs crossed!

 

The Hora DON'TS Trifecta

These tips may seem obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen accidents happen that could have easily been prevented. Just a couple of weeks ago, I experienced the Trifecta of all of my DON'TS in one B'nai Mitzvah that landed this poor Dad in the ER! Here's the play-by-play...

 

Slippery Chair with No Arms AND "Look Ma No Hands"

Dad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceDad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceBar Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating as he's lifted in the air on the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

 

The Dreaded Tipping Chair

Dad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceDad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceBar Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating as he's lifted in the air on the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

 

That Moment When You Realize there is Nothing to Hold Onto!

Hora-Fail-Dad-about-to-FallHora-Fail-Dad-about-to-FallBar Mitzvah party photography of a dad about to fall off the hora chair by San Francisco Bay Area event photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

 

The Aftermath - Dad landed on his chin and left for the ER.

Caution-After-Bar-Mitzvah-Hora-AccidentCaution-After-Bar-Mitzvah-Hora-AccidentAfter dad fell off the hora chair at his kids' bnai mitzvah. San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman photography tells the story.

 

 

Dad Returns from the ER - to the tune of "Rocky". Chin all stitched up and ready to party!

Bar Mitzvah Hora FailBar Mitzvah Hora FailA Bar Mitzvah photograph of a dad returning from the ER after falling off the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

Now go celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah! And give your photographer amazing Hora moments to capture.. SAFELY!!!

 

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I hope you've enjoyed this Blog and found it helpful. If you'd like to hear more helpful photography/event planning tips for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the San Francisco Bay Area, and follow along on my other photography adventures in Travel Photography, Family Portraits, and Senior Portraits, you can Subscribe in the box above and the Blog will be delivered right to your inbox. It helps to keep this Blog going and I'd so appreciate it!

 

 

Service Area

Cheryl Bigman Photography services the entire San Francisco Bay Area including the East Bay cities of Lafayette, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon in Contra Costa County. Dublin, Pleasanton, Sunol, and Fremont in Alameda County. South Bay cities including San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, and Mountain View in Santa Clara County, Peninsula cities including San Mateo, Burlingame, Foster City, Menlo Park, Woodside, Atherton, and Redwood City in San Mateo County, San Francisco, and North Bay cities in Marin County including Tiburon, San Rafael, and Sausalito.


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