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5 Tips to Selecting Pictures for a Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah Montage

It’s time to sort through your thousands of pictures to pick the select few that will make it to your Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah video montage. Where do you begin?

I’ve found that entering into this project seems like an almost impossible task (I have two kids and over 85,000 photos saved to my Google Photos account!), but it is so much fun to go back and remember the milestones and activities of growing up.

I’ll write a separate article about the larger process of getting images ready for the producer of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah montage, however in this article I’ll focus on what pictures you should look for.

How to select the right photos for your Bar / Bat Mitzvah montage video

The ideas below will provide your montage producer with the best materials, allowing him or her to create the best final product. Remember, the better you do in selecting pictures, the better your video will turn out.

Why do I need to spend time on the images for my montage?

You might be thinking, “Why should I put time into this, isn’t it why I’m paying a production company to create a Bar Mitzvah montage for me?”
The advantages putting time into your images include:

  • Increased likelihood that the pictures important to you included in your video
  • Going through your images carefully will allow you to find the best materials in your collection
  • Putting some thought into selection will give your producer the variety of photos he or she needs

So let’s get started.

1. Determine what the “Segments” of your video will be

Before you start working, think about what the different segments of your video should be. I suggest consulting with your producer on this. At The Montage Maker, “Segments” to refer to each part/section of your video. Each segment has its own music, and a different feel or personality to it. Your producer may call it something else but identifying these segments is the starting point of everything.

For example, for Bar / Bat Mitzvah montages, we typically use these four core segments:

  • Newborn/Baby
  • Growing Up
  • Family
  • Friends

When we work on montages, we talk with the client to learn what’s important to the family and the child. This allows us to change or add additional segments which could be:

  • Siblings
  • Split “Growing Up” segment into two – younger and older ages
  • Camp friends
  • Vacations and Travel
  • Sports

As you move forward from this point, these “segments” will be the basis of all you do.

2. Make sure all pictures don’t look the same

We had a Bat Mitzvah montage and one of the selected segments was the girl and her little brother. The problem was that of the 50 or so images, nearly half of them were almost identical with just a different background! The girl on the right, boy on the left. Her arm around his neck, both looking at the camera smiling.

The video can look a bit repetitive with too many similar-looking pictures.

3. Find fun and silly pictures

Not every image needs the perfect smile! Find ones with your child in Halloween costumes, rolling in the leaves, swinging on the swing, and running away from the camera.
These types of images can often go perfectly to the words in the music you’ve selected.

4. Poor framing, color and backgrounds may not be a problem

Have a great photo but behind your child is a terrible background? Or one where everyone looks purple for some reason? Maybe one where your child is only in the bottom left of the shot?
None of these are a problem for your producer, who can fix coloration, get rid of red-eye, re crop an image and remove the background entirely. So look at your child in the shot, don’t worry about the rest!

5. Make sure you’ve got all the right people

I recommend making a list of all the relatives and friends you’d like to have in the video (Think about who’s likely to attend the Bar or Bat Mitzvah!). As you go through the photos, cross each of these people off the list once you’ve copied the picture to your montage folder.


A little bit of work before you get your photos to your producer (hopefully The Montage Maker!) can help ensure that your Bar or Bat Mitzvah montage is perfect. You’ll be getting the right images giving the editor the tools needed to match the images to the feel of each segment.

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