Sarah Merians

CEO AND FOUNDER

35+

Years of Experience

10,000+

Events

My family has collected contemporary and fine art as far back as I can remember. Because my parents were avid art collectors, I discovered my love of art, painting and the creative process early in my childhood. It was this fascination with color and creativity that sparked my interest in photography as a new medium to work with. Photography was “instant art” and it was love at first sight!!! Read More

signature

OUR TEAM

team team
team team
team team
team team
team team
team team
team team
team team
team team

Sarah

A “real” New Yorker, Sarah has lived in the East Village for the past 30 years with her husband and children, the youngest of whom recently graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans.  Described as a “force of nature” Sarah is truly a pioneer in the event photography industry.  Initially a fine art painter with a BFA from Syracuse, she eventually gravitated toward photography with its unique combination of art and humanity.  Her work is energetic, loving, clean and thorough.

When Sarah is not capturing a family portrait, baby naming, maternity shoot, mitzvah, wedding, or corporate event you can find her doing the many hobbies she loves.  She brings her yoga, working out, and tennis energy to every job she does.   It’s often said that Sarah makes celebrities feel like everyday people, and everyday people feel like celebrities. At your event, she will be ten sets of eyes capturing every detail so that you can relive every moment when the party is over.

Sarah feels her clients deserve the best and NO ONE will work harder for you than Sarah!

Liel

Liel brings the color and passion of his native Trinidad to every event he photographs!!  Endlessly positive and energetic, his clients often have just as much fun taking their pictures as they do on the dance floor! A true artist, Liel will “paint” a picture of your special day through beautiful and vibrant images that capture the very essence of your celebration!  Using the latest technology and best equipment, Liel is constantly pushing creative boundaries.

When he isn’t shooting, Liel spends quality time with the love of his life and their 6 children at their home in Brooklyn.  He works out to stay energized and has several hobbies one of which is restoring vintage cars with his dad.  He follows a strict vegan diet which is perhaps the source of his superhuman strength!   Liel is one of our top photographers and has been with the Company for more than 10 years.  We are lucky and honored to have him part of our Sarah Merians family.

Sheila

Sheila has been with Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company for over 20 years and is one of our most sought-after photographers! Clients come back to her for all their lifetime events with our studio.  Sheila has such a loving and caring demeanor that Sarah often receives letters from clients stating how amazing and sweet she was at their event… but strong enough to get the job done!

She currently lives on Long Island with her husband, her three children and her dogs (a German Shepard and a Doberman). She has worked her martial arts skills into her event coverage and is always looking to up her game.   Sheila shoots with the Cannon Mark IV, one of the best cameras on the market. Lively and sweet with an experienced eye, Sheila’s photography is romantic and warm. Sheila loves to show couples what their love looks like!   If she isn’t at the ocean that she loves or attending to her orchids, Sheila will continue to capture the emotion of your day with her gentle and unobtrusive approach.

Dahiam

Dahiam is young, tall, handsome and the best new addition to our team!  He was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US when he was 8 years old with his family.  He was raised by a family of creative artists and videographers and was destined to have a camera in his hands.

He began in our industry as a videographer and migrated to photography because he said it is an art form that really gave him pleasure.  It is because of this skill and talent that he brings that quiet intensity to his work.  His style is documentary and powerful as he captures the most incredible moments with his state-of-the-art Sony cameras and lenses.

When he is not working hard Monday through Sunday, you can find Dahiam watching sports, movies, or just lost in a good book.  Finding time for travel (another passion of his) is difficult as he is so desired and very busy capturing parties and corporate events. His images glow with incredible color and creativity as he moves behind the scenes capturing the beauty of your day.

Andres

Andres grew up in Colombia and moved to the US several years ago.  He has since married and is raising his daughter here and loves being a family man.   Andres brings the utmost professionalism to his work through the many lenses of his two to three camera capture on events.  He is charming and professional, and these qualities are reflected in his incredibly creative and thorough work. When he isn’t traveling he is busy shooting corporate events and weddings and his unique artistic talent leaves our clients feeling lucky to have had  him document their event.

Roberto

As a young child in the Dominican Republic, Roberto worked at his father’s photography shop developing and processing photographs. In 2004, Roberto, along with his wife and son, emigrated to the United States where he immediately put his extensive photography knowledge to work as an event photographer! His technical prowess can be seen in the natural and life-like lighting he creates through various techniques. His unique and creative eye, coupled with his kind and gentle demeanor, make him the perfect person to spend your special day with!  Patient, even keeled and accustomed to large, loud families Roberto gets the job done with no drama!

In addition to photographing events, Roberto is also incredibly technically skilled and helps us with image processing, retouching and color correction on all the events that come out of our studio.  From pushing the trigger to beautifying an image – he is the total talent package!

Davitte

Davitte has been part of the Sarah Merians Video team for almost 20 years!  Davitte came to New York with his wife and two children from the Dominican Republic 20 years ago and we are so lucky he landed with our team. Davitte loves to travel and learn from everything he sees. He brings this wisdom, extensive experience and energy to every event he films – from large scale corporate events to intimate weddings to rowdy mitzvahs – our clients return to him year after year.

He is always upping his game and gear and has the best video cameras on the market.  Mirrorless, Sony, and Cannon, are his gear of choice. He also enjoys working with drones for aerial perspectives.  At your event, he will capture amazing footage from a documentary point of view and with a cinematic style. Later, in the editing studio, he will piece these moments together to tell the story of your day in a beautiful short film that captures the essence and emotion of your event.

Davitte is an incredible cinematographer and storyteller and we are lucky to have him as part of our team.

Alex

Born in the US to parents from Columbia and Cuba, Alex brings a tremendous passion to his work and our clients are the lucky recipients.  Due to his strong work ethic, you will often find Alex manning 3 cameras and a drone at his events to not miss any angle or action.  Even when not on a job he will put time into “his craft” and considers his video work one of his hobbies.

If Alex is not working hard with a camera in his hand, he loves spending time with his family and 2 children 9- and 12-year-old.   He will always find the time to head to the tennis courts as this is yet another passion for this talented young man. Alex is caring and professional and clients love working with him. We are lucky he is part of our team!

Lisa

Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company has been blessed to have Lisa part of the team for almost 20 years. Lisa is our amazing Director of Sales.   She arrived for her job interview in her early 20’s to meet Sarah and it was love at first site.  Lisa will help you find the perfect photographer and videographer from our team for your once in a lifetime event, and hold your hand through the post creative process as well.  Lisa is intelligent, caring, focused and passionate about the Company and has been instrumental in helping to make our success story what is today.  Our clients are so lucky to work with her.

listen to our customers

customer

We are THRILLED with how the video came together! We can’t watch it enough! Thank you!

Karen

Bar Mitzvah mom

customer

“The bat mitzvah was wonderful and we absolutely LOVE Sarah. She is fantastic and having her there was a dream. We were so entranced by and confident in her picture taking ability that we didn’t even take any photos on our phone! Can’t wait to see what you send!”

Kerry

Bat mitzvah mom AND Sarah Merians bride!

customer

“The photos are amazing! Will be very difficult to choose (for the album) – Sarah was amazing!”

Stephanie

Bar Mitzvah mom

customer

“I can’t thank you enough. The whole day was perfect from beginning to end and I could not have been happier. People thought the photos you took of Steph on the walls were beautiful”

Lisa Seidman

Mitzvah mom and event planner

customer

I cannot tell you how happy we are that we chose you to help us capture this milestone in our lives! Liel was absolutely perfect! He did such a fabulous job getting every shot quickly and seamlessly…he was so skilled in his set up and composition…He was kind and unintrusive. He was professional and respectful and extremely hard working all day and night! Thank you and A++ for Liel and the Sarah Merians team!!

Leah

Bat mitzvah mom

Why Us?

Sarah Merians Mitzvah Photographer and Mitzvah Mom Too!

Mitzvahs are my FAVORITE!! Having photographed hundreds of Bar, Bat and B’nai Mitzvahs – then going through the experience myself with my own daughter Emily – has given me a unique understanding of this incredible milestone event. I bring my intimate knowledge of this special process, along with my intense love for all thing’s “family”, to every Mitzvah I capture. My photography style is passionate, affectionate, and warm, which allows me to be patient and loving with grandparents, parents, siblings, etc. and to work successfully within the family dynamic. I love growing with families as they return for their second, third and fourth mitzvahs and genuinely share in their excitement!

The Mitzvah service is probably the first time your child will stand up in front of the congregation, family and friends in a formal public setting. After months of hard work, studying and preparing their Torah portion, your child certainly deserves a celebration to acknowledge this huge accomplishment! You will see that it will be one of life’s proudest moments – I remember smiling so much my face hurt! I was so proud of my daughter, and so grateful to our friends and family for being there to support and applaud her. It should not be overlooked that the Mitzvah celebration is meaningful to your guests as well, particularly family members such as grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins. It is not every day that your entire family gets dressed up and gathers for a happy occasion! Don’t miss the opportunity to capture and memorialize it.

why_us

A casual life-style shoot before your Mitzvah is a great opportunity for families to come together and acknowledge that this is a special time in their lives. It is also the beginning of the photography process! It is a great time to test hair and make up for the big day, as well as to have fun with your photographer and get to know each other. These shoots can take place in our studio or on-location if it works more for the décor at the party. For instance, a NYC themed party may want to do their pre-shoot on the streets of NYC with yellow taxis or graffiti art. These images then become part of the photo décor at the celebration. Girls tend to be a bit more interested in the pre shoots as they love different clothing fashions and outfits. Boys will often bring hobbies or sports clothing and props. It is OK to not have any props but merely use this opportunity to be in front of a camera and work with a professional photographer sometimes for the first time.

why_us

Many temples and Synagogues do not allow photography or video coverage during the actual service as it is Shabbat. We often will come to your temple the week of the Mitzvah to capture family and Beema photos before your dress rehearsal with the Rabbi or Cantor. We love capturing the beauty of the space as well as capturing religious traditions and key moments of the service that we would not otherwise be able to get. It is on the weekday that we can take out the Torah for photo ops with your child and family. Some children have never even held a Torah before, and it is a great opportunity to practice this!!! Should clients have a Saturday night celebration, their clothing will be party clothing and not temple outfits. It is great to capture family portraits both times and continue to practice feeling comfortable in front of the camera.

why_us

We just love Mitzvah parties as they are young, energetic and fun parties where all generations come together to celebrate their Mitzvah child with family and friends. The flow of the day is structured to have family portraits an hour or two before the Invitation and/or cocktail hour. This will allow everyone to look their freshest (not having hugged and kissed 200 guests) as well as create a timing for the day that allows you and your child to enjoy every moment of the event. We will allow time before the event to capture all the beautiful décor and unique details that make your event special for you and your child. When we cover the party, we shoot candid’s documentary style allowing the moments to happen as opposed to setting them up or creating them. This is what is so great about social events. There is so much action and love in the room for us to capture. We love all the high energy on the dance floor and use many different lenses to capture all the events throughout the day or night. Long lenses are used to photograph parent speeches so we can be far away (like a fly on the wall) capturing action and reaction without interrupting these powerful and proud moments.

why_us

There are so many photographers out there…but what separates us from the pack is not just our high-quality digital capture, but what we do with your images after! We believe in working hands on with our clients to design and create the most incredible album and family heirloom for you and your family to enjoy for generations to come. After your party we help you to select the best images that tell the story of your day – which we then retouch and color correct so that you look your very best! Our designed layouts are creative and modern, and we incorporate details from your décor, logo and color scheme throughout to make the book custom to you and representative of your unique event. We have a variety of album cover options ranging from Italian leather and faux skins to acrylic covers fused with metallic photos. But we don’t stop there! We believe in adding meaning and value to your album by incorporating text from parent and sibling speeches and even your child’s D’Var Torah portion, which we insert amongst photos to tell your story. Your child, and their children, will be able to read your advice and praise for years to come! Our unique albums capture the spirit of your child and your celebration – The album is where we will really shine for you!

why_us

FAQ

We take tremendous pride in our in-studio production team and all the work they do to make images look their very best.  Our team processes and color corrects a images before delivering to you.  Should prints or albums be ordered we will do more extensive work on each individual image.  We are the cheapest and least painful face lift in town!!!  Ha!

Yes!!! We have offered video services since we opened our studio many years ago!   We capture footage of the event and create an awesome edited piece to share with family and friends and cherish for generations to follow.

We feel video and photography are like peanut butter and jelly and should work as a team.  Working with videographers that we know and work well with adds to your Mitzvah celebration!  We don’t run in front of each other’s cameras and respect each other’s art.  We also offer drone coverage for events outside Manhattan.  This is incredible and will make your party look like a movie!

Aside from 30 plus years of experience you can trust, what makes us most unique is the combination of impeccable customer service, follow through and care you will receive before, during, and after your Mitzvah. What our families value most is that we understand how important your once in a lifetime day is!  We cater to your every need and offer you peace of mind: Our photographers are the artists; our studio is the backbone. We are also a full-service studio for all your photography, video or photobooth needs all under one roof.  We capture, create and design with your images to produce products that tell your story.  Once the Mitzvah Day is over…that’s where our work begins should you desire albums and framed home art.

Yes, we sell main albums as well as parent albums and take tremendous pride in our work.   We are known for our custom designed family heirloom albums.  We are blessed to have an incredible Sales and Creative Director, Lisa to help you with this creative process. We design the most magnificent albums that will tell the story of your child’s day to share with your family and friends.  We value albums as they are a great way to share with future generations.  Should you want to create your own albums you will have all the high-resolution images to do that.  We are here to help if you want it.

Albums range in pricing from $650.00 – $1,500.00 depending on what style, size, and cover style.

Our style is a wide range from Photojournalism to Tradition.  As photojournalists we will capture the feel of your day as well as take beautiful family portraits and capture those “must have” memories for all the generations.  We have been in business enough years to know that classic photos don’t go out of style.  We will also cover a wide range of candid coverage to capture all the love and energy of your family’s day.

We will help you through this process and ask you questions about your child’s style and interests.  We match up your personal style and taste with our talent after a we have and understanding what you are looking for stylistically in terms of the photography itself, your budget, etc.  There are differences in photographic style and approach for each photographer.  If your child is shy and quiet, we want to know so our photographers can be sensitive to that.  We celebrate each family and their own personal style and it is a collaborative effort with our studio.

The number of photographers for your event will depend on number of guests at your party, the layout and size of your venue, and your budget.   It is our goal to have fantastic coverage but also be a fly on the wall and capture behind the scenes and journalistic images. While 2 shooters may be overkill for an intimate affair, we recommend 2 photographers for larger parties of 175 guests or more for added coverage as well as variety of angles, lenses, and style of images.

We love doing family portraits and will structure a timeline to do them before the day begins and usually pre-service or party.  We will take formal portraits if you want this.  We encourage this great opportunity to capture grandparents with all the generations.  After all, when was the last time your entire family got together, and everyone was smiling??

We do not “count” how many images we will take on your event however we estimate 100 images per hour.  We all know it isn’t quantity that makes incredible family photography great but the quality of the images from your day.  It is our goal to be 10 sets of eyes for you on your Mitzvah Day, as you will be in the heart of the party enjoying yourself – We are there to capture it all for you while you savor the moment!

We spend a lot of time editing your images to provide the best images of the day.  We process and color correct and deliver images within 2 weeks after your event or sooner!

Many years ago, I think a photographer must have come up with rain being good luck on a celebration day!  Life happens and weather is no exception.  We will always have a back up plan and make the best of rain as well as sunshine!  Fun custom branded umbrellas add to a rainy day.  We would make lemonade out of lemons!

We are very lucky to have a great track record and not have this situation occur more than a couple of times in the past 30 + years.  Photographers are human too and should something unforeseen happen… Sarah Merians herself would reach out with all the options of other talent available and collaborate with you on a solution.  Another option is to leave it up to us as pros to send another talented photographer from our team who we know you will also love and do a great and professional job for your big day.

We can capture both black and white as well as full color.  Here at our studio we encourage black and white for powerful and journalistic moments.  This is a personal preference and unique to each family as well as each image.  This can be determined in the creative process in post-production when designing an album if desired.

We will deliver images within one week after your party unless a few more days needed if busy time of year.   We like to keep the excitement going and do our best to process quickly and well.

We are primarily a Cannon studio shooting with Mark IV cameras.  Some of our photographers use professional Nikon equipment too.   And others love the new Sony gear. We bring our own lighting if needed for indoor coverage ranging from on camera Cannon flashes. We will bounce room lighting off a ceiling sometimes to open the depth of images for overall crowd shots and more.  We will bring umbrella lighting if the portrait session requires this.

We are a full-service studio and encourage our clients to purchase prints for their homes or as great gifts for parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends.  We take great pride in our work and will retouch these images and make them and you look your absolute BEST!!!

We are a full-service studio and offer a wide range of albums.  We pride ourselves on creating beautiful family heirlooms!  You will work one-on one with our talented designer who will help you create a custom album that will enable you and your family to relive your family’s special day forever.  Our incomparable range of high-end albums and design work sets us apart from our competition.  We really care about you.  Anyone can take a nice photo, it’s what we do with your images that make them more special!  Bar Mitzvah albums are traditional, and we value this tradition at our studio.

We will work wherever we are asked to!  We primarily work in Manhattan and the Tri-State area (New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut and will travel anywhere!!! We travel where our customers take us!!!!

We are a professional organization and maintain Insurance.   We have Certificate of Insurance that is required at all venues.  It is provided upon request.

We do not watermark our high-resolution images when we deliver them.  We create a beautiful online portal for you that is password protected so you can view, share, and download the images from your Mitzvah Day.

Awesome! You can fill out the contact form and we will get back to you right away!!!!  You can also email our Director of Sales,  [email protected]

We ask for a 50% deposit and balance due one month before the wedding.  We do not accept credit cards.  Thank you for your interest in our studio.