When I moved to the mountaintop known best for Hunter Mountain some years ago, I had been working as a videographer/photographer.

Here, my work included working as an employee for a local news weekly, and also working for myself.

The first time I worked at the largest operating resort on Main Street, known at the time as the Villa something or other it was behind a video camera. The dining room was the sort more likely than not to feature pasta and red sauce. The bocce court is still out front, I think. I recorded a party for the owners. ‘One and done,’ as some say. It was several years before I returned.

Eventually, while focusing on my work as a wedding photographer, a couple hired me to capture their big day beginning at church in Ashland, and concluding with the reception here. My ‘second shooter’ handled the video. More recently, another video-only job brought me back – this time for a local magician for whom I was editing a ‘reel.’ Not so long ago, the property changed hands in favor of a kosher kitchen and a new name; Melour Resort.

It now caters predominantly to an orthodox Jewish clientele and I’ve been thankful to be called upon time after time to photograph celebrations ranging from pre-Bar Mitzvahs to family reunions, a 70th Wedding anniversary and recently a 90th birthday. My name gets around. Folks in Brooklyn planning a weekend in the Catskills ask their friends. Others find me here or via sites like Wedding Wire, The Knot and Yelp. One way or another, we connect and I’m thankful.

Considering the love of large families with lots of children, these are often big groups, and there’s always a whole party photo in the mix. At one gathering in March, that meant over 100 guests!

How do you photograph 100 to 200 people at once? Ask a handful of photographers and you’ll get a handful of answers. If it’s too cold and muddy, as in March, you probably do it inside. Convincing this many people, ranging in age from those 90+ to the inevitable infants, to follow instructions and stand or sit where you need them is a challenge – but I love it.

At the recent session, nearing the end, someone said to me ‘you’re so patient’ to which I replied ‘that’s how I get it done,’ or something to that effect. Convincing close to 200 excited folks to stand or sit where you need them and look at the camera is a challenge.

And it is a challenge I look forward to every time! Love the mishegas.

Planning your family reunion or marking a major milestone at Melour? (or anywhere else for that matter!)

Reach out, let’s discuss the details and get your event on the calendar. You can email, or text: 845 430 4030 to get started, or even dial the phone to chat.

Thanks as always for reading.

Jonathan Ment, Photographer

You can find, follow and like Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook and at www.catskillsphotographer.com

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