Amanda’s Bat Mitzvah

I love all of my photography work, but Mitzvahs have a special place in my heart.  There’s something about the spirituality of the event, combined with the teen’s moment in the spotlight, the sibling’s admiration, and the parents’ pride that just speaks to me!  And this family in particular has such a big heart that just made me and my camera nearly explode with their contagious love and joy, trying to capture it all!  I bring my A-game every time my camera comes out, but when I connect with a family like I connected with these guys, magic happens. 

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During the service, I always love to capture the guests.  They are unplugged, engaged in the moment, and unaware of my presence, so these photos are always real, and some of my favorites.2048-97842048-98372048-98042048-14142048-14182048-98562048-9903
Some Mitzvah services have a little ceremony within the ceremony where the Torah is passed from the grandparents, to the parents, to the Bat Mitzvah.  I can feel the moment looking at this image.2048-99302048-9952
Undressing the Torah for its reading.2048-1451 (2)2048-14562048-14592048-99672048-99902048-99922048-9820
Dad lifting the Torah.2048-0021 (2)
Little sister dressing and tying the Torah.2048-1471 (2)
This right here is what I love about Mitzvah photography.  Look at the pride on these parents’ faces!2048-00282048-0035 (2)
Can you feel this teen’s sense of accomplishment and the rabbi’s joy?2048-00602048-00752048-0076
Manischewitz:  me too kid, me too.2048-0089 (2)
I love it when a teen gives me time for portraits on Mitzvah day!  I mean, Amanda and I had an incredible pre-shoot, so I was thrilled to have more time with her in front of my camera like this again!2048-1506 (2)2048-0125
We got some great twirling shots at our pre-session, so we captured some more on the big day!2048-0129 (2)2048-15452048-15602048-0152
The details.  Her theme was ‘Amanda in Lights’, which was executed with red white and black balloons and flowers with red LEDs in the water.2048-12482048-13982048-15822048-01622048-15932048-1605
Socks are often provided to the girls so they can literally kick off their heels and dance!  This mock-converse sneaker style is my absolute favorite!2048-1596
This image reminds me of the movie ‘13 going on 30’.  It’s like a fast-forward to the future, and in the future, it’ll be a fun blast from the past.2048-1540
Party time!  Amanda is ready to celebrate!2048-1674
I love the innocence of the younger ladies twirling in their dresses.2048-16282048-1727 (2)2048-1694
Enjoying the photo montage of Amanda growing up.2048-02182048-02392048-02492048-17792048-1818 (2)2048-02812048--22048-03222048-1885 (2)
Sometimes during the hora, the participants will charge the center.  Guess who was waiting in the center, camera-ready!?2048-0337
And then Amanda took a turn in the center for a big group hug from her friends!2048-03542048-03642048-19912048-21152048-0378
This is Amanda’s 84 year old grandfather.  He’s got more moves than I do!2048-2067 (2)
Guests enjoyed the green screen photo booth.2048-21502048-21712048-22362048-22402048-2402 (2)2048-24232048-2306 (2)2048-23632048-23752048-0395 (2)2048-24172048--3 (2)2048--6 (2)
Amanda and many of her friends are dancers.  Here they are executing some choreography.  2048-2502 (2)
At the end of the afternoon, the DJ had all of the guests stand in a circle for hugs from Amanda.  Capturing that love perfectly sums up this event!2048-22582048-2262 (2)2048-2269 (2)2048-2273 (2)2048-2272 (2)
Fun with the DJ lights and screen2048-2442
I had to have a picture with the mitzvah girl, too!  Mazel Tov Amanda!  You’d better call me for your senior portraits, and your wedding, if not sooner! Winking smile2048--4