A few weeks ago I photographed my first bar mitzvah. I grew up in an area where most people were Catholic or Methodist. It wasn't until I went to college that I met anyone Jewish. Religions fascinate me, so I love every opportunity I get to photograph anything that is new to me. So when Barb (Ethan's mom) called me and asked if I was available to photograph her second son's bar mitzvah, I jumped at the chance.
The bar mitzvah ceremony was in the morning at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Md. Not going to lie, there was some incredible ambient light coming in through the synagogue's skylight. I also loved the vibrant colors on the ark. I was able to get some great shots beforehand of Ethan and his family.
Ethan was very prepared and thoughtful through out the ceremony, which he shared with a girl celebrating her bat mitzvah.
Ethan's celebration was held later Saturday night at the Hyatt Bethesda. Kudos to the Hyatt; they have obviously done this for as they had a great setup and rhythm for the event. For the first hour, the adults had their own reception time on a completely different floor from the kids who were sent up to the rooftop ballroom to get the party started.
Electric Entertainment was outstanding as they had the kids completely engaged and rocking from minute one. There were push ups, planks, and even a kick line.
Of course, all the Jewish traditions were included as well, from the blessing over the challah bread to the horah.
Everyone had a ton of fun! Thirteen-year-olds know how to party. And Ethan's mom made sure the night was filled with special touches.
Congratulations, Ethan! What a big accomplishment. You should be proud. Thank you for letting me tell the story of your special day.