Peri is a friend that I met through the MOMS Club about 8 years ago. She had wanted me to shoot her older son's Bar Mitzvah, but it was the same day as my younger daughter's first dance recital so I was not able to do it. So when she contacted me about a year ago to book Andrew's Bar Mitzvah, I put it on the calendar right away. Considering I don't shoot weddings, that officially makes it the earliest I've ever booked a session.
This is not only the first Mitzvah I've ever shot, it's also the first one I've ever attended, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Photography wasn't allowed in the Synagogue during the service, but I was allowed to shoot through the little glass window in the door, and through glass doors to the side of the Synagogue. It actually wasn't too bad, though I had to focus on avoiding reflection in the glass. I wished that I had a slightly longer lens to get closer shots of the ceremony, but the Synagogue was beautiful and well lit with natural light so I think I got some decent shots.
I admittedly didn't always understand what was going on during the ceremony, but it was beautiful just the same. I was SOOOO impressed with Andrew. He did an awesome job and must have studied for ages to perform all of his tasks. I especially loved how family and friends were integrated into the ceremony in a show of support for the young man. It was so beautiful to watch.
After the ceremony, we got some group family shots in the Synagogue and then headed to a luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cool Springs. The Hilton catered a delicious lunch. As a sort of guest book at the luncheon, guests were asked to sign a hockey stick that was apparently Andrew's first goalie stick. As a hockey mom myself, I thought that was an amazing idea.
One of my favorite parts of the luncheon was the candle ceremony. Each candle was lit in honor of a friend or family member of Andrew. The first candle lit by Andrew honored a grandparent who had passed away, and most others were lit by guests in attendance after Andrew said a few words about what they meant to him. It was such a wonderful way to honor all of the friends and family who had supported him in his journey.
Another favorite part of the luncheon for me was watching Andrew and his cousins and friends goofing off. It made me think about what a beautiful age this is, where they are showing such responsibility and hard work one minute, but still being completely silly the next. I loved seeing him with such joy and laughter. We should all remember to keep a little bit of that kid inside of us.