Finding the Moments That Define Your Event


I’ll admit to being a little sad to write this post because Samantha’s bat mitzvah was the last one for the Levy family. I photographed their oldest son’s bar mitzvah back in 2013 and their second son’s in 2015. Along the way, Susan and I became friends based on our shared lack of a filter and our interest and commitment to social justice issues. She’s also really, really funny.

It was hard to be sad while photographing them, though. All three kids gets along and it’s clear that Samantha is the star of the show when they’re all together. I remember her as a little girl at both her brothers’ bar mitzvahs but seeing her for the first time in 4 years was almost shocking - she’s a young woman who is poised and funny and beautiful and lovely.

The reception was at the Clarendon Ballroom and MC Blake (my favorite!) kept the energy up all evening, as usual. Samantha’s theme was ‘the beach’ and Susan created posters of their favorite beach foods. She also created the centerpieces and had a giant beach/sunset backdrop for guests to have their photos taken. And Samantha’s guest book? A surf board!

The evening was clearly a celebration for and about Samantha; she and her friends danced and played games, ushered in the end of Shabbat with a short Havdalah service and beat the adults in a yell-off (I mean, really. Was there any doubt that a throng of 13-year-olds could yell louder than a bunch of adults?).

Susan, Stephan, Jacob, Noah and Samantha - thank you for allowing me to share in your family’s joy over the past 6 years. You have soldiered through the dreaded synagogue photo sessions dressed in clothes that were uncomfortable and usually too warm for the weather. You’ve laughed when I’ve prompted you and posed when I made you. You have been eager and willing and funny and agreeable and I will miss you (but not you, Susan - we will figure out a way to bridge the distance and awful traffic in NoVa).