ANNA ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Finding the Moments That Define Your Event

Emily's Bat Mitzvah

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Sometimes when I'm meeting with parents who are planning their second or third bar/bat mitzvah I hear them lamenting the fact that they are doing the same location and same vendors as they did the first time. They worry that it won't be special for the second or third child and that it will seem recycled and simply a repeat of the previous one. I always tell them not to worry about it - that it will be different because their children are different. And you know what? Emily's bat mitzvah was proof positive of that. I photographed her older sister, Jessie's, bat mitzvah three years ago at the Washington Golf and Country Club and despite the fact that Emily's was at the same location, it didn't feel like Jessie's reception at all. Emily's theme (pulled off beautifully by my favorite event planning team, Events Extraordinaire) referenced her love of basketball, swimming and volleyball. This was the first bat mitzvah I've photographed in almost 10 years that had a basketball pop-a-shot. I've seen them at lots of bar mitzvahs, but not at bat mitzvahs and I *loved* it. My other favorite thing? Emily's friends hit the dance floor as soon as they arrived and didn't stop until the reception ended four hours later. Even the emcee told the crowd at the end of the night that he was wowed by the kids. I mean, yes, most kids dance at bar/bat mitzvahs but c'mon...they're 13-year-old kids and a lot of times they decide that snapping photos of themselves for Instagram and Snapchat is more fun than dancing.  Not Emily's friends - they danced, hora'ed, and coke and pepsi'ed the entire night.

I also loved listening to Andy's speech to Emily. I've always had a sweet spot for dad-daughter moments and Andy, Emily (and Jessie, too) didn't disappoint; listening to Andy talk about his daughters as two of his best friends had me wishing I'd thought to pack some tissues in my pocket.

Thank you, Andy, Susan, Jessie and Emily for trusting me again to capture this simcha for your family - enjoy the sneak peek!