ANNA ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Finding the Moments That Define Your Event

JAKE'S BAR MITZVAH

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I've decided, after photographing Jake and his family this past weekend, that I am going to have to rethink my beliefs about 13-year-old boys. The past few boys I've photographed have all proven exceptions to the rule that boys that age can be goofy and won't listen to instructions but Jake was heads above all of them.

What struck me most was how he treated his little sister, Allison, who is 5. During the kiddush luncheon on Saturday, surrounded by all of his friends, he made space at his table so she could sit next to him. There was no rolling his eyes or complaining to his mother about having to sit next to her, or how he shouldn't have to do it since it's his big day. None of that. He was kind and gentle and included her in everything, even at the reception that evening.

My brothers and I certainly didn't treat each other like that and as much as I'd like to believe that Kate and Jack will grow up being kind to each other I've already seen evidence to the contrary. No way in hell is Kate going to want to hang out with Jack at her bat mitzvah (and ditto with Jack). I don't know how Jake's parents, Jeff and Michele, did it but I sure wish they'd write a book on parenting and raising kids without sibling rivalry.

So the reception. Get this. The boys actually DANCED at the reception. And not just awkward teenage boy dancing - they were really good! The reception was held at a really cool place in Gaithersburg called The Trenches. There were tons of video games and there was even a ping pong table, pool table and foosball table. My favorite part was 'Jake's Dugout' with the artificial turf and the red couches. Haven't seen that before and I'm tucking that idea away in my back pocket for Jack's bar mitzvah.

Mazel Tov, Jeff, Michele and Jake (and Ethan and Allison!) ~ thank you for allowing me to be part of your family's simcha.

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