Bar and Mat Mitzvahs are once-in-a-lifetime events where Jewish teenagers celebrate their coming of age with a formal ceremony followed by a hilariously fun party. I only photograph a handful of bar and bat mitzvahs each year, but every time I do, I find that I love documenting the kids’ surprising silliness, the parents’ proud gazes, and the ritual of the candle lighting. In my limited experience with them, Mitzvahs are a fabulous combination of solemnity, glee, nervous energy, teen angst, and even a little sadness as the parents realize that their kids are growing up. They are fabulous events, inside of which are dozens of family stories and narratives.
I photographed a Bat Mitzvah this fall for TWO sisters who were celebrating together and we had a wonderful time. They danced, and laughed, and were so proud and so nervous and it was amazing. Here are some great photos from their party, a story of two teenagers surrounded by all of their friends.