This girl is officially a bat mitzvah! And I’ve decided that bar/ bat mitzvahs are my new favorite event to photograph. First, it’s sweet and sentimental—I’ve seen this girl around since she was eight, and now she’s quite the young lady, and that growth is acknowledged nicely with a formal ceremony for which she prepared for months. She even wore her hair out of a ponytail—a rare sighting—and coupled with her mature conduct during the ceremony, she really shined. Since her ceremony wasn’t held in a synagogue, I was allowed to take a few shots, but out of respect for those who might be alarmed I didn’t shoot the entire ceremony. Second, bat/ bar mitzvah parties are SO MUCH FUN. I wish we had gotten one of these emcees and played games at our wedding. Plus, at this one, the grown-ups held their own on the dance floor, risking pulling muscles and backs trying to play Coke and Pepsi with the kids and more. Her party theme was Around the World, and I loved the mini-suitcases with the vintage postcards and symbolic items to represent each country. Here are some shots from that day!