Happy (belated) Mitzvah Monday, friends! This amazing spring weather in Minneapolis is making that summer itch even stronger! Last June, I had the honor of working with my very first mitzvah family ever - the Harrisons! Sophia was my first ever Bat Mitzvah client in 2009 and it's been a wild ride since, so when Norah contacted me about Jonah's upcoming Bar Mitzvah, I did about 3857 cartwheels of joy!!

(Side note: I first met this family back in about 2005-2006 when I was working at a summer camp, assisting my photography professor Cate, teaching kids about pinhole cameras and the darkroom. Sophia and Jonah were two of the kids we taught!)

June came and with it, one of the biggest storms of the last decade! Trees were down all across the metro and with it, the power too. Not even Temple Israel was spared! The staff there was FABULOUS in their quick-thinking skills and lit candles all over the synagogue. When I saw Jonah for the first time, he put up his hands and said, "well! I said I wanted my Bar Mitzvah to be memorable!"

Jonah shared his Bar Mitzvah with his friend Sasha - the two of them were adorable together! The service was stunning - candles and bright sunbeams shining through the windows helped with the lighting factor and for the first time ever, photographers were allowed on the main floor to photograph. I count this as a career highlight, for sure! 

The Kiddish luncheon brought another set of challenges. Held in the basement at Temple, there were candles everywhere and friends and family actually asked me to continue taking photos with my flash so they could see what they were eating! Jonah's brother Joshua was running around showcasing the centerpieces with a flashlight, guests were using their cell phones as lights - hilarious!

Although his day brought a few challenges, Jonah totally rose above everything and did an amazing job. So proud of this kid, ahem, young man :) It didn't matter that the lights were out - Jonah's bright personality shown even brighter!

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2: the party!!