Leader of the Pack – Noa’s Temple Beth Shalom Needham Bat Mitzvah
I knew from the start that Noa is the mayor of her posse. Wanna know how I figured that out? Before her practice session, Noa’s mom called me up to say, “Noa wants to know how many friends she should invite for her practice session.”
“How many did she have in mind?” I asked.
“She wanted me to ask you how many is good,” her mom replied.
Then, thinking that Noa would invite maybe three or four people, I assured her, “As many as she wants is fine.”
Fast forward to a snowy winter afternoon when I was supposed to meet up with Noa and her friends. I opened the door to find 17 girls ready to go! They were all dressed in pastel sweaters and faded jeans—without even planning their wardrobe ahead of time—and every single one of them ADORED Noa. Of course, I told all of her friends that they were only the “backup dancers” and that Noa was the star. They all got it, and I simply couldn’t believe what an amazing group of friends she had.
On the day of the actual bat mitzvah, my second shooter, Vanessa Walsh, and I headed to Temple Beth Shalom in the morning before the service. We weren’t allowed to shoot the actual service, so I asked Noa to practice with the rabbi and the cantor. Then I spent the rest of the time being a photo ninja while she got ready with her family. Noa’s parents were amazing for all of this; they had the best senses of humor and made the photos fun and carefree.
Later on, we met up again at the Revere Hotel in Boston to grab a few more photos before moving the party to Venu, where things really heated up. There was a red carpet setup for all the guests to take selfies and have their pictures taken by us as well. The cupcakes were off the charts, there was sushi for days, and the DJ had the kids dancing until I felt like I was in a mosh pit—just the way I like it.
Noa, you are just the greatest. I loved that you trusted me 100% to capture your day. It was a blast, for sure.