Matthew R.’s Jammin’ Bar Mitzvah

We’ve been to a lot of beautiful, memorable Mitzvah celebrations in metro Atlanta–big, small, fancy, quaint, and just about everything in between. We’ve marvelled at parties in elegant event facilities, enjoyed professional entertainment and gourmet catering and seen custom decorations designed by event planners. Each celebration is pretty amazing in its own unique way. Matthew’s Bar Mitzvah, which we had the pleasure of covering last month, was a first for us and equally amazing: An INCREDIBLY cool, creative and personal celebration that took place right in his own home.

What do we mean by cool, you may be thinking? For starters, they had a jam session in their own loft with guitars, piano, percussion, a saxophone and clarinet. It was a blast just to witness it and listen in.

Kim, Matthew’s Mom, incorporated many creative details into the festivities that lent a warmth while keeping the kids happily engaged. Family and friends gathered for card and board games, and many created inspiring message stones.

The celebration also included the Havdallah with the customary candle lighting and spices.

Before the party, both the rehearsal and Bar Mitzvah ceremony took place at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, led by Rabbi Mario Karpuj.

This family exuded warmth, joy and deep pride in Matthew’s achievements. We are so grateful to have had the chance to capture their special moments.

And the Oscar goes to…Kyle!

Earlier this month we were honored to join Kyle and his family for his Bar Mitzvah celebration at Maggiano’s. Life on Film provided both photography coverage and photo booth entertainment. Kyle’s Mom, Vanessa, created a Hollywood theme complete with mega phones, clapper boards, and film reels.


The cake, snacks and even beverages all built on the Hollywood theme. Maggiano’s served as caterer.

Vibe Entertainment got everyone onto the dance floor with great music, fun props and games.

The kids jumped on the LED stage and had a blast jamming with the music.

Vanessa skillfully weaved timeless traditions into a dazzling party that was loads of fun. The Life on Film team captured more warm moments than I can possible include here!


Jive orchestrated a moving tribute to Kyle, as guests took to the microphone to share their love and warm wishes. (A Journey song played in the background, as you’d expect!)


Thank you, Vanessa, for entrusting us with capturing Kyle’s star-quality celebration!

Remembering Tami and Jess

No words can express the pain, shock and horror that have haunted us since learning of the tragic loss of Tami Willadsen and her daughter, Jess. Our hearts go out to their family and to the entire Museum School community, where Tami (pictured far left) served tirelessly as Foundation President and Jess was a vibrant a fourth grader.


This loss is personal. I was lucky to come to know both Tami and Jess by virtue of being a parent of my own Museum School student. I’ve also served as their regular photographer for school pictures.

I want to take a few minutes to celebrate the beauty and joy that they brought to all who were lucky enough to know them. Jess just glowed with personality that came shining through every shot we took. One look at Tami and it’s clear where Jess got it!



Tami’s charitable work was far-reaching. She led the school’s capital campaign and served as both Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia and as chairman of the board of EarthShare of Georgia.

The Museum School held a butterfly release last week in Jess’ honor. I was honored to be on hand to witness (and share in) the grief created by this senseless tragedy…along with the love, compassion and joy that filled our hearts in celebrating the life of this beautiful little girl.



Each of us at Life on Film Photography extends our thoughts and prayers to the Willadsen family. If you’d like to show your support, please consider contributing to an online fund-raising effort at that was put in place to raise money to help the family.


Morieka and DeAndre’s Wedding

First off, we’re really late with this post. But since it was my friend Morieka’s wedding, I’m hoping she’ll forgive me and appreciate that I want to feature her beautiful family’s photos!

At the Solarium in Decatur, the couple and their wedding party had space to gather and get ready along with a beautiful venue for the ceremony and reception.

A gorgeous September day offered plenty of sunshine as a backdrop for Morieka and DeAndre’s wedding. The Solarium provided wonderful outdoor vignettes where the bride and her party simply shined.

The groom’s side was no less photogenic — or joyful!

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What a charming and elegant way to say “I do…”  Simply gorgeous!

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Morieka and DeAndre shared their first dance to “If Only You Knew” by Patti LaBelle. The dance floor was soon hopping.

But there were still moving moments at every turn. I was honored to be able to capture many of them and share in the joining of these two families.

The bride and groom truly sparkled as they left the Solarium to start a new chapter of their life together.   

I am so thankful to Morieka and DeAndre for including me in their amazing day. Weddings are always heartwarming, but this one was extra special indeed.

Drafted to Zac’s Bar Mitzvah Team!

We were privileged to join Zachary for his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs last month. Rabbi Bradley Levenberg officiated the ceremony.

Lynn Zinn of Zinnsations created an NFL draft-themed decor with Zachary as the standout MVP. From personalized place cards for seating to fun table toppers featuring Zac’s photo and a ZBL (Zachary Bean League) food court, Lynn fully transformed the venue. A green screen let guests have photos taken of themselves against imaginative backdrops — like a Wheaties box! — to take home as souvenirs.

There were plenty of fan favorites in the food court. Guests could choose from tailgating must-haves like hot dogs along along with lighter options, all provided by From Scratch Catering.

Zachary and his guests burned up the dance floor. Cathy Schwartz and her fun team from Atlanta Fever Entertainment kept the party hopping, and even taught the kids to break dance!

In the spirit of the sports theme the dance floor was also host to many games, led by Atlanta Fever, that kept the kids moving and ensured no one was bored. Luckily the VIP lounge gave the kids a place to chill out and recharge! 

There were plenty of smiles, laughter, and hugs at this celebration, and we felt lucky to be there to capture them.

Special thanks to Zac; his Mom, Tina; and his Dad, Mike, for drafting Life on Film Photography to their Bar Mitzvah team!

Daniel’s Celebration!

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to capture Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah celebration on film last month.

Daniel was joined by brothers Ben and Nathan and his parents, Miriam and Mike, along with many extended family members and friends. Daniel’s grandparents, Kenny and Helen, beamed by his side. The event’s theme – generation to generation — proved to be both meaningful and fitting.

Making the event exceptionally joyful was that it took place November 30 – right in the middle of Chanukah. Daniel lit the menorah during the ceremony, which was led by Rabbi Mark Zimmerman at Congregation Beth Shalom in Atlanta.

Rather than a traditional Bar Mitzvah candle lighting, Daniel and his family created an inclusive, meaningful ceremony by passing out flashlights. Groups of attendees then turned on their lights as they were acknowledged.

Daniel and his guests danced the night away to tunes from Joshua Bagley from Sound Entertainment Experience. The festivities spanned everything from a traditional Bar Mitzvah chair dance to a conga line!

The Salpeters ensured the dessert party appealed to even their youngest guests with a cookie decorating contest. Jan Adler of The Silver Platter catered the event.

Thank you, Daniel, Mike and Miriam, for allowing Life on Film Photography to capture the joy of your celebration!

Olivia’s Bat Mitzvah Celebration

What a brilliant way to celebrate a beautiful young lady’s Bat Mitzvah!  Olivia F. and her guests had a blast on October 26 at the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery. The ‘Bama girl and her friends created fabulous works of art in just about every color of the rainbow with  light graffiti from our Life on Film team.




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Jamie’s Celebration and Light Graffiti!

We were so excited to be a part of the Finger Family’s special day!  Jamie’s celebration was an elegant and fun affair.

Check out what an awesome addition the Light Graffiti booth was, such fun!

Jamie is a gorgeous and fun young woman – as you can see from her pictures!  We celebrated at The Pavillion of E. Cobb with VIBE Entertainment and we were thrilled to get to be a part of her awesome day!