Temple Beth Am and a Great Idea

It’s Monday and I’m still recovering from another Bat Mitzvah Weekend at Temple Beth Am in Tampa. We did temple portraits on Friday morning, family portraits on Saturday morning and then the party that night at Hunter’s Green Country Club in Tampa. It’s a long weekend for me to be sure but it’s nothing compared to what the family does which includes the actual service, a luncheon, brunch and of course entertaining all the out-of-town visitors and family. It’s exhausting I’m sure but also such a great time with family and friends!

Temple Beth Am Bat Mitzvah

This weekend it was Elana’s turn and she was a delight. She was patient and kind and all the things you hope for when working with a teenager who is being asked to do so much. I’m constantly impressed by these kids and their ability to be graceful under pressure.

Temple Beth Am Bat Mitzvah

Here’s What I Saw at Temple Beth Am

I saw something this weekend that I’ve never seen before and I wanted to talk about it a bit because it’s such a great idea. One of the things that the family always does for a Bat Mitzvah is to buy flower arrangements for the bimah (the dais or platform at the front of the temple). I’m always sure to get a picture of these flowers as part of my coverage. But this time, there were no flowers.

This time, there were food baskets.

Temple Beth Am Bat Mitzvah

I found out later that Tracy, Elana’s mother, is Chairman of the Board at Joshua House, a great organization in Tampa that helps abused and neglected children. I guess serving an organization like that tends to make you see everything as an opportunity for good and so she just couldn’t bring herself to buy flowers that would go to waste after a few days. Instead, they decorated food baskets which they will donate to a local food bank after the event.

It’s such a great idea. Here’s a chance to donate to a great cause and help some people without spending any money… I mean, you would spend the money on the flowers anyway, right? It’s the sort of thing I would love to see become a tradition in Temple Beth Am and other houses of worship everywhere. What a great idea!

I haven’t even started working on the images yet but I’ll be posting a bunch in a few weeks when they are ready. In the meantime, here’s my page for Bar Mitzvah Photography in Tampa Bay.

Time Flies

Tampa Portrait Photographer
My daughter Mackenzie, my youngest, turns 13 today meaning that I now have two teenage daughters and am officially old.
I made her sit for me this morning so I could capture this moment in her life for posterity. As I was sitting at my computer doing the final touches on this image I thought about all my friends and family who don’t live with a professional photographer and how lucky I am to do what I do and to be able to get images like this of my family.
Then I realized that anyone can get images like this…. they just have to take the time to schedule a portrait session with a pro and create some timeless art. The rise of cellphones and “fun” pictures has caused so many people to skip the professional portrait, what we often call the “character” portrait and it’s a real shame.
Get your family photographed by a pro. I shouldn’t be the only one who has images like this to look at in my golden years.
Honest… I didn’t shoot this portrait as an excuse to solicit business. Get some portraits of your family… doesn’t have to be from me.

How Should You Display Your Wedding Pictures?

We live in a digital age. For many people, their phone is the way they view pictures. Any time they want to look at a picture they simply grab their phone and jump to the gallery… scrolling and scrolling until they find what they want. Here’s the problem:

It takes effort.

“Not that much,” you’re thinking. “How hard is it to scroll through my phone?”

That’s not the kind of effort I’m talking about. I’m talking about mental effort and that actually changes the experience. There is a difference between looking for an image to view it and “happening” upon an image. There is a surprise… and unexpected boost of endorphins that occurs when you see an image without “trying” to see it. This is the reason that people have kept family portraits on their desk for years. There’s a benefit to having your eyes fall across a picture of your kids in the middle of a stressful day. That benefit is not the same as if you had to think, “I want to see a picture of my kids,” and go digging in your pocket for your phone.

This is why you should display wedding pictures in your home with an album on a table or prints on the wall. The unexpected joy that they bring in unexpected times cannot be measured. When you’re having a bad day, suddenly seeing a picture from the happiest day of your life can be a huge relief and remind you of all you have that is wonderful.

I have a picture from my wedding next to my bed. My friends have wall art. My house is covered in family portraits and I recently completed seven pieces for a wedding I photographed.

Print your pictures. Enjoy the joy.

Print your wedding pictures

Certified Professional Photographer
Member, Professional Photographers of America


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