Life On Film Photography Blog » Where Life Comes Alive Through Photography

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It’s always an honor when families call upon me to record momentous milestones in their lives. I’ve captured a lot of events during my time as a photographer and I must say that bar/bat mitzvahs are my favorite.Witnessing young men and women commit themselves to their faith and all that it involves, is sacred. Add the awesome celebrations that follow and it’s clear to see why I delight in capturing these moments.During our first meeting, I could tell Perri and her family were a fun, loving bunch. You could feel the warm personalities radiating from each member. Perri has a positive impact on those around her and is surrounded by love and support from family and friends.The bat mitzvah ceremony was held at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Rabbi Brian Glusman was the officiant. Family and friends from New York, New Jersey, Florida, and of course, Georgia, were on hand to help Perri celebrate this important life event. Her parents, Jason and Janel, beamed with pride as Perri effortlessly carried out the roles required of her during the ceremony.The celebration was nothing short of breathtaking. Perri’s father, Jason, served as event coordinator and was able to find the right vendors to help him put together a Jersey Boardwalk themed celebration. Vibrant and vivid colors were all around, guests feasted on popcorn, cotton candy and lots and lots of sweets! There were starbursts, lollipops, salt water taffy, and rice crispy treats to name a few.Dressed in a fabulous polka dot dress and illuminated sneakers, Perri seemed to enjoy being the center of attention as guest after guest greeted her with congratulations, hugs, and plenty of requests for pictures. She and her guest danced the night away with tunes provided by Vibe Entertainment. The photo booth provided by Life on Film Photography was a big hit with Perri and her friends as they donned props and captured memorable snapshots to take home.I can truly say that Perri and her family know how to celebrate. In addition to the Schwartz family, I would like to thank all of the vendors: Let’s Celebrate Events, Vibe Entertainment and Legacy Catering and Events for doing such a fantastic job and creating an atmosphere full of creativity, fun, and love that were a joy to capture.

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As a photographer, I get to experience some pretty cool locations, but I also have the honor of an invitation to some of the best and most entertaining celebrations of my client’s milestones … even the ones where I am partying with mostly teenagers. In fact, they may have the most fun when it comes to really enjoying the festivities, as most recently evidenced by the Alexander’s awesome party for their daughter Maya at Le Fais Do Do.160123MayaAlexanderCelebrationLRM-0031

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If you ever wondered why girls get the reputation for being made of sugar, spice and everything nice, look no farther than sweet Maya’s ballerina-drenched Bat Mitzvah. In fact, if you can pull yourself away from the dreamy desserts table that Zest Atlanta catering company packed with everything from magenta macaroons to pretty pink cake pops and decadently dipped Oreos, you won’t find anything in the room that wasn’t supremely nice.  

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Speaking of sweet, that includes the members of the Alexander family. Maya’s the middle child in and is just as sweet as her older sister Lenore, who also has a knack for creating artistic party themes, as her mitzvah was centered around paintings and art. Not to be outdone by his sisters, the youngest sibling, Nolan is certain to have his own style in a few years. In fact, he was a pretty impressive as my assistant director, helping pose his sisters at Maya’s portrait session.

But it’s not like the Alexanders to sit still for long – and that goes for all generations. One of the best parts about this party was that when you needed to take a break from the food, there was an incredible DJ from EsPeuté Productions, who kept the dance floor vibe as irresistible as those macaroons. I love seeing a pro that can get absolutely everyone moving; and in this case, even after the ballerinas cleared some room, the family stepped in and danced until the lights came on. That was something I will never forget!

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Getting engaged is one pretty awesome thing to celebrate … your wedding day, even better. Still in love and holding hands regularly fifty years later – that calls for a serious party! 10 LOF 151125Morris50thLRM-60For Wayne and Sandra, it also meant an added surprise from their entire family.

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These lovebirds tied the knot after Wayne proposed in a small Mexican restaurant in an almost-just-as-small Alabama town. He didn’t get down on one knee but she said yes anyway, and they began a long love story that is still turning pages today.

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The most recent chapter opened up this past Thanksgiving, when the extended family flew in from South Carolina for a surprise reunion and anniversary party for the Mr. and Mrs. at The Ritz Carlton. Handsome, bow-tied boys and adorable little girls, smiling faces, generation-spanning stories and a lot of energy made this a picture-perfect time spent together. With so much love in one room, we were thrilled to be the illustrator of such a sentimental story. Here’s wishing many more chapters for Wayne and Sandra!09 LOF 151125Morris50thLRM-55

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1601227Walt&ScottWeddingLRM-0070When you meet Walt and Scott, you immediately have to reshift your forever expectations. These guys are doing it right. Together, they evoke such a genuine sense of happiness and truly complement each other, putting truth to the cliché, “better together.” Getting to shoot the day where they made that togetherness official, legally, was something I couldn’t help but share.

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Walt and Scott tied the knot almost a decade ago. It was a glorious party – what they call their “big, fat tropical affair” – and one they weren’t interested in recreating or upstaging. This was simply an intimate celebration to acknowledge that now it’s official. They planned an at-home wedding 
where they could recite their vows, sign the papers and toast with their closest friends and family just in time for the sunset to kick off a few more cocktails.

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So, quite literally, these lovebirds are signed, sealed and delivered – “just kinda finishing what we started all those years ago,” they added. Definitely another memorable moment in their lives, the shots are as sweet as they are. From an artful ambiance and cool cufflinks to the smiling faces of their friends and family and the couple’s (second) first kiss as husbands, this was such a fun fete to get to be a fly on the wall … with a flash.

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Here’s something to make you smile.

Eight years ago, I was doing some work for The Associated Press. The story connected a local special needs family to the then Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who also had a child with Down’s syndrome. That local family was The Moores – the star, their son Jacob. 

I photographed Jacob at his home, where I met Heidi, his mom, his dad Steven and his brother Jared. We had a ton of fun – an imminent fact when you spend more than few seconds with Jacob – and the pictures are still some of my favorites. In fact, Heidi encouraged me to start doing family portraits for other families with special needs children … something that inspired the backyard studio at Life On Film! 

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Suffice it to say, Jacob left an even bigger impression on me – he is the subject of my front-and-center image on the Life On Film Photography website, a moment from the next time I got to see him. That chance meeting gave us time to catch up … time for me to learn he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Most recently, Jacob came to a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta event where he performed as part of a music program that kids with cancer used as therapy. I hugged him, we talked about the time that had passed and I met his best friend Claudia. Years later, I would meet her again … when she asked Jacob to his first prom.

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That story continues with Jacob – who also has Autism – fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He and his family faced years of Chemotherapy and other Cancer treatments, but they took it head on with a positive and determined attitude centered around Jacob’s huge smile and vibrant, magnetic personality. 

With the community support that rallied around him, The Moores became anything but strangers to the media. So, when he made the news for a different reason – his sharp dress and seriously impressive dance moves, to start – I couldn’t wait to be there to capture it. Jacob was going to prom.

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His best friend, Claudia had asked him to be her “catch to prom” with an adorable baseball poster. The recap is too cute and touching not to share.

As any high schooler would, he said yes and started practicing for the big night. But the story doesn’t end there ….. Jacob has much more to celebrate than a beautiful date to the dance. After more than 6 years, Jacob has beaten leukemia. And that is certainly something worth capturing … and celebrating!

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