On the Bima at Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn
Ellen Wolff Photography
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Brooklyn

On the Bima at Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn

Bat Mitzvah Portrait at Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn.

Kane Street Synagogue is located in Cobble Hill, in Brooklyn. And is currently the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Brooklyn. The first time I was there was to photograph the wedding of the parents in this bat mitzvah portrait. That might have been 2003. Fast forward to 2019 when I am writing this, after the delivery of the bat mitzvah album. I must have done something right when I captured the wedding, 16 years later and I am capturing their daughter's very special bat mitzvah day. I was shooting with a Hassleblad, film camera when I did the wedding. Now everything is digital. And with that change in technology has come an explosion of wedding photographers, of all different levels. During the film era, it was mandatory that you knew what you were doing. It is with so much appreciation that I have a strong connection and have earned such loyalty from my clients that after 16 years they would ask me to do another important family event, when there are literally thousands of options in New York City for photography nowadays.

So, it was with a very uplifted heart that I photographed this particular bat mitzvah. The sanctuary at Kane Street Synagogue is large, with mezzanine seating. The upholstery is covered in burgundy velvet and the lighting is low watt incandescent bulbs, radiating warmth, so mellow. The bat mitzvah gave me the opportunity for an environmental family portrait, such as the one here. I love the chandelier. I had to include it. It completes the portrait. I think it so important to incorporate architectural details into my work. I have always done it because I am doing this for future generations. Who knows, one day it might be gone. And as it turns out, the synagogue will be undergoing extensive renovation soon and might not look exactly the same when the repairs are complete. I also want to preserve the point of view of being on the bima. Clients tell me my photos bring them back into the moment so well. I hope this photo does that too.

Location: 236 Kane St, Brooklyn, NY 11231.

Keywords: Bat Mitzvah (99), bima (3), Brooklyn (15), Kane Street Synagogue (6).

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