Throwback Thursday: First Communion | San Carlos, California and Lawrence, Massachusetts

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of photographing my 11th First Communion ceremony at St. Charles Church in San Carlos, California.  Capturing this milestone event at our local church is my great pleasure.  I see the candid expressions, and I am thrilled to create an image of the pure joy of friends and families coming together for this celebration.

Give yourself the gift of hiring an event photographer to capture your special event.

Give yourself the gift of hiring an event photographer to capture your special event.             (c) Barbara Bell Photography


With 83 Communicants participating in a full Mass, it is no small feat to organize this ceremony, but Michelle Baeza and her team did an amazing job.  Giving their time and their energy to these children and this service reminds me what an amazing community these parishioners make.

It also makes me think about my own First Communion.  (Yup, here it is… #ThrowbackThursday)

#ThrowbackThursday to my own First Communion

#ThrowbackThursday to my own First Communion

There are photographs at my mom’s house of me and my brothers at each of our ceremonies, and I love this Polaroid of me on the steps at St. Patrick Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  I don’t remember who took the photo, but it was the parting shot after the ceremony and after the family photos.

I often wonder if becoming a photographer as an adult was ingrained in me as a child.  Picture this: my mom getting four children ready before a big event.  Orders were given like a drill sergeant to troops:

Brush your teeth.

Wait to put your nice clothes on.

Did you have breakfast?  Have it now.

Yes, in your pajamas.

Now, go brush your teeth.

Clothes. ON!

Is everyone ready?

Where is the camera?!

Always – the question that resounded in our house was, “Where is the camera?”  My mom loved to have one in her purse ready to capture school events, weekend events, and everyday events.  After being asked this for years, is it any wonder I became a photographer?

Here’s what I learned: it’s a big task getting everyone ready, out the door, and at the location at the right time and then to remember your camera.  This is why I photograph events.  You shouldn’t have to count on your aunt/sister/friend to capture the milestone moments in your life.  You shouldn’t have to hope one of those photos comes out.

I photograph these milestone events so you, the guest of honor, and your family can sit back and enjoy your day. No one has to remember to charge the batteries, to bring the camera, to get the right shot.  I’ve got this for you.

I create photographs…To inspire families…To share memories.