dont smile now – Shani Barel Photography- Los Angeles Based Photographer » modern photography with a twist of sarcasm

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The Tree Climber

When arrived at J’s house she was practically waiting for me on the roof – ( she wasn’t really.. but then she just climbed up there!!!) I don’t know how she does it, but considering people climb up straight mountains with the bare hands, I guess it’s just a  talent and will… and a fearlessness that propels J to climb, run jump and skate and roll, and flip and anything that keeps her off the ground!I really enjoyed getting to know J and go on this mini adventure in her world  - it’s almost like being thirteen again. ( though most of the time I was having little heart attacks like a mom…!)


March 2, 2015 - 8:11 pm

leonie barel - Wow! Lovely Post and photos!~

Behind the Scenes at Temple Adat Ariel

It’s all fun and games until somebody cries…Some temples allow me to photograph on Shabbat (Saturday) when the Bar Mitzvah services take place – sometimes I have to be in the balcony, sometimes just in the back and sometimes, in the back, in a little tiny room I have to share with the videographer and shoot through the doorway… but at Adat Ariel I cannot shoot on Saturday so we schedule a Mock Mitzvah on a weekday of the event. Some families bring just the immediate family and some come fully loaded – either way, it’s a hectic couple of hours of rolling and praying and trying to keep up with the kids, the grandparents, the cousins, the rabbis and even the dad! I just wanted to showcase a few of the traditional quintessential BAr Mitzvahs photos next to what really happens  when no one is looking. Or so they think…

February 26, 2015 - 12:02 am

leonie barel - You do it every time!!

L is for Love a Valentine’s Day Behind the scenes at Knoll

It’s valentine’s Day  - and I know some people who call it commercialized  - there are some people who hate it, I know  a guy whose birthday is  so his birthday could easily get lost in the shuffle – I know it’s a Hallmark day full of flowers and chocolate and mostly,  hope for love. And besides all that, today I was reminded, by my husband of all people, on Facebook, of all places, that on this day of Love, it is most important to love yourself – because without that, it doesn’t really matter how many people will love you – you won’t be able to take it. So whether you’re with someone, or on your own – Love, true Love starts at home. Happy valentine’s day.
And if you want to leave a comment ( just to make me happy) click on the “comment” tab right below, on the right.

February 26, 2015 - 12:01 am

leonie - Love this series!!!


It’s not always that I get to photograph a completely willing 13 year old boy – but a walk in the park a few swings of a bat, tossing of a ball and some time with the family on a beautiful Saturday morning – less than two weeks to go before the BAr Mitzvah it was great to meet and photograph A – who really brought his game on – and his charming smile – I know what you’re thinking – SMILE? where is it   what can I do – I always pick the non smiling ones, ( hence the don’t smile now. com ) but I assure you – this boy is a happy young man who will party like crazy next week as will I – looking forward to the party at Braemar Country Club.

February 12, 2015 - 11:15 pm

leonie barel - Great shots, so glad there is one of him smiling after what you wrote about his smile!

Taglyan Complex Wedding – on a 10 year anniversary

On the day of their 10 year anniversary of meeting and falling in love – Cynthia and Marlon finally got married in front of their family and friends. The ceremony was emotional, sweet, personal and touching. In the speeches i found out that they hadn’t really been apart for more than 18 hours, since the day they met. For some this might seem crazy – but if you know Cynthia and Marlon you can see how this is possible – they are both just so much fun to be with, and so caring for each other that with all this love – I understand that they cant stay apart for too long….

As soon Nicole, my second shooter I arrived at The Redbury Hotel, we met Paul and tyler, of Boffo Video carrying this dress form down the hallway – and was blown away to learn that they bring one to every shoot – here I was thinking I was a head of the gave since I carried a nice wooden hanger (because sometime sometimes there just isn’t a good hanger to use for the dress shot) and these guys just blew me away with this – and to top it off – the dress was just gorgeous… of course this was just one of THREE dresses Cynthia changed into throughout the night… !!! After the tear jerking first look – ( I love how nervous Marlon was even after ten years) we headied down the street to The Taglyan Complex  where everything was put together beautifully by Sophie of  Stylish Details….



The wedding was Friday night – so this is just a small, tiny , taste of what their day was like… and the party continued way beyond midnight, with a DJ after party…Until I edit all the rest of the photos – the bridesmaids, the dog Remy, all the details, the flowers, the guests, I mean, there was so many things going on and every given moment… Cynthia, Marlon  - who would have thunk?!!?!? Thank you for letting me into your lives – it’s a blast!

September 17, 2014 - 1:29 am

nicolelennox - Oh my goodness Shani, I LOVE these!!!

September 17, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Kristine Marie - These are such vibrant, beautiful photos, Shani! I LOVE the black and white of the first dance.

September 18, 2014 - 10:09 am

Danielle Bacon - Beautiful wedding and a killer ring shot! That last image is so awesome.

September 25, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Aleks - These are drop dead gorgeous photos!!! The colors are fantastic. Love, love, love!!! I can’t wait to see the rest.

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