Bar and bat Mitzvah Photography- by Shani Barel – Serving the Great Los Angeles Area » modern photography with a twist of sarcasm

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a song for shira


She’s my niece, or my niece a cousin once removed – if there ever was a definition for this relation- but more importantly she ‘s 10 days younger than my son, and her mom and I shared pregnancy stories half a world away over the phone; often I wonder what it would be like for my kids to grow up with my extended family,their extended like I did, with many cousins on both sides – cousins, that even though we all live far away from each other and only meet on rare occasions like grandmothers turning 90…we are still very much bonded and connected- we grew up together- and it’s what I miss most about home.


the balcony

her curls are amazing

i miss my hasselblad

she’s just pretending to be so serious, she’s really NOT.

this is the front door to the house I grew up in

February 10, 2010 - 10:51 pm

Leonie - great beautiful photos! wow !!! fashion plates. Jaffa and Shira and Shani do so well together !

February 11, 2010 - 8:32 pm

Christa Meola - Gorgeous! luscious shots Shani.

Z for Bar Mizzzzzvah!

Even Rabbis have a Sense of Humor

BarMitzvah can be so much fun- especially the P-A-R-T-Y!!! The fact that I am th eoldest person on the dance floor outweighs the fun of staying current with the music and the dance steps og generation 2010! OUCH!

What every Bar Mitzvah boy or girl have to go through on the Saturday morning to earn that big party is a whole other thing…besides learning for 6 months how to sing the beautiful nuances in the Hebrew Torah, they have to write and read a speech thanking their PARENTS for puttting them through this…and then, then they have me- I try to be as painless as possible,but the Torah is heavy, figuratively and Literally…so sometimes, it’s nice to find some nice Rabbis with a good sense of humor up for some fun..(Three rabbis walk into a bar MITZVAH……)

Happy Birthday Zeph, Congrats on becoming a mensch!



I met Zeph’s mom working with her on a school project, we spent hours staring at computer screens; I almost always only saw her from the side… :)

Chill room

cool mood room

Zeph makes a grand entrance


Boys’ Side

Girls’ Side

He’ll always be Daddy’s little boy…

The e Bar Mitzvah at the Toluca Lake Tennis Club, which was completely transfromed in the hands of Zeph’s mom and her designers, to be listed soon…If you’d like to see more photos, go here to view the sideshow click here

rain rain

Rain Rain, don’t go away!

our rain boots

Mommy, Zoe, Kyle

I love my boots so much! For years I had been eyeing plastic boots that I can slip on and skip in the rain or just comfortably walk without worrying about my feet and socks and bottom of my pants getting wet and finally this year I bought them, and one for Kyle and one for Zoe too…You’re probably wondering why it took me so long or what happened THIS year that I finally got them- so well- I am allergic to latex, and am afraid to get near to most plastics that “may contain unidentified ingredients that smell real weird, that might actually be latex…”

so now you’re wondering if I found special organic boots that won’t make my skin flair all up , and the answer is NO…only this year I was willing to risk it!  The good news is that my skin is fine; the bad news; my throat itches and I get headaches when I wear them… !

I don’t know if it’s the fear or reality, so maybe I should be glad that the rain is over and go back to my regular shoes and safe open toe sandals.
I hope this wasn’t TMI (too much information for those OLDER people who read my blog and by that I mean my dad… hey Dad!

Rain rain go away, come back when i have non latex boots!

January 27, 2010 - 1:43 pm

Leonie - wow -toe to top allergy- all way up to your head and throat … probably sunny LA is not the place to find specialty rain boots.

My heart goes out to….


I am very very lucky to get to photograph Mia- I photographed her for a holiday card that people are still talking about (so I’ve been told..) and then I got to celebrate at her Tea Party as she truned 4 years old…

This year’s cards have been sent out…wishing us Joy, Health, Peace and just plain ol’ Happiness.

It takes one to know one

every girl needs a pony

going places

Puppy New Year!

the photo on the left was The Card- I hope you got one!

Just one dog out of six

It's in the details

After a long day at work....

January 18, 2010 - 7:41 pm

amanda thiessen - these are really great. love the coloring!

thousands and thousands



My Granny Naomi has been making these biscuits for longer than I can remember and longer than I have lived. She must have made thousands and thousands of them, but that’s not where the name comes from. Though it should. Thousand and thousands are the little candies that go on my favorites biscuits in the world.

My Granny Naomi is over 90 years old and is still younger than most people I know. When I think of someone creative, I think of her- Back in the day , before FOREVER21, or Prada,  she used to make exquisite clothes for her daughters, – if I could put my hand on her designs I would wear them today, that’s how retro I’d like to be. As kids, when we would visit her, she was always busy making a new doll, or knitting a sweater, or solving the hardest cross-word puzzle  or making  chicken soup that made everything be alright, or just baking another batch of biscuits.

In her 80′s she went online, via email, and  even sent attachments of the photos she was taking with her new digital camera because she always had a camera around her neck….ATTACHMENTS! EMAIL! I mean the woman was 80!!!!

In recent years she has lost her hearing and most of her vision, and continues to learn Braille – I mean really? How many grandmas learn Braille?

My Granny Naomi is over 90 years old, she has 4 daughters, 12 grand-children,  14 great grand children, (correct me if I am wrong) and many many more friends and people who love her!

Granny Naomi! I love you.

Granny Naomi

The hand that make magic

Magic Hands

She still does her own hair

This is what she used to look like

The Younger Years

Grandpa Harry

My Grandpa Harry

Braille books

Braille Book. Reading dots.

she sculptors these with hardly seeing

Sculptoring without seeing.

some dolls she made some time ago

Companions. We all have some at home.

when Zoe was born

This doll is of Zoe, for Zoe

When my daughter Zoe turned one, she had bangs, (before we knew who Suri was)…Granny Naomi made a doll in her liking, based on a photo. When Zoe got the doll I snapped this picture, printed it on a card and sent the note. ” Dear Granny” I sent it to the home where she lives, forgetting to put her name or room number on it. They opened it, and saw “Dear Granny” They didn’t know Shani was naomi’s granddaughter from Ameirca, but they knew that only Naomi makes these dolls that look like her loved ones. They delivered it to her and she called to tell me that I forgot to write her name.
I didn’t, her name is Granny, and she’s only Granny Naomi becasue she’s not Granny Freda…my other 90 year old Granny.

the little old lady sewing

The Workroom

January 11, 2010 - 11:31 pm

Leonie - Shani this is wonderful. I know she would be delighted if she could see!!! And yes, she would be on facebook if she could. I wish I had kept the dresses she made you when you were a year old!!!
love you , and granny does too.

January 12, 2010 - 12:14 am

Jono Barel - Wow. What a tribute. Really touching, Shani. I think this is one of your best posts, ever.

January 12, 2010 - 12:18 am

Leonie - oh and its 15 great grandchildren :-)

January 12, 2010 - 7:32 am

Sandra - Best post ever, I agree with J, but did u forget she also had an adopted daughter…me, and that brings 4 more grandkids…lol, but since u put a shot of “the workroom” picture I got her in London sooooo many years ago I still feel a part of the family! amazing post! She is so much what u wrote and a lot more! xoxo

January 12, 2010 - 9:36 am

Emily Melzer - WOW!!! incredibly touching… definitely your best :) Too bad she cant see..

January 12, 2010 - 9:39 am

Emily Melzer - WOW!! Gorgeous!! love it! definitely your best :)
Too bad she cant see..

January 12, 2010 - 11:05 am

Lynn - Really a magnificent tribute and even if she can’t see it, everyone that loves her, can.

January 13, 2010 - 12:49 pm

Leonie - And she eventually got to see it thanks to Lynn!!!!

March 17, 2010 - 11:48 pm

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January 2, 2011 - 7:56 pm

Shay - This was really touching. Thank you Shani. Much love and thousands and thousands of xoxoxo’s….

February 10, 2011 - 1:55 pm

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