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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This is my third year having Valentine Minis – it’s a fun couple of days at the studio to get photos taken in a happy colorful setup – I mean , seriously, you can’t not love the helium balloons bobbing about, and wonder if you held them all would you just go up up? Here’ are a couple of sessions from previous years

Knoll classics

It’s been years now that I have been photographing Knoll’s classic furniture and the kids – and some of them have grown in to teens already.. they don’t always want to sit in the designated chair, they don’t always want to smile, or look or do anything at all – and that’s aways fine too!  Here’s just a  small collection of last year’s OC session



Beauty Can

A few months ago I participated in our school fundraiser, as did the Beauty Can  – we got together, the ladies got their hair and make up done and I documented the final results – I know we shouldn’t be vain and superficial, but hell, a little blow dry and make up brush can go a long way! :)

Beautiful Family

It’s all in the family I guess – I have another session including the mom so you can see how great they all look together, and how grown up they all are since this is from about 18 months ago – just headshots for for everyone – yes, even the twins!

Malibu Beach

California is pretty great – Los Angeles area, which is where I live, so it’s what I know, is has quite the best weather – in my even tempered body temperature opinion – so wether it be winter or summer, you can pretty much spend some time at the beach pretty comfortably; getting int he water is a whole other issue – but to spend  some time on the sand and take in the endless water can happen any day of the year – and this one did – some November winter day at the Malibu Pier




I know some people think Israel is entirely made of desert, but it’s not, I swear, but I still like photographing in the desert-y part of Israel – this summer, it did require getting up at 4am, out the door by 5, and be done by 8 when it gets too hot to be in the sun.. especially when most of the images didnt have much cover ups… :)

But here’s what I can show…

Cabin Fever

It’s been a long summer, in fact, as I write these words, there’s a heat wave of 107 degrees or so… but end of July in Malibu, was not so bad, it was actually very nice, and a great time to celebrate a Summer Camp Cabin themed Bat Mitzvah, I mean, it was a mid summer night after all –

I really enjoyed meeting Izzy and watching her celebrate becoming Bat Mitzvah – I am not always allowed to document the actual services, and at Temple Adat Elohim, I did have to stand all the way in the back (But I do get time to get close ups before the services start) and I truly enjoy connecting with traditions on these Saturdays and relating old tradition to today’s world. And there’s not much better than a Saturday Night Fever party – I mean Cabin Night Fever party – and it looked like pretty much  everyone  had a great time too!

Services at Adat Elohim 

Reception in Malibu  Calamigos Ranch

Event design by Stacy

DJing- getting the party going – CheckOne2





It was a hot and humid day, a very hot and humid day, and by 2pm when I was walking back from the lost (and found) city of Petra I thought I was going to die and wondered if I fell right there and then would anyone stop one of the chariots and help me back up the hill, along the 3 or so miles that it takes… so if you DO ever got there and it is NOT winter, please pay the fee for the donkey cart, animal cruelty side, it’s going to be worth it….I carried my camera in my backpack, but to be completely honest? The iPhone should have sufficed! It was a long ( and HOT and HUMID day) but I got to get away for the day ( from the kids, yes, the kids, spending 6 weeks with them can be… hot and humid :)




September 7, 2017 - 3:42 pm

Leonie - These are incredibly beautiful. I so know that feeling of impossible to carry on in the heat….experienced in Vietnam ….

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