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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Color Block Tunics by Jigsaw London.

Jigsaw Color Block Tunics modeld by Jenny, Whitney and Jenny fashion bloggers

Since summer is officially here, we had another awesome photoshoot for Jigsaw London – which happens to be right here in Beverly Hills AND all over London,    and what a perfect start with the Color Block Tunics – and maybe I am a little bias since I have one in Orange (of course I got it in Orange – it ‘s my color!) These were shot right behind the store on Beverly Drive and I have to thank the beautiful fashion bloggers –  JennyWhitney and Jenny who have their own fashion followers and fantastic fashion blogs so check them out too… and of course – read all about these tunics on the Jigsaw London Blog 

Jenny, Whitney and Jenny wearing the Jigsaw Color Block Tunics
Whitney wearing the color block tunic in blue
Jenny Wu wearing the yellow color block tunic by Jigsaw London
Jenny Bernheim wearing the pink color block tunic
Jenny, Whitney and Jenny wearing Jigsaw London and walking in the alley behind the store in beverly Hills
I just like this photo of Fashion Bloggers Jenny, Whitney and Jenny as they head back into the store to change clothes

Venice Beach Engagement Shoot

Shani Barel Photography

My first job in LA was as a waitress at Venice Beach – the restaurant no longer exists but the friends I made and lived with have stuck around – so when I waited for Julie and Adriann to arrive, I swear I recognized a regular customer – I almost said something but I think I would have some across crazier than the locals! I am sure Keren would have known…Venice bBeach is exactly like we sees in the movies – that’s what it’s like living in LA – you think you’ve been here before, but really – you’ve just seen it in the movies – but anyways – the beach was super windy, and even a little cold – (shocker) so after working out the basketball courts -(yes, right there with an ocean view…) we headed over to the Venice Canals which is a world wonder in it’s own right – the story goes that this millionnaire guy wanted to rebuild the Venice canals right here- hence the name Venice, but ran out of funding part way through, but s few canals survived and people do live on the quais and it is a wonderful secret little spot – hiding in plain sight…OK – skimming through the wikepedia essay the story is even more interesting ! …Anyways – it was a great fun albeit windy shoot  and I rushed home and had to get a sign in book made within two days to have it in time for the wedding, which I did – I guess years of leaving things to the last minute finally paid off !

Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography

Shani Barel Photography

Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography
Shani Barel Photography

Shani Barel Photography

When we arrived at the canals – we looked for parking – I didn’t want to park just as we got there – instead we passed one bridge after another and I was getting  a little worried we wouldn’t have a spot to park but just at the end we managed to squeeze the car by the alley – we got out, snapped some photos in the alley and headed to the actual canal…. embarrassment avoided :)) on the way back to my car I asked them about the significance of the numbers 239 which are part of their email address and their car vanity plate – 23 is Julie’s birthday and 9 is Adrianne’s (which happens to be my son’s exact birthday 20 years apart ) but that’s not the point of the story – when I edited the photos my heart literally skipped a beat when I noticed the tiny little house number in this photo. It was just beyond coincidental.. or  not?

Shani Barel Photogrpahy



June 6, 2013 - 12:40 pm

leonie Barel - 239 on the house! oh wow!
The photos are gorgeous!

January 7, 2014 - 5:00 pm

Karen D - Wow, what a coincidence! The in-the-moment shots of them playing basketball are super cute :)

January 8, 2014 - 11:04 am

Edith - Love how edgy these pictures are!

January 8, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Julia Holding - What a fun couple! So many fun shots great job.

January 8, 2014 - 6:28 pm

Katie Jackson - cute shoot! Looks like fun!

January 24, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Jaqueline faria - what a cute engagement session. I love an engagement session with a dog!

Coral tree Cafe

When I first moved to America, and settled in Los Angeles, I thought the last place I would live is the VALLEY… I had only heard about the Valley from Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills 90210, the original…(which I always had to fight my brothers who wanted to watch Star Trek and I always lost and there was no tivo or internet, and I am not even sure we had a VCR or that I knew how to use it… ) ANYWAYS…I did end up in the valley after all… two kids will do that to you, and to my surprise I realised that the valley is actually the best kept secret that valley people keep from city folks who look down at us provincials beyond the 405 and we let them conitnue believing that fighting traffic, looking for parking, and having to shop at city Target is THE LIFE… The San Fernando has unbelievably beautiful pockets to live in, but the main drag, the longest street in Los Angeles, Ventura Blvd, is plainly said, CHARMLESS.. when we drive down the blvd we cant help but repeating our “no charm” mantra… but every few blocks or so there’s a little piece of my past life in the city which is defined by sitting at a cafe – not a diner, not a restaurant and not a starbucks, but a combination of them all. One of the favorites is just down the street and boasts, and I agree an amazing coffee (however, not the best Soy Latte, eeww..) amazing salads, free wifi and great ambiance. one of my favorite memories here  are attempting get my dad to lunch here – he took one look at the menu and begged me to go to a diner… my dad’s famous for his strict diet of meat and potatoes and his dislike of any green garnishes, let alone salad touching his plate… I, on the other hand am vegetarian – so I can eat almost every dish ont he menu and it is SO delicious! So you can understand my delight when I got to photograph my hangout in the valley. And if you want a recommendation – the Kale salad, hands down!

Alex’s Bat Mitzvah Mini Sneak Peek

Alex celebrates her Bat Mitzvah at CAP in Studio City

I am importing Alex’s images from her party last night into my Lightroom Catalgue… it takes some time to be able to view all the images I captured, so in the mean time, I can’t resist going to the first images to see how gorgeous she looked in the beginning of the night at CAP , in her Nordstrom dress, and her Drybar  hair do,  those legs that never end, and a general lightness of being a teen! I mean seriously!!!

Alex, bat Mitzvah Girl showing off her gorgeous dress, from Nordstrom
Alex showing off her Bat Mitzvah dress on the red carpet

Efrat Dor

This is Efrat Dor – a naturally gorgeous Israeli actress who was visting LA for a few months for Pilot Season. She had just had a baby 3 months before, (at home !) and to top the list of qualities and accomplishments, I can attest to her niceness too! SO we had a great time going from Beverly Hills that represented AMERICA to Santa Monica, that represented Efrat .. and a long the way we borrowed a skateboard, a couch and an assistant. Some of these photos were published in the paper, and as soon as I have a PDF I will add that to the post….In the mean time – I wan to thank the people who helped – Keri Cottom for hair and makeup, Sandra for the styling (and the car, the food and the assistant…)  Gabriel S for the knits and white jeans (and leather hat) and for Gypsy05 for the sundress and bag…you know, the ones you barely see, but truly appreciate all the same)

April 20, 2013 - 9:46 pm

leonie Barel - OMG what amazing photos! She is indeed beautiful!

from here to there

The people who’ve known me in the past 10 years, dont know that I spent the first thirty years of my life somewhat as a wonderer, rootless, always on the move kind of gal – until I came to the states, I hadn’t lived in one home for more than two years – no, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds, no foster care, nor was I a military brat.. it just happened. Partly for my dad’s work, partly random circumstances, partly parents divorcing, partly school.. etc… I remember  as a kid, moving to a new school yet again, at second grade, meeting kids that had known each other since preschool…who lived in the same neighborhood, and of course, once I moved again, left them behind, only to reunite with some of them in high school, or on facebook, and one even turned out to live but a few miles from here…but at the end of the day – my best friends growing up were my brother and our cousins – they were the constant kids in our lives, and while we are now spread all over the world  – and most of us have kids of our own – we pick up the conversation we we left it like a million years ago. So now that I have lived in the states for 12 years, and in my current home (and neighborhood and city and state and continent) for a whole full  7 years, it feel strange when people move away. I am so used to it being me the one moving. And now I am the one feeling left behind. But with the same feeling of being left out and others enjoying a wonderful adventure, I have learned to embrace the security of knowing, that I live here, and plan to live here for a while.  (one down side of staying in one place for more than one year is the stuff you dont get rid of – honestly, I have no idea how my parents packed and unpacked our lives every two years, without living out of boxes, and always making our home feel like we’ve always lived there – but one thing we never had was clutter!) Anyway, having lived in one place for long enough, I’ve actually made friends, and have had friends move away… and thanks to my job, I get to see some of them at least once a year.. so my dear friends and supporters, who even after moving away, make sure to keep me in their hearts and I get to connect with them in the purest of ways that I know – by photographing them and creating our visual memory, that with time, becomes the actual memory.


Malibu bluffs photography by shani barel - mom holding boy, dad holding daughter
Malibu Portrait photography a travel in time - a daughter and mother looks almost the same
Malibu Portrait photography - boy hiding behind parents leg
Malibu Portrait photography - mom and daughter with dad and kids
family in a field - Malibu Portrait photography

personal cookies

A facebook friend asked today “The question is how do you balance it? Business, a job and personal work? When was the last time you shot for you? Was it planned or spur of the moment?”  The short version of my answer was, I dont balance it – and when was the last time I did ANYTHING for myself???  it’s been years! I dont even know what shooting for myself means really… or what did it ever mean? What is personal work anyway? The most personal thing I can share in public right now are my children, and they are not always the responsive to my requests for photo time, in fact, I rarely do, which goes to answer the question in the first place …. I am so swamped with keeping up with work, personal photos just take a back seat, and if it weren’t for my mom wo literally lives for these photo-bites I would probably never edit them if I even shot them in the first place… which is sad, since kids, and grown up LOVE looking at albums… the kids grown up so fast that we have to look back from tune to time … anyway.. after my knoll shoot in Orange County there were cookies left over…. and of course I had to take a personal moment and photograph this, literally  sweet Sunday morning…

February 12, 2013 - 2:37 am

leonie Barel - Beautiful shots of kids and Cookies – and the best part are the closeups of the kids of course. LOOK AT THOSE EYELASHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Shani, yes I wait for the photos and they go straight into the heart!

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