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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Doggy Style

Through the years I have personally created less and less holiday cards, because there are just wonderful templates on different sites that really do a great job with their design and printing… but I still have some clients who cannot just order off a site, using my digital files, since a whole products is made from stat to finish – the idea, the shoot, the design and the putting it all together… This was the second time I have photographed this family of kid and dogs, and this time I knew what I was stepping into and I came prepared. Making sure I bring the most important tool, besides the camera,  the tripod! I know I can get the five dogs to behave at the same time.. ( MUUUHHHAAAAA) but the kid? no way! Mom had told me that she was getting an elf suit and antlers for the dogs.. the rest was up to me… so when I got to the top of the driveway and saw this little Mercedes I knew exactly what the shot was going to be, and then I got to work. Based on last year, I knew it would work so much better to photograph each dog separately – and the kid too. Once I got a shot of the boy that I thought would work, you know – kids only give us about 5 minutes… it was to the dogs.. and yup – lots of moving, yelling, begging and bribing…  lots of cookies, and then just hope and prayers that I can put it all together…..I have done this in the past with my mother’s day cards, so experience played into that too…so I posted here the different images I used and what it looks like in photoshop… and of course – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 

But of course, pushing this kid to his limits is part of the fun, there was one more set of him opening the door, and one more int he car inside.. because, hey, we don’t stop till they cry! JUST KIDDING!!!!

Back East

So I had a million reasons to go east – but the main one was that I wanted to – get away – from the heat, from work, from home… to see what the other side looks like in the most beautiful season of the year – Fall, Autumn, not WINTER!!!! so i hopped on a plane, finding out just the day before how to even get into town, where to go… I got there so early in the morning, Starbucks was just opening up – and yeah, it tastes the same inBoston as it does in LA, the sun was just getting up, the birds were singing and wasn’t really that cold.

Anyways – that was last week – and now we’re back in the hot summer even in October so these are just cold long ago memories…

October 26, 2015 - 9:34 pm

Leonie - Ooh these are so beautiful !! Tempting me away from this land of extreme contrasts… To where there are seasons, water, quiet, and peace. A taste of something so in balance. At least so it appears

Andaz Hotel Bat Mitzvah in Hollywood

Hollywood is all about Glitz and Glamour, as it should be… so even though I had to sew Sofia’s red dress minutes before we were about to start shooting – to keep the show going  – I do what I need to do… The Andaz Hotel is quite the cool event hotel to host a fun, modern Bat Mitzvah party – and it’s quite close to TIOH where Sofia had her actual Bat Mitzvah services the same morning and if my memory serves me right – she did fabulously….or at least looked like she did, because after all – it is hollywood…


Pink Bat Mitvzah

When I think of a perfect Bat Mitzvah night, I think of this party – I didn’t even show everything that was going on that day – there were floral head bands being made, there were socks and hats being sprayed, there was her door from home to be signed on, there were lots of people, appetizers, dancers, kids, grandparents, lights, music, candy, videos, confetti… and a girl – lovely Rylee was sweet, poised, and having the time of her life – and based on the speeches that were made that night and from what I had gotten to know Rylee at her portraits session – she’s a lovely lucky girl, and as pick as can be.

Thanks to Dana Bresin for putting it all together at El Caballero Country Club



Bat Mitzvah Portrait – what does it take?

As time goes by I lear, that diamonds are not the girl’s best friend, but the hair dryer is. Hair is one of those Make or break things in life ( Ok, I exaggerate – it’s not important  in LIFE, but it sure makes a girl look good on her photo shoot) so what DOES it take to have a successful bat Mitzvah portraits session? Well, in life, as in my shoots I think anything goes – but in shoots, like in LIFe the more prepared one is, the better things go – butI also know that as prepared as one is – we always have to leave room for chance and also for things to go wrong…because sometimes things run late, sometimes the preparations take too long, sometimes we cant decide and sometimes…things just happen. I’m saying it now because on this day not everything went as planned – but in the end everything went right – and it all started with a great blow dry – because, as feminist and progressive as I am – I still think a good hair day is all it takes!!!!

September 2, 2015 - 9:07 am

Leonie - Beautiful. Yup, I think it’s all about preparing well and then letting go so things happen, not being too stuck in the plan….

Time Flies when you’re having fun

As part of my “Going back in time series” or Throw Back Thursday ( that can really happen any day – if I am blogging, who can wait till NEXT Thursday…) Anyways, as part of my catching up on blogging after months of not doing so… I look back at one of my favorite sets of kids – I have photographed them a few times over the years but haven’t always blogged about it – but here’s an example from 2011  while this is from late 2014 (yeah yeah – that’s why it’s a Throw Back) and look how much they’ve grown – it’s just part of why I love photography (maybe it’s time for a 10 reasons why I love photography…I hear THAT’s good for site traffic) I am just envious of their mom for having such great photos! Maybe I should talk to my kids about doing that some time soon!


I thought I would spend my summer catching up on all the blog posts I always wanted to post and never had the time for – but guess what? Summer on vacation with the kids is probably the worst time to catch up on anything except for beach time… so a day before the kids go back to school and they’re spending some time with their friends and the kitchen has been cleaned – I took a  the few moments to look for a favorite session of Eva from a while back – and here it is – Eva – one of these moms who ooze COOL.. she’s a graphic designer, a yoga teacher and a stylist ( clothing stylist – not the hair kind…) and that’s just the outside stuff .. she’s also raising two beautiful girl and a husband who creates awesome art ( so I guess he’s an artist…) So – here’s my unofficial back to school post

August 17, 2015 - 1:19 pm

Tracy - This is gorgeous Shani! I just might need to do a studio session with you at some point … ;)

August 17, 2015 - 2:06 pm

shani - Tracy – That would be so much fun!

Oui, J’adore Paris!

So this post should be en Francais, but it’s just not as good as it used to be ( my French that is )  – but it’s funny, how without even realizing it – we shot this session on the anniversary of The Eiffel Tower opening… I didn’t know it was that day, nor did I know it would be a somewhat Parisian themed shoot, nor did I know that this girl is lucky enough to be spending the summer in paris , or I would have brought some macaroons… but since this mini Eiffel Tower will be displayed at her Bat Miztvah at the Bistro Garden coming up – we just had to drag it outside  and get a few photos with it (it doesnt fit inside the house… it’s an eiffel tower after all)- and those suitcases lying around n the living room containing mom’s papers? yes, bring those out too! We just gathered what we had and cooked ourselves a French je ne sais quoi!

April 2, 2015 - 9:34 am

leonie barel - Oui. J’adore les photos!!!

April 2, 2015 - 10:56 am

Nicolette Moku Photography - I love the Paris theme and your cute little touches of details! The tulips in the air is so cute!! Great shots!

April 2, 2015 - 9:11 pm

paulina - love this concept!! the ones of her in the chevron outfit are darling! =)

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