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

Masthead header

Inbar Lavi

This was months ago, maybe even more – actually probably a year ago – up and coming Inbar Lavi was starring in aFOX TV show and a story was being written about her for the Israeli Newspaper I’ve been freelancing for since I moved to Los Angeles – Yedioth Achronot… so these have been published  on the other side of the world and are JUST seeing the first blog light of day in my TBT series … hair and make up was by Kari Cottom and Inbar Lavi was able to secure a top notch fashion Stylist Marissa Peden witht he help of her assistant Alex Schmidt. The gorgeous gowns were from Lorena Sarbu Couture Georges Chakra Couture and the jewelry from XIV Karats,  Roseark, Jacquie Aiche



Pink Spring Snail Mail

in search of connecting with bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Planners and coordinators
I know, that if you’re reading this 0 you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in front of the computer – or on your smart phone… processing byte after byte of information – words, images, thumbs up, likes, validations, informations, ideas and so much more. and as fun and exciting it is to like an image on instagram , or adding cool images to your pinterest board – I still love getting the mail – the snail mail – the one that comes in the real mail box, the one I can open with my bare hands – admire the stamp, look at the address – because  I know that if it arrived int he mail – it must be special…so when I decided to send out a real snail mail card – and hopefully – you got one – and want to receive more – every few weeks – all related to the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah photography work I do – and want to do more of… because that’s a big part of what I do…and I love it – and I love envelopes, stamps and all things paper!


Los Angeles wedding photography

I’ve known Lisa since my early days in LA, I think we got along from the first day we met –  and once we realized we shared the same birthday, we also knew why -we share the same humor sensibilities, living on the edge of cynicism…and recently, a love for bowling…Lisa embraced me into her circle of wisdom and optimism and it was no surprise that when Dan met her – (online. people – ONLINE!) there was no way he was letting go…the ceremony was  beautiful heartfelt and the party full of friends (that I actually knew) it was fun, funny and fantastic. Lisa and Dan – congratulations on this new chapter in your life!

Los Angeles wedding photography
Los Angeles wedding photography
Los Angeles wedding photography
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel
Los Angeles wedding photography by Shani Barel

Downtown Los Angeles Family Photography

I have been photographing this mom and daughter since 2009… and instead of meeting at her beautiful home in Orange County ( these links are TWO examples of previous shoots) … we decided to meet ( between rain and traffic) in Downtown LA.. well – less driving and more excitement? I’m in.! I didn’t know downtown La could be so peaceful on a Sunday Afternoon ( just before Xmas) and I was utterly smitten by the Urban feel I so lack up here in the Valley… We were joined by sister and cousins for a grand family shot – not an easy task with a crawling baby on a wet dirty floor… and true to myself I skipped the smiling photos and stared deep into these kids’ eyes – and they stare just back!

March 12, 2015 - 1:27 pm

Victoria - What a beautiful family! Loving mom’s dress in this session as well.

March 31, 2015 - 1:28 pm

Kristine Marie - Awesome mother and daughter session. I love that backdrop!


When I went to Israel in January, I was overdue for  a vacation, an escape, a rejuvenation, a time out, an adventure, a break. I took no computers. and no cameras. OK – I did take a camera – my Black and White “film” camera – I explained about it here ( in short – I took my old, Canon 5D, set it to Manual,  B&W, JPG Large, 28 mm lens with a polarizing filter – and used black gaffer’s tape to hide  the screen on the back of the camera so I couldn’t see the result…) it’s my vacation camera- and it brings me back to the way I used to take pictures – not knowing what they’d look like until i developed them. It makes me slow down, and it makes me take one photo instead of 5 that look exactly the same. Anyways… while I was there – I met with my friend Lilac who was curating an art show titled “Abroad” or in hebrew- חוצלארץ. And she saw one of my images from here and asked if it could participate. I tried to be cool about it but inside I was YES, THEY LIKE ME, THEY REALLY LIKE ME! so I participated in an art show – my first one since graduating Art School. I had the best time visiting home – and I spent a few days as a tourist in my own town. I didn’t get the camera out much – but ion a couple of mornings I took a bicycle along the boardwalk and stopped to snap some shots. And even though I was Home, it made me feel like I was Abroad. Here’s the result.

and here’s an online blurb that used my image– yup – that’s my name down there on the bottom right.

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!~

March 4, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Kristine Marie - What a fun lifestyle session! Can’t help but smile looking through these. Oh to be a kid again!

March 4, 2015 - 8:44 pm

ericka g. - Awesome photos! I love how you can tell so much about her through these photos. Great job!

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!!!

F a c e b o o k
F r i e n d