'What I Shot - What I Got': Kid Stuff!

November 9, 2017

After a holiday haitus, we're back with images and thoughts, tips and mentoring on professional Smartphone and DSLR photography:

 

Loved getting these candid shots at a recent family event, known as a "halake," or "upshurin," a traditional celebration marking and inculcating a three-year-old Jewish boy's entry into daily mitzvot rituals and deeds. 

Held at the compound of 2nd cent. rabbinic sage, Shimon bar-Yohai, in Meron, Israel, the joyous events include donning a ritual fringed garment, known as a talit katan and reciting the Shma...  

Allowing family members and friends to take turns snipping off small locks of hair off his head (...which is later barbered), symbolically marking a new stage of adherence to traditions in his young life... 

Licking drops of honey off of his finger, daubed one-by-one, upon the letters of the Hebrew alef-bet, allowing him to literally taste the sweetness of study... 

And sharing the first-ever experience of giving tzdeka charity, and joining friends in taking part in the simple, yet profound act. 

While the ancient synagogue and cenotaph compound is usually a hectic site, full of hurrying worshipers and visitors...  

There are moments when the magical serenity and sacred space are palpable...

I shot most of the family's series nearby at a smaller, railed - off covered outdoor area overlooking hills, to limit visual and logistical distractions and to allow family and friends to fully focus on the ceremony.

Like any shoot featuring small kids, preparation - including a nap, changes of clothes and snacks and drinks on hand, and a pre-discussed rough shot plan - all make for a much smoother and effective use of time, and allows the photographer and parents to focus on the magic moments, and less on stressful "kid-wrangling."