This and That

Random bits of my life

Brit Mila

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 7, 2010

Tiny Foot

This morning I photographed a brit mila (circumcision). It got off to a fast start —I had just showered, logged on to check my email, and found a message from the father of the baby suggesting that I turn up at 6:45 a.m. It was 6:15 a.m. and I had been planning to arrive at 7, the announced time.  I dried my hair, ate breakfast at high speed, and ran up the hill (almost a mile) to the house. Did you know that a brisk walk while carrying 3 kilos of camera gear is a pretty good cardio workout?

Of course it was too early, but it gave me enough time to check out the lighting situation and to grab a cup of coffee. The lighting was tricky because the living room was illuminated by patio doors facing northeast and the sun was very bright, so please  ignore those blown-out highlights in the windows, folks. There was very little room to manoeuver, so I often had to resort to using the wide angle focal lengths because I couldn’t back up enough to get people in the frame. But I think it went well. I hope they like the photos.

– Update – Duh! Just realised today (June 8  ) that I forgot to post a picture of the baby! Here’s the star of the show:


I was lucky that Chana came out near the end of the reception. I took a few portrait shots in the shade outside the front door.

Brit Mila

At the beginning, the baby is handed from person to person, until it reaches the father.

Brit mila

In the next photo, the father is about to hand the baby to the mohel (circumciser).

Brit Mila

The baby’s paternal grandfather was the sandek and held the baby during the actual circumcision:

Brit Mila

Dancing in very close quarters. The mohel is holding the baby in this shot below:

Brit Mila

Canon 450D (Rebel XSi), 18-55mm IS kit lens, and Speedlite 580 EXII.

More photos on my Flickr set here.


9 Responses to “Brit Mila”

  1. Miriyummy said

    Lovely photos, I love how you captured the serenity on the mother’s face. BTW, we alway had Jonny on call to be the mohel at my sons’ britot, but the britot were always smachot bat. He helped us celebrate all the same.

  2. Mike said

    Avital, we want to send you to alternate universes and different dimensions where our other memories reside so you can photograph those somewhat retroactively, too!!!

    We can’t thank you enough!!!

  3. bryna lee said

    Hi Avital,
    Yasher Koach!
    Love the pictures, and I am so glad to have gotten out of your way. Great shots. And sorry we didn’t get to get acquainted since you were busy recording the event, but I trust we will continue to meet for smachot.

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Thanks, Bryna! I knew I’d seen you before but didn’t know your name. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog. Rak besmachot!

  4. Tehillah said

    Boker Tov Avital!

    Thank you for capturing the event that we were unfortunately unable to attend. You did an incredible job! I hope to meet you when we return to Ma’ale Adumim.

    Kol Tuv,

  5. Yitzi and Sara Lefkowitz said


    Beautiful photos, Mazal Tov to all. Wish we could have been there!

    Yitzi and Sara Lefkowitz

  6. zvi aaron koff said

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Mazel Tov!
    Zvi and Feige Koff

  7. pam said

    Avital! I knew you would be brilliant! You really did a great job of capturing this important family and cultural tradition! But I have to say that my absolute favorites are the shot of the little foot and the profile of Mom and babe. Beautiful portraits.

    Mike paid you the ultimate compliment above. What a lovely thing to say and I am sure he meant it. No doubt you will be capturing more celebrations for this family!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: