orit harpaz [photographer]

Documenting the beautiful metamorphosis of individuals into families, women into mothers, men into fathers, and children into their own little people is at the heart of Orit Harpaz's photography.

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Mariee Constance Drury. I came to love this crazy, zany lady over 2 years time when we first met in 2010. She lived across the street from me and my family. She was sick with cancer. She was not married nor had any children. We became her family.

There were days she’d burst into song…”Oh do you know the muffin man, the muffin man who lives on Drury Lane.” She told me that song was about her family.

We grew close fast and in her good days, we would walk down the block to the nail salon and get manicures and coffee at the local Starbucks. We would go grocery shopping at Trader Joes and I would take her to her doctor appointments. No matter where we went, she chatted with everyone. She was always friendly and outgoing.

On her bad days proceeding a chemo session, I would bring her chicken soup (like the Jewish mother that I am). I would bring her books from the library and make runs to the pharmacy.

She was an independant woman for many years. Not so much by choice, but circumstance made it so. Her biggest regrets, she would tell me, was never getting married or having children. But she had friends that became her family. She was part of mine.

Marie infected me with her kindness, her smiles, her sense of humor and her beautiful spirit. I am grateful to have known her for the few years that she came into my life. She taught me about compassion, humor and that family can have many definitions.

She has touched my heart and will live on in my memories always.

Mariee Constance Drury died Septmeber 22, 2012

Upcoming family portrait day!  Get your holiday portraits early- they make great gifts!

Upcoming family portrait day!  Get your holiday portraits early- they make great gifts!

I’ve known Michelle since high school. We spent a year in Israel at the same boarding school our junior year. It’s always endearing to see someone you’ve known in their youth be in such a wonderful place in their life. Her smile when she looked at her daughter was filling for everyone. We were all for that moment in time, affected by her little girls pure joyfulness.

What a lovely and charming family! The 3 older siblings are enjoying their new one year old sister. No competition for attention between these brothers and sisters. Bella’s got everyone’s attention right where she wants it. Mom and dad are beaming with joy from the smiles that adorn beautiful Bella’s sweet face.

It was my first time meeting sweet Lily but I’ve known her dad since he was just a little older than her. His big sister and I have been best friends since junior year of high school. We go way back. It was very meaningful to create these beautiful memories for The Ellenson Family. They are moving to Seattle in a few months and starting a new chapter in their life. I’m going to miss them but new adventures await!

Oh, The Ziman Family is like a familiar sweet scent that conjures up fond memories. I’ve been documenting this family consistently for 9 years. I am not just photographer and they subjects. We have a symbiotic creative relationship in making the images together documenting each stage, hobby and creative outlet.  Their family has grown from 4 humans to a menagerie of animals. Sabina (the dog) wins for most photogenic out of the bunch…

I love these photos!!! This gorgeous family was so much fun! We went to the beach on a beautiful sunny 72 degree Saturday morning in January (how lucky are we??). They were so stylish in their whites and gold, had genuine beautiful smiles and just knew how to have a good time.

A few weeks ago I went to Portland, Oregon to visit my friend, Heidi, who moved up there 6 moths ago with her family. I fell in love with the moss covered tree in her side yard. It looked like it came straight out of a fairy tale. So we went with the theme…

And I present to you the fairest of them all…Queen Heidi…

This is my first published interview about the business of family portrait photography. I am honored to be included amongst a group of other talented women in the niche of family portrait photography.

My son and I met our friends last Friday at Leo Carillo Beach hoping to explore the tide pools. We got there at high tide so the tide pools were covered but we did find a really cool cave and found starfish, mussels and sea anenomes. I couldn’t take my camera into the cave because the water was too high. But I did manage to get a few portraits on the sand…

I had the privilege of documenting Olivia. At 14 years old, her confidence and maturity are in tact. As a talented dancer, she carries herself with grace and poise. I’ve known Olivia since she was 7 years old and to witness her grow into a beautiful and blossoming young lady, is such a joy.

Thank you to the talented Heidi Cicero for costume and styling!

from mama & me portrait day on April 21st, 2013

The sun peeked out from the clouds as the Box-O’Malley Family walked along the path to the secluded spot up the hill from the famous Griffith Park carousel. 5 year old Jameson was outgoing and talkative while his younger brother, Conner, was a bit shy and apprehensive at first. And then there was 5 month old Zoe. A sweet and observant baby who warmed up to me pretty quickly. I had the joy of documenting this family twice before. When mom, Laurene, was my son’s kindergarten teacher and she was pregnant with Conner. And then again when Conner was 5 months old. I love watching families grow and expand. I love the expansiveness of family.







My First Family

These photos are of my family. My dad was the family photographer. With camera always in hand, he documented my childhood so intently and prolifically that it felt as if no moment was ever missed. As I grew older, I resented having the camera share my special moments. I covered my face and made silly faces at the camera.

But now, as an adult and with a child of my own, the appreciation for these photos, for these mementos of my history, runs deep in my veins. So much so, that I have made it my life’s work to document those special moments for other families . Yes, it’s more planned and sometimes posed, but I try to recreate that feeling I have every time I see a photo with my parents and siblings. That intimacy that only a mother and father have with their child. That love that permeates from family.

Now as adults, my siblings and I don’t speak much nor rarely spend time together. We live in three different states, have our own lives and families. The threads that held us together as children have frayed with the passing of time. But there are always the photos to look at, to reminisce about and to find comfort in what once was.

The beautiful Ziman Family has a small farm in the heart of urban Los Angeles. Two handsome sons, Sabina the bulldog, Bhutan and Tigo the parrots, Cheech the tortoise, Easter the bunny, and 5 chickens, Carmela, Carmelita, La Preciosa, The Golden Goose and Pippi. Who needs a partridge in a Pear Tree?

A very special family…