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Meet Sherman Oaks Photographer: Orit Harpaz

Image credit: Gal Harpaz

Today we’d like to introduce you to the ultra-cool Orit Harpaz.

Orit, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an LA native. Photography is in my genes. My dad is a camera technician and a hobbyist photographer. He owned a camera store for 15 years on Beverly Blvd. He taught me the importance of preserving memories through the photograph.

I started out as a wedding photographer while going to The University of Las Vegas, Nevada. After too many crazy brides and Elvis impersonators, I moved back to LA and started taking photos of my friend’s kids which quickly evolved into family portraits. I loved it! Kids are so authentic with their emotions. Capturing that on film felt meaningful. Moments cherished by a family and their future generations. What drives me is the intimacy of human connection. Documenting the beautiful metamorphosis of individuals into couples, women into mothers, men into fathers, and children into their own little people is at the heart of my photography. Photographs help us remember the moments we might otherwise forget. They are remnants of our history and identity. Those moments are so precious and go by in a blink of an eye and not only do photographs preserve those memories, a really good and beautiful photograph can help us see ourselves and our families with more clarity. I am a self-proclaimed “visual family historian.” A memory keeper.

Has it been a smooth road?
Running a successful business and being an artist are two parts of the brain that sometimes contradict one another. I had to learn that my talent and creativity has value and how that translates into creating a financially rewarding career. It took years to hone in on my style, to find my voice behind the work. Sometimes my clients have a pre-conceived idea of their ideal family portrait. Working with young children has taught me that the moments between the posing of that ideal portrait are actually the ones that people are their most true selves. I just keep shooting even when they don’t think I am and those make for the best images.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is working freelance from home. I don’t keep regular work hours. Working from home is wonderful on many levels but it forces me to be more disciplined in my work ethic. Keeping the harmonious balance between my work life and my home life (I have a 12-year-old son and a husband who is a freelance photo lighting director) I find to be quite challenging at times.

How do you define success?
My definition of success is being true to myself, loving my work and being optimistic even in dark times. To keep growing, despite the failures. To feel that I have spent my time in such a way that affects others positively is a good measure of success.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
One of my future plans is to start on a personal project photographing portraits of women in the U.S. who have been surrogate mothers. I myself was a surrogate 2011. I am fascinated by the many different reasons women decide to become surrogates and the many different ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of this population. I am also in the process of expanding my portfolio of work to include more lifestyle, commercial and editorial photography so as to expand my business and clientele.

Contact Info:

 

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1 Comment

  1. SKY

    September 14, 2016 at 03:42

    Phenomenal woman, photographer and friend! By far my favorite photographer, I use her for all of my HEADSHOTS and all of my ART. Great images.

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