A journey in imagery

A journey in imagery

Tammy Lieberman Photography


I met the Kolin family for a maternity session when mom-to-be, Sigal, was 30 weeks pregnant. She came along with her husband and spritely 2-year old daughter Gaya for an intimate home shoot.  It was tough to decide who was the star of the show - gorgeous Sigal with her perfect belly, or little Gaya with her bouncing red curls and captivating smile!

Below: Gaya puts on a movement and dance performance for the camera. So cute!

Playing 'aeroplane' on mom's feet

Below: When Sigal was expecting Gaya in Israel, she had a Little Miss Sunshine sketched on her belly - who appears in her previous maternity photographs. It was a cute idea to carry the theme through as she waits for Mr. Happy!












Pregnant and in love - capturing intimate moments...

My turn to paint on mom's tummy ...
Love these moments of intense concentration
Fun in the garden (its winter in Joburg by the way!!)
More magic moments

There's a little boy on the way..

Exhausted family!

a.y.k. brand launches in Hyde Park Corner

My beautiful and talented friend Liora has embarked on another entrepreneurial venture with the launch of the flagship a.y.k store in Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg. The clothes are stylish and edgy, with just enough of a unique twist to make them unique, yet completely wearable. The new store is modern and elegant, with a welcoming atmosphere that is enhanced by the personal service provided by Liora and her store managers. Seriously, a not-to-be-missed shopping experience for any Joburg-based fashionista.


Here are a few images of the store and her current winter items:




























































Its mid-winter in Joburg, and although its sunny and pleasant, everything is so dry, so its not easy to find good venues for outdoor family shoots. Needless to say, when I met the Moodley family at Delta Park last week, their love and laughter brought warmth and energy to the sparse winter environment.




This was my first all-kids-no-adults shoot - and although it was a little daunting (I wasnt sure how they would all stay in place!) - they were amazingly cooperative, beautiful children and we all had a total blast :-)
Meet brothers Ethan & Jarrod, twins Daniel & Gabriel and their sisters Amy and Mia, and brothers Dean & Zach...on a beautiful sunny winter's afternoon in Joburg.

Gorgeous, sunny winter in Jozi


The littlest of the lot!






Sometimes I get the opportunity to meet a family where the love and energy is completely infectious. This makes my job as a photographer such a pleasure - and I can't help smiling every time I look at these images of Refilwe, Gino, baby Keitumetse and her devoted Aunt Lillian.







































































































I was privileged to have the opportunity to shoot The South African Ballet Theatre in rehearsal for their tour of 'Balletomania!' to Muscat in February 2012. The rehearsal took place in a light, industrial space overlooking downtown Braamfontein in Central Johannesburg. There was so much to take in - the breathtaking dancers, ballet shoes worn from practice, and the music...Add to this the beat of the African Drum courtesy of Drum Cafe Joburg - and it became a sensory experience I won't forget soon. Here are some of my favourite images of the day:



























































































A bris (brit milah) is the Jewish circumcision ceremony performed on 8-day old male infants. Its a time of joy, of tears and of love - and has become a ritual of welcoming the new baby into the community. I've had the opportunity to shoot a couple of bris ceremonies over the past couple months, and one which was was truly moving was the bris of baby Ketz, first born son to Michael and Dalya.


Ive posted some of the shots which for me, capture the ritual and emotion of the day:




















Above left: 4-year old Ben waits eagerly for his new cousin to arrive

Above right: Tiny baby Ketz fast asleep in his car seat











The blue and silver 'tall it" that covers the baby on his bris cushion



























An adoring mom and dad










The decor




















Above left: The bris table and prayer card

Above right: The embroidered cover placed over the baby


Dad whispers the baby's name into the rabbi's ear




















To life! Lechaim!









The men


SWAK X visits New York City

For the past few years, I've been taking photos of Liora Katz's range of delicate, cutting-edge jewellery - marketed under the banner of SWAKx (www.swakx.com). What's truly remarkable about this jewellery is that it's handmade by vulnerable young women, many affected by HIV / AIDS. A percentage of annual profit is also donated to the Tomorrow Trust.

Recently, Liora raised money to take 3 of her employees along to the New York International Gift Fair to launch a division of the company in the US. I was asked to shoot the images which would be used on the stand at the jewellery fair. The shoot was creative and focused on the small details that ultimately comprise the beautiful whole that is SWAKx. These are some of the shots that were assembled to create the final stand which can be seen at the end of this post.











































Jack's mom called me a couple of weeks back to request a significant photo shoot with her almost-3-year old son, Jack. You see, in Jewish tradition, a little boy's 3-year old birthday represents a turning point in his intellectual development. This transition is marked with a ceremony called an 'upsherin', where the child's hair is cut for the first time. This would be Jack's very first haircut, and his mom wanted to capture Jack with his long golden locks before the big day. These are some of the images of Jack and his family:








































































































This post comes a lot later than it should, but in some ways it seems apt to blog about my undisputed favourite job of the year as 2011 draws to a close. When I was approached by the Smollan Group's marketing company, the Walnut Office, a few months ago to undertake some photographic work, I immediately assumed the usual corporate portrait shoot, or maybe a year-end event. Turns out this job was something a lot bigger, and more meaningful than anything like that.


Smollan Group funds a number of CSI outreach programmes which have been thoughtfully chosen and which are diverse in their offerings. They include schools and facilities for underpriveleged and handicapped children, orphanages and an AIDS hospice and awareness centre. Smollan had decided to put together a 2012 calendar depicting the work undertaken in these centres, and I was the lucky photographer selected for the job. The shoot was intensive and involved visits to six venues across Gauteng, where I was accompanied and supported by charismatic driver, Brian.


I've captured my moving journey in a series of 2 posts, starting with my trip to the EYETHU school for physically and mentally disabled children in Soweto. I arrived at Eyethu with no expectations, and left with a sense of overwhelming awe in the beauty and openness of the children (many of whom are very seriously disabled), and the dedication and love which is poured upon them by their teachers and care workers. I also left hoping that my photographs would do justice to my experience at Eyethu. Here are some of the shots I captured:




Joy in Art






















These teachers should have wings - in my opinion, these are the real-life angels.



Some of the older kids. From toddlers to teenagers - all are included at Eyethu.
































My next stop, later the same day was at CHRIST CHURCH Care Centre in Hillbrow. Christ Church is an orphanage with a Christian ethos that focuses on taking care of abandoned children and this affected by HIV/AIDS. Children at Christ Church get a warm bed to sleep in, nurturing, food and homework supervision - all the things required to live happy, functional lives. My favorite image from Christ Church is the last one - the shoes which lined the wall of one of the girls' rooms.




Tea time in the boys dorm



The girls' dormitory



Hands (and feet)






















Playing in the courtyard, late afternoon




My next visit, later that week was to IKAGENG - a community-based organization in Soweto which provides services to over 2000 children who are affected by HIV/AIDS by offering lessons, counseling, household food baskets and other support services. Most of the kids were writing exams when we visited, but i was really captivated by the Ikageng art studio which exemplifies a true community model. Ikageng provides the space, and art materials to Soweto-based artists, and in return these artists give art lessons to children in the community. Wouldn't it be great if this model was applied more broadly in our country?




One of the artists in Ikageng's art studio and below, some of his work























Another artist, and a very cool giant snake artwork made from recycled car parts and tyres



If you enjoyed this post, read on in 'Reaching Out - Part 2'.


This is the 2nd post in a series which captures 'my favourite job of 2011' - the Smollan Group CSI Calendar shoot. In visiting a number of the outreach programmes supported by the Smollan Group, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from inspiring men, women and children and to capture these experiences in photographs. In my first post, I shared images from the Eyethu school for disabled children, the Christ Church care centre and Ikageng community centre. In this 2nd and final post, I'll take you with me to two very special schools, and an AIDS organisation that is having a most significant impact in Brits peri-urban township.


THUSHANANG is a pre-primary school and early child development centre which operates from a church hall in Belgravia, Joburg. The children at Thushanang were hugely enthusiastic and very cooperative, and we managed to set up some pretty nice shots with smaller groups. Here are some of the Thushanang kids:


Kids in the courtyard





















Play time

Putting the pieces together

After Thushanang, driver Brian and I made our way a bit further afield, beyond Brits, to the MABOLOKA AIDS Hospice and Awareness Centre. Maboloka has two separate structures. The first is the hospice, which accommodates patients who are in the very serious stages of illness. This was easily the most emotionally stressful shoot, for it is very difficult to find hope amongst those who are so ill. Maboloka's second structure functions as an AIDS / HIV awareness and community centre, and here young people are given the opportunity to express themselves through art, music and sport. In this centre, I was able to find joy and hope in abundance.











Above: Maboloka Hospice

Below: Maboloka Awareness Centre

Our final stop was NOKUPHILA - a community service organization and pre-school in the Kwa-Thema region. The Nokuphila staff and teachers are simply amazing and manage the school impeccably - the classrooms are spotless and colorful and the children are delightful and beautifully-behaved. I travelled to Nokuphila with the girls of the Walnut Office, who brought with toys and kitchen equipment, and spent a fun-filled morning playing with the children and teaching them songs.





















Lunch time (I'm besotted with these two little girls)


In the dining room

Claudia, Carli and Sam of the Walnut Office spending quality time with the children of Nokuphila.

And that pretty much sums up my favourite shoot of 2011. It was fun, fulfilling, utterly exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I can only hope that 2012 brings some photo opportunities that rival this one!

The Williams family

Some of my recent shoots have inspired me to put together a photographic blog. With my insane schedule as photographer, consultant and mom, I won't even attempt to cover all of the shoots I do, but Ill do my best to capture a few which have moved me in some way or another. Sometimes it might be a person, or a family with a special spirit, sometimes a unique landscape, and sometimes it might just be a new technique thats got my creative juices flowing.
Last weekend, it was the gorgeous Williams family that moved me to share. These are some of my favorite images of the day...



Beautiful Jess has a rare quiet moment :-)


Bubbles are the best!



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