Being back in Israel, and especially Jerusalem, took me right back to our Bridal Portraits Session there last year. I can’t believe it was a year ago I was walking through a mall, having tea with my husband and our photographer before walking to the Western Wall for the end of our session.
Shai didn’t want to spend a lot of time away from the party at our wedding taking pictures so the compromise was that we would do a Bridal Portrait session at a later date. Shai was born in Jerusalem before moving to the states as a child but all of his family still lives there. When we decided to travel there in the spring, the idea of doing our portraits there was enticing – being able to have that piece of where he is from along with all of the history and culture.
I found our photographer, Hagai Gailili by searching Israeli wedding blogs and contacted him through Facebook. It was perfect. I am sure you are thinking that is a little crazy but it is not much different than finding a photographer in the US. If you stalk their pictures well enough and know that they have the aesthetic you are looking for, and hopefully are nice and easy going, it’s not so bad.
Since I had never been to Israel, I told the photog what I was looking for, namely old, historical places that are beautiful and don’t look like they could be in America. He hit it out of the park with Mishkenot Sha`nannim and the Western Wall. Mishkenot Sha’ananim (Hebrew: משכנות שאננים, lit. Peaceful Habitation) was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, on a hill directly across from Mount Zion. It was the first area of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem outside the Old City walls. It was absolutely stunning.
After Mishkenot we went to the area of the Western Wall. Hagai didn’t have the light he wanted yet so we walked through the mall (literally a mall) and had a cup of tea with him before continuing. Walking through the mall in our wedding clothes was pretty fun. Everyone was so kind and congratulating us! We didn’t go inside but we walked along the outside and one of the entrances. It was pretty amazing
I loved that we weren’t rushed to take pictures as a couple and I could not have been more grateful that Shai put up with this request – it was definitely worth it. If you are considering a post-wedding portrait session, I would definitely recommend it!