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The Bigger Picture

Riva Pomerantz

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Devorah Rothmann is massively prolific. Perched above a sea of dancing women, or crouched near the spotlights in her studio searching for the best angle, her job is much more than a profession; it’s an integral part of her avodas Hashem. The name of her studio — Ayin Tova — says it all.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

wedding aisle

How did this French Judaic studies teacher and her avreich husband became one of the most sought-after photographer duos of chareidi weddings — including those of famous rebbishe families — inIsrael? 

“Ten years ago, we decided to make aliyah,” soft-spoken Devorah begins, in her lilting French-perfumed Hebrew. “Parisis not the ideal place to raise children — the pritzus there is not to be believed. At the time, I taught limudei kodesh and my husband was learning. When we asked rabbanim in Eretz Yisrael about coming, we were told: ‘There are enough poor people in Israel. If you want to make aliyah, you need a parnassah!’ ”

Devorah and her husband, Isroel, then embarked on a mission to find a suitable profession. They didn’t need to look far. Isroel had always naturally assumed the job of designated photographer for his yeshivah’s events, and the couple had recently photographed a family simchah, presenting their relatives with an album as a gift. “Your pictures were better than the professional photographers!” came the heartening response.

“We had a knack for it, so we decided on photography,” Devorah says. But it wasn’t easy to learn the profession in a city where photography, like other art forms, is largely off-limits to the exalted, Torah-true eye.

“It was simply out of the question for us to attend a regular university or to go to any secular classes, so we hired private, highly skilled teachers to teach my husband and myself together. We studied for two and a half years, learning all sorts of techniques and modalities, including creative photography that utilizes light and other effects to create a real work of art. Then we started doing weddings in Paris, after which we finally made aliyah, with a profession in hand, baruch Hashem, plus a portfolio album to show around.”

 

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