The Givoni family
Tal Givoni's children
Photo: Tal Givoni

Portrait of a family in coronavirus lockdown

Photographer Tal Givoni offers an intimate look into his everyday life during the epidemic - enabling him to observe his children as his subjects and providing him with a new perspective

Liat Eini |
Updated: 04.18.20 , 19:40
Like many people across Israel, photographer Tal Givoni found himself at home with two small children, aged 2 and 4, due to the coronavirus epidemic.
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  • And also like many people, Givoni - a studio photographer specializing in portraits of often famous faces - found himself housebound and restless.
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    “The first days were the hardest,” he says. “The news broadcasts didn't stop pounding us with ominous predictions in every direction. And amid all the craziness, we had not yet established a daily routine.”
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    “The hardest part, as a self-employed photographer, was to stop working,” he says.
    But then, he had a moment of realization.
    "I instinctively took out my camera and started taking pictures of my own kids,” says Givoni.
    He began creating an authentic depiction of everyday life under the stay-at-home orders, documenting life inside his own home and the entrance to the apartment building.
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    “I am a hands-on dad,” says Givoni. “I take the kids to school in the morning; I am involved in their activities and insist on having family meals together. I have always observed my two children with loving eyes, but as soon as I picked up the camera, I became a photographer and they became my subjects.
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    Givoni says these photo sessions brought him joy, calling them moving and empowering.
    “I had begun to admire these kids. Photographing them allowed me to learn more about them - what makes them behave in a certain manner, what their mornings are really like," he says. "Do they take after me or their mother or have they developed their own mannerisms and personalities?”
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    Excited by the project, Givoni decided to post some pictures online, and the response was extremely positive.
    “I started uploading the pictures to Instagram and Stories,” he says. "People started responding, some telling me it was inspiring and gave them ideas about activities they could share with their own families while in isolation.”
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    Givoni says that after two straight weeks with his children, he now knows exactly what makes them tick, thanks to something he would not do "under normal circumstances."
    “I know what makes them pull funny faces and what excites them," he say. I find myself looking forward to our daily photography sessions and to observing my children through the lens.”
    The Givoni familyThe Givoni family
    (Photo: Tal Givoni)
    Givoni also strives to find the positive in a situation that has proven trying for many families around the world.
    “I believe that despite the difficulties, this is a special time for us. A time that is worth capturing and preserving,” he says.
    First published: 19:29 , 04.18.20
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