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Yael Naim – She Was a Boy


ZORIAH – zoriah.net blog


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Two years ago I began a friendship with two of the wold’s most kind and talented individuals, Yael Naim and David Donatien. Before I get into our friendship, let me tell you a bit about how we met.

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Above is the photo we used for the cover of She Was a Boy

Music plays a big role in my work, although most of you would never know it.  I studied music in university and it has been my passion, probably even more so than photography, for many, many years.  As a photographer, music inspires me both while I am creating images and especially while I am editing them.  My first four years working as a photojournalist I almost always had music on while I was shooting.  As I grew and refined my stile I focused more on getting close to my subjects and relating to them and saved my music for before and after shoots.  But the music is always there.

In 2008 I had an album with me on my travels and this particular album was played more than any other.  It kept me company in Iraq and was my inspiration during my projects in Gaza and the West Bank.  This album was Yael and David’s first album together.

It was months later that I would find out that while I was listening to Yael’s album in her birthplace, Israel, she and David were watching me on television in my birthplace, Colorado.

Over the past two years I have spent a lot of my free time with Yael and David and learned to love them, and their music, more than I could have ever expected.  Their music continues to inspire me and I truly hope that my work is able to do the same for them.

For the past year I have been photographing Yael and David regularly.  I have photographed their concerts, countless recording sessions, day trips, night trips…you name it.  With the release of their new album today there will be a limited edition set of CD‘s that will come with a photography book of about forty images behind the scenes during the recording sessions.

About the new album, She Was a Boy:  Most of you probably know Yael and David from their hit song New Soul which you may remember from the Macbook Air ads on television.  The rest of that album is also a brilliant mix of styles, languages and sounds and if you haven’t bought it yet, do so soon.  She Was a Boy is, in my opinion, an evolution in Yael and David’s work.  It is a wonderful journey and I am happy and proud to have been there while it was recorded.  I can tell you that each and every track on the album is an amazing accomplishment in music.  So much time went into perfecting each song, so many people worked with them to make a wonderful fusion of sounds and emotions.

I would like to quickly thank Yael and David for their kindness and friendship and congratulate them on the album, I know how much work you put into it and all I can say is thank you from all of us who will enjoy listening to it!  Thanks to everyone at the record label, Tot au Tard, it has been a pleasure working with all of you on this project and I look forward to more in the future.

Yael Naim and David Donatien’s web site

Yael Naim and David Donatien’s blog

Here are a few of the images that will be in the limited edition book.  We also plan to work on a full, coffee table book together after I tour with them this spring.  I will keep you all posted on that project.


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Yael Naim hiding in a tree before a concert in France.



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Yael Naim during a recording session for She Was a Boy in her home outside of Paris

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David Donatien listening to a recently recorded track

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Yael Naim working through a new song on her guitar

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Yael Naim and David Donatien working on the production of a track from She Was a Boy in their studio

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Yael Naim and David Donatien laying out new tracks in their studio

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Yael being punished by David for being a naughty girl

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Yael Naim in the evening light during the recording of She Was a Boy

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This was one of the press pictures we shot in the forest outside of Paris

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Yael Naim on the streets of Paris

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Yael Naim in the car on the way to perform in a concert
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A shot of Yael Naim in the window of her apartment in Paris.  This is one of the images we considered for the cover.

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