We want take pictures of our three-year-old daughter lighting Shabbos candles for the first time.
Can a photo be taken while we are lighting but before the Bracha is over?
I was planning to light about a half hour early to make sure there is no risk of going into Shabbos.
Strictly speaking, Halachically, there is no issue.
However, it is better for many reasons (and perhaps more practical) to take the pictures before she lights the actual Shabbos candles, i.e., you can set up different candles and have her light them and take pictures of that.
A few points to note:
1. One may only light Shabbos candles after the Zman of Plag Hamincha.
2. Once a woman lights the Shabbos candles (after the above mentioned time), she automatically accepts Shabbos (together with all its laws) upon herself.
3. Our Minhag is that a girl begins lighting Shabbos (and Yom Tov) candles even before she turns 3; as soon as she’s able to say the Brocho(s).
4. The Rebbe suggested that a girl should start lighting candles for the first time on a Yom Tov, so that the Bracha of Shehecheyanu can be valid for (the Yom Tov itself and for) the lighting of the candles as well. Alternatively, when lighting for the first time on a Shabbos, the girl should wear a new garment and recite Shehecheyanu for the same purpose (i.e., so that the Bracha can ‘go’ on the lighting in addition to the new garment).