AFAR’s June/July issue is featuring another image from my Vietnam’s travel. First time was on March/April issue and now one of my favorite images of Cao Dai’s temple is part of AFAR’s highlights. (p.45) To read more on Cao Dai temple and see more pictures, please see my post here.
And here is the text: “…From Ho Chi Minh City I rode a bus a few hours to the Cao Dai temple in Tay Ninh. The exterior incorporates sacred images, symbols and colors from Cao Dai, a Vietnamese religion that draws from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Roman Catholicism…”
But more over, AFAR’s editor has asked me to be featured in the contributors page! Here is the text under my picture:
“…Having built a career in media and advertising, photojournalist Sivan Askayo quit her corporate job five years ago. ‘It was always my dream to combine my three passions: photography, traveling and writing’ she says. ‘I decided that if it’s not now, it’s never’. Askayo, a frequent AFAR.com contributor (Highlights. p.45), now globe-trots for a living and has become known for her images of street art and hanging laundry. ‘I don’t take portraits of people; I take portraits of places’ says Askayo, who was born in Tel Aviv and lives in New York. Her photo have been published in Travel + Leisure, Marie Claire Italia and Hemispheres…”
Issue no. 7 of SisterMag is all about Italy. I was so excited when Thea asked me to contribute to this issue, and I already knew that from all Italian cities I’ve traveled to, I would choose Florence.
If you love Italy, than this SisterMag issue is for you. Flip through the colorful pages and read my article on page 54.
Florence is one of the most romantic cities I know. Let’s face it.
I was 16 years old when I first visited Florence. It was a ‘Sweet 16′ trip to Italy and the tour guide took us to Florence, just for a day. All I remember from that day was the statue of David. I remember how my parents got excited to hear I saw the statue of David, and my sister was shocked to hear he was naked. It took me 20 years to go back to Florence for the second time, and honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long.
Last year I got the urge to visit Florence. But Florence only. Was it because of a Travel article I read or just my imagination and curiosity to focus on Florence only, I don’t know… but eventually my instincts were right! Florence was glorious. A little Renaissance gem in North of Italy. My trip was mostly focused on photography and my wish to see more of this city than the statue of David. I walked a lot, as walking is my favorite way of discovering a new place and I got into some great neighborhoods beside the touristic attractions.
Florence for me was running up the hills all the way to Piazzale Michelangelo, just to see the city waking up soaked in a morning dew.
Florence for me was climbing up 412 stairs up the tower of the Duomo, for the sake of taking beautiful pictures.
Florence for me was all about chocolate and coffee. Better have a coffee for two at the mythological Cafe Gilli, or drinking coffee cream at Caffe Scudieri with a chocolate ice cream right with it.
Florence is walking through Santa Croce’s busy courtyard or feeding pigeons in San Marco Square.
Florence for me was visiting the Academia at via Ricasoli on a busy day, paying only 4 euros to see the masterpiece of David, and sneaking pictures of him when the museum guards were not watching.
Florence is visiting Galleria Uffizi and observing The Birth of Venus, The Primavera or the Neptune statue in full glory.
Florence is having Ricotta Cheese and Figs for lunch and chocolate and ice cream for dinner.
Florence is walking in cobble stone streets with funny names such as Via de Tornabuoni or Via Maffia
Florence is having an afternoon stroll in Giardino di Boboli, or drinking water from Fontana dello Sprone.
Florence is watching men in their best tailored suits riding their bicycles.
Florence is visiting the Towers of Donati or the great halls of the old synagogue in Via Farini.
Florence is walking through Piazza San Lorenzo markets, Piazza Del Republica or passing by Palazzo Pitti.
Florence is watching the sunset over Ponte Vecchio while you are holding a bottle of wine in one hand and your loved one in other.
Florence is doing and experiencing all of the above.
Over and Over again
The Travel magazine, Travel +Leisure is publishing once a year an annual book about the World’s Greatest Hotels. This year, I was asked to shoot one of the most beautiful hotels in Israel, Efendi Hotel in Acre, to be published in the book.
To see more images and my post about the Efendi, please click here.
In case you don’t have a chance to get the World’s Greatest Hotels’ book, here is the text about Efendi;
‘In the beach-lined port city of Acre, in Israel’s northern Galilee, a pair of Ottoman – era mansions sat empty for years until local restaurateur Uri Jeremias saw their untapped potential. Under his watchful eye- and in strict accordance with Israel’s Antiquities Authority guidelines – the two residences, complete with Byzantine walls and Crusader-period cellars, were intricately restored to become the palatial Efendi Hotel. The 12 white-on-white rooms are paragons of preservation, with marble floors and the original trompe l’oeil ceilings. In lieu of turndown chocolates, guests indulge in handmade Arab sweets presented in silver boxes. Israeli wines and pan-Mediterranean dishes are the focus in the 900-year-old cellar turned tapas bar; after you’ve had your fill, stroll south along the Mediterranean, passing the city’s 4,000-year-old sights along the way.
I love PhotoShelter on line guides. In fact, I keep following and downloading them on my computer to learn more from this great on line photography community.
I was honored to be mentioned in the recent guide ‘Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio’ with the mailer I send out to Photo Editors. You can read all about it under the section; 5 Tips for Going Beyond the Portfolio Review, by Frank Meo, from the Photo Closer.
Tip no. 4: Follow up, send targeted, exceptional mailer, Frank mentions my mailer and says:
“Sivan Askayo did a photo essay of people hanging their laundry around the world, and you can imagine what they look like; a young girl’s ballerina outfit hanging on a beautiful pink wall etc. To set herself apart, she focused on the packaging of her photos themselves. She printed postcard-sized images, boxed them and wrapped the box with rope, swatches of clothes and tiny clothespins. What a beautiful mailer. It cost her $15-$20 a piece with the prints, clips and the box, so she sent them only to select people.
You have to really target; Don’t send mailers to everybody. This shows that you peeled back the onion and you know who deserves it. It’s all about whether or not you connected on that first date”
I am really excited to feature Sharon Webber Zvik on my blog. By the time this post is published, Sharon will be in Cuomo, Italy, receiving the Golden A’ Design Award for Graphics and Advertising Design Category in 2012. The gold medal and this precious award will be given to her for the Pain and Suffering Research Branding she did.
It all started five years ago, when Dr. Smadar Bustan from Luxembourg University called Sharon and said: ‘I have an International project on pain and suffering…but maybe you won’t be interested…’ but this sentence only raised Sharon’s curiosity and urged her to learn more on this project and eventually, she supervised its design and branding. ‘I had two requests from Dr. Bustan‘ Sharon told me ‘First, to run away from cliches, and second; the freedom of creativity’.
For the shoot, I’ve decided to take Sharon to Jaffa’s Flea Market, which seems to be one of her favorite locations since she is obsessed with vintage articles and style. Needless to mention the look on people’s faces when they saw a woman in a fluffy white dress sitting on a vintage armchair in the middle of the road….
and here is a promo gif of my shoot with Sharon in Jaffa Flea Market. Doesn’t she look beautiful?
I love to visit and shoot hotels that tell a story. And if the stories are colorful and photogenic, it is even better!
One of the most intriguing, colorful and photogenic hotels I shot recently is Alma Hotel & Lounge, considered as one of the most talked about hotels in Tel Aviv these days. The hotel, which was recently opened in the heart of Tel Aviv, set up immediately a new standard in luxury boutique hospitality in Tel Aviv and in Israel.
Alma in Hebrew means a young unmarried woman. It is also becoming a trendy name for girls these days. In Latin, Alma means ‘soul’. I’m not sure if the hotel is named after a certain woman, but the name definitely adds a mystery and kind of appeal to it.
Imagine walking in dark long corridors that lead into 15 colorful rooms, each one is different that the other. Imagine opening each room’s door, not knowing what to expect. But each room is a marvelous surprise. This is how I felt while I was shooting Alma Hotel.
Everything is well planned in Alma Hotel; from the choice of the building’s location to the Bulgari soaps in the bathrooms or the colors of the pens in each room. I know it might sound like a cliche, but Alma has a rhythm and a character of its own.
Alma is located in Yavne street, at the heart of Tel Aviv UNESCO White City, among a collection of old but restored historic Bauhaus vivid buildings. The building’s history goes back to 1925, as the first private residence designed for families to live side by side in the heart of Tel Aviv. The facade of the building was colored in olived green and the windows and shutters were colored in a darker shade of green. But this is just a hint to what is happening indoors. The restored identity of the hotel is a collaboration between the leading architecture and interior design studio Shaltiel Kastiel and the mosaic and glass artist Lauri Recanati.
The hotel has eight spacious deluxe rooms and seven studio suites, each uniquely designed, telling a different story of the building’s bohemian past. The furnitures are a mix of vintage and heavily embellished unique furniture (hand picked for each room) with contemporary furniture and Art.
I’ve decided to start with my favorite suite, which some may call it (surprise, surprise) The Naughty Library.
The suite (image above and below) has the feel, as Recanati says, of ‘an English boarding school on acid’. The suite has turquoise and black walls with diamond shape mirrors. The red colored rug is a great contrast and blast of color to the room. It matches perfectly with the red background of the book shelves. The Art books collection is quite appealing and I can easily see myself spending few days in that suite, soaking in the colors.
This beautiful suite has a marvelous back bed of a French or Dutch Aristocratic woman. The turquoise colored wall matches perfectly the purple rug. By the bed, there are two beautiful bedside tables made of wood, and a mosaic of ceramic, glass, metal and fabric, by the artist Lauri Recanati.
The following suite can give you the feeling of Welcome to the Jungle but in a very chic style. Turquoise walls, red hot wall-closet and a zebra skin rug on a checkered floor. This room has a beautiful balcony that is overlooking Yavne street. It has a walk-in bathing room, with an oval white bath in the middle of it. I can’t think of the red sofas, but I’m obsessed with the red closet.
If you are longing for an oriental atmosphere, than the street level’s suite can be a great choice. Painted in greens and reds (with an amazing red-white-black wallpaper) and an iconography image of the Spice Trail as a back bed, this suite is a real gem. The heavy brown curtains can create a perfect isolation from the busy street. This suite has the perfect oriental look bath tub of green-blue shades that match the colors of the windows.
And if you are looking for a great restaurant, than you have it right there. Alma Lounge is a bohemian chic space with a mix of Georgian inspired furniture blended with local contemporary Art. The chef, Yonatan Roshfeld, is a well known figure in Israel and the restaurant is one of the most expensive restaurants these days in Tel Aviv ($300 dinner for 2). It is a good way for visitors to meet the trend setters in Israel; restauranteurs, bankers, public figures in addition to expats.
If you are looking for one of the best hotels and the best experiences in the heart of Tel Aviv, look no further. Alma’s professional crew will take care of you; from arranging a personal trainer, special tours in Tel Aviv and Israel, wine tasting, local deliveries, airport transportation, car rentals and even cooking lessons with the in house chef, you name it.
Alma Hotel & Lounge, 23 Yavne St. Tel-Aviv
Tel Aviv vs. Paris is an on going photography project I’m shooting. These are two cities I visit quite often and observe them as an outsider.
I must admit that I was very inspired by Vahram Muratyan’s project ‘Paris vs New York, a tally of two cities’ so I decided to pull my photographic eye into it and see what comes up. I’m choosing a phrase/a location or a word (in bold) and see how it interacts in these two cities.
Image above: City Spikes Notre Dame vs. Dizingoff Center Tower
Image above: Common Bread Cheese Rolls at Du Pain et des Idees vs. Soft Bagels at Abu-Lafia
Image above: Water Fronts Tel Aviv Hilton Beach vs. La Seine
Image above: Young Love Sitting along the Seine and watching the Notre Dame vs. Sitting in front of a pool in Rabin Square
Image above: Vintage Old Books along the Seine vs. Old Postcards in Jaffa’s Flea Market
Image above: Coffee Break Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville vs. Rotschild Blvd
Image above: City Overview Montmartre vs. Tel Aviv Beach Front
Image above: Holly Places The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Notre Dame
Image above: Street Art Know Hope vs. Jef Aerosol
Image above: Trendy Hoods Gan Hachasmal vs. Canal st. Martin
Image above: Columns The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Pantheon
Image above: Shoes Window Display in Rue Rue Saint-Honoré. vs. Designer’s Studio in South of Tel Aviv
Image above: Business Centers Business District of La Défense. vs. Azrieli Towers
Image above: Night Lights The Notre Dame vs. Agam Fountain in Dizingoff Square
Image above: Lucky Charms Padlocks on Pont l’Archevêché vs. Hamsa in Shuk Hakarmel
“…If you tell the Truth, you don’t have to remember anything…”
Ho Chi Minn, Vietnam, February 2012
This picture was taken on my second day in Ho Chi Minn. I was just walking around Ben Thanh Market when I saw those two sitting across each other, having (as it looked like) a conversation. I’ve noticed the distance between the two stools and I wondered if it was really a conversation, an argument, maybe a game they were playing. Maybe even some sort of treatment or a game they were playing.
I didn’t want to come closer (even though I was very curious) as I didn’t want to interfere with their dynamics or change the balance. Sometimes, a photographer just need to capture a moment, and the rest is like ‘filling in the blanks’…
What do you think they were talking about?
It all happened very fast. I have just finished shooting my friend’s Naomi Ben Shahar’s beautiful apartment in Chelsea, when I suggested her that I submit some of the images to Design Sponge. The day after, I got an email back from Amy (the managing editor) who said she would LOVE to feature it in the next Sneak Peek column.
I just love Naomi’s apartment. Very clean lines, big windows, lots of light (good for a photographer’s apartment such as Naomi) and her Art is on the walls. Naomi writes a blog about New York, targeted for Hebrew speakers who come to visit. She knows everything about the city, and she knows almost everyone. Take a look at her blog here and here.
You can see and read more about Naomi and her design choices, in Design Sponge Sneak Peek here.
Thank you Amy and Grace!
Here are some of my favorite images from Naomi’s apartment.
I love shooting Life style productions for magazines. Moreover, I like it even more when I’m shooting my friends and my friends’ homes to these kinds of productions.
My friend, Karen Shavit, who is wearing lots of creative hats – popular blogger, home-stylist, lifestyle entrepreneur and a mother of two, has agreed to open her new home she just moved into with her family and allowed me to shoot her beautiful and sunny kitchen. Her kitchen, which is the center of her home and a master piece by itself, is filled with vintage items and dishes she collected throughout the years.
The family was having a late Saturday brunch while I was humming around with my camera.
And here is the photographed article in At Magazine, February Issue.