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Archive for April, 2013


Let’s Travel Somewhere: Vietnam


Let's Travel Somewhere: Vietnam

Whoever claimed that size doesn’t matter, probably didn’t see this beautiful and inspiring website Let’s Travel Somewhere.

Let‘s Travel Somewhere is a project by Nisa Maier. Nisa, who is a photographer herself, wants to capture the essence of every country on the planet through stunning photographs and gripping stories. But she can’t do it all by herself. She believes that a single traveller can‘t live to see it all. That‘s why she started to collect and share inspiring photo-journeys by other striking travel photographers.

I really LOVE that format. Only horizontal wide images that really drawn you, the viewer, into the scenery.

I have contacted Nisa few weeks ago to compliment her on her beautiful project and offered to participate.

Vietnam is my first contribution to Let’s Travel Somewhere. More here.

“I’ve always wanted to travel to Vietnam. An image of the lanterns in Hoi An, that I came across in a photography magazine, encouraged me to book a flight and go. Sometimes photographers will go on a journey just to get that single image that inspires them. I arrived in Ho Chi Minh at the end of January last year, at the midst of Tet Holiday. (The Vietnamese New Year). The streets were humming and buzzing with traffic. At the beginning I thought it was because of the holiday, but eventually I realized that this was Vietnam. A steady stream of motorbikes, rickshaws and cars driving around in both directions. Not once, did I join a group of people just to cross the street. I won’t lie if sometimes I just held my breath, praying silently I would make it safe to the other side of the street.

I’ve been to Vietnam for almost 2 weeks and planned it time-wise to be in Hoi An on February 5th for the full moon festival, which is held on every 14th day of the lunar year. I ended up hopping from South (Ho Chi Minh) to North (Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay) and back to the Center to Hoi An, just to make it on time for the festival.
Vietnam is beautiful and fascinating. The street food is fresh and delicious, the people are inviting and friendly and the culture is captivating.
If you spin the Globe and want to travel somewhere, don’t miss on Vietnam” 


Travel + Leisure; The World’s Greatest Hotels, 2013 Edition


Travel and Leisure, Effendi Hotel, Acre,

The Travel magazine, Travel +Leisure is publishing an annual book about the World’s Greatest Hotels. This year, I was asked to shoot one of the most beautiful hotels in Acre, Israel, Efendi Hotel 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. 



My Mailer is Featured in PhotoShelter


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” 

Photo Shelter, Intimacy under the Wires, Laundry project


At Magazine April Issue


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….

Sharon Webber Zvik, Design, Graphic Designer Sharon Webber Zvik, Design, Graphic Designer

and here is a promo gif of my shoot with Sharon in Jaffa Flea Market. Doesn’t she look beautiful?


Alma Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv


Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

alma boutique hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

Alma Boutique Hotel, tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

Alma Boutique Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

Alma Boutique Hotel, tel Aviv, Israel, Design, Lifestyle

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.

For reservations:

Alma Hotel & Lounge, 23 Yavne St. Tel-Aviv


Tel Aviv vs Paris


Tel Aviv vs Paris, City Spikes

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

Tel Aviv vs Paris

Image above: Common Bread Cheese Rolls at Du Pain et des Idees vs. Soft Bagels at Abu-Lafia

Water Fronts  Tel Aviv Hilton beach vs. La Seine

Image above: Water Fronts Tel Aviv Hilton Beach vs. La Seine

Young Love  Notre Dame vs. Rabin Square

Image above: Young Love  Sitting along the Seine and watching the Notre Dame vs. Sitting in front of a pool in Rabin Square

Vintage Books, Paris vs Tel Aviv

Image above: Vintage Old Books along the Seine vs. Old Postcards in Jaffa’s Flea Market

cafe, Tel Aviv vs Paris

Image above: Coffee Break  Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville vs. Rotschild Blvd

Tel Aviv vs Paris, City Overview

Image above: City Overview Montmartre vs. Tel Aviv Beach Front

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Holly Places, Notre Dame

Image above: Holly Places The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Notre Dame

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Street Art, Know Hope, Jef Aerosol

Image above: Street Art Know Hope vs. Jef Aerosol

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Trendy neighborhood

Image above: Trendy Hoods Gan Hachasmal vs. Canal st. Martin

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Columns  The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Pantheon

Image above: Columns The Big Synagogue in Alenbi st. vs. The Pantheon

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Shoes

Image above: Shoes  Window Display in Rue Rue Saint-Honoré. vs. Designer’s Studio in South of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Business Center, Azrieli Towers, business district of La Défense.

Image above: Business Centers  Business District of La Défense. vs. Azrieli Towers

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Night Lights, Agam fountain

Image above: Night Lights  The Notre Dame vs. Agam Fountain in Dizingoff Square

Tel Aviv vs Paris, Lucky Charm

Image above: Lucky Charms Padlocks on Pont l’Archevêché vs. Hamsa in Shuk Hakarmel

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