Window or Aisle: Pola Henderson

November 6, 2012

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

One day in the middle of August I got an email from Pola. She was writing to ask if I would be interested to be interviewed in her blog Jetting Around, about my photography, ‘especially shooting cities‘ as she stated. I immediately checked her blog, which by the way, is a finalist in the Travel Bloggy Awards and of course I said Yes. Pola sent me a list of questions, and I must admit her questions really made me think! Made me think about my profession and made me think about the way I take pictures; intentionally and unintentionally.

When I read more about Pola and her blog, I realized we have a lot of things in common; we are both expats in the US. I’m an Israeli in New York and Pola is Polish in Chicago. We both Travelers by heart. We both blog about it and document our travels with our cameras, and we both leave room for serendipity when we travel.

In case you didn’t get it by now, Pola is also a Travel Writer and Photographer. She also loves cities (her blog really reflects that) and for times, she feels like she is somewhere between the two continents she loves (Europe and the US) and experiences city love on both sides of the pond’

So without further ado, here is an interview with great Pola. To follow her Jetting Around the Globe, you can visit her facebook page, or find her on Twitter.

Thanks Pola! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventures.

Where are you from? I grew up is Wadowice (pronounced Vah-duh-veet’-seh) a small city in southern Poland, about 30 miles southwest of Krakow. I always had close ties with Krakow and later lived there before moving to Chicago in 2002.

When did you start writing? I started writing in my teens – I published articles in several youth publications in my hometown, then wrote for the high school paper – and those years were my writing school. Also my mom, who is an excellent writer, was my first teacher and audience. As an adult, I enrolled in writing courses.

Where and when did you study photography? As far as photography, I took classes at a school in Chicago, did some self-study and have done photo outings with friends who are photographers. The best way to learn is to go out there and shoot as much as you can. That’s how you find out what works, what doesn’t, and what your strengths are.

What made you want to learn it? In both cases, the need came from within, I simply felt it. Writing came early – growing up, I was always encouraged to read and write, so it was natural. I discovered photography much later.

When visiting Toronto a few years ago, I went for a walk one morning. It was cold, windy, and it started to drizzle, but I didn’t want to go back to the hotel. Instead, I kept on walking and taking tons of pictures with my tiny point-and-shoot camera. I ended up having so much fun that I later bought a DSLR and enrolled in classes (the first one was actually a present from my husband, who had noticed my newfound passion). Eventually, I decided to combine travel writing with photography and started Jetting Around.

If you weren’t a Travel photographer what would you do? I have an alter ego already – my day job is marketing communications. It does involve quite a bit of writing, though…

Where do you get your inspiration from? Cities and the energy they give off. I’m inspired by their architecture, art, cultural activities – whatever surrounds me when I’m on the road.

What do you mostly love shooting? Views from above, cities at night, stadiums, coffee shops.

How do you usually approach a new project?  It’s a combination of planning and spontaneity. Whenever I travel, I have a mental list of places I want to write about and photograph, but I always leave room for last-minute decisions. Often, the best experiences are those that happen by accident. I may stumble upon an interesting café, performance, or neighborhood.    

What are you working on right now? I’m getting ready for a trip to San Diego, California and Mexico. I especially look forward to exploring and reporting on the Baja California Wine Country. I also have plans to grow the newest section of the blog – City Guides.

Window or Aisle? Window, hands down! I tend to get glued to it upon takeoff and landing…

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

window or aisle, Pola Henderson, Travel, Photography, Chicago

4 Comments

  • Reply Craig Zabransky November 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Some great photographs, where is the last one from… what city?

    I often consider myself a travel photographer, but i had no “schooling” except taking my own photos, and loads of them to see what works – thank god for digital chips…of course I ask questions to others in the field too, need to do that.

    Sivan, great series…too.

    stay adventurous, Craig

    Ps – Pola, I so agree, window.

    • Reply Sivan November 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks Craig and Raul

  • Reply Raul (@ilivetotravel) November 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Beautiful pictures!!!!

  • Reply Pola November 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you, Craig and Raul! The last picture is from Cordoba, Spain.

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