Browsing Tag


Window or Aisle?

Window or Aisle: Ramin Talaie

January 2, 2013

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

I’m really excited to start my ‘Window or Aisle?’ series of 2013 with a special photographer.

For me, Ramin Talaie is the ‘eyes and ears’ for places I will hardly (if ever) have the chance to shoot in, mostly because of my nationality. Originally from Tehran, but now living in Brooklyn, Ramin is the founding editor of photo agency document IRAN, a news and stock agency based in New York, which provides coverage from Iran and Iranians, documenting culture, politics, arts, history and Iranian people.

I highly recommend to check out this agency, as the images are quite rare and special. A true glimpse into a world that some of us are afraid to see.

I first met Ramin in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend (photographer as well) when we visited the New York Photography Festival. I remember going back home and googling his name, just to discover how great and talented he is. I was so taken by his images from Iraq, where he went, as soon as the US invasion was coming.

The second time I met Ramin was in Brooklyn as well. This time was in a friend’s wedding. Apparently, I was from the groom’s side and Ramin’s wife was from the bride’s. Six degrees of Separation we call it here.

Ramin has been shooting professionally since 2003 and his work has been published in magazines such as Time, Saveur, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to name a few.

For Window or Aisle? I’ve asked Ramin to share some images of his hometown, Tehran, but images that would surprise me. He chose to share his Dizin Ski Resort series as a glimpse to the lifestyle in Tehran, that is not shown in the news.

Thanks Ramin for sharing!  I will be looking for more of you.

Where are you from? I live in Brooklyn, but I was born in Tehran, Iran.

Where did you study photography? I first learned bout photography in high school while going to a darkroom with a friend. Ever since I always took pictures and owned cameras. Later on I took selected workshops including courses at ICP. I never studied art in university. In fact I have a BS in engineering and an MBA.

What made you want to learn it? Doing darkroom work and making pictures was always fun for me.  There used to be something magical about making a print in a darkroom as the image would start to appear in your tray.

If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? I wasn’t! I used to finance in book publishing industry. I left my office to do photography and travel the world. I am obsessed with documenting so perhaps I’d be curating and archiving historical documents and images somewhere!

Where do you get your inspiration from? Inspiration is everywhere you just have to feel it. For me it could be a nice sunny day. It could be fine art, it could be a museum and collection of documents or movies. I also find music a key component for creating and making nice pictures.

What do you mostly love shooting? If I had the choice it would be conflict and wars. There is nothing seeing history first hand.

How do you usually approach a new project?  I do a lot of research. If it is a person or location I try to learn as much about the subject/location as much as I can. I don’t want to be a tourist or a stranger. Even if I am shooting a corporation I try to find out what they do and who works there. I want to be local and have as much knowledge as a local person.

What are you working on right now? I am working on a conceptual video and planning trips for 2013. I am in a bit of transition since I am not doing as much hard news

What would you do different, if you were supposed to start all over again? Perhaps move to a place in Middle East for easier and faster access and traveling, but since I am happily married and have a little girl perhaps nothing! All seems to be fine!

Window or Aisle? Always window, but traveling with my baby I have to do aisle so I can walk her up and down.

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

window or aisle, Iran, Teheran, Ski, Ramin Talaie

Window or Aisle?

Window or Aisle: Arati Rao

November 14, 2012

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

I met Arati in a lighting class in ICP last Summer.

On the first day of the class the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves and share what we do, what we love shooting, where we want to go with our photography, etc. I’m not sure if it was me first who introduced myself to the class or was it Arati, but when the words of introduction were out there, we realized we both do sort of the same. But in a completely different locations. Whereas I shoot, write and blog to Travel magazines and website mostly in the US, Israel or Europe, Arati does the same, but for magazines in India and the area.

The more we talked, the more we realized we were sharing sort of a similar path. We both can’t really separate photography and writing and it comes naturally to do the two. According to Arati, ‘I have never been able to separate the two. A story to me, or any experience is necessarily vivid. And that means I have to portray it visually and verbally. It is beautiful to do both, and integral to me. I find when I am shooting, a burning urge to put words down too. Sometimes, when an image may not be possible, I fill it in with sketches or an infographic, if that is more appropriate. The story dictates the treatment and I let myself go with the flow when I am in the field

When I look at Arati’s images, I can’t even imagine  how much courage and boldness this woman has. I admire how she traveled to  Uzbekistan, or shot the rainforest of Bureno or chased elephants in Sri Lanka. And above all, capturing everything in such a delicate precise way. In fact, taking a class with Arati and watching the way she is preparing herself for a shoot, explains a lot about her explicit portfolio.

It has been a while since I wanted to introduce my readers and colleagues to Arati Rao and I’m so happy to feature her recent journey, where she captured The World of Elephants.

Thanks Arati. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Where are you from? I was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. That city is still very dear for me. My ancestral home is in southern India, in a lovely little city called Mysore. But I call neither place home anymore. I think I’ve turned turtle. Haha. That is to say, I carry my home on my back.

Where did you study photography? I’m largely self taught. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but constantly  – and more recently very deliberately – refining and learning that craft. Am still teaching myself photography, and I taught myself graphic design while I was at Arizona State, for I felt it very central to visual storytelling.

What made you want to learn it? It was all organic. I kept wanting to add layers to my storytelling and each layer brought with it the need for these skills. And I am still adding to it. The goal is to keep telling richer and more engaging stories using all kinds of fantastic tools available to us these days.

If you weren’t a photographer what would you do? Aah, I dont think I’d be happy doing anything other than exploring, discovering, and telling stories. And writing, photography, etc. are all a means to that joy

Where do you get your inspiration from? So many things inspire me. Little graphics I spy somewhere, a story well told, a photoessay done refreshingly, people, their stories, places – the sights, a minaret, a river, a tree, a pitcher. So many things. places. Inspiration is everywhere. All I need to bring with me to every day is a curious eye and a wide open mind.

What do you mostly love shooting?  So many things, I am not sure I can hone in on any one thing I love to shoot. A good story? An intriguing face? A forest! But if I were forced to pick, I would say put me in a wild place, New York, Bombay, or in an ancient city and I’ll be happy as a peach shooting.

What’s is the place that really left a big impression. Aaah, there are a few. The old virgin rainforests of Borneo, the vast savannahs of east Africa, and the ancient cities of Istanbul, Lhasa, Bukhara, and Samarkand. I love wilderness and I love history. That is plainly reflected in these choices, right?

How do you usually approach a new project? Good, strong research always stands me in good stead. So I try to do that. Read everything on the topic, see what people have shot, and then – what is non-negotiable is, go there. Go and spend time with the subject, in a place. There is nothing like being there, and the longer I stay, the better the story turns out.

What are you working on right now? I have been shooting Asian elephants over the last two years in India and Sri Lanka. I will be continuing that work and working with researchers to document Asian elephant gestures and behavior. I also will begin work on a personal project where i will be documenting displacement of native people and changes in their lifestyles.

Where are you traveling next? I will be heading to a rainforest later this month, and then am slated to go to Namibia in December, to volunteer with an organisation that works with local communities and desert adapted elephants.

Window or Aisle? Oh my nose is stuck to a window, any day, everyday.

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Travel, Window or Aisle, Elephants, Arati Rao

Window or Aisle?

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

New Yorker for a Day

Parisian for a Day

October 23, 2012

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

It all started with a random shot of my sister when we were visiting Paris on June for my Birthday. We were walking in Montmartre and we found this beautiful Parisian cafe in Rue Gabrielle, with its amazing red doors and facade. I knew it would be the perfect backdrop to take a picture of hers.

Well, actually this is not exactly when it started.

A few months ago I have launched a new photography service in Manhattan (where I live) called ‘New Yorker for a Day’ in which I offer a photography session for tourists who come to visit the city and want to experience it in a different way and leave it with a long-lasting souvenir. As this service became quite popular among tourists and even among New Yorkers who want to have their pictures taken in the city they live, and since I am visiting Paris few times a year, I have decided to expand it to Paris as well and offer my service in the City of Light.

What can be better than feel like a real Parisian, at least for one day?

For more information and to find out when I am in Paris, drop me a line or send me an email.



Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Editorials Intimacy Under the Wires

Featured in Resource Magazine

September 5, 2012

resource magazine, laundry project, photography, intimacy under the wires

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans….

This sentence basically sums up what led me to become a photographer.

I got quite excited today to find an interview I did for Resource Magazine few months ago, published in today’s blog, under the category of Image Makers. I met with Janet Alexander one rainy morning over a cup of coffee when she wanted to hear how I became a photographer and how my laundry project ‘Intimacy Under the Wires‘ started.

To see more of my Laundry project, please check my ‘Intimacy Under the Wires’ category

To read my article about Tel Aviv; Production of the World in Resource Magazine Summer 2012, please check here.



The Art of Travel and Why we Travel

August 19, 2012

Why we travel, Vietnam

A few weeks ago I had a semi-argument with my mom in which she said I was addicted to Airport terminals and the act of traveling.

While I tried to explain to her that traveling is part of my job and actually part of who I am as a human being, I had to think about it more; (Jewish mothers are always right)

Am I really addicted to Airports? (well, addiction runs in the family)

Can’t I really sit still in one place and need to wander? (I was always the ‘curious cat’)

What is it in the ‘act’ of traveling that makes me happy to the point that I always want more? (I often plan my next travel before the current one really ends)

Not to mention, the urge to take pictures and look at the reality in front of me, fit into a frame.

Was it a coincidence or not, but A few days after my conversation with my mom, a friend of mine got me the book The Art of Travel’ by the philosopher Alain de Botton, and I dwelled into it. The book is not a typical Travel book that suggests its readers where to go, but it is more a philosophical one, that brings up questions of WHY we travel and WHAT do we get out of this experience. Alain de Botton keeps reminding the readers that travel is a learning experience and if we be open and use all of our senses, than we be well rewarded and so our travel experience.

…Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do. 

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves – that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world…” 

The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton

As I’m still reading de Botton’s book, I came across another travel essay, that was on point with how I feel when I travel. If I ever need to justify myself in any future argument, the essay ‘Why we Travel’ by the philosopher Pico Iyer, will be a winning case.

“…We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. The beauty of this whole process was best described, perhaps, before people even took to frequent flying…”

While each of us has his own reasons to travel, here are some of mine;

Travel, Vietnam, Ho chi Minh, why we travel

Travel, Vietnam, Ho Chi minh, Why we Travel

Travel, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, Why we Travel

Travel, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Why we Travel

Travel, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Why we Travel

Travel, Israel, Tel Aviv, why we Travel

Travel, Tokyo, Japan, Why we Travel

Travel, Lisbon, Portugal, Why we Travel

Travel, Rome, Italy, Why we Travel

Travel, Florence, Italy, Why we Travel

Travel, Venice, Italy, Why we Travel

Travel, Florence, Italy, Why we Travel

Travel, Paris, France, Why we Travel

Travel, Paris, France, Why we Travel


Intimacy Under the Wires

Featured in AI-AP Pro Photo Daily Blog

August 17, 2012

There is nothing more rewarding for a photographer than to be mentioned in one of the most prestigious photography blogs, Pro Photo Daily, part of AI-AP organization.

Pro Photo Daily is run and managed by David Schonauer, and it is all about ‘Inspirational work and insightful news and opinions’ regarding photography.

I met David on July 3rd. While half the New Yorkers were fleeting the city to go for a holiday, I found David working quite around the clock in his midtown office. The initial meeting was actually to show him some of my work from Buenos Aires, but while I was showing him my portfolio, he got curious about my laundry images I took. I found myself telling him more about my on going project ‘Intimacy under the Wires’ and David got intrigued. One thing led to another and David suggested to write about it in the blog.

To read the full article, please check this link.

Thanks David for this great opportunity.

intimacy under the wires, AI AP, Pro Photo Daily, Laundry Project


A Guy meets a Girl with a Camera

August 4, 2012

Travel, New York,

A major part of my traveling is connecting with local photographers and shoot with them in their local playground.

There is no better way (for me) to discover a new place, but through photography. It is even better when I do it with a local photographer; Someone who knows the best locations to shoot, the right hours for a sunrise or a sunset, the most photogenic areas of the city, the secret and hidden places and how to avoid the touristic traps. And when someone is visiting New York, I’m always happy to show him around, taking him to all my favorite places.

This collection of images is from different locations in the world. Some of the photographers I met randomly and stayed in touch, with some I know I will shoot again in the near future. With some, it was just a one-timer. Some serve as mentors, some serve as colleagues or friends. But they are all serve as a great talent with tons of inspiration.

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera

Travel, A guy meets a Girl with a Camera


Window or Aisle?

Window or Aisle: Adi Khavous

August 1, 2012

Tel Aviv, Israel, Sivan Askayo, Travel, Window or Aisle

…So here is the story of how I met Adi….

I took this random shot (above) while visiting Tel Aviv on September 2011. It was also when JR, the French artist, visited  Tel Aviv, during the social demonstrations and ran the Time is Now project in Israel. I was taking part in this project and had my picture taken, as well as documenting others…When I uploaded the above image on my facebook page, some of my friends recognized Adi (third from left) and tagged him on my photo. I got quite curious to know who was that guy that everyone is talking about, so I sent him a message.

The next week we met somewhere in Tel Aviv and we went shooting together. I see Adi as a magician with everything that has to do with Art and photography.

He is not afraid of experimenting different techniques, colors and angles. His bold, creative and limitless personality reflects very well in the images he produces. (I think you will sense his personality through the answers below). For this interview, I chose a series of images Adi took while he was visiting Tel Aviv last year. I was drawn to the way he captures the night scene and to the way he masters the balance between light and darkness, mostly because I don’t do it quite often.

Adi is currently working on an Art installation project called ‘My faded memoirs and the power of one‘ and constantly busy with his photography and music.

So sit back and relax because you are about to discover who Adi is. And it sometimes seems as few people in the body of one, Adida Fallen Angel 

Thanks Adi!

Where are you from? I was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel on a rainy chilled day at the end of October 1975.

Where did you study graphic design and photography? I studied Multimedia Production at the SAE (Sound Audio Engineering & Multimedia) college in Rotterdam from 2000 – 2002, the studio was mainly into graphic design and 3D animation with touches of video productions, illustrations and web deign and programming, I picked up still photography more seriously when I left the Netherlands at 2008.

What made you want to learn it? I tried many things in my life but two things never left my heart and that was music and arts, I wanted to study something that will help me express myself better and also earn a living. I found out that I am not so good with numbers and words but when it comes to shapes and colors I felt at home, so I picked out the best field for me.

If you weren’t a graphic designer/photographer what would you do? I would be a musician, o wait…I AM ONE!!! win win for me.

Where do you get your inspiration from? O god, good question, basically everything I see when my eyes are closed and what I hear when I am in total silence. If we want specifics then I would pinpoint 3 things, The internet, documentaries and music, specially music.

What do you mostly love shooting? Ummm.. I don’t think I have a favorite genre but I do know I really don’t like to shoot events, like weddings or rock shows or anything with tons of people and even more photographers than air particles. I used to be really afraid shooting people but lately I am falling in love with the humans, I’m also getting really into massive productions where I can really control everything and get a shot that will be as close as possible to the image in my mind. 

How do you usually approach a new project? With a smile and a bucket of skills and imagination!

If it’s for me I will spend endless hours until I get exactly what I want (the curse and beauty of being a perfectionist!), If it’s for a client I will spend hours before figuring out how to make the project shine like the sun then I will come with exactly the opposite and let everything happen on the spot, I am a big fan of the magic of the moment and always aim to reach truth within the shot itself, it also demand to have fun while shooting, otherwise it’s just work and I HATE WORK!

What are you working on right now? I just finished a massive art installation in a big streetart gallery in Montreal called Fresh Paint, it is by far my biggest and most complex art piece to date, it took a whole Month to build and sucked tons of energy out of me, it’s pretty amazing if you ask me, beside that I have another exhibition coming up next month where I will show new paintings and drawings, I am also very close to finish my band’s (Spoonlicker) first album which we are working on for a couple of years, very excited about that. Got shoots and little art project in the air and hopefully figure out how to pay my rent this end of the month because sadly I am not the greatest business man! I need a manger, hint hint!!!

Window or Aisle? Window, I insist!!!

Anything to add? Yes, I want to thank you for reading and taking the time to embrace my art/heart, inspiration is very important to me and I feel I need to share as much as I take in, being a part of a cycle that moves around sounds and sights is why we are all here, got to keep the wheel spinning, so thank you.

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous

Tel Aviv, window or aisle, travel, Adi Khavous