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Have you ever wanted to capture your passion at the core? Recently, I got a great opportunity to capture my yoga practice on camera at the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Going into it, I knew what I wanted my pictures to portray: strength, and the Badlands was the perfect fit to do just that. For me, it was important to have a photographer that shared the same enthusiasm for my yoga practice, as I did.
Jennifer is the photographer and owner of JennLN photography and had taken pictures for me in the past. I explained to her what I wanted. I told her that above all, I wanted my pictures to represent strength. However, I did not imagine my pictures to be beautifully captured and so much more. She not only captured me at some of my proudest moments, but she was also able to capture images when I was not expecting one. She got to capture me at some of my most natural and true states. What I thought to be my own personal flaws, she turned into raw beauty. There were points that I was sweaty and tired, and Jen captured my yoga practice as how I interpreted it. I could not have asked for a better photo shoot or photographer. The biggest key that I took away from the photoshoot was that my photographer loved photographing me doing what I loved. Because I loved it, so did she.
After my shoot was over and we were leaving, I asked her what her secret was in capturing certain shots. Here are her tips for finding the right photographer
• Find a photographer that shares your enthusiasm (Jen loved that this was an opportunity not only for me but for her to capture yoga the way I was wanting it to be portrayed).
• Make sure you are comfortable with whom you hire. A client should be comfortable with whom they hire regardless of the type of session being shot. But, when you put yourself on the spot, I believe it's extra important to be comfortable to with the person you set out to capture your craft with.
• Find a location you love. People can relax and have fun if they are somewhere they like to be. Jen: I do not practice yoga, but isn't that part of what yoga is about, relaxing? (I admit having spectators watch me, was not the most relaxing time, but with Jen she assisted me tremendously by having me explain the pose and what it was about; it got me back to the moment).
• If you are going to shoot outside, especially in the Badlands, always shoot during the golden hour (begins about an hour before sunset, up until the sun sinks). The light is most beautiful and flattering during this time. If the photographer knows how to use the natural light properly then your images will be stunning. This is the time the camera will capture the haze that comes with the setting sun.
• Most important relax and have fun. In my opinion, a photographer should capture the real you. Clients should just go about their yoga session the way they always do. A photographer should be invisible and just capture and document all the little details you don't usually realize are there. The look on your face, the transition from one pose to the next, the sweat created by trying your hardest. Natural pictures are the best!
• Choose poses that reflect your environment. Brionna chose strength to go with the Badlands. The Badlands is rugged and beautiful. The terrain has its most beautiful slopes and canyons because of erosion from wind, rain, and snow. It stands the test of time. This is how Brionna wanted her poses to be captured. No matter what she has been through in her life, her strength gives her the ability to stay grounded.
The experience for me was priceless. It felt good to see what my body was capable of doing and how yoga made me feel inside and out. Do not worry about how perfect the pose is or how perfect your body is, whatever your passion is, capture it.