Or at least to photograph it. While I began my own yoga journey in November 2017—an asana out of my comfort zone—I took another pose out my safe space earlier this December. Before I further mix metaphors let me get to it. Adam Binder, entrepreneur and founder of Apeiron Yoga, after what I can only assume was some serious cajoling by Rose Dease, tapped me for a photo shoot. The goal was simple: show off his sweet line of yoga mats. Of course the showing off would spring from some well practiced and comely yogis modeling asanas atop said mats.
Followers of this blog may immediately recognize the incongruity here. I do not photograph much that is neither a bug, flower, or landscape, and I most certainly do not photograph people. I lack a flash, lighting equipment, and any kind of sense of how to use those tools. But most inhibiting, I lack ease or grace when it comes to being around people. The up close intimacy demanded in portrait work only exacerbates this limitation. I can feel my awkwardness in typing this. A smooth dude at ease in his own skin, I am not.
Despite all that I gave it a shot. (Do you have any more puns?) And you know what? It wasn’t too bad. Situated at Bask Hot Yoga’s Brick location, we found ourselves in a beautiful space. An open space, bathed in warm white light, with a lattice work wall piece and altar at room center. Hot yoga is Bask’s thing, so the room was toasty. As soon as I walked through the front door I knew my choice of attire was bad: jeans, t-shirt, and dress shoes were a miss for a balmy room hanging in the mid-80s. This was great for our yogis to loosen up, but not great for my sweat stains. But glass half full this and a dark rainy day were the only drawbacks of an otherwise product power session that went on the better part of 3 hours. (We were hoping for some great, natural light to make up for my manual lighting limitation, but alas.)
Here are some highlights from the session:
- I walked away with 755 exposures—and some weren’t half bad
- This style of shooting is physically demanding; no sitting around waiting for the sun to set while your camera rests atop a tripod
- Getting low worked out; much of the shoot had my lying prone with my camera and lens propped up on my elbows
- Good direction is key—I had knowledgable peeps calling out poses and keeping things moving
- My focus was too soft
- High key was a good choice
- We should have done more poses with my 14mm lens and the full group—the 35mm and 14mm primes worked better than I thought for this kind of work; Canon’s 24mm prime would have been money
- I need to learn to use a flash and lighting
- While you are only getting a small taste here, the photos came out better than I expected—though my expectations were admittedly low
Disclosure: Sweet Live Limitless hooded sweatshirt aside, this was an unpaid photo session and unpaid written endorsement. However, having used Aperion mats in hot yoga I can report they not only look and feel great, they provide excellent grip when the body and sweat starts flowing.