Thoughts on mindful moment images and a little tech help from a photographer:
I have been taking a lot more yoga pose "selfie's" these days, more on that in a bit.
With this development, I have realized that there is about 2 decades of my life that barley have any photographic evidence with me in it. Wedding photos exist during this time and an occasional image of me in the furthest background of family holiday pictures and some office gathering photos too.
From a very young age, I always enjoyed taking photos - of family, friends, animals, nature and things that were new to my eyes. But I have shied away from being in front of the camera as long as I can remember. I even based a profession on being behind the scenes.
Enter Yoga in my life and further self study, I imagine for me part of it was worthiness part of it was/ is being more introverted but most of it lied in not wanting to see my image. I don't consider myself a conventional beauty and didn't imagine others would want to see all the flaws that I noticed. However these days I realize putting images of myself out there is exactly what others need to see. Maybe to feel alive themselves or possibly to inspire adding in a yoga practice or some passion into their own life or to even just challenge a perception out there that more of the American population looks like I do than what magazine advertisements do. I also do know and appreciate that sometimes what I "feel" a pose looks like isn't the same image in my mind's eye so it's sometimes a surprise to see what inner openness, space and expansion shows up as in a picture.
I have read about and sometimes felt taking and posting tons of selfie's could be narcissistic, or even some articles have pointed out there is a mental disorder with selfie addiction. Closer to my perspective and an inspiring blog post about Yoga Pose Photography posted by one of my inspirations is here:
So carefully, I have been thinking about this process myself. And have given an intention to this activity. When I take a photo I don't want to remove the mindfulness from my practice, yes I am aware of the camera, but I also am aware of my breath and my inner landscape. I take images to show what poses that you may be used to seeing in a much smaller body, looks like in a larger body. Both are amazing and brilliant. I also take these mindful moment images to invite in further practice time in my life.
And so I invite you that even if you don't share them,(although I think you should) to try out taking some yoga pose pics. if you do share, please #mindfulmomentimages
Here are my professional photography tips to taking mindful moment images with your cell phone.
1st - Be safe and respectful to yourself and your surroundings. A memorial monument might not be not be the most appropriate place to express your pose. Same with busy streets and unfamiliar surroundings. Do poses that you regularly practice and that you have warmed up your body enough to not injure yourself.
2nd - Simple and natural spaces work best for the background. Find places that you don't need permission (most public spaces) or that you have permission to take an image in. Yoga studios are wonderful, but make sure you have approval by desk staff, the teacher or the studio owner and that you are not disruptive to others. (don't turn on lights or make noise moving things around if others are in earshot), and certainly not during a class. Nature photos are a fun way to get in a walk and find perfect natural areas to practice and take pics.
3rd- The phone should not be a distraction- find a way to prop up your phone and take the image hands free. a few ways to do this: if you are in a studio, multiple yoga blocks can add the right height/ angle for your shot. If in other places, maybe a friend might be willing to take the image or see what is around you to prop up or rest your phone on- you can get rather creative here. If you are considering investing a little in some equipment here are my suggestions: a Cell phone mount and tripod or mini-tripod, a blu-tooth remote, and clip on lens. If you use android there is a voice activation option on the in camera phone and you won't need to purchase a remote.
4th- Maybe not so Insta-I think it's ok if you don't post your photo on social media immediately. Discover and notice your thoughts about the image first- if what comes up for you is judgments find as many non-judgmental things to also say to yourself- even if it feels awkward at first- make it as much a part of the experience it will start to feel more fluid after a few times.
5th- Post and share your image with love and kindness- to others but mostly to yourself.
---------please share your experiences and tips in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you.
sending you love-
I'm Valerie, Yoga Teacher and following my Sankalpa!