Who am I writing to? Is anyone out there?
NOW I DON’T JUST PHOTOGRAPH NUDES, but I do enjoy shooting the human form! Imagine going to a life drawing class - it is like that. My composition, lighting and the colours and textures are my charcoal. It feels different to the face, ( though even when doing nudes I will add in some portraits!) , the whole body, its contours, angles and how to light it is a pleasurable puzzle. I like to challenge myself. I am on a quest to master this type of work. I “get” certain poses but others just keep eluding me. This is part of the fun, I know that if I keep working at it, study nudes in Art Galleries and sit up at night thinking about them my head will see how to move forward. The magic bit is what happens next. I was on a shoot this week and the make-up artist was packing up and I was not ready to start shooting until all was quiet. When I find that place inside my heart to work from it is peaceful and satisfying. Those shots have something soft that I cannot define. A model or client will settle into it too.
I need to do some less commercial nudes too if anyone out there is curious?
WHY DO WOMEN DO IT? A YOGA STORY.
Why don’t you? I put it off for years to spend all of my free time with a horse. I wanted to be outside and get dirty. Yes connect with the earth and nature. Rahdina died in October, on the 6th. I could not have another horse. Not yet. So I went to a yoga class just to see if I liked it. You see I need exercise, quite a bit. It grounds me, and if you too are in danger of floating off you will understand. There is a pose for that problem: tree pose, it roots you. I loved yoga from class one, it felt like being bathed in joy.
There is a rhythm and a posture for each need. Feeling unbalanced? Try taking dancer’s pose. Too feminine? Try warrior. I do the sequences and make salutations to the sun. I love the sun and heat. But I have discovered a problem - you see the other half of the sun is the moon - and those salutations are hardly taught. I learnt them with Stefan at One Yoga Studio in Chorlton. The fun in dropping into random classes is that you have no idea what will happen! I know very little about yoga but Goddess poses felt very powerful to me. So when I ask photography clients to find their inner goddess, I had power in mind, and wisdom. I connect with these poses. I love Warrior too because I connect with that - feminine and masculine.
I adore shooting horses, because I am part horse, they are a joy to photograph. This week I put the formula to the test to see if I can shoot from the heart to tell a yoga story. The image is of teacher Amanda Riley, who is one of the gorgeous people who populate the planet. If I feel IT I can shoot from the heart. So does this photo tell her story or mine?
I am a yoga virgin! Almost. Six months in. I got addicted on lesson one with Amanda Riley. I know nothing about yoga, but every time I practise I get JOY! I mean what else in our work, goal driven lives does that. Okay, I kind of get it because years ago I went to Buddhist classes for three long years before admitting defeat. I cannot sit still.
So as you probably know I do yoga with adaptations to protect my shoulders (Thank you again Amanda). Once I knew some yoga I thought, “Why not try a random class - see if I still feel like a failure?” I kind of like to push myself. It was cool, I managed my first dancer’s balance / thingy. Stefan say’s, “Do what feels good to you.” Wow, more freedom to enjoy life.
I have spent my life broken (literally- the childhood you know), so to find strength and grace in movement is just too glorious. I have to share this. Say your body is not perfect, you have scars or wobbly bits? Imagine finding something that changes the way you feel about your flaws. I know it’s way easier to book a “photo- therapy portrait or nude shoot with me, but why not spend months at yoga classes instead? Or not.
On Sunday I will attend “I am Woman” a yoga retreat in Manchester. Can you believe my good fortune? More feminine power and grace. The blurb says anyone is welcome if they identify as female, which ticks my diversity box. I am expecting vagina and womb powers, and I will lift and open my heart centre to Andrea!