Yoga in the wild . . . A few thoughts on photographing yoga subjects in wild places ?
As a long time professional outdoor, nature, wildlife, and adventure photographer I’m always looking for a new opportunities to photograph people doing fun and interesting things outdoors. So, because I have such a passion for the outdoors, and I like to photograph people, I thought yoga outdoors would be a good combination. After all, yoga is ancient so it must have been done outside before it was taken inside to the more sterile walls of a gym or “yoga-studio,” right
Now that I had the idea, I had to find a expert yogi in or around East Glacier Park, Montana – kinda unrealistic. I also was a bit afraid I’d turn them off by being too macho or too rugged. I’m use to shooting tough outdoorsmen, hunters, and wild game some that are even higher on the food chain than myself!
Yeah, I’ve photographed hundreds of people doing all sorts of things, but never someone concentrating on balance and “meditation.” How would they respond? Well, as luck would have it, about a year after I got the idea, I found out that an old high school friend was a yoga instructor in a large metropolitan area on the west coast, I now had the connection I needed. I contacted Robin Bergman-Martin and much to my surprise she was booking tickets almost before we finished our facebook exchange! Then, to top that off, she was able to get another great yoga instructor Liz Doyle from the same region, to come along and help with poses and show the world her fantastic skills. We were set!
I had in mind to match the human form with the natural landscape. Having spent many years in Montana I had already identified a number of great locations where I knew, if given the right participants, and some light, I could create some stunning photographs. Combining the essence of yoga – the body, and the mind, with the strength of the lines and forms found in nature was my goal.
Take a look, how’d we do? Women doing yoga in wild places.
A few tips that might help your yoga photo shoot be more productive:
- Bring patience, and lots of it because everyone on the shoot will be energized and full of ideas, it’s up to the producer or photographer if he/she is also the producer, to organize and manage the shoot.
- bring snacks
- down, it’s light and warm
- first aid kit
- bear spray
- small, light yoga mat
Like any other production you must have a plan and a backup or three. Don’t underestimate the truth that things change, particularly when you’re in the wild you have to be able to be flexible, answers lots of questions (and ask a few) and produce even when things are not ideal.
Bring your stamina, and your perseverance. It’s very hard keeping up with yogi’s, particularly one’s as capable and active as these two! Most importantly, have fun and be safe!
Tony Bynum is a professional nature, wildlife and commercial outdoor photographer who makes is living in the rocky mountains of north america. When not on a grand adventure or preparing for the next one, he’s likely with his 10 year old daughter or donating a generous amount of time to his community as a school board member, an officer on the volunteer fire department, a member of the board of the Glacier Two-Medicine Alliance, and to his profession as the Treasurer for the Professional Outdoor Media Association. For media inquiry’s or to book Tony contact him via email him at, firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter @tonybynum and “Tony Bynum Photography” on Facebook.