© 2014 Ashley Landis Yoga3057Landis

Yoga in the City – Part 1

Ever have one of those jobs where everything just comes together?  You know what I mean.  One of those days when you show up, expecting doors to be closed, then you start making requests and every single one is granted?  This was one of those days.

I got a call from the Austin American-Statesman with a great assignment.  They wanted me to meet with yoga instructor Gioconda Parker for a portrait at The Steeping Room.  The story was about Austin’s favorite yoga instructors, and the concept was to photograph them in their favorite places.

I was all over that.  Great photo concept.  But I wasn’t sure how much freedom the restaurant would give us.

Generally when I photograph inside a business while it’s open, there are many restrictions as far as where, when and how long we can shoot.  I arrived and spoke to the manager.  Her phrase of the day was, “Sure, whatever you need.”

Wait, really?  We might want to use that nice booth you have in the back.  She’d be sitting on the table.  “Sure, whatever you need.”

Great!  How about having her do the splits on the top of that divider wall.  We’d be shooting her with customers.  “Sure, whatever you need.”

Alright…can she sit on the counter next to the register?  “Sure, whatever you need.”


Then Gioconda arrived.  After taking one look at these photos, I think you can agree that she was up for just about anything I threw at her.  Seriously, she’s really good at crazy yoga poses.  Really good.

Anyway, we started with a few shots in the lobby.  Gioconda  posed on a bench with a speed light situated behind her to add a little back-light/rim-light interest.

Then we moved to the back of the restaurant for a change of atmosphere.  By then the customers were a bit curious.  A few of them were kind enough to let us use them in a frame or two.

Then we made use of that booth I mentioned.  I just used ambient light on these.  It was a cold, rainy day, which made for nice light from the window.

(I told you!  She’s really flexible and strong!  Super fun to photograph!)

Our last stop was, of course, the front counter.  I wanted to get her posing with people rushing around behind her.  I slowed my shutter and told her to keep still, so she’d stay in focus while everyone around her would be blurred.  Unfortunately it was a slow, mid-afternoon time, so we had to wait for some employees to make their moves.

With that, we called it a wrap.  I was happy with my images, which is rare for a critical photographer like myself.  I hoped I’d get another call for this story, and I did!  But more about that next time.

Click here to read Pam LeBlanc’s story about Austin’s favorite yoga instructors.

One Comment

  1. jp Thomas
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 9:03 am | #

    Ashley ,so happy the doors are opening up for you ,your wonderful imagination and fantastic creativity is what makes your photography such a incredible joy to see each and every time .

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