Shooting on the fly

Improvisation

Most of the work I do forces me to improvise – I’m constantly working with subjects and locations that are continually changing. To keep up with my job, I like to practice. Nothing about this photo shoot was planned. We took a cool walk down a trail that led us through a wonderland of blackberries and spit us out onto the banks of the Columbia River. After setting down hordes of picnic stuff and camera gear, we started exploring. Before long, we were both thinking that this would be the perfect place to do some yoga.

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Hailey was feeling the Mother Nature vibes and I couldn’t believe the beautiful summer afternoon we were looking at, so we jumped in head-first to photograph any- and everything.

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My photo shoots with Hailey usually unfold just like this one. With nothing but our imaginations and my camera, we set out to find our inspiration and just make it up as we go.

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I love working with Hailey because she’s a great model, with or without instruction. At some point during these photo shoots I’ll stop sharing my ideas and just let her do whatever she wants, which results in even more magic.

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Improvised shoots are so much fun for me because I’m in love with the idea of the fleeting moment. I’d rather capture the moment than create it, if that makes sense. 🙂

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It can be pretty insane jumping into a photo shoot with no plan – a wedding is definitely the wrong time to try this technique! However, if you find yourself awe-struck in a beautiful place and you happen to be holding a camera, know that you’ve got all the pieces needed to create something incredible.

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The miracle that is Yoga

My workout of choice (other than volleyball, of course) is yoga. It’s ironic because my grandma is a yoga fiend also, and I used to give her so much crap for doing such a lame “sport”. I take it all back, Nana! These days, I feel incomplete if I don’t get some sort of yoga in. I like to center my body and my mind, clearing away everything except the pose that I’m doing and just breathing.

While I’ve never physically been to a yoga class, I have found some fantastic videos online. I love doing yoga at home – my favorite time to center myself is in the morning with a cup of coffee. I promise, there is no better way to wake up! Yoga is amazing at any time of day, so try it after work if you’re feeling stressed out. Yoga is also versatile in the number of ailments it can heal: general muscle soreness, sciatica, gassiness, flexibility, growth spurts, posture… I really could go on and on. It has been around for centuries, and there is a reason why: it works.

I recommend following two simple rules: listen to your body and breathe. Never force yourself into a pose or you’ll end up hurting more than healing. If you feel stuck, just breathe into it. If you can remember those things, you’ll be successful.

Try starting out with Adriene Mishler. My best friend showed me her amazing videos and now I’m hooked. Never have I been so relaxed and energized at the same time! Miss Mishler has tons of videos, ranging from beginners to weight loss to Vinyasa, and there’s even a 30 day challenge for those of you who like a challenge. She is incredibly motivating and just so real:

“We humans crave practice, ritual and routine. But the hardest part can simply be to begin. We create so many obstacles and excuses for ourselves as to why we cannot quite yet begin when in actuality with a slight shift we can use those same excuses and that same energy to tell ourselves why we simply cannot skip out or wait any longer. The time is now! You deserve it.”

Can’t argue with that. Women do yoga with babies in their bellies – what’s your excuse? I, too, had plenty of excuses: no time, too sore, too bloated, but actually doing yoga corrected all of them.

Here is a free beginners yoga video! I stuck it right into the post so there’s no links to follow and no excuses to not try it 😉

If you want to try a different video, click here to see her website or her youtube channel!