Say Namaste! Capturing the Art of Yoga with Christine Hewitt.
Christine Hewitt is a Canadian-born photographer and a global citizen with the annual tradition of switching homes between her birthplace in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and the new house in Mysore, India. Christine is the artist behind YogicPhotos.com and the beautiful pictures on the redesigned Yoga Questioner home page. She’s now on yet another adventure across the Pacific, but we managed to catch up with her for a quick interview.
Yoga Questioner: How did you get into photography? Why yoga? Why India – all the way from Canada, where you were born?
Christine: In grade two (around seven years old), my teacher formed a photography club. This was my first memory of taking photos. We would get together and take pictures of each other, the fall leaves, and then more pictures of each other.
Then, in high school, I had three semesters of photography classes, where we had a darkroom and a small studio. I then went on to study photography in college.
When I traveled to India in 2011, it was meant to be so I could submerge myself in yoga for some months, undistracted. I almost didn’t bring a camera. Those months passed, I stayed, and I started taking yoga pictures of friends, and it spiraled from there. Now, when I am in Mysore, I do yoga photos about twice a week for interested people.
Yoga Questioner: What’s the most difficult part about capturing yoga postures?
Christine: The most challenging part for me is finding a unique location these days. I am not keen on taking the same photo twice. I always want to find new spots to place the subject in. Once the right location is found, everything else just falls into place.
Yoga Questioner: How do you go about choosing the location of the photoshoot? What about models – do you have any preferences as to who you like to work with?
Christine: For the photos, light is everything. I shoot only with available light, so finding a place that first and foremost has the light I am looking for controls most of the decision-making. I first decide on a general location. We will take the photos, market, park, temple, train station, etc., and then we hunt for the right spots within that vicinity. As for the “models” well, they are not models at all. They are mostly people who request from me to have their photos taken, be it friends, friends of friends, or strangers who have seen my work. Just everyday people who need or want photos taken.
Yoga Questioner: What’s the most enjoyable part of yoga photography?
Christine: Really, just the whole photo taking process is enjoyable. One of the perks is definitely that I have met some great people and made some really nice friendships via the photos.
Yoga Questioner: Do you practice yoga? What’s your favorite pose? What’s yoga for you?
Christine: For me, the many aspects of yoga are tools to self-realization and guides to keep us on that path. I think anyone who is living a conscious and examined life, seeking more significant meaning and understanding and being true to themselves, is practicing a form of yoga. I try not to use the word yoga when describing asana since asana is such a small part of the spectrum. My favorite pose is Savasana, of course!
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