Fotoğraf çekmek (v.: to take a photo) Or how having photos taken is like being in a yoga class

So remember how I was going to make a real go of teaching yoga… Like, as in for a living? Obviously that meant I would need to be serious and advertise my classes and go to local gyms or studios and offer my services as a teacher. Well, I’ve been a little bit of a slacker on this one. Okay, a lot of a slacker. I’ve been blaming the fact that I need to get together a good yoga-y CV (that’s the European/rest of the world way of saying resume) with my philosophy and teaching style all plotted out as well as my teachers and all that fun stuff. You’d be surprised how difficult it is for a once professional to write a yoga style CV. Or maybe you wouldn’t be, but it’s very different than a normal resume.  At least for the types of jobs I used to be interested in applying for.

I eventually finished writing my CV and getting references together, but then I realized I need to have a photo of myself for it. Ugh. I hate finding photos of myself. And I really hate when yoga teachers chose photos where they are all twisty and bended into an awkward pose (yes, professionally speaking we call those ‘asana’). Should teachers be able to show students how to do these crazy poses? Yes, of course. But do I need to see you squished into a ball as your headshot on the CV? Probably not. Thus not having a good, professional quality photo of me not in a wedding dress or from my senior year of high school has been my excuse to not get out and advertise my self.

But then a great friend of mine, A, who is a professional photographer offered her services to take “a few” photos for me. In 45 minutes she took 245 pictures. I have only seen a few previews from the camera display, but oh my goodness do I love A. She has mad skillz (oh yeah, with a z). I will say however posing for the photo shoot was such a funny reminder of what my students probably think during my yoga classes — and I’m only talking about the normal, headshot photos.  Not the couple of yoga pose poses.  There were lots of reminders that the pose maybe feels awkward, but that it’s okay.  Some to keep my shoulders back, my belly in, and my tail bone tucked.  And my favorites were when A would try to instruct me how to slightly change the pose by moving an arm or leg just a bit and I’d either not understand which one she meant (“no, your other left…”) or I’d totally change the whole thing in a weird way she didn’t mean for me to do.  All and all if she had reminded me to keep breathing it could have been a yoga class.  A, you are on your way to being a photographer and yoga teacher.  It could be a whole new genre of yoga… Oh, wait, I think they call it modeling.  Never mind.

The funny part that makes this all very Turkey-related is how the photo shoot went.  We did it right outside A’s building (Baby L was sleeping soundly upstairs with the housekeeper, but we didn’t want to go far just in case) and were watched throughout the process by curious passers by.  Some commented on the strange attire choice I had made (yoga clothes and no shoes — heaven forbid!) and others wanted their photo taken.  One kind older man stood and argued with A for four solid minutes about the angles from which she should be taking my photos (he insisted she look up at me not down… which A later explained would cause a serious double chin — no thank you!).  It’s probably helpful for the humor of this story to know that A doesn’t speak Turkish.  He just kept insisting she understand.  Which was hilarious and pretty typical.  Eventually I thanked him for his sage advice and told him we’d do those photos next.  Luckily he didn’t stick around to monitor our progress.  The best was the reaction of the little ladies in the ground floor apartment outside of who’s kitchen window we were shooting the photos.  They kept asking about my level of certainty for not wearing shoes.  Mind you, it was a bit chilly and my feet did get a bit numb, but you don’t wear shoes in yoga photos!  Rest assured, little ladies, it’s been over 48 hours and I have neither noticed a brain inflammation nor missing ovaries as a result of being barefoot outside, but thank you for your concern.  Actually, once I explained it was for yoga they were pretty reasonable and just kept insisting we take tea to warm us up.  Which is really kind of sweet since they only know A in passing and had never met me.

Needless to say I’m super excited about the photos!

If you’re in the Ankara area and looking for a GREAT photographer, you should check out my friend, A.  Here’s her blog and website.

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