Fotoğrafçı ve Arkadaş (Photographer and Friend)

So you might remember my earlier post about having my photos taken for a yoga CV/website… if not, you can find it here.

I’ve had the photos back for quite a while now and even started up my new yoga website/blog a few weeks ago, but I never gave my dear, amazing friend A full credit and link love.  I’ve since updated that post to include her website and blog links, but I’m also doing a full post here just to appropriately say ‘thank you’.  A has been my saving grace here in Turkey.  We luckily met my second week here in Ankara and have been thick as thieves ever since.  She is one of the most sincere and positive people I’ve ever known and even when I just want to curl into the fetal position at the bottom of the shower crying she can make me smile and feel like I’m not crazy (though at those points, I probably am…).

Anyway, a HUGE teşekkür ederim (thank you) to A!!! And if you’re looking for an ah-mazing photographer in the Ankara area, or just some great photos and kind words, you should check out her blog or website.


Kaybolmak (v.: to get lost; to disappear; to go astray; to die down) or where did my photo challenge go?!

Okay, okay, to those of you who may have taken note that it is now the 4th and I’m finally getting around to posting photos from the 29th of December: back off.  Yes, I’m a bit behind on my photo-a-day challenge, but how was I to know the prompts I’ve been oh-so-dependent on for inspiration would disappear without a trace?  Maybe I’m overreacting (it would be so very out of character, I know).  Maybe the shuttersisters will magic the prompts for January up soon.  Maybe I should actually read their blog to see why the front page seems to have vanished and just has a mysterious Luis L’Amour quote? (For the curious: click here and let me know if prompts appear!)

So what’s a girl to do when something on her 30 in 30 list just goes poof?  Find a new set of prompts.  So, Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge, here I come.  And if I had been more studious and researched more photo a day challenges when I started my 30 in 30, I probably would have chosen to start with FMS’s.  She seems to have more entertaining prompts and hopefully will keep ’em coming!  (At least until mid-March!)

Maybe I should take this opportunity to also switch from Instagram to a less (FaceBook-owned, stealing-art-work) public domain picture sharing application since I use just my old iPhone for my photos.  Any suggestions on a new ap I should be using?

Hastalanmak (v.: to become sick)

Ooof!  (Another wonderful Turkish expression, often followed by “yaaa…” basically means exactly what it sounds like.)

Hastalandım (I got sick).  I knew it would happen eventually with the weather going back and forth from cold to not so chilly to snow to sun.  Like most unpleasant things, just because you know it’s coming doesn’t make it less unpleasant when it gets there.  Thursday night I was getting sick and knew it.  Scratchy throat, chills and hot sweats.  Yuck.  I fought it though.  I slept in a bit on Friday (and gave in to adding extra layers before going out when my cleaning lady insisted since she knew I wasn’t feeling well). But I knew it couldn’t last forever… my immune system was weak and giving up the fight!

And so I finally succumbed to the sick this weekend.  I taught my Saturday morning yoga class (thanks to everyone who came and brought tons of donations!!!) and then changed back into pajamas and cuddled on the couch with hot tea while passing in and out of sleep.

Today I’m feeling a bit better, but my symptoms seem worse… as tends to be the case with head colds.  I’m hoping to be less snotty and coughy and phlegmy tomorrow.

In other news, I got all my photos from my photo shoot with my friend A.  Actually, I got them a while ago, but I finally put together my website and am so very excited about it.  If you’re in Ankara and interested in yoga or classes or are just a creepy stalker, let me know and I can send you the link to the other site.  I’m seriously considering adding a blog section to it that is all yoga-focused.  And yes, that means you get to avoid some of the yoga-ness here!  What do you think?  Would that be cheesy? (The blog part, not the website part… it’s too late for that.)

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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