A few weeks ago, I organized a kids yoga photoshoot which was very last minute. It was slightly rushed because one of the mum’s had come back from Spain and was therefore trying to catch up on everything so very kindly fitted in this shoot as a favour, both mums were preparing their kids to go back to school and Jon & I were to dash to Cornwall for our mini break straight after the shoot. We had one hour at the yoga loft and the pressure was on! I needed images for three articles and promo material to promote my kids yoga classes in my local area so there was a lot to get through in just one hour! The four girls already had a full morning of hockey and then straight after an hour of yoga with me they were to attend a badminton session, however everyone was full of cheer and all four girls were excited to be yoga models.
Angel, Melody, Kornelia & Inga were a perfect choice for being kiddie yoga models. All four girls are encouraged by their mums to be sporty, healthy and are exposed to numerous extra-curricular activities. Angel and Melody play hockey, netball and badminton throughout the week whilst Kornelia and Inga have a regular yoga practice at home with their mum who is also a Nutritional Advisor and has a passion for healthy living. Because this shoot was only for an hour and I had so much to get done, I needed kids who in essence knew what they were doing and knew what was expected of them and therefore needed very little guidance from me.
I am also very passionate about cultural diversity so it was very important to me that the kids were from different ethnic backgrounds. Angel & Melody are half Chinese and Kornelia & Inga are Polish. I want all kids to feel included in my classes and I want to promote my workshops around my local community to refugees, orphanages, support centres, children with illnesses plus the Muslim, black and ethnic minority groups.
It was also really important to me to keep the group very small for this shoot.
Having four girls kept it all balanced and enabled me to sit or stand in between them (with two girls on each side) just kept things photographically harmonious. In total there were eight of us in the studio as the kids mums came to watch too. This was enough for me because I do suffer with high anxiety, anymore people around would have probably caused my anxiety to flare up. I needed the whole vibe to be mellow and quiet. I was fortunate that both mums have quiet personalities and that is reflected back on their kids, Inga has a cheeky side but she was by no means loud or obnoxious so the whole atmosphere was very calm yet playful.
Another reason why I chose these four girls to be a part of this photoshoot is because all of them and their mums have been through a lot, especially this past year and I wanted to do something special just for them. Both mums are super women who work so hard (with very little support) to ensure their girls are healthy and happy. I know what this feels like, coming from a working class family with my mum as a single parent struggling to earn ends meat. How we lived off her wage alone is beyond me, there were times she couldn’t afford to pay the gas & electricity. And so these are the families I want to reach out to, to show them they are valued and give them opportunities and a safe place to be themselves.
I managed to get all the imagery I need and these photos are the final 30, some have already been sent with the three completed articles to my editors and will soon be published, others will be used on leaflets, flyers and a webpage to promote my offerings to schools, leisure centres and community centres around Devon.
I have plans to do another shoot with Angel plus a few of her friends in order to promote a Tweenager (10 to 13 year old) class and some images with Jon’s Niece Bella and one of her friends for some outdoor yoga as I want to capture us all wrapped up in Autumnal and Wintry clothing surrounded by falling leaves and auburn colours.
The plan is to promote two hour workshops teaching yoga and art activities to kids from the age of 6 to 13. I am also very interested in taking yoga and art outdoors too as I have researched a lot about Forest schools & fusing the arts with forest therapy that encourage kids to essentially play in the great outdoors and learn from nature which is why the next step involves Jon’s Niece Bella and a photoshoot outdoors! Stay Tuned for that!
So I want to say a big thank you to Jo for letting me use the yoga loft, thank you to Jon for supporting me and being the photographer, thank you to Xian & Joanna for letting me borrow your girls and a massive thank you to Angel, Melody, Kornelia & Inga for being amazing yoga stars.
This is just the beginning! I can’t wait to show you more things on the horizon!
Yoga teacher/director of shoot: Me (Katie Ness)
Photographer: Jon Roberts
Venue: The Yoga Loft
Mini Yoga Models: Angel, Melody, Kornelia & Inga
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