Every year thousands of foreigners come to India to travel or in search of spirituality, or to simply find peace. Christine Hewitt is one of them!
Yoga practitioner turned photographer Christine Hewitt’s collection speaks volume about yoga. Her pictures taken at the busy stations, market places, and chai stalls bring a different perspective to photography. We caught up with her to know more about her skills and how yoga changed her life.
1.What inspired you to come to India and settle in Mysore?
I first came to Mysore in 2011 to study yoga, as many other foreigners do. My intention was to stay for just a few months, but I really fell in love with the place. After a couple of months, I started doing yoga portraits for friends, and before I knew it I was getting many requests from other yoga students in the city for me to do their portraits. I stayed on for some months, and then have made it a habit to return as often as possible.
2.What were the challenges you faced while shooting the best photographs?
The biggest challenges are keeping everything calm, collected and controlled during the photos. I have a vision for what I want certain photos to look like, and over time I have gotten better at predicting what the challenges will be and how to solve them efficiently. It helps very much that I am taking photos of people who have strong asanas, calm personalities, and a great desire to have their photos done. India is also a really great place to take photos. Everyone is very friendly, willing to give us space and often times wanting participate. I have been invited into a home for chai and food more times that I can count. It’s a great scenario to be in.
3.What made you interested in yoga? Was there a special event that led you to this path?
I became interested in yoga asana in 2010. I was living near the beach and used to wake up early in the mornings. It felt nice to enjoy those early moments of the day by practicing asana on the beach. Before that, I had practiced meditation and other forms of eastern philosophy. Yoga just seemed like the gradual next step
4.Your work is an inspiration for many, what would like to share with aspiring photographers on how to take good yoga photo’s?
Practice, practice, and practice. It is the same with everything. If you like something and want to get good at it, just do it every day!
5.You are involved in charity activities as well tell us something about that.
I will pretty much take photos for any charity that asks. Photographs are a good way for charities to spread information about the work they are doing. I think karma yoga, or seva is very important and it gives me the most satisfaction. Currently, I am working with a Mysore charity called Karuna Reunion that helps support impoverished families. Karuna does things like; give school sponsorship, medical assistance, and even a children’s summer camp.
For 2015, we put out a calendar of some of the yoga portraits I have done, with the intention of selling them locally and abroad to raise money for the charity.
Next on my agenda is to expand the yoga photography by doing more portraits of Indian yoga practitioners and particularly children practicing yoga.