The Latest From Sarit Photography: Interviews and Imagery 

Back in November, I had the opportunity to photograph a group of yogis to help launch the Yoga and Body Image campaign for the Yoga and Body Image Coalition (check out the video from Funk Films HERE).

De Jur Jones and Joni Yung

The coalition was birthed by Melanie Klein and Gigi Yogini after the release of Yoga and Body Image: 25 stories about Beauty, Bravery, and Loving Your Body, co-edited by Melanie Klein and Anna Guest-Jelley.

Images from the shoot were showcased in Mantra Magazine, Yoga Journal and countless others. And the tag line “This is what a yogi looks like” began flying through the ethers like wildfire. It felt good to be a part of something that had such inspired movement behind it. It also supported my long-standing advocacy for positive body talk in the media, my photography, and my own recovery.

It’s not uncommon to hear me talk candidly about body image, the overuse of photoshop, and our collective self-deprecation around the way we look and the way we perceive ourselves. It’s not uncommon for photographers to be asked to change anything from the breadth of one’s thighs, to the shape of ther eyes. Since picking up a camera, shifting this conversation has always been at the fore–even when I was shooting pinup–a world that thrives on hyper-real imagery.

Photographing yogis is more in line with my own ideologies but even within the confines of a “spiritual” community, delusion still reigns, supported by the shape-shifting industry we have to navigate. The Yoga & Body Image Coalition is a refreshing move out of this narrow way of thinking.

That said, I wanted to share this 2-part interview with me over at YBIC:

The Illusion of Perfection–Part One

Combatting Weapons of Mass Perfection–Part Two

We are simply enough, just the way we are.

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Check out My 365 Project

After being inspired by Jenn Grosso‘s 365 Project from 2013, I decided that it would be an interesting project for me to do in 2014. As a photographer, I don’t actually shoot every single day. And everything I shoot isn’t always up to my standards of what should be posted, shared, etc. I am a die-hard perfectionist. But who in this industry isn’t? So, what if I shoot without my innate attachment to perfection? For me, that means using whatever medium I have handy: my iphone, my point and shoot, or my big mama camera. Equipment doesn’t make a photographer, your eye does. I am currently on Day 11. I have literally shot every day, come hell or high water. One night, it was at the dog park with my iPhone, one day it was during the crow’s bath time. I feel more inspired, more creative, and more at ease with what I do. And we are only at the beginning. However, 365 days of images is a huge challenge, and one I fear I may forget to do from time to time. It is why I’m letting go of perfection, why I am not ONLY shooting with the big camera, why I am being easy on myself and letting whatever happens to happen. I might even really get my crap together and post the images on the blog every day. What?!

You can follow my progress here.

Bird on a Wire on 365 Project

Adios 2013, It’s Been Incredible

untitled shoot-2555

2013 is coming to a close and wow has it been a remarkable year. It started off with a bang when Carol Horton interviewed me about my work and what inspires me. I had photographed two book covers (21st Century Yoga and Yoga PhD) with Carol and this interview stemmed from that. So much has transpired: the LoveMore Movement is finally a reality and not just some crazy idea in my head. I went to the Monterey Jazz Festival with Janice Littlejohn of …But Can She Play? this year and had an amazing time photographing Claire Daly and some current Grammy nominees, while also discovering some incredible talent. My love for Latin jazz is very alive and real. And my absolute love and respect for women musicians is fully charged. I photographed many a portrait for LoveMore, including Vinny Ferraro, Danny Fisher, Melanie Klein, and Jessica Rosen.  My list of people to photograph in 2014 is getting longer and more inspiring that I could have imagined.

One of my favorite shoots from 2013 was with Julian Walker. It was the epitome of an LA adventure involving a walk in search of appropriate graffiti, dodging a bit of traffic, and it culminated in a jam session. My adventures went on and on this year. I pretended to be a tourist so I could photograph the remarkable Jennifer O’Connell; I went to El Matador Beach to photograph an inspiring yogi named Erica; I photographed the awe-inspiring LoveMore badass Crystal J. Torres which included burning money and sitting on the edge of  a Los Angeles rooftop. I went on a super top secret adventure with my dear friend and LoveMore mama Melanie Klein and captured one of my most alive shots; I’m telling you, I realized how much of an adventurer I really am. When I offer a photo adventure, I mean it. I am not afraid to get dirty to get a shot.

Another highlight of 2013 was when Kate Bartolotta featured me as her Artist of the Week at Be You Media Group. I was sincerely honored by Kate’s request and I intend to make it out her way sooner than later to photograph her for LoveMore! Kate is a prolific, inspiring writer. She is honest, full of heart, and an someone I admire. What a blessing.

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I’ve also had some downfalls this year, as I’ve struggled with migraines and tried damn near everything to make them go away. They are better, or my attitude toward them is better anyway.  The experience has provided me with the opportunity to be more contemplative and even to slow down. One of the things I did this year was complete my yoga teacher training with Hala Khouri and Julian Walker. I still have things to tie up before I get my official certificate, but it was one of the most transformative, healing experiences I’ve ever embarked on. I also finally did a Street Yoga teacher training, furthering my desire to help those who suffer. Feeling into, learning, and sharing these heart practices have helped me heal my own heart, expand my creativity, and soften.

So, what do I want for 2014? I want to write.  I want to travel. I want to come to YOU, to your town, to your sangha, to your yoga studio, to your mountains, rivers, creeks, and graffiti-strewn towns. I want to go on mini adventures and I want to celebrate those who celebrate me and my work and the LoveMore Movement. I want to encourage women and men to love their bodies…just as they are, to celebrate their strength, no matter their shape. I want to break the over-photoshopped beauty standard and get back to the time where what you photograph is what you see in the end. Yep, that means a big butt might stay a big butt, or skinny arms might stay skinny arms. We are amazing, all of us, just as we are. I plan on making 2014 a year of exploration, healing, adventure, and love. Always love, because without that, we are bereft of heart

all images © sarit z rogers / sarit photography. all rights reserved

Sarit Photography Stretches Out

Front cover image: 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice
© Sarit Rogers / sarit photography 2012

I know haven’t posted in what seems like a month of Sundays, but it’s not because there hasn’t been anything going on. If anything, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to write. At least not when it comes to writing for myself.

My last entry honored my grandfather. A man whom I discovered I knew very little about. Turns out he also held the patent for the Ion engine. It’s all starting to make sense now: my penchant for nerdy things, electronics, and tech. Anyway, I digress. After his passing, I took a break from shooting and focused on nursing myself through the processes of grief–I had to honor the fact that processing grief isn’t always the time for creative endeavors.

A month or so ago, I got a call from my friend Melanie Klein asking me if I was interested in shooting the book cover for 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice, in which she was a contributor. That call from Melanie snapped me out of my fog and stoked my creative flame. It was exactly what I needed: a kick in the ass to work outside of the confines of my norm and dip my toes back in the pool of conceptual photography. Better yet, I was going to be photographing yogis: a population I already feel connected to. I found myself in a fantastic position: I was bringing some feminine energy into a field where most of the photographers are male. That initial flame of creativity became a roaring bonfire, with me producing a small series of yoga images in a short period of time. It was something I was honored to photograph while feeling naturally connected to my subjects and environments. I was finally back on track.

I photographed my friends Keri-Anne Telford, a yoga teacher at Exhale and burgeoning trapeze artist, and her husband, Joe O’Neill, who’s an incredible visual artist. I was honored that two of my images were chosen to grace the front and back covers of 21 CY, highlighting a new breed of yogis: unique and outside of the Yoga Journal box of perceived perfection. Now, that’s my kind of yoga imagery!

Back cover image: 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice
© Sarit Rogers / sarit photography 2012

21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice is finally ready for you all to dive into! You can purchase it here or here. The book’s contributors are broad and thought-provoking and include Roseanne Harvey, Carol Horton, Tommy Rosen, Be Scofield, Melanie Klein, Frank Jude Boccio, Angela Jamison, Chelsea Roff, Matthew Remski, Michael Stone, Nathan Thompson, and Julian Walker. Needless to say, the content and contributors are mind-bending, proving yoga is so much more than a pretty pose. Get read to sink your teeth into something truly thought-provoking.

That said, there’s more new imagery to come, in the meantime, I’ve updated my website and given it an entirely new look and feel! Check it out.

Love and shutter clicks,

Sarit

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Chasing Openhearted Dusty Dreams

My goal of a blog of week was short-lived, but not because of anything other than the simple fact that this funny thing called life keeps happening.

Today, however, I want to honor my grandfather. Sure, he was a bit of a cranky man, but he was also the nucleus of my familial leanings toward photography. He was a WWII war veteran, but his time wasn’t spent fighting. Rather, it was spent documenting his surroundings (Burma and India) with his Graflex, and processing his film in an army tent. That’s pretty badass, if you ask me.

It wasn’t until my 30s that I developed a close relationship with my grandfather, and the focus was always on film, photography, and printing and processing. When I decided to go to school for photography, his interest piqued. Photography became the common ground we could stand upon and the place where the sordid waters of our past became placid. Talking film lit a spark in his eye that I had never seen. It brought him back to a time where he could capture things from a perspective that was purely his own. As it turned out, my number one critic became my head cheerleader. In some funny way, I was living out his dream. Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure.

In the last couple of years, in the shadow of my beloved grandmother’s passing, my grandfather’s passion for film faded and his crankiness began to resurface. Still, I am grateful for the time I had to talk with him and reminisce about a love we both shared. I am grateful that my heart was open enough to allow that in, because truth be told, that is where the healing and letting go began.

It’s time to chase the dream again and honor a man who’s enthusiasm for photography began in an old, dusty army tent. Sweet travels, Saba Bob, may you rest with your lady love.

Love and shutter clicks,

Sarit

It’s Almost 2012: Do Epic Shit

It’s not too late to post one more piece, damn it! This year has been insanely interesting. My photography has taken quite a spin: pinup, events, portraits, social movements, you name it. I’m looking forward to 2012.  My intentions this coming year are this:

  • More art; Less Bullshit.
  • Laugh more
  • Finish updating my new site!!!

I got into this mess to create art and use my camera as a visual voice. My focus on the conceptual has been nil, despite the fact that’s what drives me. I want to sing to the world in 2-dimensioanal flurries; I want to include you, dear reader, because those flurries are nothing without the inspiration and support of those around me.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting my madness throughout the years. Have a blessed and hilarious 2012.

With love and shutter clicks,

Sarit