The Day That Changed My Photography Vision

Mike and I visit family in Rhode Island about twice a year. Each trip brings a fun set of new experiences and it is our favorite ocean place to “get away”. Having just returned from our Autumn trip, I am beyond excited to share something new and completely different with you.

I was asked by Mike’s sister, Michelle, if I would take some photos of her for her yoga business. She needed a new profile picture and images to use when advertising her yoga workshops, Facebook announcements, and other online/digital and print material.

Up to now, my photography efforts have been centered around still life. I hesitantly said “yes” to her request and began doing some research on portrait and lifestyle posing. We knew the ocean/beach would be the perfect shoot location and she had already decided on her outfits and several yoga poses that she wanted to incorporate.

Before flying out to Rhode Island last week, I chatted with Michelle to give her some “food for picture thought” prior to our arrival. I was nervous as this was a new photography challenge that I was about to undertake. I just couldn’t mess this up or forget a photo opportunity during the shoot. Having tried portraits in the past with less than stellar results, I was determined to reach deep into my creative vision and make this a collection she would love and I would be proud of as a first official whole-hearted attempt.

I could see in my mind the images I hoped to capture. I knew exactly how I hoped the weather and light would be. I could see the colors, feel the wind, and hear the waves in the shots. Now it was up to me to work with my head and heart to capture Michelle’s spirit and the surroundings just the way both of us envisioned.

On the morning of October 7, 2018, we prepared for the shoot, we had a general plan, ideal weather, gear packed, and set out at 8am to the beach…

I could not have customized a more ideal day for this shoot. The sky was overcast and white, the ocean was sharing glorious aqua and blue/grey waves, the light was perfect being both bright and moody at the same time, and the ocean wind was perfection. It was as if the “portrait gods” decided that with this being my first official portrait and business/lifestyle shoot, both Michelle and I would leave completely happy in this environment - on this remarkable day.

Yes, I was nervous. I was scared. I was excited. An then back to nervous. I had made sure to study focus points, proper posing, and action styles. I studied as much as I could about portrait photography and yet, the nerves were jangling all over. Studying all of these things were helpful indeed, but when the action of photographing at the beach and the yoga shoot begins, you better be ready….I better be ready… it’s GO time Joan….You got this….I hoped…

I took a deep breath, let my heart talk to my eyes, I guided Michelle along as she went through the dress shots, she guided me through the yoga poses, and together we created these lifestyle and yoga business images and that I am beyond any measure of thrilled with…. we are both very happy with the captures…

DISCLAIMER - This post is VERY image heavy so I will catch up with you at the end.



Michelle uses glitter beautifully as part of her Yoga teaching so this had to be incorporated into the shots….


After changing into yoga gear…the yoga poses came to life…


LOVE the reflections in the wave washed sand…


All in all we took close to 160+ shots with this being a small sample of the complete collection. She has many wonderful options for her yoga business needs and several that will make beautifully framed fine art prints.

Having never taken location portrait shots in my life, I have to say this was the most incredible, beautiful, fun, wet, wonderful, happy shoot I have undertaken. My heart just smiles each time I look at what we captured.

Makes me believe I CAN do portraits and location shoots…

Makes me believe I CAN so so much more to capture life and emotion in the camera…

Thank you Michelle for asking me to do this for you. Thank you for the fun and laughs. Thank you for letting me show myself “I can do this” and be so proud of the results. Love you Missy!

And thank you to you, my wonderful readers…..I have been so excited to share this with you and hope you find them as beautiful as we do.

Next Up - I am going to ask my best buddy Jill if I can shoot images of her gorgeous daughter Annie.

This is going to be FUN!