Photographing Feldenkrais

The FGNA Council of Regional Representatives did a lot for Feldenkrais practitioners in the last couple of years in getting a PR Kit produced for practitioners. (You can purchase it at the FEFNA bookstore or download it for free at the members site (off-line at the moment).)

Photos by dance photographer Rosalie O’Connor are among the gems of the kit.

I was recently using some of them to make cards publicizing our Wednesday evening class at the Yoga Loft.

Robert, the owner of the Loft, offered some advice that really made me think about what a good image for Feldenkrais would be.

You want to be able to take the whole poster in in a second or two. Assume that whoever sees it will be walking past it and may not stop unless something about the posters makes them. I keep coming back to this but in that moment they need to see the solution to some problem they have. That makes them stop and take a look. From there poster inspires them with the idea that Feldenkrais has the solution. But you never offer an idea of what that solution is. This part stays entirely within their mind. If you offer a solution they will start to question it. Its basic human nature and a lot of psychology…

457F.inpostReaching for something new: by photographer Rosalie O’Connor.How interesting it would be to explore what it is we’d want to give as a first impression of Feldenkrais, something that resonates for a person, even at a level below awareness, as speaking to their needs!

An interesting challenge in making Feldenkrais images is the cultural vocabulary available to us. There’s a basic cultural vocabulary around yoga at this point (as there might not have been thirty years ago). One can resonate with a sense of spiritual peace, or the sense of a quest that tests the limits, or connection with a community of conscious living, or the sense of taking time to come into touch with oneself, or relaxation, or challenge…. What vocabulary do we want for Feldenkrais?

242F.inpostA new angle: by photographer Rosalie O’Connor.

I particularly like the sense in this image of looking at things from a different perspective; maybe this gives people the sense of that characteristic Feldenkrais feeling of delighted but relaxed discovery of a possibility that never even occurred to one before.

I’m thinking now about exploring this topic in various modes, as a kind of “marketing research” in the best sense. A contribution to our on-going process of self-definition and development of our understanding of what our work is about. We talk and write about that a lot, but how about connecting those words with images? What experience, sense, thought, feeling, mood, possibility that you connect with through Feldenkrais would you like to communicate?

You can leave comments below, or on the images in the gallery here. The comment form lets you submit your own images of Feldenkrais or the “sense of” Feldenkrais!

15 Replies to “Photographing Feldenkrais”

  1. Lynnette, this is great. I am a practitioner of one year, and therefore been working with posters, advertising. Reading your comments echoes exactly what I was told by an artist who owns a yoga studio/art gallery.
    My question is: I am clear that in order to convey ‘Feldenkrais’ via an image, it needs to be of an ATM or FI. these days one can just Google on Google images and take pics off the web. On feldyforum theres been this whole discussion about copyright – and I wonder how this exactly works with photos. Someone told me its ok as long as you credit the photographer.
    Of course, taking ones own photos would be ideal, but some of us are not in a position to do that yet… expense, suitable location, people, etc.
    Thanks for this, look forward to hearing from you.
    Nikhila

    1. Lynette,
      First I would like to thank Kathy and Karen for the photos they created on the behalf of the CORR. I would also like to thank CORR for creating the PR Kits. BRAVO Guys!!!!!
      The greatest challenge in creating a photo for the Feldenkrais Method is how to demostrate movement and process. The photos are very lovely but they appear very posed. THe use of attractive young people is appealing but is it representative of our work. Especially when we say our work is useful for people despite age or level of ability.
      Another question that arises for me is considering why Moshe in his book, Awareness Through Movement, did not use human models.
      I am in the process of developing a new brochure. I will keep you advised of how I am addressing these challenges.
      My Two cents,
      March

    2. I do want to agree in expressing my appreciation to CORR for doing this! It’s fabulous. In all sorts of ways I really like these photos, and about the PR kit in general, well, if we didn’t have the CORR we’d have to invent it, as they say.

      There’s an Amherst scene of Moshe playing with wooden dolls and he gets the most impressive expressiveness out of them. I’ve got some funny non-human ATM photos here I’ll post soon….

      I look forward to seeing how your brochure develops!

  2. Nikhila –
    Lynnette provided a good response for you. My website has some great pictures that cost quite a lot of money and still I own only partial rights. Even I have to get permission from the photographer to sell them or let someone else use them. Generally the photographer expects additional payment.

    It is one of the confusing issues with the web. Copyright is not so easy to keep clear.

    As I redo my website, I am paring down the using of pictures and going to let just one or two per page do the talking. We will see how it goes!

    Cynthia

  3. Hi Nikhila,

    It is a challenge to find good images for our brochures and posters! Unfortunately, the copyright situation doesn’t just let you use someone else’s image as long as you give credit. I’m no expert in this field, but it’s probably best to write and ask permission when you find an image on the web, unless it’s clear that the image is in the public domain. (For example, you can find all of Gray’s Anatomy on the web, because it’s in the public domain: so the images are free for you to use too. My images from Marey and Muybridge that I use on my site are old enough to be in the public domain. There are also many historical images at National Libraries of Medicine, History of Medicine Division.)

    Bridges and Spines

    I did this for one workshop using an image from one of the historical sources.

    It’s really hard for us in our individual practices to have the skill and/or the cash to get good images produced. This is why it’s so great that the Guild did the PR Kit, and got us some images with rights to use them. Most of us have an individual practice too small to warrant paying for photos. Many people would be generous to let you use their images if they understand that you’re not going to get rich off it anyway!

    1. Lynette
      I heard from a fellow teacher today that the Kit describes the method as a movement method which none of us like. Is that true? I haven’t read the kit yet and if so I do not feel partculary intrested in buying it…I trust your judgment so tell me your view.

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