Photos: A Fallen Yoga Angel.

get elephant's newsletter

When I was starting to photograph yoga in 2008, Matt had just made his commitment to yoga by quitting the day job and jumping feet first into a full time career as a teacher. I was just starting to screw up my courage and actually ask people to model for me. After two years of regular practice, the only people I had really gotten to know were the teachers (and THAT is a topic for another post…), and so they were the only ones I could approach. Matt’s classes were a favorite destination, and one day after class he and I were chatting and I took a deep breath and said “Any interest in shooting some yoga down by Boulder Creek?” I was so thrilled (and relieved!) when he said yes. This was only the second time I’d actually set out to work with a model. We got some nice shots and this one was the first wall print I sold to CorePower Yoga.



yoga art sidebend post assistIt was the beginning of a partnership that has continued for over 3 years. There is a lovely parallel between Matt’s development into one of the premier teachers in Boulder and the growth of my own eye, vision and skills. He is also adventuresome, creative and willing to do the odd crazy thing. And he loves to get upside down.



We hadn’t shot together in a while, so one day when we ran into each other at class I said “Let’s find some rocks and play.” Two days later, I loaded the lighting gear into the car and we met up at Flagstaff Mountain above Boulder. The look, feel and character of light is incredibly important to me, and where I once just depended on the natural light, I now work at manipulating it. My skills (and gear!) have come a long way since that first foray to Boulder Creek, and I knew what I wanted to do with Matt. I wanted to use the rock and cloud texture at midday, and control it with artificial light that didn’t look artificial. Similarly, Matt’s skills have come a long way and he knows the poses and energy he wants to represent. This image is the result—the pose is called Fallen Angel, and to me, the light, the setting and Matt’s execution all capture that name wonderfully. It’s my favorite image of this year.

yoga art fallen angel pose

A coda to the story is that right as we were finishing up, a park ranger came by and informed me that setting up a light stand (which qualifies as a structure) on Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks is illegal. She accepted my ignorance and I just got a warning, but it means this photo is never to be repeated. I kind of like that.


About Jim Campbell ~ OmLight Photography

Jim Campbell is a yogi, photographer and engineer in Boulder, CO, where he tries to see Yoga in a Whole New Light at OmLight Photography. Follow his regular shoots at and his OmLight Blog. Jim teaches in Boulder at The Little Yoga Studio. He has a particular interest in helping men discover yoga and teaches a mens-only Tight Guy Yoga class at The Little Yoga Studio.


13 Responses to “Photos: A Fallen Yoga Angel.”

  1. Jim Campbell says:

    Thanks Chelsea! Feedback like that really feeds the soul of a photographer.

  2. karen says:

    this is wonderful, jim! this was (one) of my fav images you have created. no words to really say how wonderful it is (and how wonderful Matt K. is!!! )

  3. dave says:

    So you shot commercial photos in a regulated park area without inquiring if a permit or other rules might apply? Lame. And then to boast about some kind of exclusiveness because of your violation? That's pretty unprofessional. Similar rules apply in national parks, and, lemme guess, you disregard them there too. You might check in on the satya of your actions, just sayin'.

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:


    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage. Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook.

  5. Jim Campbell says:

    Thanks Karen! It's a pleasure to capture Matt.

  6. […] post first appeared as a story in the fabulous elephant […]

  7. Valerie Carruthers says:

    Where most Yoga photography attempts to celebrate the Light, you and Matt have done the more daring thing by diving headfirst into the Dark. Bravo!

  8. Jim Campbell says:

    What a wonderful take on it! I Love it.

  9. What an honor to have Jim as a contributor to Elephant Journal.

    Posted to my Facebook page, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn.

    Bob W. Editor, Elephant Journal
    Yoga Demystified
    Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon

  10. Jim Campbell says:

    Thanks Bob! Looking forward to joining the ej family!

  11. Karen Muggeridge says:

    Have always been a big fan of yours! Your work is amazing! Will be looking forward to future blogs.

  12. Jim Campbell says:

    Thanks Karen! Got a nice note from Space because of your FB share. Come visit – we missed you when the big Delt invasion came for JP's wedding.

  13. […] Kapinus is a teacher in Boulder Colorado. I’ve taken his classes for years, and he was one of the very first instructors I photographed almost 4 years ago. He’s a wonderful teacher, and has a devoted set of students at the studios he teaches […]