Active Lifestyle Boho Yoga Shoot with Buddhi Yoga Studio

Photographs taken by Kirk Hensler | Models featured from Buddhi Yoga Studio in La Jolla, California

5am wake up call to get to the pier in Pacific Beach, San Diego to make sure we caught the first light. I’m not much of a fan of alarms but I wish I woke up that early more often. Quiet. The city is like a movie set. The highway old and abandoned. And the PB pier completely our own. Which means the ocean was ours as well.

One by one they showed up with their outfits and props. We were going for yoga-ish, or as Carolina called it, “loose yoga.” And fashion-ish – which meant boho summer shots living the life in California. And active-ish – some casual stretches and activities outside of yoga, because let’s be honest, who only does yoga anymore?

There was only one gentleman, Jonathan Old-Rowe. I had seen pictures and heard of him but never met him in person. I heard he was an interesting guy, I figured that meant bizarre. He was a gem.


And Amanda, who is by far the funniest person I’ve ever worked with…and still knows how to channel her inner Kate Moss. I’m not going to share the ‘heroine-chic’ pic that we caught mostly by accident, but I look at it every day.


Goldie. Goldie was magic. It’s not easy to feel comfortable in front of the camera, let alone look like maybe you belong there full-time. Every direction out of my mouth was received mid-sentence and carried out 10 times better than I was imagining.


Carolina and I did a photoshoot together years ago “Yoga Superhero” that was a big hit. When she looks at the camera, you pay attention.


I didn’t get to spend much time with Linda because she had to leave pretty much right away but she was really sweet. She told me it felt more natural if I took her pictures while we had a nice conversation. So we did. And then we looked at the ocean.


“Alright, do you want me to do a back flip?” – Marissa

“Um, yes.”


Some of my favorites below. Same day turnaround.

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I took a black and white photography class in 9th grade with my mom’s old Pentax 35 mm film camera and stayed with it for the last 15 years. I opened a yoga studio in San Diego, CA 4 years ago and started taking photographs of my teachers. From there I moved onto photographing dancers. And in the last two years I’ve been traveling all over the world taking photographs of interesting subjects and uniquely textured landscapes.

I am a professional photographer in San Diego available for hire specializing in dance photography, yoga photography, fitness photography, movement photography, travel landscapes, portrait photography, headshots, fashion photography, and the occasional wedding if the venue is right.

Contact for pricing and availability.


Sarah Clark Feet HeadstandDSC_8196 first class legs extended-12 darci flying dancer SN (80 of 1)DSC_6189 SN (11 of 75) SN (2 of 75) Half Bind Overhead 1 Half Lift 2DSC_4647-12 DSC_4525-10 Wide Legged Seat Looking Up 3 (B&W)


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amy bootcamp first class-3 Detroit City15 Detroit City5DSC_6852 SN (67 of 75)DSC_6818 SN (33 of 75) SN (78 of 1)DSC_6305 SN (5 of 75) first class legs extended-39 DSC_1108 DSC_0879 DSC_0639 DSC_0275  Portrait B & W_ DSC_3501

Modern Ballerina

If there was nothing else to do – no emails to answer, no texts to write, no statuses to browse through, if there was nothing pulling us away from who we really are, and all we were left with was ourselves – then we could move freely and it would be beautiful.

No matter how uptight, how rigid, and how painfully scared we are, we have to move and we have to dance. It’s our one true defense against everything bad that has taken the purpose out of our step. It restarts the conversation that gets us to love ourselves again.

I’ve worked with Sarah a few different times for films and articles and we never have quite enough time to get into the really salty stuff. Sarah was a ballerina, a modern dancer, and a yogi in NYC before she moved to San Diego.

Her postures are so goddamn perfect that I wanted to find a way to make it look a little creepy or voyeuristic or something not pristine.

We spent a lot of time on the floor because she loves being connected to the ground and rolling around and it makes for great pics so I had fun with it.

Her physical ability was awesome, she could do anything I asked, and make it better than what I was picturing. And being a brilliant performer, she worked the camera over like none other.

Thank you Sarah.

I love watching people dance, especially when they love dancing.

modern ballerina from kale & cigarettes on Vimeo.

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yoga superhero

Model: Carolina Vivas of Your Buddhi, Hair & Makeup: Andrea Salazar McCain, Photos: Kirk Hensler

Southern California is a great place to live. Especially in comparison to Michigan, where I grew up. All the exercise and fresh produce is like a goddamn dream come true. But it’s easy living here, and it will turn you to mush if you’re not careful. As much as I love beautiful photographs of sunsets and blue skies, I can only take so much.

According to 90% of the conversations I overhear, yoga is soft and peaceful and beautiful. And it’s no surprise that a lot of the yoga photography tries to capture that perspective.

But I’m tired of looking at backbends over the setting sun – that has no teeth to bite me with.

I practice yoga to regain my superpowers.

Along the way I spend a good deal of time thinking about how ‘stupid’ yoga is and how I want to punch myself in the face for coming back to my mat even though last time I decided half way through class that I was done with yoga — because it’s too slow and contained and all I wanna do when I’m on my mat is walk off and jump out of the second story window. But then I finish, and I walk outside and I can read strangers’ minds and feel the wind on my skin more than usual and all I want to do is eat greens and fuck someone that I love.

Yoga offers such an incredible opportunity for stylized photography. Anytime we start moving our bodies it becomes personal. We get to know ourselves and touch ourselves and love ourselves. We can incorporate our own style and flavor into the practice and then it becomes our own.

And then it grows into a monstrous powerhouse and something truly beautiful that scares our friends that used to know us in high school.

When photography meets yoga, every subject reflects this beauty in a unique way, and it’s the photographers job to catch that with the camera.

Carolina and I had been talking about collaborating on a project for a while and we finally decided on a superhero themed yoga shoot. She is beautiful, photogenic, and healthy. Because of her yoga, she can put her body in remarkable positions that create killer photographs.

I like to look through the lens and see something that I have to think about for a second because I don’t have too many memories in my head of seeing it before.

I shot these at my new studio in East Village, San Diego and couldn’t be happier with the lighting. I don’t like to edit out veins or bulges or dirt or anything that takes away from what’s really happening, so these have some light editing to color hues, saturation, and clarity.

Andrea Salazar McCain put on some awesome extensions and makeup at 6am and Carolina and I talked over the shots.


What followed was

Arm Balance_ Arms Crossed 1

Splits Overhead 2

Crescent Fisheye B & W Extended Side Angle Old Polar Forward Fold 1 Half Bind Overhead 1 Half Lift 3 Handstand Splits 1 Handstand Splits 2 Handstand Tuck B & W Low Lunge Back Bend 2 Marichasana_ Ninja B & W Ninja Lean Fashion Pigeo B & W Pigeo Overhead Arms Extended B & W Pigeon Overhead Portrait B & W_ Portrait Hair Throat Wrap Side Profile no filter Splits Overhead Shot Arm Extended Splits Overhead Shot Backbend 3 Splits Overhead Shot Forward Fold 3 Splits Side Bend B & W Wide Legged Flat Back Cross Process 2 Wide Legged Seat Looking Up 3 (B&W)

To book a shoot, email

For pricing, visit the services page.