Advice from a Goddess: Tanya Alexis, Aura Photographer
I'm so excited to introduce a new blog series here at Sparkle Rock Pop - Advice from a Goddess!
This series will be all about featuring powerhouse women who work in the health and wellness industry. I'm talking about Life Coaches, Reiki Healers, Meditation Teachers, Relationship & Dating Coaches, Tarot Readers, and so much more!
Yeah, I know I have you hooked now!
I can't wait to introduce some of these concepts to you guys! Especially through the eyes of these amazing women who are helping to make the world a better place.
First up - the innovative and exceptionally kindhearted Aura Photographer, Tanya Alexis! I first met Tanya at the Silverlake Farmers Market and have gotten to stay in touch with her while she travels the world sharing her gift and following her truth.
Without further ado... Here's some sage goddess advice from Tanya -
What inspired you to create an experience where you offer healing before each photography session?
My partner passed four years ago, and on the anniversary of his death, I went to the place we spread his ashes to pay my respects, to take photographs, and to grieve. The next day when I went to drop the film off at my lab, I opened the bottom of the camera, thinking the film was rolled up. It wasn't. I quickly closed the bottom, heartbroken that the images were going to be ruined. But they weren't. Instead, I discovered something new to me, a way to create beautiful effects that expressed how I felt inside.
It would be another year before I used this technique intentionally. I was photographing a dear friend who happens to be a healer in Los Angeles. I felt compelled (as my intuition strongly suggested) to expose some of her film to light, to see if I could mix her energy visually onto the film. It created some incredibly powerful images, and I knew I wanted to create more work like this, perhaps find a way to incorporate healing into a photography session.
About nine months later, I photographed another incredibly powerful Los Angeles healer. This time, I wasn't worried I was going to ruin the film. I just went for it, and after I saw her images—even though my belly was filled with butterflies—I knew it was time for me to create a way to share this experience with others. It was time to encourage others to see their inner beauty, strength, and abilities, and to help them share these numinous aspects of themselves with others.
What is aura photography, and how do you capture one's aura?
My version is a bit different. Aura Photography typically uses Polaroid film and two small boxes that you place your hands on. The healing session pre-shoot allows for myself and the person being photographed to connect to our own knowing, so that we can create images that are relevant to where they are at at this moment in time. I shoot with an analog camera on film, and I randomly open up the bottom of the camera, allowing light/energy to enter and create whatever needs to be seen onto the frames of film. My purpose throughout the shoot is to hold space for the person being photographed to allow them to connect to their soul. I hold the intention that the energy will be transmuted as light.
What is a major take away people can get from an aura photo?
My intention for these shoots is to have the person being photographed walk away with images that show them exactly what they need to know at this moment in time. If you need to feel more supported, I hope the images will help you feel more supported. If you need to be reminded of your softness, I hope the images will help remind you that you have an inner softness. If you need to be reminded of your power, I hope you will walk away with images that remind you of your power.
How do you recommend people best embrace their light?
Listening to your heart is always a good start. It is important to really stand in your knowing so that you can embrace all the beauty that exists around you so that you can embrace all the lessons and experiences that are allowing you to grow and expand on a soul level.
What brings you the most joy from your sessions?
Seeing the calm come over my co-creators (I was going to say clients, but co-creator seems more accurate) after our healing sessions. Watching as they connect to themselves to create images that will be meaningful to them at this moment in time. Not knowing how the images will turn out and yet knowing that they will turn out exactly as they are meant to come out.
How do you incorporate wellness into your life?
In the span of 54 weeks, I lost my partner and then my father, both unexpectedly without any warning. I had a choice to make either allow the pain to break me open or break me apart. I chose the former and thus began a long journey that continues to this day. I spent almost two years going to Energy Healing Sessions every week to help work through all the pain I was feeling. As I healed more, I began doing things that felt right. I took a Reiki Training course so that I could practice on myself. I started listening to my body more. Going to Workshops and Rituals when I felt called to do so. Sound Baths are one of my favorite things to do because you magically get exactly what you need during a sound bath. There would be periods where I would go to the Korean Spa on the Full Moon and use it as a clearing and releasing meditation, over time, it switched to a New Moon Ritual because it felt right. The most important thing when incorporating a wellness routine for me is to listen to what I need at a specific moment in time because, like everyone, my needs shift, and it is important to shift your wellness practices as you shift.
A Little Bit More About the Sessions...
The journey begins at a location where you are your most authentic self: in your home, at the ocean, in the woods... anywhere you feel joy! We will find a quiet spot, and you will spend 15 to 20 minutes receiving Reiki (a healing energy) channeled through me.
After your healing session, we will spend the next 40 minutes photographing you at your most peaceful, at your most joyful - meditating, dancing, twirling, moving your body in any freeing manner that makes sense to you in that moment. During this time, I will shoot 36 frames of film.
Following the session, you and I will sit together while I rewind the film, holding an intention of authenticity and love. When the time is right, I will open the bottom of the camera to let the light in, to let your light in.
One to two weeks following our session, you will receive the digital files of 3 to 7 beautiful color photographs*. They will be yours to keep as a reminder of who you are, your vibrant spirit.
*These photographs are not photoshopped. They are purely a mixture of film, you, me, and light.
Advice from a Goddess is a Sparkle Rock Pop blog series featuring powerhouse women who work in the health and wellness industry. I'm talking about Life Coaches, Reiki Healers, Meditation Teachers, Relationship & Dating Coaches, Tarot Readers, and so much more! Click here to catch up on all of the amazing advice these Goddesses have dished out!