Spencer Bentley: A Commercial Yoga Photographer

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All images by Spencer Bentley. Used with permission.

“I draw my inspiration from a lot of different places. It could be a song I listened to, or a painting that I may be thinking about, or simply the feel the location that were shooting at,” says photographer Spencer Bentley about his images of his wife doing yoga. “We usually go out with a certain number of poses we want to nail, then I kind of let the inspiration come to me.” He tells us that his wife is a big part of the creative process that she gives news points and perspectives on things that he didn’t have. “I tend to see shots from a purely artistic point of view, where she can be more commercially inclined because she knows what appeals to her followers.”

Spencer has been shooting photos just for fun for years, but made the leap to go pro five months ago. As a wedding gift, he received the Fujifilm X-E1. It helped me immensely as Spencer admits that the older he gets, the less he is able to find creative outlets for himself. He admits to knowing nothing about photography until the moment that he had a eureka moment. “Something about seeing a concept come to life exactly how I envisioned drove me to dive head first into the discipline. I read up on every genre, all the greats, and every method I could,” says Spencer. “I started to become inspired by photographers like Sebastião Salgado, Fan Ho, Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, and countless other truly brilliant artists who had mastered their fields of photography. With so many amazing directions possible, I actively fought against specializing in anyone type of photography.”

After a while, Spender and his wife moved to DC so he could complete his education at George Washington University. During this time, he bought an X100s.

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At the same time, Spencer’s wife was going through a creative dilemma of her own–then she discovered yoga. She used it as a means to meet new people in the area and started an Instagram account to showcase her practice. Then her following began to grow and the two became more inspired to create more content.

“After a while we began to get contacted from retailers that cater to the yoga community (apparel, jewelry, accessories, etc.) asking us to create commercial content for them. As a result of her social media platform gaining more recognition, I became know in the yoga community as a photographer that knows how to capture the type of photos that appeal to practitioners.” says Spencer. “Now, after years of fighting to resist specialization, I’m finding myself exclusively shooting yoga practitioners for everything from social media accounts to clothing line catalogs.”

Spencer tells us that his commissions started to outpace his X100s’s capabilities. So now he shoots with the Sony A7 Mk II and the Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia. “Focusing on producing content with what I have available has been my path to success and I see no need to change that formula, even if I have the means to.”

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