I have to start off by saying that I hope you’ve already read my post on how to prepare for your next yoga photoshoot. Now that you’ve booked your photoshoot, it’s time to create a storyboard of images that you’d like to shoot!
You can start by checking out my Pinterest board, Yoga Photoshoot Ideas to get some inspo. Better yet, start your own to really capture your own style and essence. As you can probably tell from mine, I love earthy, outdoor shots that are a little more artistic than plainly shot. However, if that’s not your style- then it’s all good! Just take the next few days before you shoot to figure out what exactly your style is.
Maybe you’re reading this, and you’re like: Kayla, I have no freaking clue what my photo style is, that’s why I’m reading this post!
Don’t worry. I got you.
In this post, we’ll cover everything from how to understand the style of photos you’d like to capture, as well as a list of 10 yoga poses that capture nicely across the board.
How To Discover Your Personal Aesthetic For Yoga Photoshoots
As I mentioned before, it’ll be a great visual point of reference if you check out my Pinterst board to get an idea of what I mean when I say that my preference is “earthy” and “artistic.” As you can see, I love shooting outside, with natural light- as opposed to indoor, studio shots. I also love details- like close ups of hands or feet, rather than the whole pose.
You might be looking at my board, and thinking these are nice- but just not YOU. So, let’s get started on defining your own style in your next photoshoot.
Brand Kit and Colors
If you have a brand kit and brand colors already, then this is a really good place to start for the aesthetic of your shoot. And, if you don’t have a brand kit or brand colors- then I’d like you to think about the colors and textures that capture you holistically.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you like the color blue, you can only ever wear blue in your photos, and your logo has to be all blue one day. It just means that you want to wear something that won’t clash with your branding (or future branding). If you’re still unsure, then I’d stick with classic, less stand out colors like white/off-white, black, gray, or brown.
Consider Your Social Media Aesthetic
What does your currency social media look like? Do you primarily post your yoga flows inside, or outside? Do you prefer natural light, or staged light? Are there other topics on your page besides yoga that influence the way your social media looks?
I personally am not someone who likes a fully branded Instagram page, because it just doesn’t feel as personal to me. However, I do like to have a relatively conducive feel to my grid as far as colors and setting goes. As you can see from my page, I’m mostly posting outside (not always, but mostly). This tells me that rather than booking a studio for a yoga shoot, it would be more aligned with my existing content to go for a sunrise shoot on the beach- or anywhere in nature, really.
Again, this doesn’t mean you have to be pigeon-holed into always only indoor, or always only outdoor. You’re just wanting to make sure that there’s cohesion in the visuals.
What Is Your Demographic
Lastly, it’s important to consider your demographic. Why are you taking these photos? What are you trying to promote, or sell? Are most of your students from a high-end studio in the city, or are they more free-spirited hippies?
You don’t need to conform to who your students are, but your images also need to be able to reach your audience in a way that will resonate with them. Of course I want you to be authentically you as a yoga teacher, and in your photoshoot- but I also want to make sure that if you’re investing in a photographer that you can get the most value out of the images.
Let’s say you live in a major city, but you’re planning on using these photos to sell your next yoga retreat (hmm…at Still Salty Escape, maybe?!). Rather than taking urban photos to sell a rural, tropical retreat- go into a park, and get creative with the trees and leaves. I get it, your park probably won’t have the same foliage as a your destination yoga retreat, but shooting outside in nature will capture the *essence* that you’re trying to sell. This will draw the right people in for the event at hand.
10 Yoga Poses For Your Next Yoga Photoshoot
Now that you’ve decided the style of the shoot you’re going for, then you can start thinking about poses. I’ll just say it once more in case you didn’t hear me the first two times: Pinterest is a great place to start. I highly suggest creating your own board, so you have it on hand for all future shoots, as well.
*Pro Tip* You can make the board private, and just share it between you and your photographer, so they have access to it, as well.
I know what you’re thinking: isn’t child’s pose a little…boring? No way. I’m a big fan of child’s pose in photoshoots, because not only is it easy to hold for a long time- but you can also shoot it really creatively. This is a great pose to get those close up detail shots, or to capture the entire shape. Plus, it’s not too intimidating, which can be helpful for sales.
Badha Konasana is another simple shape, only this time we get to see your beautiful face! Trust me, as someone who was a yoga model for years, I realized I barely had any photos of my face when it came time to building my big girl website. It’s important to have some photos with your face in it, so people can get to see YOU a little more. I like to hold my feet in this pose, and then look off to the side, as opposed to straight into the camera.
Here in Sukasana we have another option to show our face. Yay! Or, you can also use this shape as an opportunity to play with hand and arm variations. This is a beautiful position to incorporate mudras, and get detailed shots. It’s also not too intimidating for your students, and can be quite versatile in how it’s used, as well.
As you can tell, I’m starting you off with gentle, simple postures. Not only is this helpful for you when you’re shooting, because you can hold these positions for a long time- but you can also create some really cool shots with them, too. Tadasana is a powerful shape, and a good photographer can capture that power well. I like to play with hand and arm variations here, particularly with hands on heart, or thumbs to the third eye.
You don’t need to have a super deep backbend for this one, don’t worry. If you’re outside, wait for a gust of wind to make the shape really stand out! If you’re inside, you can use a fan, instead. I love this one with cactus arms, or keeping thumbs on the third eye. Make sure you relax your face here, so those forehead veins are bulging, and you don’t look clenchy and tense. Remember, you can always breathe where you land in all asanas.
Virabhadrasana two is one of those poses that people see and just automatically think “yoga.” It’s the perfect shape to show strength in an accessible way. Even if someone is newer to yoga, chances are you could help get them into Vira ll with your fantastic yoga pose cues, right? Let the classic nature of the shape speak for itself here.
You might already know that I’m a backbend girlie, which is why you’ll see a few backbends pop up in this list. Similar to Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior is one of those shapes that people associate with yoga. But the beauty of the backbend gives it a little softer feel than the sharp lines of Warrior 2. I love adding a half bind with my back arm, and a mudra with my top hand. I find that this photograph is better than Extended Side Angle, by the way.
Vrikshasana is another yoga visual that’s pretty consistent across the board. The cool thing about this posture is that you can add quite a few leg, arm, and hand variations to it to change the personality of the shape each time. Vrikshasana is a beautiful yoga pose to embody strength, balance, and softness all at once. Get creative with your variations here, and get those detail shots in this pose, too.
Is it even a yoga photoshoot without Natarajasana? I know, I know, Dancer Pose can be a little played out in photoshoots. So, if you cringe at the idea of it, then choose another standing balance posture, instead. The reason I love Dancer Pose is that it photographs well regardless of how deep, flexy, or strong your Dancer Pose actually is. Remember, it is a bigger shape, so save it until the end of your shoot once you’re nice and warmed up.
Your BIG Pose
We all have our strengths, as well as our signature shapes. This is the time for that posture to shine. Maybe for you that’s another big backbend, like Wheel Pose. Or maybe you’re more of a hand balance girlie, and you handstand your little heart out here. Whatever you choose, just make sure that the big flashy pose isn’t taking up the ENTIRE shoot.
Yes, we want to make sure that your signature “move” is captured. Especially if you’re, say, selling a course for handstands. But it’s also important to have plenty of poses that show people you can help them actually get to the big posture, as well. Otherwise, people might be too intimidated to even try.
Remember, the simple shapes can photograph the best. They can be super versatile in what you use them for, a great way to show your face, and easy on your body for long holds. If there’s one thing I hope you take away, it’s to never underestimate the power of Balasana or Sukasana.
Can’t wait to see your pics, friends! Tag me so I can give you some love.