In my 300 hour training nearly every student did a photoshoot with our local photographer at Still Salty Escape. Before a few of them had their session, they asked me if I had any tips. In other words, that moment is the inspiration behind this post!
I know you can scour Pinterest for the most instagrammable yoga shots, and yoga photo inspo. Trust me, I have a whole board dedicated to this to try to help you out in this department. And, I’ve definitely been the one searching for myself.
The visual components are super helpful and important (I mean, obviously, it is a PHOTOshoot, afterall). But, there’s also 7 key tips I’d like to leave you with before you start your next yoga photoshoot.
Trust me, I know it can be nerve racking to pose in front of a camera. It can feel awkward, and like: am I even doing this right?
Which is why a little guidance before can go a long way.
Before we dive into it, I just want to remind you that you’re stunningly beautiful exactly as you are, simply because we often need this reminder before we take photos of ourselves, and we all love a little confidence boost, am I right?
Photographer Who Knows Yoga
First things first, hire a photographer who knows yoga asana. They don’t have to be a teacher, or some super advanced yogi. But it is really helpful to work with someone who knows what shapes are supposed to look like.
Let me tell you something, I have worked with some world renowned photographers in my lifetime. And even if the photo itself is stunning, I’d think:
Dang, I wish they told me to square my hips more, or lengthen my left leg just a touch.
Working with a photographer who knows the shapes can, and SHOULD, give you verbal adjustments while you’re in front of the camera. And if they aren’t, then ask them to.
We all know that sometimes we feel a certain way, but it actually looks different. And sometimes we think our shoulders are aligned, but they’re really not. Or we think our feet are together, but they’re apart.
Ask for guidance from your yoga photographer, and make sure to check that they’ve shot yoga or KNOW yoga asana before you book them.
Plan Poses & Locations Ahead
If you’ve never done a yoga photoshoot before, you might not realize how quickly the hour will pass by. And, you might think you have a ton of ideas- but it’s all too common to get in front of the camera and freeze.
Or (this is me), always do the same things over and over on default mode, and then kick yourself after wishing you did a bunch of things that you didn’t.
The best, and easiest way, to avoid wasting the hour is to come with a plan. Whether that’s a Pinterest board, saved IG photos, or a written list of poses- just make sure you know what you want to shoot.
Next, make sure you know where you’re going to shoot, and think about what will look best in each area. For instance, when we shoot at Still Salty Escape, we have the Yoga Shala, the plants/garden, shadow play, or the beach. Those tend to be the best places. And each area looks best with different poses!
Have a brief plan ready, so you can maximize the hour, and get as many photos as possible.
Wear Classic Colors For Your Branding
It’s important to wear classic colors for you and your branding so that the photos will be long lasting, rather than seasonal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to organize seasonal shoots from time to time, with themed clothes.
But guess what?
That also gets expensive! Although photoshoots are worth every penny, they can also be pricey (especially on a yoga teacher’s budget). Your money will stretch a lot further if you book just ONE shoot with classic colors, because then you can use those photos over and over again.
Maximize Time With Multiple Outfits
Again, photoshoots are an investment! So, try to maximize the amount you spend for that one hour, by bringing at least one outfit change with you. The hour will go fast, so you don’t want to waste a ton of time changing.
Know The Angles
We’ve all seen those crotch shot yoga photos, haven’t we? And most of the time, it’s not intentional. It’s just poor angles at play.
Typically, the best way to capture a yoga pose is to be directly parallel to the camera lens. This tends to really showcase the whole shape, while also being the most flattering (avoiding those crotch and bum shots).
Think about it like this: if you were in Wheel Pose, the photo should look like you have just one leg and one arm, because they’re directly to the side of you. This will also show the full arch of the backbend.
Now, not to complicate things, but of course it’s fun to play around with other angles in different poses. Again, if your photographer knows yoga, then they’ll also know how to play with different angles that won’t be up the butt or between the legs.
The shapes you’ll want to be the most careful about are the ones with the legs separating.
Look, I’m all for the big, bendy and strong shapes. They certainly make a statement. And, simple poses can be just as effective.
I’m not saying don’t do any of the bigger shapes. I’m just reminding you that all of your photos don’t have that flashy peak posture energy. Incorporating simple shapes is helpful because:
-They are less intimidating if you’re using the photos to sell something.
-They help you preserve energy during the photoshoot.
-They’re easy to stay in for a long period of time.
Always Warm Up First
Make sure you always warm up before a yoga photoshoot. Yes….even if it’s a sunrise session. Why? Because you’re likely already going to be doing everything on your stronger side, which is going to make you feel a little wonky after.
And because, it’s all too common for people to get injured on a yoga photoshoot, simply because they didn’t warm up.
I love to go through 3 – 5 Sun Salutations, plus give myself a little wrist love. And that’s usually enough for me. You might crave something different, or might do a short warm up flow particular to the poses you know you’re going to capture.
Check out my No Time For Yoga series for 15 minute incredibly effective flows for all areas of the body.
Alright, I think you’re officially ready for your next yoga photoshoot.
One more thing:
Can’t wait to see the pics, my friends!