In today’s world being a successful yoga teacher takes all more effort than just landing a few studio classes. Many yoga teachers need an established online presence and platform to market their offerings and service. Each yoga teacher needs quality photos for flyers, online profiles, content, workshop advertisements, etc. For years I have gathered small strategies from my modeling, photography, and yoga background to take better yoga photos. Yoga photos can take practice and time to get the shot. Here are my tips for getting better yoga photos for your yoga business.
1. Make sure that photographer gets low
I have found yoga photos typically look better if they are taken at the height of the yogi. Taking the photos at that height helps to make the yogi look bigger and it draws more focus to them. I recommend taking the photo at a couple of different heights. Review the photos and then take a few more at the height that looked the best.
2. Create angles with the Body
One of the oldest tips in modeling is to make different angles with the body. For example, hand on the hip, knee popped, ankles crossed, etc. This is because creating angles is visually more appealing to the eye. This tip can be applied to yoga photos. Poses with many angles look much better than a twist or simply fold. Think about how you can make more sharp defined angles with your poses.
3. Create Straight Long Lines
Think of some beautiful ballet photos you have seen before. The ballerinas are probably making long clean lines with their bodies. If you are not very flexible maybe don’t do a pose that showcases flexibility. Even if you are hyper-flexible don’t overstretch to create a line that is more soft and curved. Visually long straight sharp lines look best in photos.
4. Choose a posture that coordinates with the background
When deciding on a posture to shoot ask yourself, “How can I best fill the open space with my body?”. This requires a quick jolt of brainstorming and creativity. Think of yourself as a display in front of the backdrop you are shooting or think of how you can interact with the backdrop. I recommend trying 2 or 3 poses to play around with what looks best in the given background.
5. Check your framing
Framing is my secret sauce to getting the shot. This can be tricky because it is a culmination of all the things above- body angles, body lines, the height of the photo, filling of space. Framing can make or break the photo. Some tips for framing include: making equal distances of points in the backdrop and the body, making sure the photo is taken with the camera lens flat and directly pointed at the subject, and taking the photo where the horizon is perfectly straight. Attention to these details is what makes the photo to the next level and makes the cleaner shot.
6. Note: Not all poses are photogenic.
Although all poses are valuable in a yoga practice, not all poses are photogenic. Some are much more visually appealing than others. Many contortions, twists, simple folds, etc don’t look very good in photos. For example the pose bird of paradise – this pose rarely is a visually captivating shot. It is hard even as an advanced practitioner to create long consistent lines or sharp angles with the body in this pose. I recommend keeping a small album on your Pinterest board or Instagram of yoga shots for inspiration on your next shoot.