There’s nothing like a photo shoot to make you question everything; is this outfit okay? Will it photograph well? How about my hair, is it looking good? Is my pose perfect? Am I sucking in my belly enough so I don’t look fat? Are those people watching? Will I hurt myself if I try that pose? Should I warm up? Should I smile or just have a relaxed face? There are so many questions that can come up prior, during and after a photo shoot; which is why I’m giving you tips on how to prepare for a Yoga Photo Shoot. Everyone will have their own tips and tricks when it comes to a photo shoot, and not everyone will agree with my tips . . . and that’s okay.
I recently had another photo shoot, my third one in a year and a half window, and it made me think about some things I wish I had known in previous shoots. My number one tip is to find a photographer.
Find a Photographer:
There are so many fine photographers out there, and it can seem like a daunting task when you are getting started. Many yogi’s and yogini’s suggest that you find a photographer who is also a yogi; as they know what they are looking for in a pose and will have a keen eye. I disagree with this tip, because I feel it is more important to find a photographer that you feel comfortable with. Each photographer, a yogi or not, will have a different eye for locations and poses; for me it is more important to find someone I feel comfortable with. I’ve had the pleasure of working with three photographers, and I liked all of them for different reasons. I felt very comfortable with all of the photographers, and it really shows in the pictures. Comfort is key to great shots.
Ideas or Images that you are seeking:
I cannot stress this tip enough; know what you are looking for prior to going in. I’ve made this mistake of not looking around and just knowing I wanted to have a few professional images of yoga poses. Remember to think of poses that you want, and be okay with not always capturing certain poses. Perhaps one day you can get into the pose, and then the day of the shoot you can’t. Yes, it sucks, but it does happen. I suggest looking on Pinterest for yoga poses and image styles you like. It’s better to have a list of what you want, rather than flowing through poses that you come up with on the spot.
Pick Your Outfits:
This is an essential part of your yoga photo shoot. Be sure to pick one or two outfits, minimum, that photograph well. If you are not sure if your funky tights will photograph well, talk to your photographer. Your photographer will know what’s best in this case, as they know their equipment.
Location, Location, Location:
When you go to book your photo shoot be sure you have a couple location ideas for your shoot, or you can let your photographer choose the location. If you’re not sure on how to select a location I recommend choosing a place that means something to you. There’s nothing more amazing than images of you doing yoga in your favourite places; it gives that image a whole new meaning to just you.
Pick a Date:
This is also very important for your shoot, be sure to pick a date that works for you and the photographer; and look into their weather policies. Be sure to give yourself a couple days prior to the shoot to practice the poses you want to get pictures of, this way you are getting your body and muscles familiar with the asanas you are looking for.
Be sure to warm up prior to your shoot, and I mean within minutes of your shoot. Theirs nothing worse than getting into a difficult or challenging pose without warming up your body, and then being sore for a few days. I have been there and done that twice now. You are not a kid anymore, and you cannot bounce back from it; warm up and practice safety. Be sure to do those lead up poses and Sun Salutations, so you can walk away pain free the next day.
Depending on how long your shoot is, I always recommend keeping water handy and stopping for a water break as often as you need too. It’s nice to take a break in-between and chat with the photographer. Sometimes they will show you what they have taken so far, and it may give you ideas for other poses or images that you want.
Patience and Discipline:
Be prepared to hold your pose for a length of time. The photographer is skilled, but they need time to perfect the shot too. This will require you to hold your pose, or come back into the pose a number of times; so be sure to choose your poses wisely. On the note of patience, you will sometimes have to wait before getting any sneak peek shots back or to see your whole file of pictures; be patient. Your photographer will get it done when they can, and remember you aren’t their only client.
Be open and willing to work in challenging weather; within reason of course. Some of my best photos have come from adverse weather. I remember freezing outdoors during a winter shoot, only wearing red tights and a tank top. Yes it was cold, but the pictures look incredible. You can’t be afraid to be out in the pouring rain, or in a snowstorm; sometimes-intense beauty can be found within those adverse moments. Those moments make your picture authentic, and it gives you a story to share with others when they see that picture. Be open to the environment, and what is has to offer you.
Photographers have all sorts of tips, and I recommend keeping your ears open for them; because you can sometimes use them when shooting with your cell phone. Most photographers tell you to avoid certain times, and I agree with them. When the sun is highest in the sky, avoid being out in the sun, find a shady spot to shoot in. The light can cause difficulties for the photographer, and can sometimes white wash you out of the image completely. When posing keep soft features, you can part your lips slightly, and be sure not to grab on too tightly if you’re posing with your hand on your neck or waist. Keeping it soft will allow the naturally beauty to come out.
These are just some of my tips for a photo shoot, and they can be taken out into photo shoots that aren’t about yoga as well. There’s nothing like great photo shoots that make you smile and feel confident.
If you are in the Midland- Muskoka area, I highly recommend Jennifer and Matthew from2 Views For You, as well as Rob Doda for photo shoots. They all have unique set ups and ideas for your shoot, and will leave you feeling amazing.
Best of luck on your upcoming photo shoot!