So, you’ve decided to take the leap and hire a professional photographer for your first yoga photoshoot! Good for you. Professional photography is one of the investments I recommend for building a successful yoga business. Planning your photo shoot for your yoga business may seem like a no brainer… “I’ll get into some fun yoga postures and my photographer will capture these great poses.” However, when planning for your yoga photo session, there are many other things to think about to ensure a thorough and authentic result.
Photo credits to the amazing Meg Marie Photography in San Diego, California.
Organize your vision
Begin by making a list of the photos you would like your photographer to capture. Check out the ideas below to make sure you have thought of all the different types of photos you’ll want captured. Make sure you are purchasing a package that includes all the photos on your wishlist. You can set up a vision board on Pinterest with some ideas that represent your ideas and share this with your photographer as well.
Prepare to look and feel amazing
Hair did. Make up done. Body warm. Professional photos aren’t cheap, but they are worth the investment. You can use these same photos for years if they are well done. So, make your investment worthwhile and make sure you feel amazing for your yoga photo shoot. I love to get my hair and make-up done prior to a professional photo shoot. No need to go all out with prom-style up-dos here, but a natural make-over feels amazing and helps you to show up with confidence on camera!
If you plan to jump into some fun yoga poses during your shoot, make sure you are already warmed up. Better yet, ask your photographer to snap some candid shots of you warming up with your sun salutations!
Now, it is possible to capture your authentic beauty and essence without fancy make-up and hairstyles. Some of my favorite photos are from a spontaneous photoshoot in Tuscany with Jacivibes. Our planned photoshoot was canceled due to rain, but an hour before heading to the airport the sun came out and we went for it! I love the natural, authentic way the photos turned out.
Plan to be “On Brand”
Colors. Be sure the colors of your clothes are neutral or on brand. Have you identified your brand colors and theme already? How will your photos look once they are up on your website? Do the colors of your website compliment the bright pink leggings you are wearing? Do your planned backdrops and background flow nicely with your marketing materials and instagram feed? Think ahead and plan accordingly.
Location, location, location
Indoors or outdoors? If you teach yoga on the beach, plan for an outdoors yoga photo shoot on the beach. On the other hand, if you teach from your local studio, you probably don’t want all of your photos and marketing materials to be gorgeous photos from the beach…. Make sure your photos “match” your offerings in this way. This helps to send a clear, authentic message to your audience.
Consider your marketing materials
Landscape or portrait? Be sure your photographer is planning to capture photos that can be used as banners on your website and Facebook events, squared photos on your instagram and headshots on your blog. Plan for a variety of horizontal and vertical photos to be sure you have lots of options and versatility of ways to use your pictures.
Close-up or from a distance?
White space and macro shots. Photos that include lots of whitespace are great ones to use for marketing with added text like class promotions on instagram or banners on your website. Close-up photos or detail shots that allude to a yoga vibe, but aren’t your full body in dancer’s pose are great photos to use for marketing your offerings in a versatile way without pushing a super strong yoga vibe. These photos could include mudras, seated meditation, hands at heart center, hands on your feet in a forward fold, or photos that capture certain angles of your body or a posture.
You are more than yoga
Headshots and yoga poses. Plan ahead for wardrobe changes. Ask your photographer to capture some general lifestyle photos that you can use as headshots for your blog, website and LinkedIn profile, as well as more yoga-specific photos for marketing your actual yoga offerings. Remember to capture some great photos of you making eye contact with the camera. This is oh-so-important for encouraging your ideal client to connect with you through your pictures and helps to increase engagement through your online marketing.
Show up as your authentic self
Capture your essence. What style of yoga do you teach? If you teach meditation and yin yoga, don’t get too caught up in creating amazing shapes and complicated ashtanga-style torsions for your photo shoot. If you teach yoga for beginners, stick with some of the more foundational standing postures or seated poses rather than arm balances and headstands on top of a mountain. Remember who your ideal client is and plan the photos for them.
Capture your essence not only by how you pose for the camera, but how you show your personality and what props you bring along with you. I often teach about emotional balance and mental health so I was clear that I wanted a variety of emotions to be captured in my latest photoshoot (not only smiley-happy-Jennison-shots). In addition, I incorporated cards and quotes in my photos because these are often a part of my teachings. You can also bring in art, your laptop, your favorite coffe mug, a journal, your pets, crystals, candles and more! Just be sure that whatever (or whoever) you invite into your yoga photo shoot are a great representation of your essence and your offerings.
Remember your professional yoga photo shoot is not about capturing the perfect yoga pose. It is about capturing you- your authentic self and your true essence. It is about creating a medium for connecting with your audience, your community and your ideal client.
Get clear on the message you want to share and most importantly… be YOU and have fun!