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11 Yoga Photography Tips: Everything You Need To Know

by Andrea Spanik / December 20, 2021

Whether you’re using your self-timer to get the perfect yoga shot, or you’re the one behind the lens capturing all the bendy goodness, yoga photography never fails to bring in the likes on Instagram and TikTok.

Sound good?

If you’re ready for a serious influx of likes, use these yoga photography tips:

1) Backdrop matters in yoga photography (like, a lot)

I mean, sure, the person actually doing yoga matters, too, but if you really want to take your yoga photography to the next level, you need to consider the backdrop.

You don’t have to be on a mountain top with a glorious sunset hanging over you to accomplish this either. A cool brick wall or bright white space will do. Just, like, leave the unmade bed and dirty pile of clothes off the ‘Gram, ‘kay?

2) Don’t discount the ordinary

I know you want to get that jaw-dropping head-stand, or maybe you’re hoping to capture the always-popular dancer’s pose, but don’t forget about the more classic poses.

While these might require less “skill’, your model will likely have an easier time holding the pose and getting that form down.

 

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A post shared by Boho Beautiful (@bohobeautifullife)

Trust us, when it comes to your photography, form is EVERYTHING. If you want the pics to look pro, you need the model to look pro. Choosing more attainable poses with dreamy backdrops can help you do this.

As they say: Keep it simple, stupid.

3) Lighting, lighting, lighting (did we mention lighting?)

 

 

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A post shared by Lamise (@lamise)

Seriously, though, don’t discount the power of lighting, especially when it comes to yoga photography.

Bright light, in general, is a good idea with photography.

Also, with yoga photography, lighting can really help to make certain aspects of your pic pop.

For instance, a perfectly placed shadow that gives your model the perfect muscle definition, or a beautiful contrast that helps highlight the pose can go a long way to improving your pic.

Keep in mind, you can also opt for more artistic/moody lighting (i.e. capturing a yoga pose at sunset or lit by candle), but just make sure you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to waste your time capturing yoga shots only to discover you have a handful of pics that resemble a big blob of nothing (not ideal).

4) Dress up your model

 

Or, dress up yourself, if you’re the model.

Because, let’s be real, yoga might have its roots in spirituality, but its become fairly aesthetic-based.

You know, cute sports bra, the perfect high-pony, and don’t forget about the must-have fitted Lulus.

This matters when it comes to your photography, so skip the baggy tees and leggings with the holes in them.

Make sure your model is dressed to impress when you’re shooting yoga photography, ‘kay?

5) Keep the image distraction-free

 

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A post shared by BAILEY BROWN ✨ (@baileybrwn)

No doubt about it, your model and the yoga pose itself should be the star of the pic.

Keep the rest of your backdrop relatively minimal. Sure, we’re never going to complain about an ocean backdrop and some swaying palm trees, but if we’ve got the Smith family having a picnic to the right and a busy road filled with cars to the left, this probably isn’t going to make for the best pic.

Of course, you can always do some editing to make these distractions “go away”, but also, there’s no harm in trying to make things easier on yourself by scouting locations where distractions are limited.

6) Play with your settings

Sure, you can play it safe and take traditional yoga shots, but if you have some photography experience and you want to get a little creative, start playing with your settings.

Aperture, shutter speed, exposure—there are plenty of ways to get creative with your yoga photography.

(But hey, word to the wise: make sure you know what you’re doing here. Playing with your settings could result in a wasted photoshoot, which we want to help you avoid).

7) Embrace that yoga energy and keep it calm

There’s a time and place for blasting music, hyping up your model with lots of encouragement, and generally just keeping the energy high.

But, listen up: Your yoga photoshoot is not it.

Yoga requires intense focus and a calm attitude. As much experience as your model might have, if you’re jumping around and hollering out instructions to her/him, you’re probablyyyyy not going to get the shot you want.

Move slowly, take your time. There’s no rush here. Let your model flow between poses, experiment with different angles, and let the shots develop naturally.

There’s no forcing yoga photography. It’s all about embracing that natural, organic life (appropriate, right?).

8) Don’t be afraid to move around

I feel like we don’t have to tell you this…BUT if you’re not moving around and playing with angles during your yoga photoshoot—well, really, any photoshoot—then you’re doing it wrong.

Unless you somehow manage to embody some serious Annie Leibovitz energy, and you just happen to capture that perfect shot right off the bat, this is pretty rare and doesn’t offer you much variety.

 

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A post shared by Boho Beautiful (@bohobeautifullife)

Get on the ground, try shooting from above, and don’t be shy about getting up close and personal with your model, perspective is key when working to get that winning shot.

9) Give your model feedback

Maybe you’re not winning any awards anytime soon for your yoga skills. Maybe simply bending down to touch your toes is a struggle…

We get it, as a photographer, you don’t have to be a yoga expert.

BUT, when it comes to shooting images, you are the expert. Don’t be afraid to give your model feedback. Maybe she could tilt her head to the right for a more flattering angle, or perhaps if she just reached a little further during her dancer’s pose, you could make use of a beautiful shadow.

Sure, sometimes, your model just might not be able to bend their body in a certain direction, but hey, doesn’t hurt to ask.

10) Try working with partners

 

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A post shared by JOJA (@joja)

When you think of yoga photography, you might automatically think of a single individual nailing a stunning pose.

We get it, yoga is a fairly well-known individual activity, but have you ever seen yoga photography that makes use of two models?

Say hello to some stunning yoga pics!

Working with two models can sometimes be more complicated because you have to consider the positioning of both individuals, but if you’re able to get this right, it’s well worth the effort.

11) Don’t be scared of a DIY situation

I know we’ve been talking about things like aperture, exposure, and using yoga models, but don’t let this deter you from a little DIY yoga photography situation.

Just because you don’t have a fancy camera or the perfect yoga model to work with doesn’t mean you can’t start adding some beautiful yoga shots to your grid.

YOU can be the model. YOU can take the pic. And yup, YOU can absolutely get a beautiful yoga shot this way.

Thank you, self-timer feature.

Plus, don’t forget, your iPhone has some serious picture capabilities. You truly don’t need a fancy camera for epic shots.

And hey, if you pull off this DIY situation and post a beautiful shot of yourself doing yoga, phew, all bets are off when it comes to the number of likes you’ll see headed your way. Trust us on this.

Ready to get snapping those yoga pics?

If you’re feeling inspired, pick up your camera (or your iPhone!) and get to work.

Yoga photography can seem intimidating when you first start experimenting, but with these tips and some experience, we’ve got a feeling you’re going to get addicted to adding stunning yoga shots to your grid.

Who’s in?

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