We recently chatted with Sydney-Based yoga teacher and photographer Gabriela Fearn. She regularly does yoga photo sessions for yoga teachers wanting to update their branding and social media feeds. If you’re thinking that you’d like a little brand refresh with photos to boot, read on!
Over the last couple of years, I've had the privilege of photographing many different yoga teachers. After working with both men and women, new and advanced practitioners, in studios and at outdoor locations, I've picked up a few tips and tricks. If you're a yoga teacher thinking about getting photos done, here are my top tips to get the most out of your experience:
Choose your photographer. It seems obvious but make sure you choose someone whose photography style you love, and someone who you think you'd enjoy spending time with. Extra points if they're a yogi because they will be familiar with pose names, and be able to help you with alignment cues. If your photographer isn't a yogi, you might consider bringing along a yoga friend to help you with your alignment and pose suggestions.
Jot down a list of poses you'd like to include at your session. You'll want to think of a mix of standing poses, balances, backbends, and floor based postures.
Think about location. Would you prefer a photoshoot in a studio, or outside? Studio shoots are great because they make for consistent, clean images. Shooting outside can give you more varied backgrounds. I personally love both, for different reasons. It's totally up to you to decide what kind of look you're going for. Lighting will also play into this, whether you're inside and working with window lighting or studio lighting, or outdoors, in which case you'll probably want to schedule your session in the 1.5 hours just after sunrise or just before sunset.
Bring props to your session, little things that are meaningful to you and can add extra dimension and interest to a photo. Some ideas: mala beads, singing bowls, a journal, crystals, tarot cards, or a favourite candle.
Relax, enjoy yourself and consider playing music. You will most likely feel awkward at first and that's totally normal! I find that most people start to relax about 15 minutes in and that's when it starts to get fun. Speaking of fun... For many of us, music makes us loosen up and feel happy. So if you're shooting in a studio and you have access to the speakers, consider playing a favourite playlist.
And a bonus tip...
Take a bath! When it's all over, you will most likely be feeling sore. Make sure to take care of yourself and take it easy for the rest of the day, and finish the day with a long soak in the tub if you have one!