Yoga is the perfectly balanced embodiment of strength and grace. Each yoga pose is an achievement and, like any other milestone, deserves to be celebrated. And what better place to share the achievements of your yoga journey than through photos, whether you share them with your friends on social media, or just to enjoy yourself?
Whether you’re just starting out with your yoga practice or already an advanced practitioner, you know that even the simplest yoga poses require a ton of work. When taking a photo of your yoga poses, the ultimate goal is to make it look effortless and beautiful.
Here are five ways you can create the perfect yoga photo for your Instagram, teaching portfolio, or just for fun!
1. Pick a pose and shoot in burst mode
Photo credit: @annamanalastas
As you already know, there are hundreds of yoga poses out there. It can be really overwhelming to choose which one you should capture and share to your followers.
But first things first: narrow down your options. It makes sense to focus on poses that you have practiced already. While there are countless twists, balances, and even back bands to choose from, make sure that the poses you choose are the ones you can hold for an extended period of time. For smooth transitions, also pick poses that you can move in and out of easily.
When it’s time to shoot your yoga pose photos, use a tripod or secure base and set your camera to burst mode. This way you won’t miss any adjustments or peak moments of your pose. It also gives you options to select the best shot before posting.
Remember: Do not force yourself into a pose. Focus on where you are in terms of the progression and work on the full practice. An effortless look also requires that you breathe and smile!
2. Shoot in a stunning location
Photo credits: @RobinMartinYoga
We usually practice yoga in studios with big groups. This is great for classes but capturing a solo photo for your Instagram is best with a bit more excitement. Once you have a specific pose in mind, choose a unique location where you can execute the pose safely.
Wide open parks and fields are ideal places for seated poses or leg balances. The flatness of the ground helps you stay in a position comfortably. If you’re a bit more advanced with your practice, arm balances such as the crow pose or flying lizard can also be a great fit for space.
Of course, shooting inside yoga studios or even in your own living room are cost-effective options. Just make sure that the space you choose has adequate lighting and isn’t too cluttered. This way you make sure that the viewer’s focus stays on the photo’s main subject — you.
If you’d like to bring extra focus to your yoga poses, consider doing different poses with the same background. This works especially well for Instagram Stories. A minimalist feed using the same background also works well but take note that this requires careful content planning over the course of several days or weeks.
3. Highlight your yoga poses
Photo credit: @Dr_Kaufman
Yoga is a display of strength, flexibility, and grace, so make sure you highlight these using the tools of a photo editing app.
Photo credit: @seanphelpsyoga
Play with highlights to accentuate the lines your body creates when executing poses. Show how much work your muscles are doing by adjusting the contrast and shadow settings. Make yourself pop out of the photo by reducing the brightness and saturation of the background and adding a vignette or recreating the blurred borders look.
4. Add a filter
Photo credit: @kristenpro
If you find editing with manual settings overwhelming, you can choose to build an Instagram aesthetic using filters instead. Apps like Instasize offer dozens of premade and professionally-designed filters. All you have to do is pick and choose the one that matches your desired look.
But remember that not all filters are not created equally. It’s best to avoid those that are too dark and or have too much contrast as these might blur the lines you want to highlight. Instead, opt for a filter that can bring out the cuts of your muscles and make you pop out of the background.
If you want more control over your filters without the technical difficulties of manual editing, then Instasize is an excellent option. The app actually gives you control over how much filter gets applied to your photos. Just select a filter, click it again, and slide the bar left for a subtle mood change and right for a heavier filter application.
Photo credit: @codyyoga
Once you’ve chosen your favorite filter, you can then apply it to all the other photos you’ve taken, especially the ones in the same location. This is a great way of unifying all your posts.
5. Identify your theme
Choosing a theme for your photos is also very important. Here are some popular themes that you can consider:
Step-by-step: You can choose one pose and show different variations. A downward dog can progress into a three-legged downward facing dog which can then move into a revolved downward facing dog. Progression photos can also work as a step-by-step guide.
Photo credit: @vanessaandreah
Before and After: Take your Instagram followers on a yoga journey with you by creating progress posts. Take photos of how much stronger and more flexible you’ve become. Create styled text captions to show the span of time in which you were able to go from point A to point B in your yoga journey.
Location: As mentioned earlier, you can make use of just one specific location or spot for all your photos for an instantly cohesive look.
Colors: Stick to a color palette to keep your photos in theme. This can be easily done by choosing a particular filter and applying it to all your posts.
Framing: The best yoga photos always showcase the yogini or yogi in the middle of the photo. Play around with framing. Do you want your subject to be up close? Or do you want your photos to be shot in landscape mode so that you can include the elements around you (this works best with exterior locations)?
As a parting thought, these 5 tips to get perfect yoga photos will work best when you have someone to help you out. Someone familiar with yoga helps ensure your safety as you attempt yoga poses but having another pair of eyes, hands, and feet has additional advantages.
For one, you don’t have to worry about rushing to your spot after hitting the timer button. A fresh pair of eyes and an extra set of hands also goes a long way when capturing and selecting that perfect shot. Good luck and Namaste!
By Karina Ramos
Karina is a writer for BookYogaRetreats.com. Photo credit: @RobinMartinYoga
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