Yoga photos have become part of our everyday lives, or at least that’s true in my world. Not a day passes where beautiful, bendy people from all over the world aren’t in my life.
Not literally in my life but figuratively – through that square box we all love/ hate – Instagram.
Some days I love my social media feeds that are teeming with yogis and their inspirational messages, monthly challenges, and brand promotions. And other days, I simply can’t stand it.
The world of yoga & social media has a lot of positives and negatives – it’s a place to connect, to meet new people, to learn, and to be inspired. But on the flip side, it’s a black hole where one can get sucked into how many likes, how many followers, pushing our bodies into poses just for the photo, and even jealousy.
This is when YOU MUST STOP SCROLLING.
Yoga + photos + social media = a fine balance. As practicing yogis, it’s our duty to maintain this balance and recognize when the ego take overs versus the true self. And…..END RANT on yoga and social media.
The beautiful photos we all see and love are the result of hard work, creativity, passion, and collaboration. In this case, collaboration being with a photographer.
Upon graduating from yoga teacher training, a special friend gifted me a day of yoga photo taking with a local photographer. This would be my second photoshoot ever, the first one being my high school graduation. As you can see, I qualify as an inexperienced model BUT I persevered and planned for a beautiful day and experience.
I know what your next question is – how does one plan for being a yoga model?
Below is everything I learned from spending an ENTIRE day bending and breathing into poses for the camera. The suggestions are broken down into before, during, and after. Please feel free to ask any questions, related or unrelated, and offer up additional suggestions from your personal experience.
Before You Bend:
- Dedicate time to your yoga practice for at least a few weeks before the day. Practice consistently. Use your breath to hold poses for an extended period of time. Bring attention to your face and soften wherever possible.
- Write down the postures you want to have captured – include different variations. Make and bring this list of postures to the chosen location.
- Study other yogis that are an inspiration to you, follow their social media accounts, and save the images that you want to recreate.
- Choose 2 – 4 outfits to wear. If the shoot is short, then maybe only one outfit. Decide if you want to incorporate jewelry, scarves, a yoga mat or rug, and how best to style your hair.
- Work with the photographer to choose locations that will complement the poses. Depending on the situation, you might do 2 or 7 locations.
- Decide if you want to include a fellow yogi in the shoot or just have them tag along for support.
While You Bend:
- Bring whatever your heart desires, I’m a firm believer in being over prepared vs. under. This is what I brought:
- 3 – 4 outfits + extra underwear
- Deodorant, makeup, cleansing wipes
- Jewelry galore – bracelets, necklaces, headbands, mala beads
- List of postures + paper & pen to jot down notes and ideas
- WATER! And then more water….
- If shooting outdoors and you have a small bladder like me, bring toilet paper for the outdoor experience
- Nourishing snacks + a possible lunch break to fuel back up
- Do a short morning practice the day of, get the joints lubricated, the spine stretched, awaken the body.
- Stay HYDRATED!
- Enjoy the experience – recognize that two people are joining together to create art. It’s a damn beautiful thing.
After You Bend:
- Celebrate that you just accomplished a day of creating art with another artist
- Make a delicious dinner & pour yourself a glass of wine
- Plan to be sore! All bodies are different and this might not be true for everyone BUT holy hell was my body aching and moaning. It’s not normal to hold advanced postures ALL DAMN DAY so it’s okay if the body is a little upset. Just plan to give your body some serious TLC!
- Use a heating pad or ice pack
- Take an Epsom salt bath with lavender
- Schedule a massage
- Go to a restorative yoga class for the next few days
- Use the beautiful photos for anything your heart desires!
- Social media love
- A personal blog or website
- To make business cards
- To create flyers for workshops, events, etc.
- Frame inside your home or office
- Give a copy to the parents, they’re always proud of our accomplishments!
- Remember to give credit back to the photographer who helped create the images. Make sure to link back, tag, or simply spread positive feedback about the experience.
- Be proud of yourself for expressing a form of creativity and for creating the strong body that bends into the beautiful postures we all know & love.
Namaste yogi friends!
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.