My experience as a yoga photographer

Hey everyone! This week I’m telling you all about this experience as a yoga photographer! Few months ago, I’ve made a list of all the possible careers I wanted to do and this one came up: yoga photographer. Of course I was influenced by this Instagram vibe where you see all the time beautiful pics of men and women posing in amazing places all around the world and I thought: ‘That’s a work I can try! Maybe I don’t need any training to do that.’ Hell, I was wrong aha! Let me tell you all about it and what I wish I knew before trying^^

Finding models

When I had this idea, the first thing I needed was models. I didn’t know how to get that and thought about it a little. When suddenly happened an epiphany! I’ll put a message on a yoga teacher Facebook group in my city. Not on a yogi group because people might not feel at ease to pose and won’t also be as interested as yoga teachers to do it! And indeed, yoga teachers need all the time great pictures to support their work and credibility! They need content and material for social medias, website, flyers…And let me tell you, as soon as I posted it, my DMs went crazy especially as I offered to do it for free. I had 50 people asking me about my schedule, I was overwhelmed but excited!

What I wish I knew before and would recommend you to do if you want to pursue this career: I should have asked for money. Even if you start something new and don’t feel like a pure professional (impostor syndrome, hello!), it’s great for you as a human being taking time to help others, to get money. It’s a symbol of respect for both sides and I’ll tell you why.

When no money is involved, some people might not care at all to cancel last minute (even if you offer to help them for free!).

You might not be a perfect photographer but your time is worth money, baby! Even if you don’t charge much, charge something significantly enough so people don’t feel they can treat you the way they want. You are getting experience but they are getting pictures in the end so it’s a win-win for both!

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Photography 101

I’m used to take pictures like a tourist: automatic mode. Nothing special. I thought as I have a nice lens that it would be enough to take great pictures but trust me it is not xD Knowing your craft really is important, therefore taking some courses or individual lessons is highly recommended. Whether there is a photography group in your neighborhood or you find some interesting videos on the Internet, do what is needed.

What I wished I knew before too? Not all lenses are meant for the same purpose! Wide angle? Not really good for taking yoga pictures in the city, except if you have an exceptional panorama around (which I’ve never had the way I wanted it).

Should you have a good quality camera to start being a good yoga photographer? Yas, Queen! (sorry watching Queer Eye at the moment and my vocabulary has changed ever since xD). Gearing up right is important, you don’t need the fanciest camera on the market but having a good quality camera is super important especially because the people who asks for the pictures will usually need them for promotion, therefore they need good quality!

If you’d like to modify your pics on Lightroom or Photoshop, you’ll also might need a course and great quality images.

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Yoga for photographers

Sometimes I didn’t practice yoga before going to the photoshoot and…WRONG again! When being in the photograph’s skin, you realize that you may do some weird poses yourself to take an original or even normal pic! So here are my favorites easy & quick poses you can make to warm you up a bit before the photoshoot!

Start with some Sun Salutations, then follow with…

Chair pose (Utkatasana): to warm up your quads and start firing the body

Child’s pose (Balasana): to soften your back

Boat pose (Ntasana): to waken the core and abs

Then see how your body reacts during the shoot and how you can adapt your little sequence for the next time!

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Location

A great location can be…everything in a pic! Taking time to select the right one, the time it’s best to be there, maybe some Instagrammable places but also some places out of the box too. Me I started in the most convenient areas around me, mostly parks because although I live in the city, I still have a love & hate relationship still with it. And thanks to Dutchess Lazyness I didn’t bother to look around there before the shoot thinking it would be simple and effortless to find the right spots but it…is…was…not!

What I wish I knew before?

Know your spots! Know where you are going, know the nice angles, places and original details you can highlight along the yogi at this spot to make the pic special.

Get inspiration! From Instagram, Google, blogs, anything you can put your hands on to inspire you. I believe that even if you’re starting or you are a professional, everyone needs inspiration to encourage us to move forwards and break our limits!

Material

The first times I started, I had a LOT of things in my bag, just in case you know xD And the models had a lot of things too. One even had a baby! And especially as you don’t always know the models and also if you don’t have a nice indoor space to bring them into, you are doing it outside in public places. It’s safer and easier, right? Yes, but what are you doing of the stuff then? I’m sure you guessed it, the photographer need to watch it! And let me tell you that trying to take a picture with your heavy bag, the model heavy bag and maybe to look after too, focusing on the pic and not on the pain on your back or the fear to loose the baby, it’s kind of hard!

So the thing I wish I knew I know about photographing yogis in public space before is: travel light! If you can just carry a bag with your camera, 2 lenses max, ID card and mini bottle of water, you are great.

For the model, ask her or him to carry only the minimal stuff because you will carry it around for maybe hours.

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The best part

Personally, my favorite part was to discover other yogi teachers. Honestly, it was a great way to bond, spend some great times talking with other yogis and also to get some knowledge about how was the teaching in Paris. Because I had no idea! And I actually learned a lot about the places to go and not go teach, the prices that the teacher got paid and I actually found my first yoga teaching job thanks to the first girl I met.

Even though, I don’t see myself doing this job on the long-term, it was fun to try it. Maybe I’ll come back to it again later in life after taking some photography lessons, who knows?

And you are you doing this job or do you know someone doing this job? I’d love to get to get to know you or them especially for my next section to come: Yogis photographers Interviews! If you are interested, leave me a comment here or send me a DM on Instagram or Facebook!

P.S: didn’t put any of the pics I’ve made of the yogis here because I’d rather share later these pics alongside an interview of these people and not associate these beautiful people to my perks and drawbacks experiences of yogi photography^^

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