Outdoor yoga photography | Tips

yoga photography outdoors

Yoga photography is a collaboration between the client and the photographer - the more creativity, energy and passion, the better! However, many of my clients will not have worked with a professional yoga photographer previously and may not know what to expect or how to prepare so as to get the most out of their outdoor photoshoot - so here are my top tips! 

Yoga photography tips

It's really important to think about and talk to your photographer about exactly what you are hoping to achieve, so that the photographs reflect your practice, style and personality. Emma, featured here, was really keen to portray her natural, playful and approachable teaching style and I think the vibe of these photographs capture that perfectly. For example, as well as lighting, clothing and expression, it was important to her to focus on simple poses, rather than advanced asanas, which are more likely to appeal to her target audience of beginner yogis. 

I always recommend that my clients send me a list of poses that they have in mind prior to the photoshoot. It helps me understand their practice and energy and to plan the shoot as to which poses will work best in which setting. It's also a useful aide-mémoire for clients during the photoshoot when I find that its really easy to go blank!

Bring a selection of outfit options; these will give variety to the photos and mean we have a choice as to what will work best in different settings and with different asanas. Think about any accessories and jewellery you may want to include.

It can be very helpful to have a friend join the shoot, especially if they also practice yoga. Whilst I am always looking out for alignment, toes, hands and expression, another pair of eyes is always extremely useful!

During the photoshoot itself I take quite a proactive approach as I understand the lighting and angles and how these will translate on camera. For example, I know from experience how some yoga poses photograph much better than others - and the pitfalls to avoid! My suggestion would be to trust your photographer to direct you and be prepared to repeat some poses, or slow down your flow, so that the photographer can get a number of different compositions of each pose. 

Make sure to ask your photographer to capture some natural headshots, as well as full body asanas - these are especially useful for social media and connecting with your audience.

Be mindful about holding tension in your face, especially in poses which require concentration or a lot of strength. The expression on your face makes ALL the difference to the energy captured in the photograph.This also goes to the vibe you are looking to portray, whether playful or more serene. You don't have to be grinning from ear to ear, but relax your facial muscles wherever possible! 

Outdoor yoga photography

My sessions are always relaxed and collaborative, so whilst many clients will be apprehensive, the goal is to have fun and create some beautiful, meaningful images together! I would be thrilled to help if you are looking to commission some beautiful outdoor yoga portraits in London, or elsewhere. You can contact me at heather@heatherneilson.com or here

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