One of the most intimidating parts of joining an online yoga challenge is taking the perfect yoga photo.
A few thoughts might pop into your head: Who’s going to take it? What if I’m not doing the pose correctly? Other Instagram yogis are so more advanced than me … The list of excuses goes on.
In a few simple steps, you’ll soon be on your way to taking breathtaking yoga selfies.
First of all, you should own your practice and your current comfort level, whether it’s just dabbling in down dog or flipping upside down into a one-handed inversion. STOP comparing yourself to other yoga students.
If you wait until you’ve reached the expert level, you miss the opportunity to share your yoga journey along the way. There are literally ALL levels of yoga being shared on the web and wherever you are on the experience spectrum is perfectly okay.
Don’t be afraid to start putting yourself out there, whatever your level.
The Benefits of Taking Your Own Yoga Photos
At first, you might feel pressure to hire a professional photographer, pay a bunch of money and spend a too much time editing photos. Or you might be afraid to ask a friend or significant other to take your photo. The reality is, you’re better off taking your own yoga photos and eliminating these extra steps all together!
Once you learn how-to take your own photos, you can take them when it’s convenient for you. Plus, it takes the pressure off having to perform yoga poses perfectly in front of another person. You can self-correct poses as you go by reviewing your photos and course correcting along the way.
It can take several attempts to get an asana just right at the beginning. If you’re taking photos yourself, you aren’t as concerned about throw-away shots or about moments where you fall out of a pose. You can always delete photos down the line and choose the ones the turn out best.
How to Take Your Own Yoga Photos
I was first inspired to take my own yoga photos after seeing this video posted by Brooke of the travel blog World of Wanderlust:
I absolutely love her wanderlust-inducing travel photos and couldn’t believe when I found out she started out taking all of her own travel photos! Her video opened my eyes to how much more accessible and easy it is to take your own photos, vs. depending on someone else to take the photos for you.
Simple steps to take your own yoga photo:
- Find the right space in or nearby your home with natural lighting.
- Use a tripod with your digital camera or smartphone.
- Set-up a timer, snap and share!
It’s that easy. Now, we’ll go briefly into each step so you know exactly how to take your own yoga photos.
1. Set Up Your Yoga Space
Choose a convenient location that receives a lot of natural light and shoot during daylight. This can be somewhere at your house or in a nearby park or beach area. The light should be filtered, either coming in through windows or in the right area outdoors so that you aren’t dealing with shadows.
Since I live in San Diego where it’s sunny all year long, I shoot in a place outside in a covered section of our patio that receives even lighting all day long. That way, I don’t have to base my shot around the placement of the sun in the sky.
Make sure you have a full range of motion surrounding your mat. Avoid a space where the ceiling is too short or where you’re hitting the wall behind you. For shooting purposes, you’ll also need to choose an area where you can set up the camera several feet away from you so that you can get the entire asana into the picture.
Keep in mind that if you’re mainly posting to Instagram you’ll need the yoga pose to fit into a square crop. While Instagram has opened up the upload specs, square still performs the best. You may need to set the camera up a little further away from you for long or tall poses in order to get the entire asana into a square crop.
Once you define your space, have fun adding to the ambiance. A few things you can add include a Buddha statue, plants, candles, lights – whatever makes you happy!
2. Use a Tripod to Get the Perfect Shot
In order to properly display the pose you’re doing, you may need to move the camera on the tripod around a bit. Stabalize your pricure and ensure you get just the right angle with a basic tripod
I like to line the tripod up with the center point of my pose. For instance, if I’m performing a standing pose like tree or warrior I will have the camera in the highest possible placement of the tripod. Instead, if I’m doing a floor pose like camel or wheel pose I will lower the camera on the tripod so it’s level with the pose.
By lining your camera up with the center point of the pose your audience will be able to see your alignment clearly. This could make the difference from a mediocre yoga pose to a great one.
3. Set Your Timer, Snap & Share!
The last step is simple. Once your spacing is lined up, check the automatic timer controls on your camera or smartphone. Set your preference and strike a pose!
I set up a timer for 10 shots in 30 seconds on my Canon PowerShot SX510
That way I can take several shots and select my favorite from the bunch. On my iPhone, I set the timer for 10 seconds.
If you’re recording video, start the recording and use whatever free video editing software is available on your device to edit the clip down to only include the parts you want to feature. If you’re uploading to Instagram directly you can edit the clip right within the app.
What are you Waiting For?
Now that you know how easy it is to take your own yoga photos there’s no reason to miss another yoga challenge. Challenges are a great way to expand your practice, to learn new yoga poses and to win beautiful yoga gear!
Starting March 6, I will be hosting the #DashworthyYogaChallenge on my blog and throughout social media. Each week you’ll learn one beginner, leading up to intermediate, yoga pose to try at home. This is a great chance to get introduced to yoga if you haven’t started yet!
Snap a picture and post it to social media using #DashworthyYogaChallenge for the chance to enter.
Bonus: I’m giving away one free entry via email if you enter NOW:
Every week you post a yoga challenge photo is a new chance to win a boutique yoga outfit. Each of these outfits have been hand-picked by yours truly. Don’t miss this great opportunity to try a few new poses for the chance to win a beautiful new yoga outfit weekly.
Now get snapping. I can’t wait to see your stunning yoga selfies! Leave a comment with your Instagram handle and I’ll be sure to show you some social love.