In the time of social media, taking photos of one’s practice is getting more popular than ever. Yoga photos are interesting because they showcase both talent and the learning phase, and are very inspiring to look at. It is also the best way to record your progress or to check your alignment.
Whether you are taking a selfie or someone else is taking the photo for you, be sure to warm up prior. This is something very easy to forget, but it’s essential to be warmed up and prepared before doing any pose, especially when doing advanced postures. Warming up will not only lessen the chance of injury but will also make your pose deeper and more correct. Do a few sun salutations and lighter stretches that prepare the muscles you are going to use in the asana.
( Don’t be afraid to dress your best for your photo. You can find great yoga leggings here.)
There are a few ways to take a picture of yourself on your own. For easier poses you can set up a timer – this is good only if you are able to go into the correct posture in the 10 seconds your timer allows you. Another, more efficient, way is that you use the remote control, but this is possible only in poses where one of your arms is free. The best way, however, is taking a video and making a screenshot of it later. It might have been of lesser quality and isn’t as artistic as an actual photo but if you film your practice you can focus on doing the postures correctly and you’re able to document more postures at once.
If someone else is taking the photo you should instruct them to take the minimum of five photos per pose and to try out a few different angles so later on you’ll have more to work with. This person doesn’t have to be a professional but be sure that he/she knows the basics of operating a camera, for example, to set up a good light and to focus correctly.
The best photos are taken outside, at sunrise or sunset, when the light is strong enough but also smooth and enhances the beauty of your body in the pose. Asanas look especially good when you are surrounded by nature, but don’t take this as a rule. Urban setting can also add something interesting to the pose; by combining traditional and modern you create something unique. If you want to take a picture in your home, use the brightest room in the house because the sun always looks better than unnatural lighting. Try to find a part of the room with fewer distractions since the overcrowded room could take a lot from your shot. This doesn’t mean you have to do it in front of an empty wall with just your mat on the floor, feel free to include something else, like a candle or a bookshelf, but make sure it is calculated.
It is normal that when you are having your picture taken you to want to look your best, but remember to stay natural. Try to keep your spirituality and breath under control even during the shot.