Gone are the days of those six pack and gym selfies - it's time to say hello to the new type of selfie - the yoga pose!
I'm sure we've all come across those inspiring and aspirational yoga poses that one could only ever hope to stretch or bend into. With the likes of Rachel Brathen and Sjana Elise's Instagram accounts it's hard not to want to create something similar to what these girls are doing. When you think about it, their pictures are a form of art in itself. They take into account their surrounds and think about image composition - it's not about taking a pretty photo and getting lucky. It's about knowing how to take the shot and being in that moment so it truly reflects in the image taken.
So, I guess you want to know how to get that perfect yoga selfie? Remember a picture tells a thousand words...
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- 1 mobile tripod. You can make one or purchase one from a camera shop
- 1 waterproof case (optional). I love the Lifeproof ones.
- A few outfit changes
- Leave your hair as you like. I think the more natural it looks, the better.
- Your phone.
- A very warmed up body. I like to do 30 minutes of sun salutes before getting into any poses for pictures.
- A yoga mat. I love Lululemon's version for its awesome grip.
1. Find your pose
Firstly, you need pick a few asanas (poses) that resonate with you. Whether that's a back bend, Dancers Pose, Pigeon etc... Try to pick the elegant poses - these will photograph in a more beautiful and aspirational way to your followers. Remember, each pose has an internal meaning. Look them up before you send out your picture!
- Make sure your alignment is correct! So many times I've seen beautiful images of girls in yoga poses, yet their alignment isn't correct. Not only does this reflect badly on your practise but it can even send the wrong message and result in injuries for others trying to emulate your pose. If you're not sure about your alignment, treat yourself to some yoga classes, buy a book on yoga how-to asanas or, even better, do a yoga teacher training course. There are plenty out there. (I did 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training with my yoga mentor Kate Kendall at Flow Athletic and am looking to do 300 hours very soon.)
When in your pose, relax your face muscles, relax your jaw and breathe into the pose. Close your eyes so you can really feel what the yoga pose is giving to you. Your reader will be able to feel this too.
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2. Taking the picture
When in your pose stand exactly side on to camera to show the full extension of what pose you are in. Turn on the grid of your phone camera. This is so important, as a grid helps you to measure your image. I always say go for the thirds rule. Eg. with the sky in the top third, floor/beach in the bottom two-thirds of the image. Here's an example.
- Don't worry if you don't get the shot the first time around. Take as many as you can - you're bound to get a few that you'll like. Photographers use the same rule, too. Make sure you relax and be yourself in front of the camera. This is the only way to get a great picture.
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3. Time of day
When taking images, the time of day is incredibly important. Early morning sunrises and evening sunsets are stunning, but require you to be there ready and shooting in those exact few minutes. Otherwise, I recommend shooting once the sun is up (morning) or setting (afternoon), because there is a beautiful soft light that is very flattering on the skin. Anything too close to midday isn't great - the sun is too harsh and casts shadows on your face and body.
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4. Clothing considerations
I try to wear figure-hugging activewear and colours that contrast (or stand out) from the backdrop I'm shooting with. So if you're shooting a beautiful dark silhouette sunset shot with the beach as your backdrop, then go for lighter pastel colours (whites, yellows and peaches) so you will stand out in the picture.
- Other things to consider: Black is hard to shoot in any type of lighting. Clothing that's too loose will not show the pose or your shape off very wekk. Opt for tights and singlets, bikinis, bike pants or crop tops (Amanda Bisk does this well).
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5. Uploading to social
Before you upload the image straight to social, try to correct the colour and light of the image. You can do this easily in the Instagram tools function, or with Snapseed (my fave). Play around with the settings to ensure that your image looks the best it can be. Depending on your style of your photos, you can easily do this in just a few swipes. Personally, I love to play with all the settings, but again, it's what works for you. When you find your look and style, stick to it, so there is consistency with all your images.
And there you have it! Five simple and easy tips on how to take a beautiful yoga photo.