The 7 Steps I Took When Hiring A Local Photographer To Take Photos Of Myself In 100+ Yoga Poses
In 2012 I booked a day with a local photographer to take yoga photos of me.
In a 6 hour session, the photographer took over 500 photos! And at the end of the session I felt like I’d run a marathon. I’ve run marathons before, and I’m not joking when I say it’s like running a marathon. I ached from head to toe.
The effort was well worth it.
The 7 Steps I Took When Hiring A Local Photographer
I Googled “photographers” in [my town name].
Create A List
I opened up my Evernote and added a list of all the “photographers” in my local area.
Pick Up The Phone
I picked up the phone and called several of the “photographers” on my list and picked the one I liked the most. Here are the questions I asked…
“Can you make the photos have a white background?”
His response was, “Yes” and he brought a large white background and white floor to the venue which made all the photos come up with a white background. This was important to me because I wanted the images to look professional. I didn’t want a coach or a wall in the background.
“How much do you charge?”
He charged £150 for a day photo shoot.
“Are you up for a barter?”
He charged £150 for a “day shoot”, so I offered him 18 weeks of yoga classes. He almost said “Yes”.
“Do you edit the images?
He said that it would cost extra to edit the images. As I’m fairly good at editing images, I did the editing myself. He took 500 images, so it took quite a long time to go through and edit the images. The only editing I needed to do was to resize the image and a bit of cropping.
Hire A Venue
If the photographer hasn’t got a large enough space to take photos of you in “yoga poses”, I recommend you hire the venue where you currently teach yoga. I called the dance studio where I taught and asked if I could book a half day to use the studio. It only cost me £30.
Below are a bunch of ideas for the photo shoot…
Yoga Bible Shots
Take several books to the photo shoot with you. The main book I used was the “Yoga Bible”. I flipped through the book going from one asana to the next. The book was kept just out of shot, but close enough to quickly pick it up and go to the next pose.
If the have a friend, spouse or student nearby, get some shots of you giving them “adjustments”. This makes you look like an experienced teacher who knows what you’re doing (which of course, you are).
Ask the photographer to come to one of your classes and get lots of shots with you engaging with the class.
You could get shots of:
- you on your yoga mat with students surrounding you
- you giving an adjustment
- you walking in different poses
- your studio from lots of different angles
- your students in different poses (ask their permission)
If the photographer is coming to your class, I highly recommend you ask some of your regulars if they can give you a “testimonial” and have their photo taken. Ask permission to put their testimonial and photo on your website.
Testimonials work extremely well on websites, especially if you have a lot of local competition.
So, don’t be afraid to ask your students for a testimonial. Most of them will love to provide a testimonial for you. Get as many as you can! It’s impossible to have too many testimonials on your website. And I do mean impossible.
Ask the photographer to take shots of you outside. It helps if it’s nice and sunny.
The outdoor shots could be:
- in your garden
- at your local park
- by a river, stream or the sea
- by a busy street with an interesting backdrop
- by a colourful harbour
- in an ice cave (e.g. Vatnajökull Ice Cave)
- on a train platform
- on an exotic beach
- by a famous landmark (e.g. Eiffel Tower)
- within the ruins of a church
- within the ruins of a castle
- within the ruins of a temple
- on top of a mountain
- on a bridge
- at Machu Picchu (if you go on holiday there)
- by a Pyramid (if you go to Egypt on holiday)
- in a public building with lots of people
- by a brightly coloured wall
- in a beautiful doorway
The choices are endless. Let your imagination go bonkers. And, most importantly, have fun!
If you have a smart phone, always be on the lookout for interesting backdrops. For example, if you’re passing a brightly coloured wall, ask the person you’re with to take a photo of you in a pose (or more than one pose).
The photographer will probably send you a CD with all the images.
If you don’t know how to edit images (resize and cropping), then get the photographer to do the editing, or if you have a teenager close to hand, ask him/her to do them for you in exchange for something the teenager craves.
If you’re a DIY kind of person, you can use Photoshop on your computer. Or, if you’re not very technical, you can use PicMonkey. Actually, even if you are technical, PicMonkey is great. Easy to use. And you’ll get some amazing results. If you’re using your smartphone there are lots and lots of photo editing apps (pick one or two and experiment with them).
Here are some quick editing tips…
- Crop what doesn’t need to be there
- Increase the brightness levels slightly
- Use a filter that you like
And here are some quick PicMonkey tips.
Actually, not quite. It’s now time to use your lovely new images.
10 Tips On How To Use Your New Images
On Your Website Page
Use them on your website pages, especially your Home & About pages. And if you have one, your Gallery page.
Make sure the colours on your photo shoot matches the colours you want on your website. For example, if you want a website with “blue”, then purchase a “blue” yoga mat for the photo shoot. And maybe dress with a bit of blue (e.g. blue shirt). Call up your photographer and ask for ideas. Tell the photographer about the website colours you’ll be using, and he or she will have a bunch of ideas. It’s important to do this brainstorming before the day of the photo shoot.
Create Yoga Class Handouts
Within the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit there are 100’s of downloadable yoga class handouts. They took me 100’s of hours to morph into reality. All you need to do is download, print and give to your students. Students love receiving handouts! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like receiving a freebie?
With your new images, you can create handouts for your students with you as the “star”.
And when your students see “you” on the handouts it subconsciously triggers the WOW response. They will be WOW’ed by you. They will immediately consider a yoga teacher expert.
This WOW response is very similar to an author getting up to give a talk. If the audience knows the person has written a book, they instantly consider him/her an expert.
So, are you ready to WOW your students?
Create A Yoga Lesson Plan
You can quickly and easily create a yoga lesson plan by using the Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. But, you could also create a “yoga sequence” yourself using your images.
Here are 101 yoga lesson planning ideas to get you started.
Create A Yoga Logo
If you look at my logo, you’ll see an image of little old me.
That image was created during my 2012 photo shoot. I think having a logo with “yourself” in it is a great idea for a yoga teacher business. The reason is because the business is “you”.
You’re probably not selling a million yoga mats a year.
If you’re like most yoga teachers, you have yoga classes and the occasional yoga workshop or retreat.
The business is 100% YOU.
You are the brand.
You are the star of the show.
And because the logo sits in the most valuable real estate of your website (top third), then it makes sense to have an image of “you” looking at your visitors as they’re surfing your lovely yoga website (if you need a yoga website, you can get an affordable one here).
On Your Yoga Mat
If you’re ever considered getting a personalised yoga mat, consider using a site like bagsoflove.co.uk (I’m not affiliated with their site). You simply upload several photos and select one of their ready-made montage styles, or arrange the photos yourself.
It’s not cheap. These personalised yoga mats cost about £59. But as your yoga mat is the number one bit of equipment for your business, why not splash out a bit.
If you’ve got several poses of you on the mat, you can have fun asking students to get on your mat to practice the poses.
On A Guest Post Blurb
Google loves it when you do “guest posts” on other websites.
Guest posting means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s yoga website. It’s a great way to connect with new readers and get your name out. You can use one of your images in the “blurb” at the end of the post.
Ask the owner of the site that you’re doing the “guest post” for to include a link to your website in the post somewhere (usually at the beginning or end). Over time, these backlinks will raise the value of your website to search engines, making your content easier to find by Google.
Here are 101 yoga lesson planning ideas for you guest post.
In A Kindle Yoga Book
If you have an itch to write a book, why not write a “yoga themed novel” (since you’re a yoga teacher).
Writing a kindle book is really easy these days. Google or YouTube something like: “how to write a kindle book”. And when you’ve written it, let me know and I’ll put a blurb about it on my Yoga Lesson Plans Facebook Page.
Use On Pinterest
Use On Instagram
Create A Picture Video On Adobe Spark
I love Adobe Spark.
The best part is that it’s 100% free.
You can upload images and create a quick video.
Here’s a video I did using Adobe Spark called How To Teach Sun Salutations A (created using yoga stick figures instead of images of me).
I could go on and on and on. There are loads of ways to use your images. The only golden rule is to “use them”. Don’t let them gather dust in a folder on your computer.