When building your first website, you’ve probably thought about some of the key information to include like your bio section, class descriptions and schedule, memberships and packages, and a section with your contact information.

Your website will have the information that students need to learn more about your classes and events, but you need a way to personalize your website. Photos are a great way to express yourself and the right pictures can make your website stand out. We asked Minneapolis-based yoga photographer, Nik Linde for his expert tips for yoga and fitness photography.

Outdoor photography and natural lighting

No matter what time of year you choose to take photos, Nik says morning, late afternoon, or early evening is best for outdoor photoshoots so you can maximize the “golden hour” of sunlight. He explains that cloudy days are preferred by many photographers because it eliminates harsh shadows and allows natural colors in the environment to “pop.”

There’s nothing wrong with sunshine though! Nik personally likes sunny days to achieve a natural warmth and glow. Whether the skies are cloudy or bright, he recommends using flash which will help minimize dark shadows.

Choosing a photoshoot location

When brainstorming photoshoot locations, Nik says that you should think about how the location represents who you are and how it intersects with your identity. 

Also, consider the environment and how its elements will show up in your photos. For example, if you want to use the city as your backdrop, make sure you’re ok with having people in the background. There’s no hard or fast rule for picking the right location and Nik points out, “A person can be themselves in any location if they feel comfortable!”

What if you’re camera shy?

If you’re not a fan of having your photo taken, there are a few tactics you can try. Before you snap any photos, warm-up or practice a short yoga flow to help relax and settle into your body, which Nik often asks his clients to do.

Another tip is to find someone you are comfortable with to take your photos. Nik explains that building a connection is one of the best ways to ease nerves. “Truly getting to know the subject is important, just as important as capturing the photos. Having fun and enjoying the process will show your true self!”

How to take amazing pics with the camera you have

If you’re on a shoestring budget and using your phone for photos, Nik believes there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, a well-composed photo with an average camera is better than a bad picture with an expensive camera.

He also points out that our smartphones are equipped with editing options and manual modes to adjust focus and exposure, which allows greater control than auto mode. So, don’t fret about your camera phone and follow Nik’s advice: “Forget about the quality of the camera. Focus on a good composition of a subject.”

Be open to collaboration and ideas

Some of Nik’s favorite moments as a photographer have happened when he and his subject start to collaborate which leads to new ideas and creative experience for everyone. “I truly believe that photo shoots are a collaborative process. The subject collaborates with the photographer to create an image together,” Nik explains.

With that in mind, keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to share ideas, and also ask the photographer if you can review photos along the way so you can provide feedback. Nik offers this during his photoshoots and he says it’s really helpful in shaping the next photos.

Credit your photographer

When it’s time to start sharing your photos on your website or on social media, Nik gives a final note that it’s good manners to credit your photographer so make sure to tag them on Instagram (or wherever you’re sharing your photos)!

Thank you to Nik for sharing his expert yoga and fitness photography with us! Check out his photography and work at www.niklinde.com

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