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Your Yoga Teacher's Headshot: Is it Up to Snuff?

As a yogi I try to keep my crankiness to a minimum. But I have to say, nothing puts me on the cranky-train faster than a poorly done yoga teacher headshot.

You know the ones - where your favorite yoga teacher (who is cute as a button and radiates sunshine) looks like a blurred-out, fuzzy mess who quite possibly has just finished an all night bar crawl with her ten closest friends (who are of course whooping it up in the background of the tiny image.)

Or the one where your teacher is twisted up so far into a pretzel that you are not sure where her legs end and her head begins and you just want to look away because, frankly, that looks like it hurts and you just don't want that to happen to you because you quite possibly will get stuck. Forever.

Come on folks. Let's get our headshots together.

Often a yoga teacher's headshot is the first thing that you will see when deciding if you want to take your class. Wouldn't a happy, meditative, in-focus yogi convince you to take a class more than a lot of the pictures out there?

I beg of you - if you are a student and your yoga teacher's headshot is just not up to par, let them know. Take a snapshot yourself if you must. You'll be helping them, I promise.

And if you are a teacher - take a quick look. What is your headshot saying about you?

For articles with some lovely headshots check out our Yoga Mentor Experts.

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Comments

So what is an example of a good one..or a bad one? I wanna see pix!

I'm not so worried about the headshots as I've never seen any. I usually do yoga at home but I have taken three classes, for which I did not see any head shots.

What really concerns me is the state of people's feet when they come to class. It's revolting to see long toe nails and feet that have not seen lotion or a pumas stone--ever! Not to mention, it could be a health concern.

Please people, be considerate of others who have to step after you.

Thanks!

What a great observation. Yes, it seems there's a "come as you are" feel to pictures on some of the yoga studios' teachers pages I look at. And by come as you are, I mean if you just got out of bed, just got back from India...at 2 a.m., etc.

Did you know when a potential student is looking at your site, the teacher page is typically the second or third most visited part? People want to know what the teacher is like and to get a read on her energy. Students will read the bios, a couple of times and see if they connect with it.

A couple of tips to have a teacher headshot page:

1) Get professional quality headshots. This means hire a photographer or at least use someone who owns a camera and knows how to focus it. Want to know why great photographers get paid so much, because they can make anyone look good. And while people who teach yoga tend to be in great shape, a poor photographer can make anyone look bad.

2) Smile. People want to like their teachers and it's much easier to like someone who is smiling. A lot of studios go for the solemn, introspective, "deep" photos, but I'd put my money down on a smiling teacher anytime.

3) Make it a headshot vs a full-body shots Yoga poses are certainly beautiful, and can be a wonderful addition to your website. However, when a student is looking at your teacher, she wants to see her face.

4) If you don't have access to a photo studio, then shoot outdoors as the light will be better. Morning and late afternoon shots are better as they avoid the harsh direct overhead sunlight.

5) Choose your background carefully. Take a look at your test shots to see if there's line running down your head, for instance, or the background is washing you out.

6) Now that you have all of that, take some time to tell your story in the write-up section. Blank bios don't do much. People want to know about you. Make it personal.

Really appreciate Kate's tips for getting a good picture. I want to know who the teacher is as their personality will have a huge impact on my yoga experience. Friendly, smiling, head shots are best as I'm going to assume you know your stuff if you are the instructor. Put the candids or photos of you doing difficult poses somewhere else.

I am a yogi and just finished my 200 hour teacher training course. I do agree with this article because I am a headshot photographer as well and I know the importance of a good photograph for actors. The same applies to a yoga teacher. Most people want to see the teachers essence and that really does come through the eyes and not a twisty bendy pose, even though that is wonderful to see! I just moved out to Los Angeles and would love to start working with teachers in the yoga community to help get them great shots. I am willing to be flexible with cost for my yoga friends. You can view my photography website at : www.reinphotography.com
Namaste bright souls!
Diana

This is article, this frame of mind and this comments are whats wrong with yoga today. Has it really come down to judging and commenting on head shots and feet? Are we talking about a model fashion show or yoga? As a teacher I am not only teaching asanas I am teaching my students how to practice non-judgment and acceptance of themselves and others.

I have noticed this about teacher photos as well -- less the quality than the subject, though.

I would MUCH rather see a fairly close-up shot of a smiling, kind-seeming person than see what poses they can do.

I don't think teachers mean to give this impression, but when their photos are of themselves doing advanced poses, it seems like those photos are all about them. It doesn't seem like it's about me as a student. It can seem like boasting rather than encouragement.

hey.. that was a very interesting post. I have been searching for such information on the net for quite some time. Thanks a lot

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