When building your first website, you’ve likely thought about some of the key information to include such as your bio section (Read this post for tips on writing your story), service descriptions, schedule, and contact information. In addition to providing necessary information for your audience to learn about your offerings, you might wonder how to personalize your website. One effective way is by adding photos, but this might create even more questions, so we asked Minneapolis-based yoga photographer, Nik Linde for some tips and considerations to help you get started.

Outdoor photography and natural lighting: No matter what time of year you choose to take photos, Nik suggests that morning, late afternoon, or early evening is best for outdoor photo shoots so you can maximize on 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” 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 location: When you’re considering locations for your photo shoot, Nik says to think about the integration of the location and person in the photo, and whether the location represents them. You may also want to think about how busy the area is and whether people will appear 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!”

Calming your nerves: 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 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!”

Working 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 and 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 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 photo shoots 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 using your photos)!

Big thanks to Nik for sharing his expertise with us! Check out his photography and work at www.niklinde.com. Here at OfferingTree we’ve been keeping busy updating our photo editing tool so users can anticipate greater control and possibilities. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new features and other resources to help grow your wellness or fitness business.