For any yogini who has ever wanted to do an outdoor photoshoot, chances are the reality is often different than the idea. All over social media, we see inspirational photos of people practicing yoga in the most breathtaking places, but most of us don’t live at the beach, and we can’t always afford to take a tropical trip to do a yoga photo shoot. You feel me? Also remember that magical yoga pics, especially those at the beach, don’t show you all the in-between moments like sand in your yoga pants or struggling with your footing as the sand constantly moves. With that in mind, I’ll also give you the potential downsides of my favorite locations, because I would never steer you wrong, and I want you to know what you’re getting yourself into.
I’m fortunate to live in San Francisco, and the Bay Area has a ton of locations to inspire an outdoor photoshoot. Here are some of my top recommendations.
- RING MOUNTAIN
I love the long golden grasses at Ring Mountain, because they provide a warm backdrop during your sunset photoshoots. Luckily, many of the huge boulders at Ring Mountain are flat, so they are very inviting in terms of actually being usable for yoga poses.
Be sure not to miss this awesome rock structure for fun climbing. I wore my sneakers up to have a good grip and hid them behind a pile of rocks up top so that they wouldn’t show in the photos.
Make sure you Google what time the sun will set on the day of your photoshoot so that you can end your session on this enormous rock. It’s magical doing your practice looking out over the bay!
Potential Downside: As beautiful as those tall grasses are, remember that there are snakes, seriously. Just keep your eyes peeled.
2. MARIN HEADLANDS
There are some benefits to shooting in the Marin Headlands. I live in SF minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, so this is just a hop, skip, and a jump for me. Some people avoid having landmarks in their photos, but I’m all for it! I would be lying if I said I didn’t wear my orange leggings on purpose to match the bridge. ; )
Marin Headlands are another place where you’ll want to time the sunset for your final poses. Another great upside to shooting here is that there are a ton of flat spaces—concrete slabs—so that you get really solid footing for safely-aligned poses.
Potential Downside: On the weekends, the headlands swarm with tourists and other photographers and yoginis doing exactly what you’re doing! And yeah, it can get super windy here, so be mentally prepared.
3. BAKER BEACH
I love having my picture taken at Baker Beach, because it’s walking distance from my house! I’m not talking about the actual beach though. When you park in the main parking lot (not the smaller lot in the residential area), there is a concrete slab area behind the sand dunes full of awesome nooks and crannies for taking your yoga pics.
This door loans a simple backdrop for your asana pics!
Potential Downside: If you want to shoot at this spot at Baker Beach, just know that it’s freezing cold and foggy during June, July, and August. You’ll be much warmer if you choose any other time of year!
Where are your favorite spots for yoga photoshoots or outdoor yoga in the Bay Area? What are your thoughts on your practice indoors versus outdoors? What wisdom or recommendations can you share from your own photoshoots? I look forward to hearing your insight in the comments below!