Renting A Yoga Studio For Boudoir – A Perfect Match?

Yoga studio with hardwood floors

I wrote an article a while ago called, Where To Shoot Boudoir If You Don’t Have A Studio, where I mention renting a yoga studio as one possible option.

Recently, I did just that… and I’m going to tell you both the pros and cons of doing that and how it all went down. 

I’m also going to reveal a few things you need to strongly consider near the end if you plan on doing this yourself.

So, let’s get into it.

Young woman posing next to window in boudoir shoot

It all started when I was looking for a specific configuration of windows for a natural light shoot and the studio I normally shoot in couldn’t provide that.

So, having been in many yoga studios over the years, I always felt they would make a great setting for a boudoir shoot with large open spaces, hardwood floors, and lots of natural light.

My first step was to go online and check out a number of studios and determine from their photos if the space had what I was looking for. 

I found three that fit my criteria and visited each one to see firsthand which would be the best and if the owner was open to renting it out for a boudoir shoot.

If you decide to do this yourself, make sure to time your visits between classes to ensure you’re able to check out the space. 

One studio was perfect in every regard and I was anxious to contact the owner. 

Through email, I let her know up front that I was a boudoir photographer and what I wanted to rent her space for, and learned she was very open to the idea.

We settled on a price of $50 an hour for a two hour shoot, which covered the cost of having her studio manager on site, and then some profit for her.

Tip: A lot of yoga studios have open blocks of time throughout the week and would like to generate some income from that downtime, which was the case with this one.

I also learned from her studio manager that the studio gets rented out for commercials from time to time.

After picking a date and time that worked for both of us, I contacted my model and we made it happen. 

What I Learned That Worked — The Pros

I have to say, overall, my experience shooting in this kind of space was very positive. There were a few drawbacks, which I’ll get into shortly, but first I want to share what did work.

Amazing Natural Light

I picked this studio mainly for the three large windows it had along one wall, and I wanted that depth that comes with a rectangular-shaped space. 

I was mainly shooting with cross light but then did some back lit shots as well and the large windows made it easy to capture the images I was after.

Plenty of Room For Setting Up Lights

If you want to use off-camera flash with light stands and maybe a backdrop frame, there’s plenty of room to set all that up. 

Clean, Cool, and Calm

The studio was very clean with a nice hardwood floor and that’s to be expected from a yoga studio where students spend most of their time on the floor, and also where shoes are not allowed.

The AC made it very comfortable, especially since we were shooting in the middle of July in Virginia where it can get very hot and humid. 

The one thing I wasn’t expecting was how peaceful and serene it was.

Much of that had to do with the studio being located in a quiet neighborhood away from any busy street with cars and foot traffic constantly going by.

The Decor

The walls were painted a soothing green color, which worked just fine, and together with the hardwood floor, made for a nice color combination.

It also had the coolest shades on the windows I have ever seen, and although hard to describe how they worked, they had various options for both allowing light in and blocking it out… unlike any shades I had seen before. 

Changing Room

The space had a large private bathroom that was also impeccably clean where my model could change.


Most yoga studios will have some type of audio system since music is almost always played during class, and this one was no exception.

However, I chose not to play any music since we were shooting behind-the-scenes video as well and there would be copyright issues with YouTube.

What I Learned That Didn’t Work — The Cons

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Most yoga studios will have one wall covered with mirrors, including this one, which limited the direction in which I could shoot. 

It all worked out though because I still had two good walls to use as backgrounds. 

No Furniture

The biggest drawback was that there was no “boudoir” or furniture to suggest one. 

I was limited to floor poses, standing poses, and wall or window poses.

One could bring an inflatable bed (this is the one I use), or some type of chair that would fit in your car you could transport to the studio, but don’t expect the yoga studio to have anything like that.

If they did, it would probably be in the lobby, and you could ask if you could use it.

I knew going in it was going to be a bare bones type of shoot, so I designed my shot list around standing, wall, and window poses.

Black and white boudoir pose of young woman

Lack of Ornamentation

If you’re someone who likes a lot of ornamentation and decorations, a yoga studio is not going to have that, but if you prefer more of a minimalist vibe (like myself), then this option will work just fine.

You may run into a studio that has a lot of spiritual-type decor that can’t be avoided in the background, so make sure you’re either okay with that being in your shot, or find out if it can be moved temporarily when you shoot.

Most studios, I’ve found, will have very little of that.

Back lit boudoir pose


Renting a yoga studio to shoot boudoir in is a viable option if there’s no photo studio in your area, or you can’t shoot at home, and renting a hotel or Air B&B is too expensive.

Just recognize its benefits and limitations beforehand and plan accordingly. 

And be honest with the owner about the nature of your shoot, that way they’ll be no surprises if they happen to check in on you. They may not want their space represented in that fashion. 

I’ve run into that before, not with a yoga studio, but with an historic building that rents itself out for weddings and other events.


Charles Mitri

Lounge Boudoir

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Where To Shoot Boudoir If You Don’t Have A Studio

Charles Mitri

Charles Mitri is an award-winning boudoir photographer and also founder and writer of, an educational blog and resource website for boudoir photographers worldwide. He lives in Yorktown, Virginia.

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