Do you know how to take your own headshots? Part of putting forth a professional image online is making sure the images you use for yourself are professional. However, not all of us have hundreds to drop on having professional headshots taken, especially those of us who are just getting started with a new venture. If you are among those without the cash to spend on headshots, you are in luck; you can take your own using technology you already have at home.

How to take your own headshots

How to Take Your Own Headshots

The Selfie Struggle

The hardest part of taking your own headshots is making sure it doesn’t look like a selfie. Go through any freelancing site and browse freelancer profiles and you will see that this is a very real problem. Those with pictures that look like selfies just don’t feel as professional as those with genuine headshots. But what separates a headshot from a selfie?

The biggest difference is the angle. Most people take their selfies from unusual angles to make themselves look thinner, or more alluring. A professional headshot should be taken either straight on or from slightly above or below you. Extreme angles won’t work.

Other differences? Selfies tend to be taken close up; the furthest away they get is however far your arm can reach. And, your arm is usually somewhere in the frame of the shot as a result.

How to Battle the Selfie Struggle

First, you should not be holding the device as it takes the picture. Check the settings on your camera app for a timer; the native app on the iPad has options for 3 second and 10-second timers. Set the timer, step back, and get situated. To make sure you can see yourself, you could use the front camera, but a better option is to set up a mirror behind the device and use the back camera, as the photos tend to be less grainy.

Next, play with the angle. You do not want anything too extreme, as noted above. You can use various items to raise and lower the device (such as books that you can easily add and remove). Eventually, you will find the angle you like best, or even multiple angles that work for you.

Other Things to Consider

Look Your Best: If you color your hair, take your pictures within a few days of your appointment. Wear makeup, but keep it simple and tasteful. And choose an outfit with colors that help your best features pop.

Angle Yourself: Professional headshots are rarely taken straight on. Instead, the subject will tilt their head in one direction or another and angle their shoulders to help the picture feel more dynamic.

Consider the Background: You want the background to be minimal. Think blank walls or brick walls—nothing with art or photos on it.

Mix Formal and Informal: The traditional headshot is great, but some action shots of you at work are excellent as well. Try to get a mixture of the two to use on your personal website or social media.

Edit with Apps: To get that polished look, editing will be needed. However, you do not need to be a Photoshop expert. Apps such as Perfect 365, Facetune, and Aviary make editing your photos easy.

Give it a try, and have fun with your little photoshoot.

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March 7, 2016

How to Take Your Own Headshots

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