How to Take a Professional Headshot at Home
The Perfect Picture
Your profile image is the first thing people see when interacting with your digital presence. Whether you’re using professional headshots or a smartphone selfie, it’s easy to make sure your profile picture stands out!
When you hear ‘perfect picture’ you may begin to imagine yourself airbrushed to smooth perfection wearing your finest clothes and draped across the back of a regal lion elegantly strolling through a clandestine forest. While this ‘perfect picture’ would certainly be a fantastic family heirloom, it will not elevate your linkedin profile.
What’s That Behind You?
As beautiful as that forest may be, wide-shot images with complex backgrounds are difficult to read and don’t stand out. Bring your camera in close! It may feel a bit strange but try to stand/sit within 5 feet of your camera. Try your best to have an organized neutral colored setting behind you. (an empty wall is the best for this!) Some phones have very handy tools that will take out/ blur the background for you! Try looking up tutorials for your specific device!
All By Yourself!
Unfortunately the gorgeously photoshopped lion will only distract potential connections. However, it’s not just lions, tigers, and bears that shouldn’t be sharing your profile space, make sure it’s only you in the image. Trying to pick out who is who in group pictures can get confusing fast.
Maybe They’re Born With It?
It must be easily recognizable as you, so wear what you would to work, and no excessive filters or airbrushing! A little bit of a filter is ok, but if you’re not confident in your ability to make it look natural it’s better to go without! (Let the lighting be your filter!)
Ah! The Sun! It Burns!
The best way to insure a clear, well lit photo is to either take it outside or at a window. The sun is going to be your greatest asset here! However, if you take your photo at the ‘wrong’ time the results could be less than pleasant. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take pictures. The “Golden Hour” as many refer to it, will light your face with a golden glow and won’t create harsh shadows. There’s no need to wake up at the crack of dawn though, just as long as the sun isn’t directly above you and making weird shadows, sunlight will always be better than overhead bulbs!
All By Yourself! (Reprise)
If you don’t have anyone to take the picture for you, a phone or camera tripod can do wonders! Don’t be afraid to get creative! In a pinch, a stack of books works great as an impromptu tripod. Just set up your camera to take a timed picture (can be found in the settings of all phones) set it up and pose!
By Jove, You’ve Done It!
Face your camera head-on or at a slight angle and smile! You want to make a good impression! Hear that shutter sound and you’ve done it! Your headshot is practically studio quality and perfectly gets the point across that you’re professional, hirable, and ready to be placed in the “About Us” section of any company’s website!