How to Take Your Own Professional Headshot: A 5-Step Guide

How to Take Your Own Professional Headshot: A 5-Step Guide

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Ask a Friend to Help (or Become Friends With the Self-Timer!)

The easiest way to do this is to recruit a friend. In fact, the ideal situation is to find someone who also needs a headshot. You can take turns. If you need a photo N-O-W and no one's free, you can also set up a tripod and/or makeshift tripod (think: book stacks) and use your phone on self-timer. Don't take a selfie. Even if you're in a crunch and need a new 

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Ask a Friend to Help (or Become Friends With the Self-Timer!)

headshot five minutes ago. You might be surprised what you could MacGyver a makeshift tripod from!

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Position the Camera Between Yourself and a Natural Light Source

Meaning a window. This is going to get you the best lighting for clean lines and a flattering amount of brightness. Avoid direct sunlight, especially the kind that glares through your window around sunset. In these cases, a bright, cloudy day is going to be your best friend. The cloud layer diffuses the sunlight giving 360 degrees of soft light.

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Pick a Neutral Background

Plain wall, brick wall, or another simple setting. Make sure to check to see if there are any cords or work mess floating around behind you.  This all ensures that your face is the focus.

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Take a Bunch of Images with Multiple Outfits

Give yourself an hour or two to do this, and bring a few outfit changes. If you're using an iPhone, ask your friend to use burst mode so you get as many photos as possible.  Try some different poses, switch outfits, repeat.

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Use a Photo Editing Program to Fix Small Issues and Properly Crop

You shouldn't use your Instagram account for this. Seriously, keep filters to a minimum. But use an app like VSCO to increase the brightness on your photo if need be, crop, and straighten. Here's an article on how to take good photos with your iPhone, which should help. 

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