Taking Your Own Headshot

I’ve been working on sharpening my online presence lately. So I’ve gone through and deleted the ones I don’t use anymore and updated the information on the ones that I do use. The thing I’m having the most difficulty with is updating my LinkedIn photo.

Having taken my last professional-looking headshot a few years ago in college, it was definitely time to update. Since it’s winter and I want to wait for beautiful weather for a nice photoshoot, I’ve opted for taking my own headshot.

Truth be told, it’s a bit easier than it seems.Β 

This was my set up. An easel on my desk, an iPad and headphones with a remote.

This was my set up. An easel on my desk, an iPad and headphones with a remote.

Things you need:

  • A camera with a remote or timer
    • I used an iPad with the headphones with a remote
  • Something to put your camera at face height
  • A blank wall or good background
  • A window for natural light
  • Lamp(s) for balance and to lighten shadows

Here’s how to do it:

  • Set your camera up on your tripod, stack of books, an easel – whatever you have that will put it level with your face.
  • Step back to where you’ll stand for taking the photos, in front of your backdrop, in front of a blank wall or in your favorite chair.
  • Practice framing yourself. For a headshot, you really only need from your shoulders up.
  • Once you know where you’ll be sitting/standing, set up your lights. Standing facing a window during the daytime will pretty much eliminate the need for other lights. I stood with a large window to my left and balanced the shadows with an overhead light, a desk lamp and a floor lamp.
  • Got your lighting and framing all figured out? Great – time to start taking photos! I chose to use my iPad with the remote headphones. The remote is important – did you know the volume buttons can also control the shutter in the camera app? The other advantage to using an iPad or iPhone is the front-facing camera, so you can see what you’re doing.
  • Keep snapping photos. I spent the better part of 15 minutes taking photos. Try different expressions to find the perfect one. Shake it out in between shots if you feel like you’re becoming tense.
  • Editing your headshots: I did minimal editing with Photoshop. I balanced the light a bit, removed some things I had hanging on the wall, but nothing drastic. Go easy on filters and editing. Your photo should look like you so people will easily recognize you.

Happy photographing!

Β By the way – here’s mine!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’m building an author website and I really wanted a way to take a picture with my iPad but in a professional way and I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I never knew that you can use a headset with a volume control on the cord, but I tried it and it worked!


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