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. 

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!

 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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