How to take a headshot at home using your Smartphone.

In light of recent times, I understand hiring a professional photographer can be expensive for something like a headshot. Especially if you're just looking to refresh your LinkedIn profile image. So here are some tips I want to share with you so you can get your Best LinkedIn Profile Picture at Home!

Dos & Don'ts of a LinkedIn Profile Picture

The Dos 👍

✔ Do smile.

✔ Do dress in a semi-professional manner.

✔ Do be authentic.

The Don'ts 👎

❌ Don’t use filters.

❌ Don’t use images that you’ve cropped others out of.

❌ Don't have an overly distracting background.

What you will need:

  • A smartphone with a front and back camera

  • Optional: a willing friend to take the photos


Adjust your camera phone settings

If you are using a camera phone, set the camera to shoot in the highest resolution. This will make for a better quality picture. Utilizing your main camera (the one on the back) will provide the highest resolution and best quality photo.

Use natural light

Natural light is very flattering and doesn't require any fancy equipment. If you doing an indoor portrait, stand in front of or near a window. If you need to slightly diffuse the light, utilize a sheer curtain to create your very own softbox. Don't stand under a light, this will cast unflattering shadows on your face and the lighting can be hard to correct afterward.

If you're doing an outdoor portrait, head outside and find a pretty yet subtle background. Just be sure when your outdoors that it isn't too sunny or when the sun is at it's highest point in the sky. When the sun is at the highest point in the sky (usually 10 am -2 pm), it can create unflattering shadows on your face. If you can only get outside during that time, find a shady spot with a nice background.

Ann Kielbasa Headshot Albany NY Photographer

Simple is key

Avoid an overly distracting background, as the main focus should be on you. Look for a simple background, subtle textures work best. Be sure to take a few steps away from your background to allow for some bokeh and depth of field or if you have a newer iPhone, shoot in Portrait Mode. This creates that slight blur in the background that will give your photo a more professional look & feel.

Things to watch out for: trees, telephone poles, signs, garbage cans, horizon lines cutting through you, or any other structure that could easily look distract the viewer.

Take lots of pictures

Make sure you take lots of pictures - even if you only need just one. Try different backgrounds and poses. Laughing vs. smiling. Crossed arms vs. traditional arms by your side. Head straight on vs. a slight turn of the head. The possibilities are endless and you never know which one is going to turn out best.

Ann Kielbasa Headshot Albany NY Photographer

Wear something simple

Dark solids work best. Avoid wearing anything with stripes or patterns. Be sure to iron your shirt, and make sure it’s clean. This may sound obvious but you’d be surprised! Keep your field of work in mind and what you're expected to wear. Business casual is always safe and looks good on everyone!

Utilize the timer

If you need a photo in a pinch and can't get someone to help you out, utilize the timer feature on your phone. Prop it up on a windowsill or somewhere outside, set the timer, and smile! Most phones have an indicator noise to let you know when the photo will be taken or can opt to use the front face camera to see the countdown and yourself!

Edit your image

Adobe Lightroom on tablet

Basic color correcting and enhancements can be done through a variety of apps. My personal favorite is Lightroom, it's free through the app store and is easy to use. Straighten your lines, adjust the settings, and crop your photo all in one app and save it to your phone. Other apps are PicMonkey & Pixlr, very similar features, and very user friendly.

Photo sizes

When you edit your image, create a few different crop sizes. A standard portrait or square is suitable for many social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

When in doubt, hire a professional. Many professionals offer special pricing for things like headshots and are evening to willing to work out a payment plan if necessary. If you're looking to book a professional photographer for your next headshot, contact me today!

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