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How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips

UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

Having professional headshots of your team is essential. Not only will clients appreciate being able to put a face with a name, but they’re a great way to visually present your organization. Although it may seem time-consuming and expensive to hire a professional photographer, the good news is that with a little planning and practice, you’ll be able to capture the best business headshot using your phone’s camera! Keep reading for our must-have tips and tricks to getting the perfect photograph!

How to take professional headshots: Man taking a selfie outdoors.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – Photo by Dmitriy Tyukov on Unsplash

How to take professional headshots: Setting and lighting

  • Both indoor and outdoor locations are acceptable. Ideally, you’ll look for an indoor space with lots of natural, indirect lighting. Avoid excessive fluorescent lighting, as it tends to cast unflattering shadows on subjects. If outdoors, you’ll want a spot where the sun is shining behind your subject. Refrain from shooting on rainy or overcast days when you’re outdoors.
  • The background of your location should be simple, clean, and generally free of distractions and movement. A blank wall indoors is perfect, and outdoors, a background without moving traffic or eyesores (like dumpsters or construction sites) is crucial.
  • Mark the spot where your subjects sit/stand with masking tape in case you have to shoot on multiple days. This ensures you’ll get the same general background and placement each day you shoot. The goal is consistency with every photograph.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Taking a photo with a phone in an alley.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – Select a distraction-free area with good natural light. Photo by Michael Sala on Unsplash.

How to take professional headshots: Equipment and technology

  • Turn on and adjust your phone’s camera to HDR mode. High Dynamic Range, or HDR, forces the camera to take multiple photos at different exposures. The result should be a photograph that mimics what your eye sees (a more realistic, higher-quality picture).
  • Make sure your lens is clean and clear from any smudges or dust. Remember, a dirty lens will translate to distorted photos. Most manufacturers recommend microfiber cloths to gently wipe away debris, and caution against the use of tissues or paper towels.
  • Consider a phone tripod if shooting with your cell phone. It helps prevent any blur from involuntary movement and ensures consistency in the angle and height of your shots. There are plenty of excellent and affordable phone tripods available for purchase online and in-store.
How to take professional headshots: Cell phone on a tripod at the beach.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – Using a tripod and cleaning your camera lens will ensure high-quality photos. Photo by Adesh Bankar on Unsplash.

How to take professional headshots: Technique

  • You should plan to stand 3-5 feet away from your subject. Refrain from using your camera’s zoom function as it tends to pixelate photographs.
  • Capture at least 3 photos per subject. This will ensure that you’ll have a variety of images to choose from.
  • Each of your subjects should be seated, with their knees and shoulders facing slightly away from the camera, and their face pointed directly towards the camera.
  • If possible, avoid using your device’s camera flash. They may oversaturate an area with light.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Taking a lady's photo outdoors with a phone.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – Avoid using your device’s flash and stand 3-5 feet away for the most professional look. Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash.

How to take professional headshots: Editing

  • Although not necessary, you may want to edit your photographs before using them. Many professionals use desktop software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom for editing, however, there are other photo editing programs available.
  • Many excellent photo editing apps are available for your phone, too! For those using their phone, this may be the easiest and most streamlined process to quickly edit images.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Computer and camera on a desk.
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – There are many paid and free editing options for your images. Photo by Mylene Tremoyet on Unsplash.

How to take professional headshots: Finishing touches

  • Nothing makes a better first impression than a gallery wall with your team’s framed photos! The easiest and fastest way to begin is to simply upload your image to our interactive frame designer, pick your frame and mat, then we’ll send you ready-to-hang pictures right to your doorstep! We have a variety of exciting frame styles and matboard options, so get creative!
How to Take Professional Headshots: Gallery wall of framed photos
How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips – A gallery wall is a great way to showcase your framed headshots!

How to take professional headshots: Final thoughts

Although the idea of capturing professional headshots of each of your employees may be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! With some planning and forethought, taking professional headshots can be quick and painless. We hope this has been helpful, and don’t forget to share your creative framing project with us on social media!

Still have framing questions? Explore our guide on how to hang frames on any wall type.

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This post first appeared as How to Take Professional Headshots: Must-Have Tips on Frame It Easy - Learning Center for Custom Picture Framing.

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