Tips on DIY Headshot Photos - Dan Cantero Headshots
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Are you in need of a professional headshot but you’re not sure if you want to hire a professional headshot photographer? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Of course the best way to get an amazing headshot photo is with the help of a professional photographer but we understand that there are reasons why someone may not want to go to to a photographer to get their headshot photo and so we’ve created the ultimate list for you to be able to take your own photo to use for your business. You need to remember that your headshot photo is really important so you need to put some effort to ensure it is a good photo so here are 10 tips for taking your own professional headshot photographs.


The Right Camera

Make sure you have the right camera or smartphone. You probably won’t have the latest camera gear available to professional photographers but we should use the best that you have available to you. If all you have is a smartphone to take your photo, that’s ok but if you can borrow a camera from a friend, you will end up with better results.



Choose the right location. Natural lighting is a great tool for headshots and you want to make sure that you choose a spot that has ample natural light. If it’s cloudy outside it is going to make things easier. Your are trying to avoid harsh shadows on the face so a cloudy sky is going to make things easier. If you are doing this indoors, try to use a well lit room with white walls to prevent colour casting contaminating your photo.



Make sure you have the right backdrop. You don’t need a fancy studio backdrop to get great headshots. In fact, it’s better to keep it simple and choose a plain white wall or background cloth. This will help your focus remain on the subject of your photo.


Camera Placement

Calculate the correct distance between yourself and the camera. This is something that most people get wrong. As a rule, if you are using a phone, use the telephoto lens and place the phone at a distance so that you can see the full face and down to mid chest level. If you are using a camera, use the zoom lens and place the camera at least 3 meters away from the subject.



Get your angles right. You want to make sure that you are looking straight at the camera and not up or down as this will create unflattering looks. The best angle is when you place the camera just above the chin level.



Get the lighting right. Natural light is your best friend when it comes to headshots so try to get as much of it as you can, but avoid any harsh shadows on the face by using softer lights or a reflector if necessary.



Check your focus. Make sure that the camera is focused on your eyes. It’s ok for other part of your face to be slightly out of focus but not the eyes.



Find the right expression. You want to make sure that you have a pleasant looking expression for your headshot. A smile, smirk or cool look are all good starting points but you need to experiment and find what works best for you.



Wear the right clothing and accessories. It’s best to keep things simple. Classical colours like blue work well and if you are wearing a white shirt make sure you have a jacket or blazer. Also make sure to stay away from busy patterns. If you want to accessorise, think about accessories that match the tone of your photo.



Check and adjust as necessary. Before taking the final shot make a few test shots and check how everything looks on the preview. Adjust angles, lighting and focus if needed. Once you are happy with what you see start shooting until you get the right shot.


If you follow these tips, you will be able to take your own headshot without the need of a professional photographer. However, if you still don’t feel confident doing it yourself, there are plenty of amazing Sydney headshot photographers who can help you out with this task. My headshot photography series start at $215 and I can take the stress out of getting an amazing shot that will get you noticed. Get in touch with me today to book your session!