DIY Headshots in Five Easy Steps

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When You Need A Headshot In A Hurry?

Why Not Do It Yourself?

Follow These Five Easy Steps and You’ll Be Sorted For That Head Shot.


1. Lighting

When it comes to headshot photography, the first thing you should consider is lighting. Find as big window as possible that does not have direct sunlight coming through it.  A north or east facing window usually does the job. What you want is soft-light that evenly illuminates your face and won’t create a dramatic contrast.   Facing the window, stand 6-7ft away and make sure that there is no other lighting turned on in the room.  This will be your posing position.

2. Framing

Now set your camera position as close to the window as possible without blocking too much of the light coming through.  You’re most likely going to need someone to operate the camera for you unless you have a timer.  If at all possible use a camera with some sort of optical zoom.  Zoom the camera in on your head and shoulders allowing a small amount of headroom. Using the rules of thirds, from the Digital Photography School. try to run the line separating the top and middle third of your frame through where your eyes are positioned in the frame.

3. What To Wear

Wear what is appropriate for your profession and stay away from anything too busy, over patterned or branded.  A head shot is about a first impression and what you should be aiming for is an open, friendly but professional look.


4. How To Pose

Now take the photo.  Try a pose flat on to the camera plane and then slightly to each side.  When you pose to the side try first turning your shoulders then moving your head back towards the camera.  It might feel wired but push your forehead out towards the camera.  This will give you a stronger jaw line and will help soften out any extra chins you may have.  One last thing on shooting, I always shoot my head shots in landscape and crop in but depending on the quality of the camera you are using try both portrait and landscape and see which gives you the best results.

5. Your Facial Expression

Remember your expression is key to a successful head shot.  Open, approachable, friendly and professional is best.  Try not to smile like a clown or frown and look angry.  Once you have the shot in the bag do a quick post process and use.  Simple.


Experiential headshot profile photo photographed against a natural background in Chartered Accountant House Pearse Street Dublin