Imagine 💡

Create 📸

Inspire ⭐

DIY headshot tips

Do you need professional headshots but are hesitant to spend a fortune on a professional photographer? Well, you're in luck! With the right techniques and equipment, you can achieve stunning headshot photos right from the comfort of your own home...

What is a DIY headshot?

A DIY headshot is a photo of oneself taken with a phone, DSLR camera, or webcam. DIY headshots often seem to be the next generation of "selfies."

Headshot photo of man with black background.
DIY headshot of me

What are the advantages of taking your own headshot?

There are many benefits to taking your own headshots at home rather than using someone else's portrait.

1. Save money

The biggest advantage is that you save money by not having to pay a professional photographer.

2. Control

Also, you have more control over the environment in which you are photographed.

What are the disadvantages of taking your own headshot?

1. Limitations

The main disadvantage is that there are limitations to what can be done with DIY headshots. If you're using a weak camera or connecting your phone to the computer, for example, your picture will have a grainy quality.

2. Lack of knowledge

The second disadvantage could be an overall lack of knowledge.

Professional headshot photographers are "professional" for a reason. They have the knowledge and experience of taking numerous headshots. They know the ins and outs of the business.

For example:

If taking your own headshot, you may not know how to control the lighting properly to get a flattering result.

How to take your own DIY headshot?

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages, let's explore some tips for taking your own headshot. Many tips can help you take the best headshots possible.

1. Lighting

The first is that you should always have good lighting. You should have surface-level familiarity with the three-point lighting setup which consists of the key light, fill light, and backlighting.

Graphic of the three point lighting setup.
Three-point lighting setup

If you don't own a flash, try standing near a window or placing lights around your shooting environment. This will create nice ambient light.

Make sure to use natural light if possible. Although flashes are good, the intensity of natural light will result in better exposure.

2. Tripod

Second, use a tripod to keep your camera still while you're shooting. If you don't have one, try propping your camera against something that won't move or using its self-timer function.

First of all, set up your camera or phone on a tripod or flat surface that is not moving. Place the camera at eye level and about 3-5 feet away from you. This will help create a flattering headshot.

3. Go manual

Next, I recommend shooting in manual mode to have manual control over your exposure (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO).

If you don't know how to shoot in manual, then I recommend shooting in Aperture Priority Mode and selecting an aperture that is wide (lower f-stop number) as this will allow you to capture a blurry background with you in focus.

You should also shoot in RAW, if possible, to get more control over tone and lighting in post-processing. If shooting with a phone or tablet, turn on HDR (high dynamic range).

4. Background

Use a white or black backdrop depending on how much contrast you want between you and the background.

Take a look around you and see if there are any distracting elements in the background.

5. Poses

Take headshots in different poses to see which looks best. If you are shooting solo, don't be afraid to take photos of your face from multiple angles to get the best photo possible.

Remember to take as many photos as possible and choose the best out of those! Try different poses and angles until you find one that looks good.

6. Sharing online

If you plan on sharing these photos online, ensure they are high enough resolution.

To edit photos on your phone or tablet, try the apps Facetune, Afterlight, Lightroom, or VSCO. Also, keep in mind that other people will be viewing these photos online and offline, so you want to make sure they're appropriate for all audiences.

Stick to simple headshots with a plain background that shows off your face and style.

7. Have fun

Last but not least, have fun with it!

Be silly and show your personality. This can result in the best headshots possible. When you're taking your own photos, it's easy to get distracted by using a tripod, setting up lighting, and fiddling around with exposure. To make the most of your time, do as much research beforehand as possible on how to take a DIY headshot.

DIY headshots are an inexpensive alternative to photo shoots. With proper lighting and positioning, it is easy to take good portraits of yourself at home. So never fear the camera - embrace it! This guide is also a part of our Headshot Photography Hub, so be sure to check that out for further headshot photography tips and insights.

© 2024