Five Easy Tips for Creative Headshots

Everyone needs headshots, whether it's for work, LinkedIn, or your blog/website. I can't tell you how many underexposed, taken-at-a-party, unprofessional photos I've seen - yikes! Even if you can't get a photographer to take them, you can still get great head shots (even on a smartphone!). Today I'm sharing some tips for a creative, well done headshot.

Five Easy Tips for Creative Headshots | Lauren MacMoyle | Portrait Photography


The first thing to ask yourself is what your photo is for. Will you be using it on your creative blog or for a formal corporate business? ALL of the following tips will be based on what your photo will be used for. A photo for your about section on your site can be more relaxed and creative, while a corporate shot may require you wearing a suit, standing at a certain angle, and against a certain background. Either way, these tips will ensure that you get the perfect shot you're looking for!


Expression and positioning:

This is super important. My suggestion is to look at the camera. In most instances, looking away from the camera can make you seem a little disconnected or cold. You don't have to have a huge cheesy smile but a pleasant expression will help you exude warmth and friendliness. Personally, I have to smile because my resting face looks angry (HA) but it really just depends on the person! Some people can get away with a neutral expression. If you're unsure, ask your friend or significant other if you look friendly enough. 


Pay attention to the background. You don't necessarily have to stand against a plain wall, but make sure whatever is behind you isn't distracting. Having a wide open aperture (2.8 or lower) creates a beautiful, blurred background that's just perfect in my opinion. Even when doing portraits in a busy street scene, the right aperture minimizes the distracting background while keeping the movement of the scene.

Natural light:

Don't use a flash...just say no! Natural light is way more flattering. Try standing outside in the shade or inside by a window. Also, try to have them done in the morning or the late afternoon, when the light is soft and golden and beautiful....mmmm.


Wear something that makes you comfortable and reflects who you are and what the photos are for. For a corporate headshot you may want to dress in a suit and keep your hair and makeup conservative. Try to avoid wearing something low/tight - it's unprofessional. Also, wearing a strapless top or dress can make you look naked in a closeup...probably not what you're going for, but if it's for your personal site - do your thing!


Not everyone can necessarily afford a photographer for photos of themselves, I get it. The good news is though - I have a headshot special...a mini shoot of sorts! It involves a 20 minute relaxed shoot (just enough time to get a few perfect shots) - all for a great price. If you are in the Hampton Roads area and need pictures of yourself for your job or website, head to the contact page and message me for details!