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. 
 

Background: 

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.
 

Clothing:

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!