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How to Take a DIY Headshot

Post Author Alicia Chan
Jun 21, 2017 6:00:00 AM
Career Tips
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Having a headshot can take your personal brand to another level. Whether you're representing your business or looking for a job, everyone should have one. Not only can you use it on LinkedIn and other social media, you can add it onto your email account (in your signature or as a profile photo), business cards, or your website for a more personable touch. 
Not everyone wants to spend the money on a professional photographer or has a talented friend, who could help. If you want to replace your Instagram worthy selfie or blurry profile photo with a professional looking headshot, we've got some pointers for you!


1. Use a Neutral Background

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You want the focus of the picture to be you--not your surroundings. Opt for a plain wall, fence, or simple greenery outdoors. 

2. Choose an Outfit that Stands Out

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Wear an outfit that contrasts with your background so that you’re not blending into your surroundings. Stick with a business casual look to keep it professional.

3. Find Your Light

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You want to use even lighting so that you'll be well lit with no intense highlights or shadows. For indoor shots, try to find a spot with plenty of natural light. If you’re taking the picture outside, stay away from direct sunlight.

4. Strike a Casual Pose


Stand how you normally would. If your pose feels uncomfortable, it’s likely to show in the picture. You can also angle your body slightly away from the camera, instead of facing straight ahead. Watch your posture by keeping your shoulders back and your chin up. 

5. Frame Your Picture

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Set your camera up a few feet away from your body and leave some space around your head and shoulders in the shot (you can always crop it later). Set the timer feature on the camera or use a camera shutter remote to snap the picture. 

6. Smile


Your headshot is one way to make a good first impression, so give the camera a great big smile!

Last but not least...

Have fun with it! Do a photoshoot with different poses, outfits, and backgrounds. After you’ve narrowed it down to your best pictures, you can use a photo editing app to lightly touch up your pictures like Instasize,  VSCO, FaceTune, or Perfect365. Stay away from overly filtered and edited options to maintain that professional look. 

Now it's time to put your best face forward and update your social media and other marketing materials with your brand new, professional headshot.

 For more career tips and tricks, subscribe to MAU's Career Tips Blog! 
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