• Sarah Tulej

The headshot selfie: how to take better photos with your phone

Updated: Sep 13, 2021


Woman with backpack taking selfie in front of stone wall
Photo by Angela Franklin via Unsplash

Now, as a brand photographer maybe I shouldn't be saying this but it's perfectly possible to create a decent headshot style photo with your phone. Not everyone has the time or money to work with a professional photographer for their social profile pictures (although if you do, I'd say it's a seriously good investment!)


You’ll be amazed at the photographs your phone can capture when you know what you’re doing but I see the same simple mistakes being made time and again. If you can avoid them, you will seriously up your headshots game.


1. Shooting in poor light

Light is your friend! But I often see people taking photos indoors with artificial light. It’s way more flattering and effective to stand in front of a day lit window. Your photos will be sharper and your eyes will be sparklier. On the other hand, never stand with your back to a window. All that window light will be competing with your face, and making it look dull and the background too bright.


2. Standing in front of a busy background

A great portrait helps you to stand out. You are the star of the show and people should be able to recognise you a mile off, especially on platforms like LinkedIn with the tiny little profile picture circles. So don’t spoil the effect by having stuff in the background that distracts from your face, be it office clutter, other people, wallpaper, you get me.


3. The travesty of the dirty lens

Now, there’s a time and place for a soft focus, vaseline on the lens photo, but it’s not your headshot. The tiny little lens on our phones can easily get dirty - even a finger print can totally ruin the sharpness of your photos. So, grab a lens cloth and give it a little polish before you take your photos. You will be amazed at the difference it makes.


Finally, there’s nothing like practice to improve your photographs, so go for it!


P.S. If you're ready to invest in some professional brand photography to elevate your online presence, get in touch with me here.

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