Take a rough guess — 4.5 billion people use social media and professional headshots can absolutely help you connect with them, in a way that never was possible before this.
Remember, our first impression is the last impression. That pretty much sets the tone for how the person will perceive you from this point onward.
Moreover, a headshot on your CV, social media profile, or anywhere on the internet reflects your openness. This is why investing in a good professional headshot can save you time in closing that dream deal.
Going to a professional photographer is always a good idea, and I can’t compete with that. However, AI has been performing wonders since it first emerged on the scene, and the world of photography is no exception. AI has made it way easier, and in this article, we’ll explore the tools that you can use for your headshots and how to get it right.
I’ll take you on a journey, explaining what a professional headshot is and how to capture the best one using just a mobile phone. Are you ready for that? Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
What Is A Professional Headshot?
Simply put, a professional headshot is a portrait of your face and sometimes your shoulders, that can be used on business profiles, job portals, list of esteemed members, etc.
Why bother with headshots in the first place?
Every job portal out there requires you to submit a CV, but it does no good when it comes to presenting the real YOU. A good headshot does this job pretty well though.
Those blocks of text don’t help the employer know you beyond words and that’s where a professional headshot kicks in, because it speaks for your personality, and your embracing attitude.
How To Take A Professional Headshot With Your Phone?
Follow the steps below to capture perfect headshots on your Phone.
1. Set HDR Settings On On Your Phone
Many mobile phones these days come with a built-in HDR mode that you can turn on when taking a photo. Make sure you have it on your phone before deciding to take a headshot. The reason why I’m emphasizing this so much is because it adds an extra layer of detail to your picture, giving you an ideal look and a smooth texture to your shot.
If you’re an Android user and can’t find the HDR setting, I suggest downloading a third-party application. All you need to do is type “HDR Camera” in the search bar, and you’ll come across plenty of applications that serve the same purpose. Download one that has a rating above 5 and a healthy number of downloads.
Alternatively, you can also check if your phone has a portrait mode. That certainly helps as well, and make sure to tap on the screen specifically in the area where you’d like your lens to focus. This will blur the sides and keep your face clear and smooth.
Once you’re all set, you can move on to the next stage of capturing a good shot.
2. Fix the Lighting
Many people out there make a mistake by ignoring the lighting aspect.
I consider it to be akin to a recipe, where each step contributes to our ultimate goal of achieving a professional headshot.
To get it right, ensure that you are always facing the light, whether it’s sunlight or a ring light. It’s certain that you should always have the light in front of you. However, this isn’t as simple as it might sound, as the light should be evenly distributed across your face.
When light falls predominantly on one side of your face, it creates a shadow that can diminish the quality of a good headshot. You need to ensure that whatever light illuminates your face is doing its job effectively.
Additionally, we don’t recommend exposing yourself directly to sunlight. Yes, natural light works best, but it’s even better to stand behind a window pane and let the stream of light fall onto you. Similarly, if you’re using a ring light indoors, it’s a good idea to invest in some whiteboards that you can adjust around your face to prevent light from reflecting or going in unintended directions.
3. Set Up A Clean Background
You wouldn’t want to pose for a headshot and later realize that there was another person passing by in the background. Similarly, having a car or an apartment behind you can give a frivolous appearance to your shot.
A clean background should not be cluttered with different colors; it should maintain a sense of uniformity. This could involve having a blue sky or even a plain white background. However, I’m not particularly fond of white backgrounds because they deprive you of the opportunity to showcase your personality. Opting for a cold, plain background sacrifices the chance to convey who you are as a person, leaving the viewer perplexed about your identity.
Therefore, it’s always preferable to use a real background that’s still uniform – a blue sky, for instance, serves as a good example.
4. Position Your Phone At The Right Distance
Positioning your camera at the correct distance is crucial. Moreover, maintaining uniformity is important, as getting too close would result in a bulky and wide appearance on the screen.
If you’re concerned about a double chin or if you have a heavier build, it’s advisable to maintain some distance from the screen. Also, ensure that you don’t press your face tightly against the camera, as this can create an additional layer of skin under your chin and accentuate your width. Following the suggestions provided in the posing section would be beneficial in achieving the desired outcome.
5. Put Your Best Foot Forward
First, take plenty of shots so that you’ll have a lot to choose from. Additionally, a headshot isn’t complete without putting in the effort to edit it.
Even if you have the lighting perfectly set, there might still be some gaps that can be addressed through the use of the appropriate editing application. Ensure that you are using the right application and consider watching a few tutorials on YouTube before you start editing your photos. This will save you a considerable amount of time, as you won’t have to figure out the editing process on your own.
How To Pose For Professional Headshots?
I hinted at this earlier in the guide, and it’s important to discuss it again.
A good pose is one in which you are relaxed, open, and truly yourself. Let’s break it down step by step to see how you can achieve that.
- Begin by taking some deep breaths and letting yourself be free. Release any tension in your muscles. Additionally, put on your headphones and give a Yoga Nidra session on YouTube a try to take things to the next level.
- When I mention being open, I mean you should smile, lower your shoulders, and pull yourself back slightly. Awkwardness shows when you’re uncomfortable within. Ensure that you exude confidence and visualize yourself conversing with a close friend. The shot should evoke a warm feeling in the viewer. It should convey that you’re focused and unreserved, preferring authenticity and openness.
- Your personality carries a unique essence, and you lose a big part of it when you imitate others. Drawing inspiration from someone is natural, but striving to become someone else stems from a deep-seated complex. You need to uproot that notion and embrace your own personality. An easy way to do this is to recognize yourself as a distinctive individual among the 7 billion people on this planet. You are YOU, and that’s a fact you must always remember.
Why Choose Picsfast For Professional Or Business Headshots?
We have had the opportunity to edit photos for over 4000 clients thus far, and Picsfast is fervently committed to expanding this service and positively influencing even more lives in the future.
Our distinction as the best in the industry stems from our practice of not charging anything upfront, setting us apart from other editing services. We provide you with the time to submit your photos, share your details, and allow us to undertake the work. Payment is only required once you are completely satisfied.
Furthermore, Picsfast is an established company with a team of skilled editors proficient in various tasks such as adding a person, object removal, body slimming, face swapping, eliminating double chin, teeth whitening, removing stains, and more. Entrust your editing needs to a specialist in this field, and we will assist you in professionally enhancing your photos.
What To Wear For Professional Headshots?
1. Specify the Color
First things first, deciding the right color can sometimes be exhausting, given the long list of what to wear and what not to wear. You see those models on television wearing unique dresses that sometimes make you believe that you’re missing something, right?
See, a color should complement the surroundings. If you wear a bright pink to a party, nobody minds it because it speaks to your jubilant and expressive nature. However, if you do the same in a business meeting, you’ll attract attention around the office, and this might not send a positive vibe. Deciding the right color is very important.
For a professional headshot, dark colors work well, as do dresses with plain patterns. Also, based on your skin tone, you might opt for a slightly lighter shade. Some people don’t find wearing full black resonating well with photos, but I find it professional and reflective of a firm and resolute personality.
2. Pattern over your clothing
Baggy jeans and a loose shirt might not suit a lawyer, but they would work well for an artist, wouldn’t they?
Your profession should reflect your personality through your clothing. And generally speaking, a dark, plain pattern does the best job.
Tight patterns are off-putting, so you should avoid them. Your aim is to show that you’re open and positive, so wearing a tight pattern would go against your intended communication.
3. Keep your necklines moderate
Now, when you keep it tight up to your cheeks, it not only makes you uncomfortable, but it also translates into your picture. So, it’s best to keep it moderately open, so you’re neither uncomfortable nor overly restrained.
If you’re wearing a buttoned t-shirt, make sure your top buttons are open. By saying ‘keep them,’ I don’t mean exposing your chest, but they should be undone enough for you to look natural, not overly formal.
4. Keep it Dark over Light
If it’s cold, wear a dark-colored blazer over a light buttoned shirt. Many times, you’d see models wearing white over dark colors, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for a professional setting. Get your basics right, and you’re good to go.
Well, if you want to button your blazer, that’s not a problem either; it can still give a stunning look. However, something you should check for is moderation. You wouldn’t want to button it up to your neck and feel uncomfortable. That discomfort will show on your face and consequently, won’t look good on screen.
5. Avoid Loose Clothing
Loose clothing doesn’t align with a professional setup; it implies that you’re a casual person with little attention to detail. So, avoid it at all times unless instructed otherwise.
You could be a makeup artist, where wearing loose outfits might be necessary to put your best foot forward. In such specific cases, it might work, but for a meeting or if you’re not from such artistic professions, you would find it easier to keep it simple and sleek.
Now, you have a roadmap, and you know what to wear and what not to wear. Apply these suggestions, and you’ll see your profile truly shine and bring you real value.
Best Places For Outdoor Professional Headshots
Mostly, photographers prefer keeping it in the studio with generic backdrops, but a natural environment adds much more value to the photograph. You appear more genuine, and people are more likely to connect, talk, and engage with you.
Find the spot where sunlight enters your house. That’s the best place for you to capture a shot, but that’s not all; since it might be too intense with direct light, which could look harsh on screen. So, make sure there’s a window positioned between you and the sunlight to achieve a better texture.
Alternatively, you might choose to go to a park, but this is best if you go right after dawn when the light is just beginning to fade in, giving you the most suitable lighting for a photoshoot.
Studios are good, as long as you trust the photographer, or you can rely on a third party like Picsfast to change the image background for you. An extra touch will make it feel natural and relaxed.
How to Edit Headshots in Photoshop?
Performing post-processing on images is essential to make them stand out and capture attention. Using this you can remove blemishes and improve the lighting of the headshots.
To edit the headshot, open the image in Photoshop and zoom in to work with ease.
Step 1: First, crop the image in a 4 x 5 ratio or whatever size ratio you want. Consider straightening the image if needed.
Step 2: Select the Quick Selection tool and click on “Select Subject” at the top of the screen.
Step 3: After making the selection, create a mask.
Step 4: Now, go to the adjustment layer icon and add a solid color layer beneath the subject layer.
Step 5: Once It’s done, save the image on your desktop.
How to Edit Headshots in PicsArt?
You can learn how to edit headshots in PicsArt by watching this video.
If you want to edit your headshot in the mobile app, we have covered a tutorial for you.
Whether you are an iPhone or an Android user, you can use the PicsArt mobile app to post-process your portrait headshot for free.
Step 1: Open your image in the app and go to the crop tool to straighten the image.
Step 2: After cropping, tap on the remove BG tool to remove the background of the image.
Step 3: Select a solid white layer to fill the background.
Step 4: Now, tap on OK and Save the image on your phone.
AI Professional Headshot Generator
AI is leading the way for technologies ahead, and there are plenty of tools out there helping you with professional headshots.
This is the list of some AI headshot generators that are known in the market.
- Headshot AI
- Secta AI
You can use any of these softwares. Some of them are paid, some free.
Best Professional Headshots Near Me?
This comes down to your current location. If you’re in New York, check Yelp for a suitable headshot professional.
But what if you could obtain a professional headshot without having to go to their location? Instead, you can simply share the details, saving you costs, time, and the extra effort you’d otherwise spend on visiting the studio and having the session.
I’d suggest you take a shot with your phone and hire an expert headshot editor to do the job. This will obviously come at some cost but it’s absolutely worth the value it’ll bring.
Also, Picsfast is known for its photoshop services, and we can edit photos for you. Our team will connect with you, ask for specific details and that’s about it.
FAQs of Professional Headshots
How much do professional headshots cost?
You can use an AI headshot generator and create one for free while following the guidelines in this article. Use your mobile phone to capture a photo, add it to an AI software, and make final touches for a smooth and improved look.
Where to get a professional headshot?
Any spot where the light is perfect and falls evenly on your face could be a great location for a professional headshot.
How to take a professional headshot at home?
You can use your mobile phone and follow these steps — ensure your HDR settings are on, maintain a clean background, use a tripod, adjust the lighting, and there you go. That’s pretty much all you need.
The guide might overwhelm you but it’s easier if you only take one step at a time. We’ve covered what a professional headshot is, how to take one from your phone and what you should wear for these shots.
Picsfast has been in the business for years now, and we’ve managed editing services for clients across the globe. This also gives us the confidence to do the job as perfect as it can possibly be.
Let us edit your photos and make a way for you to excel in your career!