8 Tips for Photographing the Perfect Headshot – for Yourself


Having an awesome headshot is a great way to express yourself to your potential clients. You want your headshot to show a bit of your personality or something else special about you. The great thing about being a photographer is that you can create your own headshot. This article will give you some tips to create a headshot that’s perfect for you!

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You want to approach creating your own headshot like you would approach any shoot. You need to make sure you have great lighting and great focus.

I created this headshot on my own. You can do this too. Here are my top tips for photographing the perfect headshot for yourself:

Tip #1 – Look great

Just because you’re your own photographer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take this shoot seriously. Prepare for your headshot by making sure your hair is fabulous and that your makeup is done.

Tip #2 – Have great lighting

Whether you’re using available light or studio lighting, make sure you light your space well. If using available light, look for the light first. Find the best light in your home and make it work. Go outside if you need to. If you have strobes, flashes, or other light sources then make sure you’re set up with the most flattering light for your face.

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Tip #3 – Shoot with a higher f-stop number

Getting sharp focus will be the most difficult part of photographing yourself. Instead of shooting at f/2.8 try shooting with a smaller aperture say, at f/11. This will give you a greater plane of focus to work with, and a greater chance of having sharp focus on you.

Tip #4 – Practice your posing

As a photographer, part of your job is to guide your subjects into the most flattering positions. Now it’s time to learn how to pose yourself. Get in front of the mirror and find the position that works best.

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Tip #5 – Shoot tethered

Shooting tethered is great for self portraits. This allows you to easily see what your camera is picking up without moving from your spot. Make sure your screen can be easily seen from where you’re standing. Here’s a diagram of my setup.

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Tip #6 – Bracket your poses

Just like when bracketing for exposure, slightly alter your angles in a series of three to four shots at a time. If you’re shooting tethered, you can easily see what needs to be changed.

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Tip #7 – Make it interesting

You’re a photographer so that means you know how to get creative. Make your headshot a representation of your personality. Include your hobbies, your favorite place, things you like to do or even your name. Your headshot is an extension of your brand. Make it great.

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Tip #8 – Edit it

Make sure you edit your photo. Don’t forget this important step. Treat this photo like any other shoot. Take it from a snapshot to a professional photograph by adding your special touch.

Remember, shooting your own headshot gives you complete control over your shoot while saving you a few bucks in the process. Don’t worry about making a mistake. You can take as many shots as you need to get the perfect photograph.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Monica Day

is a portrait photographer in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She specializes in photographing women and children. Monica aims to help each of her clients feel strong and confident. She also teaches and mentors other photographers. She is the author of The Most Fabulous Boudoir Marathon Guide. You can find Monica on her YouTube page where she provides tutorials and talks about lifestyle. Be sure to check out more of Monica’s work at her website and Instagram.

  • Guest

    Okay, I got it done!

  • Great job! This reminds me of one of mine. Way to get it done. 😉

  • You have a beautiful smile!

  • Many thanks for an interesting article with a lucky number of criteria. For my next headshot, I will take myself more seriously, shave and wash my face. When I am grown up, I will also try to look great.
    Below is my “Eye Shot” (Nikon D3100 – f/2.5 – 50mm – 1/2000 – ISO 100).
    Cheers, Matt http://www.konniandmatt.blogspot.com

  • Jay Ward

    How can I get my pics to appear larger?

  • Vijay

    so good.

  • What I got..

  • Thanks!!

  • Gisele George

    What software do you use to edit this picture? Very gorgeous by the way!!

  • Hi Gisesle and Thank you. I use photoshop. I took some courses in college and when I got into photography I learned beauty retouching from a few courses taught by Pratik Niyak (spelling?).

  • Rob Clark

    I think it’s the black on black that is making them say convict. It’s just a connotation in their mind because of all of the black. Guaranteed if this was a white background they would not say that at all or by the same logic, white shirt. I feel what they are saying (although I don’t entirely agree) I also feel like perhaps because it’s kind of straight on with heavy light on one side. If you change the angle slightly I think you’re good too.

    That said, great quality of light and I love the neutral expression. Great sharp focus too.


  • Sachin Negi

    Taped Face 😛

  • John K

    Here’s my first attempt… I need to use a higher f-stop and tether my camera.

  • Marian Murdoch

    So now all of the amateurs out there are going to think they know how to take headshots and will bill themselves as such, never knowing that these are NOT headshots in the technical sense. If anyone submitted these as headshots to an agency, the agency would probably laugh their own heads off. This should be titled “how to take a self portrait.” This is irresponsible journalism.

  • Nerminator

    I had white sweather and white background and i was like a ghost on picture, so you did opposite

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