How to: Take your own headshot

Recently I’ve had need of a new head shot. My old one looked…well how do I put this? My old head shot looked too young.

Shut up.

I admit that in the 10 years since the last was taken, life has “done stuff” to my face. Also, my hair.
It would be weird to have a photo of blond, 31 year old, me on my splash page and then red head, 41 year old, me shows up. Right?

The self snapped photo in the mirror, while charming for buddy icons and such, aren’t very professional looking.
Same goes for the “arm’s length” style snap shot. You should save that one for your Facebook page

Hiring a portrait photographer wasn’t in the budget so I did it myself!
You can too! Here are some tips and tricks I learned in my attempt.

I’m assuming you have or can borrow a digital camera.

Open a window
I took my picture near an open window to utilize the natural light. Natural light is better than any studio light in my opinion.

Charge up and make room.
There’s nothing more irritating than running out of battery life or “film” right when you’re all set to take your photo. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of charge and room on your CF/SD card.

Get your ya-ya’s out!

Everybody feels self conscious when taking a photo.
If your camera has a self timer that lets you choose how many shots to take, set it at about 10 shots or more. Take a lot of pictures. This lets you check your lighting, goof off, make faces, crack yourself up, and just generally relax.

You have to send the crossed eyes, fish lips one to your Sister.

Still feeling a little stiff? Turn on some music, think of a dirty joke, tape a picture of a tranquil mountain lake next to the camera, whatever it takes to get you to stop making that “say cheeeeeeese” face.


Here’s me, testing different places in my house checking the lighting, testing backgrounds, making stupid faces.

To photoshop or to not photoshop?
Go ahead! Make your teeth a little whiter. Zap that pimple. Smooth out a few of those crows feet. I would however caution against over processing your photo. Too much tweaking can be obvious and make your face look plastic. You are lovely just the way you are!

Ta-da!
Not too shabby if I say so myself.

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