5
 min read

5 cheap ways to make a professional headshot

In this article, we're going to tell you 5 tips for producing a professional headshot and then show you the 7-step process to getting that headshot ready to go within 20 minutes!

In this article we're going to tell you 5 tips to producing a professional headshot and then show you the 7-step process to getting that headshot ready to go within 20 minutes!

Having a professional headshot is extremely important, and since we're a personal training platform, it's especially important for online personal training. In any online/remote profession, when you have clients applying to work with you from around the world - you're going to want the first thing they see to be a professional photo of you.

The irony of me writing this article is the lack of quality in my own personal headshot...but by the end of the blog I may (or may not) have taken advantage of the tips and re-took my own headshot.

Now, without further adieu,

Here are 5 cheap ways to make a professional headshot

1. Use a newer iPhone if possible

If you don't have one, just have your friend that owns one take the photo. The point of this article is how to do this "for cheap". Obviously, hiring a photographer would be the best method when it comes to getting a professional headshot (but we're here to save a little cash 💰) (With that being said, if you can afford a photographer, then you 100% should work with one!).

Modern day phones can take absolutely stunning features, especially if used correctly. If you happen to have a newer iPhone, take advantage of the camera that's already attached to your mobile device. Please avoid using your computers webcam, an older camera, or any type of older phone.

2. Need a light?

Try to choose an inside location with GREAT lighting. If you can't be inside for some reason, then choose an outside location that has access to lots of shade. Pro tip: DO NOT use your flash - this will ruin the quality of the photo.

If you have to use the flash then it's best to wait and take the professional photo another time.

2. Take advantage of your camera's self timer if you can't get help from someone you know

It's 2021, our cameras have 3 and 10 second timers. Even if you think you're fast enough though, I highly recommend properly setting up the camera and then utilizing the 10 second timer.

3. Try a bunch of different poses & smiles.

The last thing you want to do is take one style of photo, change back into your other clothes, sit down at your computer to review...and then have regrets. Take a BUNCH of different styles of photos. Take some professionally, some laughing, some smiling, or maybe some mid-dance (who knows what photos will turn out the best!).

You also want to look at these photos from different viewpoints (phone vs. Ipad vs. LinkedIn/Instagram). You might want to take a few photos from far away but then do a few close-ups for your LinkedIn photo.

4. Wear professional clothes

This is an easy one, but don't half-ass your professional photo. This photo is going to go on your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. Make sure you take the time to pick out the right outfit (possibly multiple) and really bring your A-game to the photoshoot.

5. Avoid busy backgrounds

The focus is on you. We don't need 5 people in the background having a conversation, traffic on the highway, or a band at a concert behind you. Try to stand in front of a solid, single-colored wall. With tools like Canva, you're able to instantly (explained in the next section) remove the background from your photo entirely.

Now, what are the actual steps I should take to capture my own professional headshot at home? We interviewed a DIY photography headshot expert, Nicole Hatchard.

Here are 7 steps Nicole took to capture her professional photo right from her home:

  1. Take the professional picture against a mostly plain background or wall, with natural light. Take a lot so you have options! I had my roommate take mine with my iPhone camera.
  2. Make a Canva account to utilize their background removal feature.
  3. Select “create new Instagram post” then upload your headshot picture and use the remove background tool. You can find it at the top of the results after selecting Effects.
  1. Save/Download this as in as an HD photo.
  2. Start a new project on Canva and use a professional background image of choice from google images, Pinterest, or Flickr. (With Canva, you can even search "backgrounds" in the photos section).
  3. Upload your newly saved/downloaded headshot to this new background.
  4. Save the image in HD and then voila!

I personally want to thank Nicole Hatchard for the tips!I actually went through and followed her steps and BOOM! I now have a new profile picture. It's absolutely amazing what the "Remove Background Tool" on Canva can do and it only takes a few seconds.

Oooo! Almost forgot - make sure you update your photo across ALL social channels once you've chosen your favorite. That means LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc..

So after all that, we have to ask you...

When are you taking your own headshots?

About the author:

Cory McKane is the CEO/Founder of WeStrive - a platform for personal trainers to manage & grow their personal training business.

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