Tips for Social Media Headshot Photos
MIX Consider different vibes for different social media platforms – your LinkedIn personality may be different than your Instagram personality – that includes pose, attire, facial expression, level of uniqueness, background, and photo quality.
BACKGROUND Let yourself shine without distraction as this is about you, not your surroundings – a simple and non-reflective or blurred background will not pull attention away from your face. If you have a camera which allows setting adjustments, use a short depth-of-field so your face will be in focus and the background will be out of focus. Simple, yet interesting background ideas: old wooden fence or barn, a large tree trunk, the side of a building, a brick wall, or the inside of an umbrella or parasol.
POSE It’s not a mug shot! How about a little head-tilt and gentle smile? Practice a few shots with the light source at different angles. Pose with the camera just above head-height to avoid double chins.
NOT ANOTHER SELFIE Aren’t there enough selfie photos out there showing nostrils or an arm stretching for the shutter? So you can pose attractively, use a tri-pod or selfie-stick, set the camera down and use a timer-delay, or have a friend take the shot.
FRAMING Many social media head-shots end up being tiny, so use as much of the available space as possible so the world can see you.
LIGHTING Get into nice filtered indoor light from a window or shaded outside light. Avoid flash as it will flatten the image. Harsh direct lighting or sunlight may make you squint and can cause unattractive shadows. Too little light will make the photo grainy.
CREATE Want something a bit different for your non-work social media? Pose with the sun behind you to create some light bursts (just be sure there is also enough light on your face so you are not in shadow.) Peek over the top of some fabulous shades, a fan, a bunch of flowers, or your favorite novel. If you keep the props simple, they can add your personality to the shot without distracting from it. Give a big grin or wink a try. Just be sure your eyes show.
UNIQUE Of course, your personality may call for creative flaunting of all these tips – go ahead and be yourself. First consider the purpose of the photo – is it for business or personal? What type of business is it? Or what type of personal image do you wish to project? How do you want the viewer to perceive your social media self?
HALO Make your hair and make up appointment at Halo before you aim that camera. Let your stylist know that you are planning on posing and we’ll primp you up perfectly.