See that photo of me in the sidebar? I took it. And while I love my Nikon, and I know I can take amazing photos with it, I took that headshot with my iPhone. I swear. One day, I know I’m going to call Jody Mack, my very favorite local photographer, and have her take “real” headshot pictures of me to go in my sidebar and on my About page. (They probably be so good that I’ll even want them on my business cards.) But in the meantime, bloggers need to know that you can take a headshot with just your iPhone (or any smart phone) and get quality professional results.
So if you’ll excuse the brief pause in amazing bloggers for the day (you can always see the entire list here) so I can share this month’s Adventures in Pinterest. I found this pin called Pro Selfie Tips from a Pro Photographer on Pinterest from By Regina and was equal parts excited and intrigued. If a professional photographer thinks I can take a selfie like a pro, then maybe I can. And I love the advice in this post. There are great tips on setting up your camera, knowing your settings, paying attention to the background and some apps for editing. It’s a great place to get started. But I wanted to take it one step further.
I went outside into the natural light (as Rodnesha Green, the professional photographer in the pinned article suggests). I was thinking about background, and I set up this elaborate and quite silly looking make-shift tripod in front of my husband’s garage. That’s two folding side tables stacked on top of each other with my daughter’s plastic and toddler size chair on top. I sat on a chair in front of this rig and propped my phone up at eye-level. (And yes. The headphones are important. Keep reading to find out why.) Here’s the beautiful thing about taking your headshot with an iPhone. You can actually see the photo you’re taking. So click away, and delete what you don’t want. Try out poses. Skinny arm out, chin up, head tilted, tooth-showing smile, in bright light, in shade, with different backgrounds, try it. Sometimes your out takes will surprise you. Some of these are much better than others. Some make me wonder what I was thinking. And here’s my finished result that I pretty much love. But here’s the thing. I was able to take these million photos in order to find one that I really like and love the look of. And in the process, I learned somethings that I hope will help you as you work on your own iPhone shots. So I give you . . .
5 Tips for taking iPhone Headshots
Click through to read all the tips.
I love this tip. You know you can use the volume controls as the shutter buttons in camera mode on your iPhone. Well, this works with the headphones that come with your iPhone too. The volume controls work as a shutter release. This means you can take a selfie farther away from the camera, and you don’t have to have the arm-exteneded look.
Look at the camera, not the screen.
If you’re using the camera on the same side as your iPhone screen, then make sure you look into the camera (the small circle above the screen) and not at your own face on the screen. Think of it this way, if a photographer was taking your photo, you wouldn’t look below the lens, would you? Now, if you’re going for that off-in-the-distance glance, then that’s another story.
Think of this as a professional headshot.
Put some time into your clothes, make up, hair. Think about how you want to look. You wouldn’t wear your pajamas to a professional photo shoot, so don’t expect to be able to get away with that here. Wear clothes you would want in your sidebar. Take some time on your make up. Brush your hair. For my shot, I even dyed my roots because I didn’t want grays in the shot. And my orange tank, it matches the colors on my blog. Yep. I thought it that far through.
Think about your branding.
When it comes to blogging, you are your brand. Your readers want to know you, see you. So you need to think about that before you take your photo. If you’re a craft blogger, you might want to picture yourself with something you’ve made. If you blog about travel, then use a photo of yourself in an amazing and beautiful destination. More than just my matching shirt, I wanted my headshot to represent that I take on challenges straight on, simply. Let your headshot extend your branding.
Edit. You’re allowed.
A professional photographer would open your picture in Photoshop or Lightroom and edit until it was perfect. You’re allowed to do that too. Even if you don’t have fancy photo-editing software, look to PicMonkey or apps like Afterlight can help to add the polishing or finishing touches on any graphic. But here’s the tightrope you have to walk. You still want to look like yourself. Don’t use this as a chance to drop those 15 lbs you were meaning to loose or to make yourself tan. You’re beautiful how you are, own it.
Of course Adventures in Pinterest is always a group effort, so come see what Wendy of Writing a New Story, Jessica of Chaos & Love, and Megan of MamaBub are up to this month. You can click on the picture of each project below to see all the fun.
What Pinterest project have you been working on this month?