How to take a professional photo of yourself

You can’t help but think, “I’d love some professional photos of myself for my website.”

No photographer? No sweat. You’ll totally be able to capture at least a few great-looking shots of yourself using the following tips.

No matter what kind of business you have, a sharp looking photo of yourself is key!

Buuuuuut, photographers can be expensive.  (As they should be – it takes a lot of time to develop those skills. Not to mention the price of all the equipment and software they require.)

You can always upgrade your photos later to some glossy, gorgeous professional photos. For now, you just need 1 or 2 good shots to get you going.

Follow the tips below to get your own professional-ish photo!

1. Ask a student

Now, I’m not a huge advocate and asking people to work for free. (Actually, I’m pretty against it!)

But when someone’s in school, the rules are little different.

See if there is a photography student who could use some help building their portfolio by taking the photos you want. This way, it’s still a good energetic exchange – you’re both getting something you need! The student gets experience and the opportunity to grow his or her portfolio, while you get the image you want.

2. Take a selfie!

I’m serious! Back in the day we would’ve called them ‘self-portraits’ which sounds much more dignified – doesn’t it?

The reality is we have so much great technology that it’s fairly easy to get a half decent photo of yourself. Man, my iPhone 5 (which is ancient by current standards) packed a powerful punch when it comes to that little camera.

Yes, there are way fancier cameras than a phone camera. But do you need it for this? Nah. Don’t sweat it.

There are four key elements you taking a pro-looking selfie. Or self-portrait, if you will. All the tips below, aside from the first one, are really handy even if you’re getting your photos professionally done.

A.  Use a tripod

At the very least, use something you can balance your phone against. Selfie sticks are not the best for this purpose because you’re still going to shake a bit. You need stability, sister!

I love the GripTight GorillaPod by Joby. If you want to use your actual tripod, you can use the smartphone attachment from your Gorillapod with a standard tripod. Now it’s easy to go out into the world if you want a photo taken outside.

B.  Wear new clothes

It’s easy to spot old clothes on camera – pilling and discoloration show up pretty clearly.

Even if you just need a new top, go out and get one. It’s really worthwhile!

C.  Pose it up

Check out recommended photography poses. There are definitely some which are more flattering than others.

Test them out on your mirror before you head into the world to take your photo. It’ll make your photo sesh much faster if you know the poses which flatter you best!

Here’s a link to a site with great poses. There are lots of them though – keep hunting around the Internets for poses which work best for you.

D.  Makeup

Ladies, this is a big one.

Photography makeup is sooooo different from everyday makeup. (At least, it is if you’re me!)

Until I started making videos, I hadn’t worn foundation in over a decade.

Yes.

I had to learn what kind works best for me, how to apply it, what color and brand to choose. On and on. I can’t be the only one who’s almost 30 and had to learn some makeup basics, right? Anyone? …anyone? K, maybe it is just me.

Anyway, to learn what works best for you, get a makeover done at Sephora, MAC, or another beauty or department store. Most of these offer inexpensive or free mini-makeovers.

If you are only interested in doing this once, getting the makeover right before having your photos taken is enough.

If you know you’ll be in front of the camera often it would be worth investing in camera-friendly products. Plus you get the benefit of learning exactly how to apply it by a professional! #winning

Bonus tip!  Lighting

I love natural lighting. If you can go outside your photo, I’d recommend it.
However, don’t go into the middle of the day – the harsh noon sun casts wicked shadows. An overcast sky actually works beautifully for photos.
If you are taking your photos indoors, try to use a full-spectrum lightbulb source so you get true colors in your photos.

Thanks for stopping by to to talk about how to get great photo of yourself – without having a photographer!

To duckface-free photos,

What are your recommendations for taking a great-looking photo without hiring a photographer? Let me know in the comments!

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