I recently photographed head shots for some photography clients which got me thinking about what makes a great head shot. As it pertains to blogging (or any business), I think that having a flattering photo of yourself can go a long way in representing who you are as well as allowing your readers/clients to get to know you. Today I thought I would share a few tips on how to get a good head shot that you can even take on your own!
The first factor in producing an amazing photo of yourself is angles. In order to make yourself look the most flattering (and to be honest, thinner) you want to play with angles. Taking the photo from an angle that is looking down at you will do this. When I set up the tripod to take a picture of myself or even a group of people it is always at a slight downward angle above me. If you have someone else take the picture for you have them stand slightly above you. Sitting photos make this especially easy.
The other side of angles is to not take a picture of your body head on. What I mean is that you should slightly turn your body so that the camera is coming on you at an angle. If you have a photo that includes more of a full body shot, do something with your arms and legs so they are not completely straight. Folding your arms or crossing your legs is a good example of this.
When I am taking pictures with my husband or in a group you can also notice that I use my body, arms, and legs, to lean in towards him/them which makes a more flattering picture of myself. And I say, when in doubt, always bend a knee.
The next factor is dress. When you plan to take a picture that represents your business, you want to dress appropriately for the job. When I took pictures for the blog I wanted to look professional but still feminine as I thought it was a good balance of the homemaking and entertaining side that is represented on Domestic Fashionista (You all know I really just wear sweats and workout clothes every day, right?!). Considering what your brand represents as you take your photo will allow others to get a greater sense of what you are about. For our photography business I wanted to also look professional but stylish, wearing outfits we would suggest for people to wear at their own photo session.
The last factor is background and props. You are always safe with a neutral background like a plain colored wall, outdoor photo, or other textural background like a brick wall. But if you want to add more personality to your photo, you can also choose your background to represent what you are about without being too cheesy. I chose to take my blog profile photos in my home as it seemed fitting since I talk about the home. Adding in cookbooks and high heels offered a little sass and a bit of a stereotype that I was okay with embracing. This is a delicate line that you have to decide what fits with your brand.
Now in order to take these photos you can hire a professional, have a friend or family member take them for you, or you can even take them on your own. If you have a tripod and timer or remote on your camera you can easily set up your own little mini photo shoot all by yourself! You can find more tips from my post I wrote on what tripods I like and how to set up your camera to take photos of yourself. You will want to take a few shots to get your placement and background right and then once you have that set up you can start taking shots of yourself! Be forgiving of yourself as it takes practice to get a good picture of yourself but in time I promise you will get the hang of it!
Lastly, once you have some photos of yourself, try to stay consistent with them over your social networking sites. It's fun and tempting to always want to change up your profile photos, but once you have a few you love, stick to those ones. People who are not your best friend or mother might not recognize you until they have gotten to know you better. By having a consistent familiar face over the internet, you will be more easily recognized and remembered.
Simple Blogging series where I share tips about how to run your blog on your own with simple tricks and advice, making your blog work for you. You can also find other photography advice by checking out my photography tips and tricks archives.