Taking the perfect selfie has become more of a necessity than a passing fad. Profile photos are needed for everything from websites to social media, even many employers are asking for headshots to add to company webpages, business cards, and brochures.
Not everyone has the time or money to hire a professional photographer but thanks to the improved front facing camera and portrait mode, it’s possible to take a professional looking headshot from the comfort of your own home. Here are some tips and tricks to getting publisher quality images.
Choosing your settings
• Portrait mode allows for focus on the face with less background interference.
• Open the camera app on your iPhone and swipe to portrait. Toggle between natural and studio light settings to determine which lighting option creates the least amount of shadow without washing out your features. You can always change your mind later as these settings can be altered even after the photo has been taken.
• Try to avoid using the flash. Opt for well light rooms or outside. If extra light is necessary consider getting a ring light or illuminated phone case.
Positioning Your Phone
• The best position for your phone is slightly elevated above eye level. Aim the front facing camera at your forehead then gently raise your chin so that you’re making eye contact with the lens.
• Since people tend to look their best at a slight angle as opposed to head on try moving your face slightly from one side to the other maintaining eye contact with the lens. You may want to take a few test shots.
• Since it shouldn’t be obvious you’ve taken your own headshot for publication consider propping your phone up on some books or a shelf and setting the timer found at the top of the screen. Helpful investments include a Bluetooth remote, iPhone tripod, or stand attachment such as a popsocket or iRing.
Focus On You
• Avoid patterns such as strips or polka dots.
• Crop out logos unless your photo is designed for a specific business you’re representing.
• Go for solid colors in rich earth tones such as navy blue, forest green, or burgundy. Stay away from black and white.
• Choose a minimalist background such as a textured wall or doorway.
Editing and Exporting
• Tap “Edit” found at the bottom of the screen directly after a photo has been taken or on the top left hand corner of your screen after the photo is sent to your photo album.
• Phones taken in portrait mode have a pre set depth of field of 4.5. This can be altered between 1.4 to 16 after the photo has been taken by running your finger back and forth across the bottom of the screen.
• The iPhone also offers several filters which can be accessed at the bottom of the screen.
If extra edits are required there are several photo apps such as FaceTune and Adobe Photoshop Express.
• Since many websites and print services have a minimal upload size, you may need to know the specifications of the photo you’ve just taken, something Apple doesn’t readily make available. But, by uploading your photos to a third party storage site, such as Dropbox (Free) you can find the pixel size of any phone by clicking the “i” on the bottom right hand corner of any uploaded image.
Having a good headshot is the digital equivalent of making a good first impression. Don’t be afraid to take lots of photos in various settings. Like with anything, taking your own professional quality image takes a bit of practice.