Most people think headshots are like portraits and need to be photographed in a studio. Maybe because you think professional lighting in your headshots will make them look better, or that the photographer will have a better camera than you. The quality of your headshot shows your commitment to yourself, so it makes sense that you don’t want to cut back and get a mediocre result.
However, with the quality of smartphone cameras now rivaling or topping traditional cameras, this is changing. Headshots are important because it is the best way to represent you. The right kind of professional headshot will make a lasting first impression. And with the right coaching, lighting, and our team of professional editors doing your retouching, you can achieve a high-quality headshot using only your smartphone!
No matter whether you’re looking for a new job or starting your own business, a professional headshot can help you stand out in a competitive market. Headshots.com offer you the convenience of taking professional-quality headshots from the comfort of your own home. And the trick to that? It’s all in the lighting.
Highly Recommended: Natural Light Indoors
The number one key to taking a great photo on your smartphone is lighting. Natural lighting in your headshots will set them apart and raise the quality level. You can use natural light indoors to create headshots that feel more natural and authentic. Since these photos won’t feel as stale as studio-lit ones, you can use these more personable and versatile photos on social media and elsewhere.
The most important thing when creating the lighting in your headshot is to ensure a great window. Here is a great set-up to prepare your space for natural lighting:
- Windows with a lot of soft and diffused natural light.
- A clean solid background (don’t worry Headshots.com will fix your background for you!).
- A bar stool or chair (if you’d like).
This set-up is simple and provides ample natural light. You want to ensure that the light is in front of you, so you don’t get strange shadows. You can take several different shots from different angles to see where the light will naturally hit and what looks best with your facial features.
Somewhat Recommended: Golden Hour Outdoors
We highly recommend taking photos using natural light from a window. However, you can try your luck with lighting outside, especially if you’re trying to achieve different headshot styles. The more variety, the better, as you’ll choose your favorite to submit for editing.
A golden hour is the period of time around sunrise and sunset. Typically this occurs between 2-3 hours after sunrise and 2-3 hours before sunset. The sun is lower in the sky at these times and doesn’t cause contrasting shadows. It can provide you with excellent outdoor portrait lighting. However, be aware that golden hour lighting may create portraits that have very warm tones.
Cloudy days can also produce soft light for outdoor portraits with a natural, rounded appearance. Managing this light is slightly more challenging. If your day turned out to be cloudy, you could end up with washed-out, silvery photos. In this type of setting, you have to be careful because a lot of details can get lost. However, since you get to take as many photos as you want before submitting, go ahead and test out the lighting on a cloudy day, you might just find something that works.
Here is a great set-up for a golden hour outdoors:
- Make sure you choose a place with a simple background, preferably in the shade, and avoid direct sunlight or spotty light. Look for a more neutral background, as complex backgrounds with lots of detail, especially those that are the same color as your hair, make retouching the image more difficult.
- Make sure that no flash is enabled on your camera/phone, and always use 100 percent natural light from the outdoors – this is what makes the photo look professional.
- Golden hour is perfect for front lighting. You should face the sun at golden hour. A warm, flattering, and even light will illuminate you from the front. High noon is not the time to do that!
Take several different outfits and use the golden hour light to your advantage!
What NOT to Use for Lighting in Your Headshots
LED lighting is often the type of lighting in our homes. However, this light is not really ideal for smartphone headshots. While professional photographers may use LED lightboxes, it’s unlikely you have access to such a tool.
Try taking selfies in different areas of your home – the bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc. As you will find, it can be difficult to direct light evenly using artificial lighting sources. Remember, lighting in your headshot is really important! That’s why we recommend you use natural lighting instead.
CELL PHONE CAMERA FLASH
The best part of using Headshots.com is that you can take pictures right from your smartphone. Our world-class editors retouch your photo to add that professional polish. But the photo starts with you! That said, we do offer plenty of tips on how to get your photo right. And using the phone’s flash is not one of them.
Using your phone camera’s flash setting can overexpose your face. Additionally, it can blur or darken the background, actually making things harder for our professional editors.
While you want your face to appear clear and bright, you also want balance. That’s why natural lighting will always be better than using flash.
Using Lighting In Your Headshots At Home
Taking photos can be a nerve-wracking experience. Especially trying to figure out the right lighting in your headshot. Is it too bright? Is it too dark? Headshots.com allows you to take your own photos from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to take only one photo, so take multiple images until you feel at ease. Try different light sources and angles until you feel the photo captures you. And take a deep breath and relax! Our personal, high-end retouching service guarantees a great end result. Therefore, if you notice that a sliver of hair is out of place in one of your favorite shots, we can fix it for you.
When you have a headshot that reflects your business and speaks directly to you, you’ll feel invincible. And having the right lighting in your headshot is crucial! You can now capture natural light headshots straight from your phone and, of course, with the professional touch of Headshots.com.
Get Started Today Using Great Lighting in Your Headshots
According to Forbes, people will have a solid impression of who you are within seven seconds of meeting you. Additionally, some researchers have found that determining traits such as trustworthiness and honesty can be done in only a tenth of a second. There is no second chance to change a first impression. Your personal brand or career is an opportunity to establish a positive first impression. Why would you not use it?
Therefore, it is important to create an awesome headshot that represents you best. And we think this should be done by the person who knows you the best: YOU. Our team of experts can polish your business image so that it is professional. So create your headshot today. It’s never been so easy to take a great headshot photo! And as you create your new headshot with Headshots.com, we want you to keep your lighting in your headshot in mind. These tips will ensure your professional headshot lighting is on point!