Since my blog was getting a makeover I figured I was due for some new headshots too. And being a person who likes putting plans into action immediately, there was no way I was waiting on a photographer to take headshots for me. I decided XO was getting a makeover on Thursday, shot photos on Friday, and spent the weekend learning Genesis (thanks to Erin and Mandi for inspiring me to try it out – it’s AWESOME) and coding the crap out of a brand new stylesheet for a Sunday night launch. That’s how we get things done around here!
So, today I thought I’d share a few tips for taking your own headshots. If you’re serious about building you blog, don’t just grab any old photo and stick it in your sidebar. That’s the first glimpse of you new readers will see – make it good!
I started out upstairs in my office. The photos looked OK, but not great. The lime green walls would have clashed with the yellow/green through my site and the white door wasn’t wide enough to shoot against.
Next I moved downstairs and took a few photos sitting on one of the couches in the living room. A good background, but it was way too dark. (I’d share one, but they have been deleted :)
Finally I moved a chair next to the fireplace and had the perfect minimalist background and lighting from the window!
I set up my tripod on the couch and adjusted the height so it was right at eye level (I use this cheap tripod from Amazon), then turned the chair until I was pointed right at the light source.
I was able to shoot a bunch of photos in a row with my wireless remote – one of the best blogging investments I’ve made.
Once I had my photo chosen, I did a little editing in Photoshop. I muted the blue background color since it’s right next to my bright, bold header image and used the blur tool to soften the background.
Here are a few more suggestions…
- Shoot later in the afternoon facing natural light – it was around 3pm when I shot these (This will also help clear your skin. I had a few spots I was expecting to edit in Photoshop but the light magically took care of them for me)
- Avoid sitting directly in the sun or you’ll end up with harsh shadows and lines of light
- Do your make-up a little bit heavier. I looked slightly goth in person, but my lip stain and eye shadow came out very natural on camera
- Remove anything distracting from the background – in hindsight I probably would have taken down the frame and candle holder
- Change your outfit – I started in a gray sweater, but decided the black tee worked better
- Don’t stop at a couple photos and call it good. Move around a little, tilt your head, show off those pearly whites.
If you shoot new headshots, I’d love to see them – leave a link in the comments or send me a tweet!
I shot all of these the photos with a Canon Rebel T2i.