Taking a professional headshot can be a great way to show off your personality and skills. Whether you’re looking for a job, launching a business, or want to make an impression with a potential employer, having a quality headshot can make all the difference.

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional photographer – with these tips, you will know how to take a headshot in the comfort of your own home.

Find a Suitable Space at Home

take professional headshot at home

When setting up for a headshot, you’ll need to find a good space in your home to serve as a backdrop. It doesn’t have to be a professionally set up photoshoot – a simple corner or well-lit room with a wall or curtain can work perfectly. Avoid situations where you’re facing a window or light source, as it will cast harsh shadows onto your face.

Choose a Professional Outfit

When taking professional headshots, the clothing you choose is important. It should be simple, without too much distracting pattern or color. Stick to a classic wardrobe and pick out a basic outfit that makes you feel confident. Avoid busy patterns and build your outfit around neutral colors.

good clothing for taking headshots

Avoid Direct Eye Contact

no eye contact when taking professional headshot

Your headshot should capture a moment of engagement, but that doesn’t mean you should be looking directly at the camera. Avoid the classic “cheesy grin” and instead, focus on looking away from the camera slightly. This will give your headshot a relaxed yet approachable feel.

Light Your Face

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of taking a professional headshot. Natural light is ideal as it will give your photograph a warm, soft feel. If a window isn’t available, use a simple handheld light and position it at a 45-degree angle from the camera.

Relax and Have Fun

The most important element in taking a successful headshot is to relax and have fun. Talk to the camera like you’re talking to a friend and it will help you to relax and exude natural emotion in your photograph. The more you practice, the easier it will get.

How to take a professional headshot photo: Step by Step guide

Choose the right location: Find a well-lit area with ample natural light or set up proper lighting equipment if indoors. Avoid distracting backgrounds and opt for a clean, uncluttered backdrop.

Set up your camera: Use a high-quality camera or a smartphone with a good camera. Set it up on a tripod or secure it on a stable surface to avoid blurry images.

setup your camera to take professional headshots

Frame the shot: Position yourself in the frame with a balanced composition. Place your face in the center of the frame with a little space above your head.

Consider lighting: If using natural light, position yourself facing a window or in a shaded outdoor area to avoid harsh shadows. If using artificial lighting, ensure it’s well-balanced, evenly illuminating your face.

Pose and expression: Stand or sit in a relaxed but professional posture. Experiment with different angles and poses to find the most flattering look. Maintain good eye contact with the camera and consider a subtle, natural smile if appropriate for your desired image.

taking professional headshots with your own camera

Take multiple shots: Capture a series of headshots with slight variations in expression and pose. This will give you more options to choose from later.

Review and select: Transfer the images to a computer and review them critically. Look for the shots that are in focus, well-exposed, and convey the desired professionalism. Narrow down your selection to the best ones.
Edit and enhance: Use photo editing software or apps to enhance the overall quality of the selected headshots. Adjust brightness, contrast, and color balance as needed, while ensuring a natural and realistic result.

Remember, while taking your own headshots can be a cost-effective option, it’s still beneficial to work with a professional photographer if possible. They can provide expertise in lighting, composition, and directing you to achieve the best results. If you are searching for a great alternative which is budget friendly, you could try AI headshots.


Q: What color is best to wear for headshots?

A: We have different tips for you:

Neutrals: Neutral colors like black, white, gray, or navy are classic choices that can provide a timeless and professional look.

Earth tones: Colors like beige, brown, or olive can work well, especially if they complement your skin tone.

Jewel tones: Rich jewel tones like deep blue, emerald green, or burgundy can add a pop of color and create visual interest without being too distracting.

Avoid bright and neon colors: Extremely bright or neon colors can reflect onto your skin and create color casts. They may also distract attention from your face. Ultimately, the best color to wear for your headshot depends on your personal style, industry, and the message you want to convey. Consider colors that complement your skin tone and hair color, and opt for solid colors or subtle patterns that don’t overpower the image.

Q: Do I smile in a professional headshot?

A: Whether to smile or not in a professional headshot depends on various factors. In general, a subtle and natural smile can convey approachability and warmth, which are often desirable qualities in professional settings. However, there may be specific industries or roles where a serious or neutral expression is more appropriate. Consider the context, purpose, and your desired image.

Q: How do I make my headshot look professional?

A: If you prefer to take your own headshot without hiring a professional photographer, here are some tips to make it look professional:

Use natural light: Find a well-lit area with natural light, such as near a window, to ensure even lighting on your face.

Use a tripod or stable surface: Keep your camera or smartphone steady by using a tripod or placing it on a stable surface. This helps avoid blurry images.

Set up a clean background: Choose a clean, uncluttered background that doesn’t distract from your face. A plain wall or a solid-colored backdrop can work well.

Pay attention to framing and composition: Position yourself in the frame with a balanced composition. Ensure that your face is the main focus, with a little space above your head.

Experiment with angles and poses: Try different angles and poses to find the most flattering and professional look. Look directly into the camera and maintain good posture.

Edit with care: Use photo editing software or apps to enhance the overall quality. Adjust brightness, contrast, and color balance, but avoid excessive retouching that can make the image look artificial.

While hiring a professional photographer is ideal, these tips can help you capture a decent headshot on your own. Take multiple shots and review them critically to select the best one.

Q: What kind of space is needed for a professional headshot?

A: You don’t need a professional photography studio to take a professional headshot – any simple corner or well-lit room with a wall or curtain will work.

Q: What should I wear for a professional headshot?

A: When taking professional headshots, opt for a simple and classic wardrobe with neutral colors and no distracting patterns.

Q: What angle should I aim for with my headshot?

A: Avoid direct eye contact and look away from the camera slightly. This will give your headshot a relaxed yet approachable feel.

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