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Do you need a headshot update? How to tinker in your living room

Professional photos are great, but sometimes it’s about budget, time, and these days it’s about COVID-19. Fortunately, you can still get some great headshots right in your home. Here’s how.

Are you thinking of taking your headshot at home? While there can be some challenges, a few tips and tricks can help you get a result that is as professional as possible.

Remember that professional photography has its advantages and professional photographers have years of training to get the best results. However, the method outlined below can provide you with a great do-it-yourself placeholder. Everything you need to know is here.

The tools

  • An iPhone or a current smartphone (set to portrait)
  • Lens photo editing
  • Canvas graphic design platform
  • A stepladder
  • A partner, friend or timer setting
  • Natural light

The method

To achieve this look, I researched some color and outfit combinations. Think of any color or clothing combination you’ve been complimented on and build on that.

Next, I played around with the lights in my house. I found that natural light in front of or next to me had the best effect. I’ve tried different windows but the morning light in my living room was the best.

I grabbed my partner and asked him to step onto a stepladder (to help the 90s not look so far away). Elevation can often help achieve a more flattering angle, but you need to test different levels to get your best personal result. Don’t come too close.

The best part? I stayed in my slippers the entire time – and it only took me about 10 minutes to pose.

Original, Lensa, Canva. Three easy steps!

The editing

I did a simple harvest before sending the original image to Lensa. Lensa is my favorite photo editing app for a number of reasons. It offers studio quality lighting settings, is affordable, and very easy to use. There are some basic touch-up features, and I’ve found the results to be flattering on all subjects.

Next, I took the finished image to Canva and uploaded it to the Instagram-sized template. With the “Effects” option I removed the background. From there, I chose a few different backgrounds and then saved my final results.

The abstract

That was a fun project, but I still plan to get professional portraits this spring. It’s important to note that you can find affordable ways to market and promote yourself when pro-shots aren’t on budget or when time (or personal photography during COVID-19) is an important factor.

Headshots should be updated at least every two years to look like you personally. Headshots are a treat and an integral part of your branding and business building. Try this method and share your results!

During the day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. She tweets and blogs at night. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.

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