How to Take a Headshot with a Smartphone

Most contemporary smartphones have very good built-in cameras. In fact, these built-in cameras are often better than or match the quality of today’s point-and-shoot cameras. This page will give you some guidance and tips on how to take a headshot with a smartphone.

Framing

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Rule of Thirds

Framing is how people or objects are positioned within the frame of the photo, and proper framing makes photos more visually appealing. There is an old tried and true technique called the rule of thirds. You simply split your frame into thirds and place points of interest where the dividing lines meet. When using this technique for a headshot, you’ll want to place the eyes at the top third line while still leaving a little bit of space between the top of the frame and the head. You’ll also want to get close to the camera so the upper part of the chest is in the bottom part of the frame.

Grid Guide

Most smartphones have a helpful grid guide you can turn on in your camera settings.

Portrait Mode

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Portrait mode is a feature that has made its way to many smartphones in the last 3-4 years. Essentially, it keeps you in focus while blurring the background. This visual aesthetic makes photos look more professional and makes sure you stand out in your photo. If your smartphone camera has a portrait mode or similar feature we highly recommend using it.

Lighting

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Lighting is a critical component for any photo, especially a headshot. Make sure to take your photo in an area with an abundance of light. This could be outside or in a room with lots of natural light. You’ll want to make sure your main light source is in front of you to avoid backlighting. This means the sun or a window should be shining light onto your face and not from behind you. We also recommend not relying on your flash and turning it off.

Background

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Even though this is a photo of you, it’s important not to forget about what is behind you. Choosing an appropriate and, if possible, visually appealing background will increase the quality and professionalism of your photo.

Published on April 06, 2020 at 4:57:46 pm CDT. Last modified on April 14, 2020 at 9:38:27 am CDT.