Tips for Taking Your Own Headshots

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I recently published an article, Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Photos. I talked about taking photos for your marketing materials. A number of advisors asked me if someone could take their own headshots.

You can take your own headshots, but you need to be prepared and aware to get the most professional photos you can. I always recommend hiring a professional if at all possible, but if you are going to take your own photos there are things you need to consider.

Look your best

I mentioned it in my previous article but I have to say it again: The details matter. Make sure you have put thought into what you are going to wear and how it will translate in a picture – makeup, jewelry, and haircut. Every little detail will forever be captured in your photo, so make sure it is right.


Think about what will be behind you in your photo. You don’t want it to be too busy or cluttered. If you are taking the photos indoors, take it in front of a solid-colored wall. Consider the lighting. It is always best to use as much natural light as you can find. A large window near you, but not directly behind you, is ideal. Avoid taking your photos under the typical overhead fluorescent lights that are found in offices. They will give you stark highlights and harsh shadows.

You can take your photos outside — just make sure that you are fully aware of what is going on behind you that may possibly show in the background. You also want to make sure that you are not in direct sunlight. Not only will it make you squint; it can also make you look washed out. Finding a spot with great indirect light or taking the photo on an overcast day is best.