2020 was a rough year for everyone, unless you had stock in hand sanitizer or toilet paper. If you’re hoping to touch up your professional resume or profile in the hopes of getting hired or boosting your prospective leads in 2021, one of the best ways to do so is by investing in a good headshot.
Your headshot is one of the first things potential recruiters, companies, and clients see when they engage with you online. You don’t want to screw up your first impressions by taking a photo that ends up looking more like a mugshot. You want a clean, professional headshot picture.
If you’re on a budget, this is easier said than done. Fortunately, it can be done. Below, I created a how to on getting the best, cheap headshots in San Diego.
Find Your Story
The first thing you need to do is figure out the kind of headshot you want to have. It needs to tell a story that gives viewers the right impression. You don’t want to look like a carefree artist if you’re aiming to woe the tech field, for instance. Ask yourself a few of these questions to help you establish your story:
Plan the Staging
Next, it’s time to stage your photoshoot. You’ll need to find the right location to tell your story. This means no cluttered backgrounds, no unusual locations that don’t serve your story, and no bright colors that take away from the focus point: you.
What You Want to Do
What You Don't Want to Do
Have the Right Equipment
Speaking of cameras, you’ll also want to take your photos with a quality camera. Thankfully, most smartphones can get the job done if you don’t have a professional camera. Simply ask a friend or family member to take your photos.
Conversely, if you don’t have someone who can take the photos for you, make sure you have a tripod to place your phone on and set the timer.
Dress for the Part
Now for the fun part: dressing up! You want to look the part, so don’t skimp on hair, makeup, clothing, grooming, and other components that make your headshot tell your story. Professional business attire is the most general and appropriate choose if you’re hoping to speak to the professional world.
Let’s talk about color for a moment. As a rule of thumb, avoid nude colors that cancel you out. Also, you probably want to forgo bright, vivid colors like yellow, red, and orange, as these can come off too strongly.
Cool, gentle colors are far more effective at creating a good headshot. Many professional headshots use white-colored clothing and a contrasting background to match. However, teal, burgundy, purple, and blue shades add personality to your photo without detracting from it and might be even more effective, depending on your backdrop.
Always take into consideration the background and setting when choosing clothing, jewelry, and makeup colors.
Embrace Your Inner Model
While you might not consider yourself a model, knowing how to pose for the camera can do wonders for your headshot. You don’t want to tilt your head awkwardly or grimace, for example. You want to exude confidence and experience.
Avoid slouching, frowning, and staring straight-on. The most successful DIY headshots involve good posture, positioning yourself to the side, and angling your head towards the camera.
Taking that perfect headshot doesn’t happen immediately, unless you’re some sort of muse or have a random bout of beginner’s luck. Don’t be surprised if you end up having to take 100 or more photos to get that final shot. It might seem like a lot of effort, but getting it done in one photoshoot is infinitely better than having to go back again and again to get that photo.
Use Editing Software
One of the last things to do is edit your photo. Upload your picture onto an editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Skylum Luminar, Gimp, or another affordable editing software to make little adjustments to the contrast, saturation, sharpness, and other features of your image.
You can also edit out any blemishes and touch up imperfections to give your photo an even more professional look.
Hire an Affordable Photographer
While Pinterest and Instagram make it look easy to be a successful DIYer, the reality might fall a little short. All of the persistence in the world might not be enough if you’re still not getting the perfect headshot. At this point, it’s costing you time and money to try to SAVE money. Quite the contradiction, right? That’s when it’s probably in your best interest to find an affordable professional to do the job for you.
Here at Dk3studios, we offer affordable and professional headshots in San Diego so that you can avoid the trial and error of taking a cheap headshot yourself without spending an arm and a leg on a quality photograph.