DIY Professional looking headshot

with your phone

Want to watch a video instead?  This one is pretty good. However, I would recommend taking the photo horizontally so there is more room to crop it as a square if you need to.

1. Clean the lens (on the back -don't use the selfie camera)

Ensure the lens is clean to prevent any smudges or dust from impacting your photo quality.

2. Choose a well lit uncluttered background

Opt for an environment with good natural light and a simple, uncluttered background. This could be in front of a plain wall, outdoors on an overcast day, shaded area, or in a well-lit room with a large window. Keep it simple and always do a quick check to make sure some object doesn’t look like it is growing out of your head.

3. Use natural light (or a ring light)

Position yourself so that the light source is in front of you, not behind. (as long as it is not harsh) This prevents your face from being in shadow and adds a pleasing softness to your features.  You want to avoid harsh shadows. Find tips on good natural light here.

4. Use a friend, or a tripod

I recommend getting a friend or coworker to help; however, a smartphone tripod can keep your shot steady and be adjusted to get the right angle. If you don’t have a tripod, place your phone on a stable surface at eye level.

To set a delay timer on your iphone swipe down from the chevron at the top or flick up from the photo mode at the bottom and slide the menu until you get to the timer.

To set a delay timer on your android phone check out this post.

5. Camera Settings: portait mode, most compatible

Switch to portrait mode if your smartphone has this feature. It helps to blur the background and focus on your face, making the shot look more professional.

6. Frame the Shot - make it horizontal

Turn your phone to take a landscape-type horizontal photo. The goal is to get your head to your mid-chest. Make sure to leave some extra space. You can always crop it. Keep the camera at or slightly above eye level, never below, as it’s a more flattering angle.

7. Maintain Good Posture and stand at an angle.

Stand or sit up straight, but make sure you’re comfortable. Try angling your body slightly rather than facing the camera straight-on, which can add depth to the image. For more posing tips and tricks, check out


8. Relaxed Facial Expression

Aim for a natural, relaxed facial expression. A genuine smile or a neutral expression usually works best for professional headshots.

9. Take Multiple Shots

Experiment with different expressions and angles. The more shots you take, the better your chances are of getting one you really like.

9. Edit Thoughtfully

Use photo editing software to make minor adjustments like enhancing lighting or removing blemishes. Don’t over-edit; the photo should still look like you.