Headshots on a Dime: Dos and Don’ts

Aug 25, 2014 | Photography, Professionalism

Actors and writers aren’t the only ones who need professional headshots. Today’s world is image-driven and increasingly social. Even if you’re not planning on handing out prints at every networking event, consider keeping a recent, quality headshot on file.

Maybe you don’t own a top-of-the-line camera or have the funds to hire a great photographer. Believe it or not, that’s okay! With a little skill and knowledge—and a friend who’s willing to lend a hand—you can conjure up a suitable headshot on a dime.

I decided to put this to the test. Using only a cheap (and old) digital camera, I took several pictures of fellow Content Specialist Ashley Mazelin. I didn’t use Photoshop or any other software. Sure, I took a photography course in college and am a graphic designer—but I’m no professional photographer.

By following some key guidelines, most anyone can take a decent headshot. Let me illustrate a few dos and don’ts of the trade using the images below. See for yourself:

Ashley Mazelin what to include in headshot


Ashley Mazelin neutral backdrop


Ashley Mazelin well-lit no flash


Ashley Mazelin dress for career


Ashley Mazelin high quality

These are just five tips for a better headshot, but I’m sure you’ve thought of a few of your own. Of course, there’s no objective standard for everyone—just make it suit your career goals and overall industry feel.

Do you have any headshot stories—successes or failures? Tell us about it in a comment!

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