Running a blog that makes money, is just the same as running any business that you’re the sole proprietor of. If you’re the face of your business, you should have high quality, professional photos of yourself.
Your readers will want to know the person behind the blog, it builds trust and increases engagement.
There are quite a few reasons why you will need to have professional photos of yourself for your blog, including:
- To publish on your ‘About Me’/’About This Blog’ page.
- To put in your sidebar.
- To use as your profile picture on social media
- To have professional photos of yourself to post on Instagram
- To use in your Linkedin profile or CV
- To use as your profile picture for your email
- To set as your Gravatar, which will show up when you comment on other blogs using your associated email address.
Taking professional photos of yourself can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. I have an advantage being that my profession is being a portrait photographer but it’s still hard when you can’t see through the viewfinder.
Here are my top tips on how to take professional photos of yourself for your blog…
(This post contains affiliate links – click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
Use the right gear
First of all you need to use some decent gear to get started.
You will need:
- A DSLR camera.
- A lens good for portraits such as the Sigma 35mm 1.4 for Canon or the Canon 50mm 1.4
- A camera remote control, so you can press the shutter when you’re not even at the camera.
- A tripod to hold your camera when you can’t and to keep your camera still.
- A reflector to even out shadows and to bounce light.
Now you have your gear ready, it’s time to get started.
Decide how you want your photos to look
Every time I take photos of myself for my blog or social media, I always have an idea of how I want them to look.
My branding relates to confetti, so I knew I wanted confetti in the air and I knew I wanted the confetti colours to relate to my blog.
I also knew that I wanted a clean bright background so the confetti would stand out and that I wanted my clothing to be dark so it would contrast with the light background and colourful confetti.
Think about how you’d like yours to look before you decide on location, props and styling.
Scout a location
You could use a park, the woods, an overgrown field, a brightly coloured graffiti wall etc.
When you’ve decided how you want your photos to look, you can easily find a suitable location.
I simply used my kitchen wall as a background, which was difficult because I was squeezed in quite tight but at least I could easily sweep up the confetti!
If you can’t find anything suitable at all, then it may be worth investing in a photo background. Just make sure there are no creases!
Set up your camera & equipment
First, you’ll want to put your camera on your tripod and make sure it’s at the right height and pointed in the right direction (duh).
I normally set my light reflector up at this point, usually using a chair to rest it on, or a reflector stand if I need it to be more precise.
You’ll want to angle your reflector on the opposite side of your main light source to bounce the light and lift shadows. Or you can hold it at waist height in softer light if you’re just taking head shots.
The next bit is the tricky part because you’ll want to know where you are going to be in the frame.
You could use a prop or get someone to quickly stand in for you on the spot that you will be standing.
Then it’s time to get your photo in focus. I prefer manually setting the focus, rather than letting the camera remote deal with the auto focus, I just find it easier doing it this way.
If you’re not very familiar with manual settings just yet, you can choose Aperture Priority (A/Av mode) and concentrate on just your aperture.
I normally go for an aperture of around f/2.8 because I’m normally inside when I take my own photos – which means I need more light coming in but I also don’t want too little in focus just in case I move off my spot slightly.
When you’re ready, get your prop or helper person in the frame where you want to be.
Set your lens to manual focus and focus on the subject.
When they’re in focus, take your camera remote and stand in your place.
Then PRESS that remote button!
You may want to check that everything looks okay on the text picture, before you properly pose or add any important props.
Continuous Shooting vs. Self Timer
Taking professional photos of yourself when you can’t take full control of the camera can render unpredictable results, so I normally use continuous shooting and do lots of different poses as the shutter fires off lots of frames.
I’d definitely recommend continuous shooting if you’re using something like confetti in your photos, as most of the confetti will be gone from the frame by the time the self timer fires off.
Self timer is good if you want to recompose between each shot and if you want a more posed and formal picture. I’d recommend this for plainer head shots.
Don’t forget to smile!
When I’m taking pictures of other people, it’s easy to get them to smile because I’m behind the camera chatting away to them.
It’s harder when I’m taking my own pictures, unless my partner is off to the side of the camera making me laugh.
I think it’s important to have natural smiling images on your blog, especially if you want your audience to connect with you.
So try and think of something funny or something that makes you smile, like a funny scene from Friends or your favourite meme!
Remember what you’re using them for
I don’t just mean remember they’re for your blog but also remember HOW you’re going to use them.
You may want to try adjusting your camera and tripod to capture different angles and compositions.
It’s especially important to think of how you’ll be using them if you plan on overlaying text on some of them.
To make sure they’re perfect for overlaying text, leave some negative space in the image.
Take some tall images and some wide images, so that you have a variety!
When you have a good selection of images, go through them and pick your favourites.
You might want to consider editing them in Lightroom or Photoshop, to give them an extra professional feel.
No worries if you’re not a master of retouching, you can use editing presets such as these ones for Lightroom.
Pin for later: