How to Take the Best Profile Photo’s

The best way to take a CV photo is generally to have quite a fun photographer do a portfolio for you. Another of course is the diy route. Why is your profile photo so important? It’s a client’s first impression of you. Look the part and your potential family could feel a lot better and more comfortable about giving you a shot at an interview. Below are some great tips for taking a great portrait photo, rope  a friend in to assist you.

  1. Choose your lens and frame your shot. The head-and-shoulders shot: If you do not generally take portraits this is probably your top starting shot.  Longer lenses are good to use for portraits, because they force you to stand further back, and consequently, due to perspective, facial features like noses are de-emphasised. They also give the illusion of a shallower depth of field (i.e. blurring the background more). Have the subject’s eyes one third of the way from the top of the frame. Set your camera to aperture-priority (Av) mode and use a large aperture to blur the background to make it less distracting (or if you have a “Portrait” mode on your camera, use that instead).The body shot: All of the above applies. Have your subject stand at a slight angle to the camera; they will look slimmer and more relaxed.The “environmental” portrait, of people in action and in context. Compared to the above, this is difficult to get right and very easy to make into a mere snapshot, so tread carefully. Use a wider-angle lens for this sort of thing.
  2. If possible set the lighting to a slow ISO speed.
  3. Use “shade” or “cloudy” white balance if you have it when shooting in natural light. Doing this will have many more warmer colours in the photo’s.
  4. Do not shoot in direct sunlight or in harsh sunlight from any direction. Both will cause ugly shadows to be cast on the subject’s face. Looking into sunlight will cause your subject to squint, and harsh light from behind will make it more difficult to get a consistent exposure.
  5. Try to shoot in the soft light in the early morning and late afternoon. Overcast days are best, as clouds will diffuse the sunlight; although since making your own cloud isn’t typically an option, head for the shade.
  6. If you do not have studio lighting available, go outside if weather permits, or get more natural light into your scene by getting closer to windows if it does not. If going outside use a piece of white or coloured card to bounce the sunlight into the shadows.
  7. Giving the subject something of meaning that is relevant to the subject will look good on the photo and occupy their hands.
  8. Zooming in “too close” is one of many things which you can experiment with. If you have time, try different and drastic angles, strange framing, zooming in “too close”, and so on .
  9. The subject must always maintain eye contact with the camera. Eye contact can make or break a portrait. Unless you’re looking for something a bit different, always make sure that the  subject is looking at the camera and that you’re focused on the eyes.
  10. If your camera has an auto-exposure and auto-focus lock, then meter and focus on the subject’s face, lock, reframe, and then take your photo.
  11. Generally, the best place to focus your shot is on the person’s eyes, which can be hard if you’re taking the shot with a macro-lens and its’ limited depth-of-field. To get sharp eyes, you may have to manually focus the camera on them, as most autofocus systems will typically focus on the nose instead.

Do you have any other tips on taking good portrait shots?  Please leave a comment below if you do.

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