4 Quick Tips

1. Light Matters

Find a window with diffused sunlight, preferably north-facing, to soften harsh shadows.

Position yourself sideways to the light source for a flattering play of light and shadow that adds depth to your portrait.

Opt for early mornings or late afternoons when the light is gentlest.

For an extra glow, place a white card opposite the window to balance shadows and brighten your face.
Photographers use circular reflectors for this job and you can see them in the photograph of the man by the window.

A man sitting next to a window to achieve side lighting with two reflectors to bounce the light and fill shadows. This is an example of how to take good headshots
a transparent clock face shows the numbers to move your chin to for a photoshop. This is a great tip for how to take good headshots
a man with blue eyes wearing a cardigan and t shirt posing for how to take good headshots

2. Strike your best angle!

Discovering your perfect angle is easy! Hold up your camera and envision a clock on your face.

Experiment by angling your chin towards each imaginary number and capturing a shot. Evaluate the results – which position showcases your features best?

Whether it’s at 4 o’clock or 8 o’clock, make a mental note of your ideal angle. Whenever you’re in front of the lens, recall your magic number and strike a pose!

3. Background

Keep it clean and uncluttered to ensure all eyes are on you. This doesn’t always mean a plain white wall.

Maintain a comfortable distance from the background to create a pleasing separation, eliminating any unwanted shadows that might detract from your presence.

You could even crop right into the headshot. This is your photo, there are no rules.

A woman with auburn hair and brown eyes looking into the camera with a white top on a london headshot photoshoot. the side light is an example how to take good headshots
A woman in a grey vest top seated in front of a white table with natural light. This is an example of how to take good headshots, especially using window light

4. Camera Settings

Here are my favourite camera settings for a headshot with natural light.

Aperture: f. 5.6.
I like this aperture because it’s a good balance between background blur and sharp details for both the face and parts of the clothing. The image of the woman in a grey vest top uses f 5.6 with natural light from a window.
Use f.4 or f2.8 if you need more light. Make sure you’re focusing on the eyes though.

Shutter speed:
This is my go-to setting when my subject is not moving.

100 is best. With natural light, this isn’t always possible and if I need more light I will try up to 640 inside. This is always a personal preference and a trade-off between light and grain.

If you’re using a smartphone, you can download a manual camera app to change your settings. Many smartphones let you control camera settings in the ‘Pro’ mode.
You will also need some form of tripod and a remote shutter or setting a timer is useful to help you pose and take a photograph.

Your clothes are important too!

Read more on my wardrobe tips here: What to wear for your LinkedIn Headshot 

You will receive a free wardrobe guide as part of your London Headshot Experience.

Ready to let me help?

Find out more, including the investment and more examples of my work at London Headshot Photography

London Headshots