Is a selfie a headshot?

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Written by Mejba Biplob

I am a passionate and experienced professional photo editor with over a decade of experience in the industry. I have an eye for capturing life’s most precious moments and using my skills to create beautiful images that last forever. In addition to photography, I also teach Photoshop and other photo editing software as well as providing creative consultation on how best to showcase your photography work online.

July 17, 2020

We know you already know the answer to this one.

While advances in technology mean that our mobile devices are capable of taking incredible photos, there are enormous differences between a selfie and a headshot.

A headshot is supposed to be a professional representation of yourself: an image that you would proudly use on your corporate or business website; social media platforms and other assets to help sell your brand and business identity.

No matter how well you think you can ‘selfie’, or how good you might think your selfie stick plays the part, you are never going to achieve that professional result by reversing the lens on your phone and simply tapping your screen – trust us.

There are many layers to a professional headshot; it’s a fine art to get the right image that correctly displays your brand identity and can be used as the face of your company. So pop down the selfie stick and follow our guide to getting the best possible corporate headshot.

What is considered a headshot?

These are semi-close up photos used by the corporate world, including professionals of all walks of life. These days, they’re also widely prominent in resumes, portfolios, on websites and social media platforms like LinkedIn. You’ll find them in marketing, recruitment, promotional campaigns and in general as a way to put a human face to a company or brand.

What makes a good headshot?

A professional set of equipment is required for a great snap, and a mobile device is not quite going to cut it. Smartphones are designed to do many things, including taking photos, in a condensed device that is designed to fit in your pocket. Still, a professional headshot needs a studio or particular set up to get all the elements necessary.

Most of these kinds of images are shot with a neutral background and specialised lighting, all of which is arranged and designed to make you the focus of the image. A photographer will also frame your body correctly, ensuring your hair and makeup is reflected well and that your smile ties it all together.

Lighting and composition are essential elements in professional shots like this – something of which is often left out in the good, old selfie.

Why editing is a must

Getting the lighting 100 percent right for a headshot can be extremely challenging, even for the most accomplished photographers out there. Many of these issues are cleaned up in the editing process.

Quality editing can enhance lines, remove shadows, bring other objects in and out of focus and create a clean, sharp and highly professional image. If there are bits and pieces out of place, experts can tidy up any imperfections that need ironing out. However, as this process is exceptionally finicky, we always recommend using headshot retouching services to complete this part of the journey.

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend speaking with our friendly team on the best options for your needs, and any considerations you might need to keep in mind for your headshot photography.

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