DIY Website portrait photos
How To Take A Good Portrait Photo For Your Website – DIY Style
A website’s ‘About’ section is an important part when it comes to gaining our ideal clients’ trust. In fact, 52% of website visitors want to learn more about the company on the website.
Humans are ultimately still wired for connection, and most of us feel so much more comfortable when we can get a glimpse of the person or team behind the brand.
For this very reason, the profile pictures of you and/or your team members need to look like you care. Simply snapping a quick pic of each team member, against the only bare wall, in an office with synthetic lighting, rarely results in anything good.
Ideally, you’d be best off booking a group session at a local portrait photographer. #SupportLocal, you know? However, if you’re in a bind, or you’re up for the challenge, you could always do it yourself. In that case, you’re going to want to take note of the following handy tips:
1. Go for high resolution
Use a phone or camera with the capability to capture high resolution images. Grainy photos are SO 1950. Use the best camera you can get your hands on. Most smart phones deliver better results than handheld cameras that are a few years old – just make sure you’re using the lens at the back of the phone, and not the selfie-lens (the back lens has higher resolution specs than the front one). Check the make and model’s image resolution online to be sure of your device’s camera specs.
Natural light is your friend, so find the biggest window in your house, ideally on the sunny side. In most cases, it’s best to stay away from the camera or phone’s flash function.
To make it easier on everyone, I’d suggest you find a blank, light coloured wall. A dark wall will do if that’s all you have. The trick is probably to actually find a blank wall, close to natural light. See what you can do and improvise where you must. If that means that you need to remove the portrait on the wall for the sake of the shot, do it. It will be worth the effort.
4. Set it up
Set your device up close enough to where you will be posing. Have someone sit or stand where you will be posing while you find the perfect position for your camera device. Bonus points if you can use a tripod. Either way, find a way to keep the device still in the perfect position. Don’t zoom in if you’re using a phone – rather position the phone closer to the subject. Ensure that there is some space on either side of your face and body when you take the photo. That will leave some more options in terms of cropping the photo in the post-editing phase.
5. Strike a pose
It’s generally better to have your body at a bit of an angle, instead of facing the camera dead on. So, perhaps, start in a position that faces directly to the camera, and then make a point of turning your body away from it ever so slightly.
Do some shots standing up, and then some sitting down on chairs of various heights. Try leaning in slightly, but take care not to hunch over. If all else fails, turn to Google or Pinterest, and search for portrait photo posing ideas.
Look straight into the camera’s lens so when someone looks at the photo afterwards, it will feel like they are looking straight into your eyes.
6. Facial Expression
First aim here is to avoid, at all costs, the very disingenuous ‘Chandler-smile’. We don’t want the photo to look staged. So ideally, have someone standing behind the camera/phone, and let them click away like a crazy person. Have some fun music on in the background to lighten the mood. Joke around a bit; some of the best photos are taken right after the subject gives a genuine laugh or smile – you’ll have a relaxed expression and an approachable twinkle in your eye.
7. Take an embarrassing amount of photos
Seriously – take a bunch of photos, then stop and check what you have. Be critical – check to see if your hair is in the right place, that there aren’t any strange shadows on your face, that your angle looks good, that your posture is straight, and so on. Then do a bunch more, and check again.
In the end, pick your 10 favourite pics, and send them to a friend or family member you trust to be honest with you. Then choose the best one with their input.
A lot of the magic of a really striking portrait photo lies in the post-editing or processing. While I wouldn’t advise ever going over the top or editing too heavily, some minor tweaks could make all the difference in the world. For example, one could improve the lighting, crop the image for a balanced look, remove unwanted shadows, adjust the colour tone and/or vibrancy, brighten and define eyes, use a professional filter for a smoother appearance (go light on this one), edit in a different background, etc.
If you are not comfortable with doing this part yourself, we will include this in our website design service, and help to polish your profile photos to perfection.
To Wrap It Up
A good website is a careful compilation of a whole bunch of things. One of these things is quality, professional looking profile photos. We’ve all had to improvise at some point or another. (We are, in fact, massive fans of trying to DIY things; it challenges us and gives us opportunities to grow and learn new skills.)
Follow the tips above and we’re sure you’ll be surprised at what you manage to achieve.
And if all else fails? Call a professional photographer – it’s worth the investment!