How to prepare for your Virtual Headshot Session

virtual headshots sydney photographer set-up

Preparing for your virtual headshot session.

Following on from our Look Good in Lockdown article, below are some tips to get the most from your virtual headshot session.

1) Clothing

You’ll want to work out the most appropriate clothing for your headshot session beforehand.

It’s difficult to give completely generic advice through a web page as we work with such a wide variety of people but you should consider where your headshot going to be seen/used and who it needs to appeal to.

You want to wear clothing that makes you feel good but that’s also appropriate for your line of work.

Solid colours are generally your best options and will ensure that your images remain timeless with fewer distracting elements.

If needed, you can read more on our best colours for headshots article here.

In terms of styling, you should consider what is appropriate for your industry and if there are any industry expectations or norms.

Another useful exercise is to consider how you would show up to a meeting with a top client or to an interview? This will normally be enough to determine the level at which you should dress up (or down).

2) Finding the best place in your home

It is really helpful if you have a large window. generally speaking, the bigger the window, the more flattering the light will be.

If you have a plain wall opposite this window, this is also really helpful and will aid in creating a better quality image file for us to work with.

Hero Shot Photography Virtual Headshots Sammer Affridi

3) Camera Positioning

You’ll need to find a way to raise the level of your camera to eye level.

Having a second person assist with your headshot session will help with this.

If that’s not possible, don’t worry, we have some other options for you below.

(a)  Having a friend or partner assist (recommended)

If you have a friend or partner available they can also help to take your headshot by holding and moving your camera to our instructions.

We’ll still complete the video call in the same way but they’ll be able to assist us in positioning the camera so you can be completely hands-free.

If you have a person to assist with your shoot, you can ignore the rest of the steps 🙂

(b) Using a selfie stick or a tripod with a phone mount

A tripod with a smartphone mount is also a great option and keeps you hands-free with lots of flexibility on where you can place your camera. Whilst these are relatively inexpensive to buy, we appreciate that not everyone has these lying around so the next best option will be a selfie stick. If you don’t have a selfie stick, check out our guide to making your own selfie stick here.


(c) A table with boxes or books (indoors)

If you have a table, some books and a laptop you can easily prop your phone up like the below image, directly facing a window.

If you don’t have a laptop, you can also sandwich your phone between two objects or use a phone stand. The goal here is to elevate your phone to eye level and have it perpendicular with the wall.

It’s important to ensure that there isn’t any hard sunlight coming directly through the window and hitting the area you will be sitting as this will cause unflattering lighting on your face.

A soft, even light without any hard shadows is definitely best.

Indoors vs Outdoors

Indoors close to a large window is often the best option howler in some cases, outdoors can work better. Below are some tips for outdoor shoots and the ideal conditions needed.

If we are shooting outside, in a garden for instance, it’s good to consider some areas that have lightly textured backdrops that won’t look too busy. Wooden fences or plain/concrete walls are always great for headshots and aren’t too distracting.

If we are outside, we will need to use shaded areas so the overhang from trees or a fence will be needed.

If it’s a cloudy day, there should be more-or-less be shadow everywhere, opening up the locations we can shoot these in.

Early morning or late afternoon will normally give you much better options for shaded areas as the sun will be lower.

If we’re using the garden, you’re best off using a selfie stick or having a person assist.

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