How To Take Your Own Headshots for Therapists


How To Take Your Own Headshots for Therapists

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8m Read
Published: Apr 23 2024

Have you been wanting to get professional therapist headshot photos taken for your website and social media profiles, but haven’t been able to find the budget or the time?

The good news is, taking your own headshot photos can be just as easy and even quicker, from the comfort of your own home. If you own a smartphone or other digital device such as an iPad/tablet, you can have professional looking therapist headshots done with just a little bit of preparation beforehand. 

Since you’re reading a guide on how to take your own headshots for therapists, you already know the importance of a photograph and the first impression it can make on potential clients. A polished and welcoming image that reflects that you are a professional while showcasing some of your personality can help therapy clients feel more at ease before reaching out for therapy sessions. 

While hiring a professional photographer is an option, it's not always necessary. With the right tips and a bit of practice, therapists can take their own headshot photos using their devices. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of capturing a great headshot on your own.

Using a Digital Camera

A digital camera, especially a DSLR, is ideal for taking high-quality headshots. These cameras offer superior image quality with high resolution, providing crisp and detailed photographs. They also allow for greater control over depth of field, which helps in creating a blurred background to keep the focus on the subject. Additionally, you can adjust settings like exposure and white balance, giving you full control over how the photo looks. 

However, the complexity of these settings can be overwhelming for beginners. Also, quality cameras and lenses can be quite expensive, making this option less accessible for casual photographers, which is why we’re going to focus on taking your own therapist headshot photos using your smartphone. 

Smartphones are increasingly becoming a popular choice for photography.

How To Take Your Own Headshots with a Smartphone

Smartphones are increasingly becoming a popular choice for photography, and for good reason. They are convenient, always at hand, and the latest models come equipped with cameras that can rival traditional digital cameras. Features like portrait mode simplify the process of taking a good headshot by automatically adjusting the focus and depth of field. The downside is that, while they are sufficient for most purposes, they might not match the image quality and versatility of a DSLR. Also, in low-light conditions, smartphones may not perform as well as a professional camera.

Headshots for Therapists: Location Considerations

Once you’ve sorted out which device you’d like to use to take your therapist headshot photos, the next step is to pick a location. 

Choosing a Stable Surface

When choosing a location to take your headshot photos, look for an area where there is a stable surface to place your device, or consider investing in a tripod to hold your camera steady. If you don’t have a tripod, you can also improvise by stacking books or sturdy objects to prop up your device. 

Soft & Diffuse Lighting 

Another consideration with photography is the lighting. Natural light can be your best friend when it comes to flattering photos. If the area is well-lite with soft, diffused lighting, you can avoid some of the harsh shadows that come with bright lighting or direct sunlight. Sheer curtains or blinds to help diffuse the sunlight can be used effectively as well. 

Neutral or Clean Background 

Choosing a clean, uncluttered background keeps the focus on your face and not on the random objects behind you. Neutral background colors like white, beige, or light gray are recommended. On the other hand, if you’d prefer a portrait taken outdoors, try to pick a location that is neutral like a forest or field, or relevant to your practice. 

What to Wear for a Therapist Headshot Photo

Strike a balance between looking professional and being approachable.

When choosing your outfit for your therapist headshot photos, you should pick attire that reflects your style and personality, while remaining professional. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a 3 piece suit and tie. The goal is to strike a balance between looking professional and being approachable, creating an image that clients can trust and relate to.

The same advice applies to overly casual attire, like t-shirts and athletic wear. The importance comes in striking a balance between professionalism and approachability. If it comes between more formal wear versus casual attire, it's likely a safer bet to choose the button down shirt. 

Clothing colors that work well when taking headshots are solid, neutral colors like blues, greens, or earth tones, as they are universally flattering and convey a sense of calm and trustworthiness. These colors also tend to work well on camera, avoiding the distraction that loud patterns or very bright colors can cause. Additionally, these hues complement a variety of skin tones and backgrounds, whether you’re indoors or outside. 

Adjust Camera Settings

Even if you’re using your smartphone camera to take your therapist headshots, technology has come a long way, especially for camera features. Try out these tips to help with making your headshots look professional: 

  • Focus: Ensure your camera is set to focus on your face. Tap your face on the screen to lock the focus.
  • Exposure: Adjust the exposure to achieve proper lighting. Many smartphone cameras allow you to tap the screen and slide your finger up or down to adjust exposure.
  • Timer or Remote: Use a timer or a remote shutter release to capture the photo without touching the device. This reduces the risk of camera shake.
  • Portrait Mode: Try out portrait mode on your phone which automatically blurs out the background slightly while focusing on your facial features. 

Posing and Expression in Headshots for Therapists

If you had to fake a smile for school photos every year, then you might know how hard it is to make it seem natural. When posing for your own therapist headshot photos, try to relax your facial muscles and maintain a warm, natural smile. Think about a positive or calming experience to help promote a genuine smile. 

Posture-wise, you should sit or stand up straight and try to keep your shoulders relaxed, but not hunched over. Remember that good posture helps exude confidence and professionalism. By maintaining eye contact with the camera lens, your photo can help convey approachability and empathy. 

We know that it might feel pretty awkward sitting around taking photos of yourself, but try out different angles, poses, and lighting to help figure out what shot you like and adjust as needed. 

Editing and Post-Processing Therapist Headshot Photos

After taking your headshots, if you decide that the photos need some editing, you can utilize photo editing apps or softwares to enhance the final result.

Here are some basic editing tips:

  • Cropping: Crop the image to focus on your face while maintaining proper composition.
  • Brightness and Contrast: Adjust these settings to ensure your face is well-lit and stands out.
  • Color Correction: Tweak the color balance to ensure accurate skin tones.
  • Blemish Removal: Use a retouching tool to remove any minor imperfections.
  • Background Editing: If necessary, remove or blur distracting elements in the background.

Put Your Best Face Forward by Taking Therapist Headshot Photos Yourself

Taking your own headshot photos may seem challenging at first, but with practice and attention to detail, you can capture a professional and inviting image that resonates with your potential clients. Remember, your headshot is a reflection of your professionalism and approachability as a therapist, so invest the time and effort to create a compelling image that represents you authentically. With the right equipment, setup, and a bit of creativity, you can confidently put your best face forward in the digital world.


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