Take your own Headshot & Self-portrait - on your iPhone or Digital Camera | Nisha B. | Skillshare

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Take your own Headshot & Self-portrait - on your iPhone or Digital Camera

teacher avatar Nisha B., Filmmaker. Marketer. Creative.

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Quick and easy Self-Portrait Headshots

    • 2. Equipment to get for taking your own photos

    • 3. Setting up your photo scene

    • 4. Taking photos of yourself on a digital camera

    • 5. Taking photos of yourself on an iPhone

    • 6. Editing your photos on your iPhone

    • 7. Editing your photos on Photoshop

    • 8. Editing review and final images

    • 9. Next steps you can take

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About This Class

This quick and simple class will give you the tools you need to take professional headshots all yourself! 

Do you need a headshot for Linkedin, an about page, your bio, or anything else but don't want to spend the time and money on an expensive photoshoot? This class is for you!

In just 30 minutes you will learn:

  • About the right equipment to take professional shots of yourself
  • The setup for taking photos of yourself on your iPhone or Digital Camera
  • How to edit your photos on your iPhone
  • How to edit your photos on Photoshop

By the end of this class, you will have some amazing headshots that you took all yourself. When you have agency over how you present on camera you can feel excited about sharing the photos of yourself with the world. 


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nisha B.

Filmmaker. Marketer. Creative.


Hi, I'm Nisha, a Filmmaker, Marketer, and Creative Director.

At his point in my career, I want to help you take a DIY approach to building, marketing, and promoting your brand!


I'm creating courses on:

How to get more comfortable on camera Building your own website from start to finish Making a cinematic video all on your iPhone Utilizing Virtual & Augmented Reality to market yourself How to stay productive and balanced as a creative And so much more!

Make sure to follow me to get updates about when all of these classes are live!



I'm passionate about creating digital art,  building strong businesses, branding, utilizing cutting edge technologies, staying productive, and helping... See full profile

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1. Quick and easy Self-Portrait Headshots: Hello and welcome to this online class where you are going to learn how to take amazing professional headshots all on your own. If you don't have the time or tons of money to invest in getting professional headshots. I want to empower you with the ability to take your own headshots using just your camera or even your smartphone. It's really not that hard. And with a few simple tangible skills, you're going to be able to take amazing headshots of yourself. What's even more is that sometimes you pay tons of money and take a lot of time to a professional photographer to get headshots and then you wind up with products. They're not even that happy about. We all are so particular about how we are presented on camera. And a lot of times other people don't quite see that. So even if they think they're taking those photos of you, it might be an angle you don't like, it may not look quite right. And then you've spent all of that money and not even gotten a product that you're excited about. So with this class putting the ability into your hands to take amazing headshots, you will be able to control the framing, control every aspect of it, so that you can get the perfect headshot. You can take as many as you want. There's no time limit. You're not spending a bunch of money. And so with that, you're able to figure out how you like presenting yourself, what angle you like to shoot yourself out. Poses you like to do, what outfits you like to where you have unlimited creativity and freedom. And with these tangible skills that you're going to learn in the course, you'll be able to know how to set up the shot and even how to edit it, stick it from that level of looking pretty good. Integrate with that. You'll have an amazing head shot by the end of this class that you can use on your LinkedIn. You can use it on your bio, on your webpage anywhere you want to put a head shot, you will have the ability now to take it yourself and then be able to put it up yourself. That is really the DIY branding approach, given you the tools that you need so that you can take your own branding into your hand. You know your brand the best. So who better to be able to represent it? There knew really excited to start this course with you. And it's going to be simple, quick, and easy, and giving you the tools you need to start shooting amazing headshots of yourself today. So with that, let's just jump right in. 2. Equipment to get for taking your own photos: In the class resources section, you will find this equipment list here. And I'll just walk you through what's on this list right now. And then in the next lessons, we'll see the setup for this equipment and how I'm using it both with the iPhone setup as well as the digital camera, more advanced setup for taking professional headshots. So first thing I want to show you is the iPhone stand and ring light. This is, you'll see when I'm taking the iPhone head shots, so helpful to have it takes the quality of the image to a much higher level really easily. And it's not expensive at all. So it's a great way to just take your quality to the next level if you're shooting on your iPhone. Next, I want to show you the backdrop that I got. And this is the same one that I'm using again, really inexpensive. A really great quote that you'll get a white cloth backdrop, black cloth backdrop, and a green screen, as well as these nice reflector lights. It's really easy to set up, which you'll see in the next class. But it's a great resource to have to give yourself a professional looking backdrop for your headshots. Next one I'm using, and you'll see in the next lessons, is that I have this really nice light that is an LED multicolor, RGB colored light. And it gives you a lot of laying options all in one little nice compact to light that you can take around with you and have a nice fill light that to the side of your face or in the background that gives a splash of color either on your face, on the backdrop, and really makes your images look a lot more dynamics. So I would definitely recommend this as a nice resource, again, inexpensive. And then the last thing which I am click onto, but that's my iPhone videography course, which you can take if you want to take your iPhone skills to the next level, where you can take it to learn how to do a moving image if you're interested in having yourself on camera, on your iPhone, beyond just headshots. In the digital camera, more advanced options, you will see the GH five camera kit. I really love. I'm a Panasonic person. I shoot on the J5. It's You'll see me shooting on it today. And it's a great camera to have. It's not that expensive really for a full kit. And you're just gonna get an amazing image out of this. Along with that, you will see that I've linked to a GH five lens that is a nice standard lands again, all this is going to cost you a bit more. You can definitely take professional head shots on your iPhone and have great quality, which I'll show you how to do. But this is a nice option if you are looking to have an upgrade. Another great camera is the Sony A7. You'll hear a lot of people who absolutely love and swear by this camera. So again, that's another really nice option if you want to invest a little bit more and get even more crisp and professional-looking headshot. And here is a lighting kit if you want to take it to the next level as far as lighting goes beyond just using lamps and that little portable LED light I showed you the colorful one. You can also get this really nice lighting kit that has really great options. You can adjust the amount of output, basically the amount of brightness that the lights are going to give you and you get to within this kit so you can really full and flesh out the full lighting that you're doing within your photoshoot. And finally is the camera confidence class. If you are looking to get more comfortable and confident on camera, I have a full course on that that you can take once you're done with this one, where you'll learn how to, again, just feel better being present on camera. I also go into some lighting techniques. I go a bit more into editing video. So all of that is available for you if you want to take it to the next level after you've taken these headshots. So that's it for now. I hope with this equipment, regardless of if you choose the basic setup or the more advanced one, that you'll have the right tools, the right equipment to start taking your professional headshots. So with that, let's continue on to the next module. 3. Setting up your photo scene: So now we're going to see the setup and I've just split this up. But here I am setting up the backdrop that I showed you in the last class and the equipment list. It's pretty simple to set up and you'll see here obviously I've sped it up, but really it only took me a few minutes to get this whole backdrop setup. So it gives you two nice tripod stands that you are attaching the long metal pole between two. Then if you're short, you may need to jump, but put on the backdrop. And again it comes with a white one, black one and a green screen. And so I move it close. Next, I have the light that I showed you in the equipment list. And as you can see, it gives a really nice dynamic light with a multitude of color options. And so I decided to do a bluish teal green color to match my shirt. And again, just make the head shot a little bit more dynamic. I noticed that it might be a little low for my setup. So I got creative and I just got a box and I put it on that. And then you'll see my Panasonic camera there. And I am sitting down and I have my phone and I'm going to show you how I'm using my phone. I'm casting the image from my camera onto my phone so I can take photos from there. 4. Taking photos of yourself on a digital camera: Now I'm going to show you how to cast your photos onto your iPhone. So for this, this is a GH for casting and you just make sure you're connected to the GH for Wi-Fi. And then within the program, the Panasonic program, you basically stream your image that you're getting from on your camera, onto your phone, you start casting. So here I've started casting. Hey, here's the setup from far away. So as you can see, I am sitting in front of the camera and I'm using my phone to remotely operate my camera. There's a few ways that you can do this. If you don't have casting abilities, you can set your camera to a timer. But I really love this ability. And most DSLRs will have some kind of application that you can remotely use your camera. So now I am getting a different option of a slight prop alteration for my headshots, I would recommend getting three different options. And so this one is for a more creative look. I have my hat and I am doing the same process where I'm looking down at my phone monitor and then I'm looking up into the camera lens once I'm ready and just pressing that photo take photo button on my phone, able to operate remotely, try out lots of different angles in my head. And then I got a business blazer to look a little more professional and doing the same thing, playing around with how I look, looking at my phone to check out the image, and then sitting and positioning myself and trying out some different poses, making sure I like the angle of my face. And I have the preview right there immediately after taking the photo of what it looks like. So try repositioning your hair. Try different props. And again, just play around with taking lots and lots of photos. Next, what I can do is switch right on my phone to previewing the photos that I've taken. And I can look through them and get a nice little preview. See what I like, see what poses I like. See if I want to change anything up, see if anything needs to be fixed and look at the different outfit options that I have, all just on my phone while still having the complete camera setup and reviewing on my phone so I can shift how I'm looking, shift how I'm smiling. And then once I go back to the app, I can again switch back to that remote operation option and take some more based on the notes that I've taken from looking at my photos. And so maybe I want to switch up the pose. Maybe I want to do something else. Now I know. So you just repeat that process many, many times. 5. Taking photos of yourself on an iPhone: Now let's check out the process for taking your photos on your iPhone. So as you see, I have the backdrop behind me. I have the ring light, and I have my iPhone propped up on that ring light along with the little LED light to my side. So hey, Now you can see it within the camera. I'm on portrait mode. I'm front-facing and I am turning on the timer to three seconds. So then once I click that Go button and I click that take photo, it'll give me a countdown. I can get into position and take the photo. So I'm going to repeat that process a few times. Just taking the photo and I'm not worrying about having it positioned without any of the sidelines of the backdrop shown, and switching it within portrait mode, you can get all of those different options of having it completely black out the background. You can have different contouring options, black and white, white background. So you get so many different possibilities. And it's really nice to have the front-facing portrait mode option so that you can see what you're doing as you're doing it and taking those photos. Next, I'm going to play around with the different color options. So right within taking the photo, you can get vivid, vivid, warm with it. Cool, dramatic, dramatic, warm, dramatic, cool. And you can even get some black and waves. So you can play around with taking a black and white headshot, taking lots of different photos. And again, for this part, I really just recommend taking as many as possible so that you have lots to choose from when you get into the editing stage of it all, play around with taking different poses, doing the countdown, and looking into the lens, making sure you do that, taking lots of options. So as you can see there, I am setting up and taking the shots and that's what it looks like behind the scenes. It's an easy setup, but it's going to give me some really nice images to be able to play around with once I get to the editing stage and I have that countdown so I can get into the pose and see what I'm doing in real time right in front of me. 6. Editing your photos on your iPhone: Now let's get into how to edit right on your iPhone with the built-in application. So first what I wanna do is crop out the background so that I just get myself with the white backdrop, with the white cloth backdrop. It's really easy within the editing settings in your iPhone. And now I'm going to play around again with adding some color options. Crop out the bottom of that chair there a little bit. And now I have a vivid image and I have this nice setup, nicely framed setup. And you'll see the nice lading than I did in the background there. And again, you can try out the auto function where it'll auto adjust. A lot of times I don't like how that looks, where you can play with that. You can play with the exposure and the brilliance of the image really does give you a lot of built-in, great options play with the highlights. And really what I do is image to image. I don't do one formula, but I just play around with adjusting kind of dramatically at first the options and then finding where I like it for the photo itself visually. And so that's a great way to do it. You don't need to necessarily be professional editor. You can just use your eye to adjust all of these different settings saturation. All of the settings will really give you different looks for your headshot. The vibrance is another nice one. If you want it to be more or less vibrant, a little bit less saturated can be nice. We've got the tint, we've got the sharpness. You've got so many options at your fingertips, right, with built into the iPhone. So it's a great thing once you've taken your photos to just start playing around. And maybe I'll put a little vignette on to make it look stylized in a way. And so now I've made an edit to that photo. I can also go in after the fact and do some of the effects of, again, taking out the background, making the background completely white with a black and white, I can make it so that it has a black background. They can leave it as is. So I have so many options at my fingertips. Once I've taken that photo on my iPhone, I'm gonna go in and look through some other photos that I've taken, find ones that I like where I'm looking, that I like the pose I'm doing. Again, that's the benefit of taking as many photos as you can. You'll have lots of options to work with. But with this simple setup, you can always go back and change them to so or take more to. So now I'm going to crop again. So I crop out everything besides the white background. And I'm going to try out some different color effects on this one. And what's nice is that even if you took it with one of the color effects, you can always change it to a different one after the fact. So if you don't like how it looked with that particular color effect when you took the photo, you are not locked into it. You can change it around. You can take it off completely. You can try again, messing with the exposure, with the brilliance. Play around with all of these different settings for each photo and really exaggerate them at first and then find a happy medium. Obviously, especially for professional head shots. You don't want it to be too exaggerated or two, obviously edited and manipulated. So I like to keep it somewhat subtle within these alterations. But again, they can give you a nice next level of professionalism to the look of the shot. So I really just encourage you to explore this for yourself. To explore how you like editing your photos. And it's going to vary so much from the different lighting that you get, from the different shots you get. If you use different backdrops, if you use different props like I encouraged. So really just play around with it, make it your own and you will become a pro in no time. And what's nice about doing it on your iPhone is it's all right there within, in simple and quick and easy process. So really you can get this done in 10, 15 minutes and you'll have some really nice head shots for putting up on to your various spaces that you need them on your LinkedIn, on your bio, all of those places. You can do it completely on your phone, which is such an empowering and exciting possibility. So you'll see how again, I can just take out that background, make it completely black if I want. And I can always revert it to which is really awesome. I'm just showing you this over a few times so you can really get a sense of what I'm doing because it does start to follow a pattern. And with that, you're going to be able to quickly make your way through a lot of photos you've taken and pick the one that you like best. 7. Editing your photos on Photoshop: Now that you've taken your professional headshots, if you have Adobe Photoshop, I want to show you how to go about editing them. So the first thing I do is I look through all of the headshots that I've gone and you should have a lot like I encouraged. And so when I find when I like, I like to just mark it with little asterix at the end of the sequence. That way it doesn't take it out of the order that it's in, but it gives me clear marking if I've taken so many of the ones that I like and want to try editing in Photoshop. So I continue to look through and when I find one that I feel like has a nice angle, looks good. Again, I'll put that little asterix by it so I can come back to it once I'm ready to start editing. So once you've opened up Photoshop, go ahead and duplicate the image and then use the selection tool to select out the subject. Then I go ahead and you can see now that I've created a mask on it, I'm able to just clear out that background, but I have that Duke duplicate image behind it. And so I selected the color of the background to be able to paint on because you see its little wrinkly in the background. I wanted to paint over that a bit with the paintbrush tool. And I created another layer to be able to paint on that doesn't have any of the photo. And now you can see I'm just getting rid of that wrinkle and I am having it so that I'm going to select the different variations because the lighting is different. But I'm going to just kind of bump out that, that background wrinkly genus from the backdrop and do some nice blending with a paintbrush on that separate layer so that I can get a nice still dynamic background, but not have it be so dramatic with the wrinkles. So I'm painting over all of that. And again, if I wanted to just clean it up a little bit and play with how I think the light would fall. Then I'll do that. Next. I'm going to change the opacity of it so that it's not completely just the colors, but it shows a little bit of that texture from the background, the backdrop, because I do like how that looks. And then I'll clean up a bit more with the paintbrush, how I want the shadows to fall and what colors I want it to be, and which parts of this section. But I think it looks really nice to have a little bit of that texture, but not as much of the backdrops. So that's basically what I'm doing is bumping that out with some painted over colors on top of that on a layer. Next, I feel like the image is leading a little bit to the side, so I'm going to crop it so it's more square and just really centered on me. So I'm using the cropping tool to crop myself to the center. Then I'm going to go over to the selection and select the color lookup. That's going to enable me to put on it some LUTs, which is a lookup table, different coloring options on the whole image and really give it a more stylized feel. And that's going to enable me to again get this particular type of coloring and lighting that I want. And it really simple, just one click away style, which is very easy. So I definitely recommend using the built-in lookup tables. And there's quite a few that can look nice and you can adjust the opacity of that layer so that it's again making it more or less traumatic of an effect on it. Now I'm going to select the curves and I'm going to, there's some Preset curves they can do. So I'm going to try out a lightened curve and again, adjust the opacity on that layer. So it's not as dramatic of an effect, but just really dialing in. Now, I want to try out the color balance and I'm going to play around with seeing if I want to make it a little bit more or less green. Again, going with the cayenne, magenta green and the yellow, blue. And just to my own aesthetic, to my own I seeing what looks nice as far as the color balance goes. And you can see I've made it a little less green and really brought in some blues. And so as I turn on and off the visibility of each one, you can see that. And also maybe I'll play around now again with the look-up table and seeing if now that I've made those other adjustments, I like the one that I have currently selected and maybe I'll turn the lookout lookup table LUT really low. So then I can have just a subtle overlay of that overall stylized aesthetic on top of the image. So now I'm checking out the image as a whole once I've gotten those adjustments made. And perhaps now I want to do a little healing. How I get the healing brush. I don't do too many touch-up so myself, but I make sure that I'm selected on the layer that is my face. And you can just heel away a little imperfections, little blemishes, whatever you want to. It's a nice thing to know about. If you want to just do some minor touch ups. I don't recommend going too over the top of this because it can make you start looking Unreal. Obviously, our imperfections are lines. All of those things are part of who we are, but you can just do some minor ones. Even with the lighting, it might cause strange artifacts. And so it's just nice to be able to clean that up a little bit. And so you just do that with the healing tool over there on the side. And now I want to go ahead and clean up the stray hairs basically on the side of my face. And how I do that is I use the mask layer that I've created and I select a white paint brush and I'm painting on that mask. And that's going to take it out of the selection. So you'll see now I am painting away my stray hairs off of being selected and into the background so that then not showing up anymore. And this is a great thing to do if you do have a lot of hair or if you have here that maybe you get strays, it's a nice way to just give it that, those crisp lines and just clean it up a little bit more to make it look more professional. So again, you can do that by painting white on the mask layer. And if you want to undo anything you do, you can use the black paint brush and that will undo it. So now I am making another layer and I am going to, I don't really like that little spot there where the light came on to it. I feel like it's a little bit too blue and too dramatic. So I selected a color that is my skin color close to it. And I painted over on a separate layer and reducing the opacity of that layer. And I'm reducing and I'm making it so that it's more subtle. But again, I'm getting a little bit of the color from a cheek that is not so vibrantly from the lighting that I was using. And I'm just trying to paint in that square a little bit and you'll need to play around if you're doing something like this, find the right paint color that you want to use. But again, I'm just subtly taking out that bright light and then I look at it from afar, make sure it's not too noticeable. And going back and forth, turning on and off the visibility. So I'm getting the eraser tool and I'm just going to minimize the size of that and just go around and kind of erase around the edges of that paint that I just did that paint spot so that it looks natural. It's not obvious to the eye that I just did that. But this is nice to know as a way that you can change and slightly alter any elements that you don't like in it too. Just using this technique makes it pretty simple. So now I'm assessing the overall image. I think it's getting very close. I'm liking it quite a bit. But I am noticing that in my eyes, the lighting and the colors of them are little varied. And so I want to again create a new layer. And I'm just going to paint in some more white, some more vibrancy into those eyes, into the lighting. So they really pop. And so at first, it's going to look kinda strange. It's going to look pretty alien. But you'll see once I reduce the opacity, you can't really tell, but it's giving this now a nice pop. And so I can get the eraser tool and erase around any areas that I got that we're not just my eyeball itself. So I am because I reduce the opacity. So having the light catch in the eyes, it's not getting rid of that even in the white part. But you can see how it does make my eyes pop more to have them lit in that way. And so if you find that for yourself, that there is a spot within your eye that is too dark. You can use that trick of going in and just subtly painting onto it. So I'm going to continue to just tweak the opacity level of the different elements that I've put on to the different adjustments that I've put on to the photo and really just dial in how I like it, how I want it to look. And by turning on and off the visibility of layers and then adjusting the opacity, I am able to really hone in exactly what I want at this point. And once I feel good about it, then I'm going to go File Save. I'm going to save it on my computer. And I'm going to give it a nice different name now. Let's see, I'll name it headshot. Simple, keep it simple. Choose where I want to do it, and then I'll save it first as a Photoshop file. So it's not fine. So I can continually go in and edit it. 8. Editing review and final images: As we're getting close to the end, I'm going to do a speed run it through the editing process again, reminding you how I duplicated that layer, I selected myself out as a subject. I painted the background a little bit to get rid of some of the wrinkles, some of that texture. Blending it in then and reducing the opacity so that I am able to see a little bit of that texture, putting on some LUT options to be able to give it some stylized playing with the curves, playing with the levels, the adjustments, touching up any areas that need touching up with the healing tool and then making my eyes pop by filling in and painting them a little bit more white, reducing the opacity so it's not obvious and then saving it. And now you'll see that after doing that to multiple photos, I have many different styles of professional headshots. And really like the creative to the business professional to somewhere in-between, you export your files so you save them as JPEGS, and then they are ready to go and make sure to make a Photoshop file Save as well so you can go back and edit them if you see them somewhere and you want to slightly tweak the changes you've made. But I am so happy with the different photos that I have gotten. And I really love to see the photos that you took and edit it after taking this class. So make sure to put them in the class projects section. 9. Next steps you can take: Congratulations on making it to the end of the class. I'm really looking for it to the head shots that you created in this course and seeing them in the class projects section. Now you may be feeling excited and empowered about being able to do your own professional photo shoot for yourself. There's some next steps you can take to if you're feeling really a bit more confident about being on camera and want to take that confidence to the next level. I have a class for you. It's called the camera confidence master class, and it teaches you how to be able to speak on camera and feel comfortable on camera, not just for still photos, but also for videos. So if you're ready to take your brand, your projects, yourself to the next level with camera confidence, go over and check out that course. I also have one dedicated entirely to iPhone videography. So if you're taking these photos, if you've been taking these photos on your iPhone or your iPhone is the main tool that you have to create content. I have that class just for you. It'll teach you quick and easy foundational tools to be able to shoot professional-looking pieces, all just on your iPhone. So go check that one out. And if you enjoyed this course, please leave a nice review. It means so much to me and I love hearing about what you got out of this class and what you learned and excitement that you have now to do it yourself with your branding. That's really the mission of the DIY branding brand. I created it because I wanted to empower people to be able to do it themselves and create their own content and the various mediums to put out onto all of the various platforms about doing that with. So, with these classes, I continue to build upon the skills that you need to be able to do it all yourself. If you go and follow me and sign up for my e-mail list, you'll be notified when more classes are published for DIY branching. And I'm going to be doing so many more. Creating your own website, making your own logos, doing more videos. All of this can be done by yourself. If you feel excited and you want to take the power into your hands to represent your brand and the way you want to. So thank you again for taking this course and I look forward to seeing you next time.