3 Ways To Take New Photos For Your Website

A selfie photo of Jennifer smiling.

You want a new photo of yourself for your personal website. What’s the best way to take new photos? Here are 3 ways for you to get beautiful photos for your website.

Hi! I’m Jennifer van Alstyne. Welcome to my blog about understanding your digital footprint in research and Higher Education.

Subscribe to The Social Academic blog.

Listen to the podcast

Listen to 3 Ways To Take New Photos For Your Website on Spotify.

Take a selfie

A woman wearing a hijab and a green sweater holds her phone and smiles at the camera while taking a selfie photo.

A selfie is a photo that you take of yourself. You can use selfies on your personal website! The most popular way to take a selfie is with your phone camera. You can use the front camera of your phone, but you’ll take higher quality photos if you use the rear camera.

Look for a space with good lighting. You may find great natural lighting outside in the last hour before sunset. Or, if you’re an early riser (unlike me), try just before sunrise. Photographers call these periods the ‘golden hour’ because the light can be perfect.

Avoid a distracting background in your photo. When in doubt, you can take a photo against a neutral background like a wall. Then you can edit the photo to remove the background like I did for the selfie above.

Use a cleaning cloth to gently wipe the camera lens clean before you start your photo shoot.

Try holding the phone at different angles (slightly higher, slightly lower). You can also hold the phone out to your side and turn your head towards it. Don’t forget to smile.

Your phone camera may have settings to help you take a better selfie. For instance, there may be a portrait mode. Or, an option to take a wide selfie.

You can use your phone’s self-timer setting to take hands-free and full body selfies. You may want to prop up your phone using books. You could also invest in an inexpensive tripod or selfie stick.

A black and white dog wearing blue sunglasses lays on its back on the grass taking a selfie photo with a phone in holds with its paw.

Devices For Taking Selfies

  1. Mobile phone
  2. Camera
  3. High resolution web cam

Other Tools To Help

  • Selfie stick
  • Tripod
  • Remote
  • Ring light
  • Books, a box, or other items to prop up your phone

Ask a friend or family member

A man holds a phone taking a photo of his friend who is smiling. They are in Los Angeles. The Hollywood sign is visible in the background, but unreadable because the background of the photo is very blurry.

One of the best ways to get a new photo of yourself for your website is to ask a friend or family member to help.

If you have a friend who is good at taking photos, great! You may not. That’s OK. What’s more important is that you have someone with you that you feel comfortable with.

Set expectations by letting them know it may take a bit of time. That you want to try out different poses (or locations). Ask them to try taking photos at different angles. Try watching a YouTube video together about creative portrait photos with a phone.

My best tip is to ask your friend to take photos holding the phone vertically and horizontally. That gives you flexibility with what you use the photos for.

It’s possible that this photo shoot may not result in the photos you want. So don’t put too much pressure on your friend. Do encourage them to take lots of photos so you can choose the best ones. If you find photos you like in the set, ask your friend if they’d like to be credited as photographer when you share the photo online.

Subscribe to The Social Academic blog.

Hire a professional photographer

Photography and video production studio with a yellow chair, plant, and pink backdrop. There are large lights on tripods.

Hiring a professional portrait photographer is the best option. The mistake you want to avoid is asking for a headshot when booking your photo shoot.

Professional photographers have the gear, skills, and experience to take your new website photos. If you can afford a professional photo shoot, it’s your best option. You want to hire an experienced local photographer.

You may have a place to take your photos in mind. Professionals often include 1 location in your package, or shoot in their studio. Be sure to ask for their recommendations.

Photographs are the intellectual property of the photographer. You’ll need to sign a contract or licensing agreement for permission to use the photos. Help ensure you get the right license by sharing how you want to use your photos when booking your shoot. Most photographers have professional liability insurance.

You’re looking for a portrait photographer, not a headshot photographer. Be clear about how many photos you’re looking for, as your photographer may offer a ‘brand photo shoot’ or a ‘website photo package.’

Portrait photographers can ranges from $100-$400/hour in the United States. Local Facebook groups are often an effective way to find recommendations for photographers in your area.

Here are 3 ways to get new photos for your personal website

A graphic for 'New Photos For Your Website' with tips including take a selfie, ask a friend for help, and hire a professional photographer. On the graphic are a cutout of a Sony professional camera, the backs of 2 cell phone cameras, and a selfie photo of Jennifer van Alstyne smiling.

Subscribe to The Social Academic blog.

Want a professionally designed website? I’d love to help.

Personal Website How To's The Social Academic

Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help professors, researchers, and graduate students manage their online presence. Jennifer’s goal is to help people share their work with the world.

Check out her personal site at https://jennifervanalstyne
or learn more about the services she offers at https://theacademicdesigner.com

%d bloggers like this: