Choose the Right Backdrop
Keep in mind the online destination of your portrait and the kind of image you want to present to your fellow users. A shot of you in front of an interesting wall of graffiti may be perfect for Twitter, but may be a little visually busy for LinkedIn. Consider a plain interior wall or fabric backdrop for a more professional appearance. A neutral-coloured bed sheet and a couple of clothespins can create a makeshift studio.
A Little Something Extra
Consider bringing an accessory into the shot to help communicate your interests to people who may not know what you’re all about, or simply to help them remember who you are. Get creative, but keep it subtle: A writer could tuck a pencil behind one ear, or someone with the last name Lemon could have a bowl of the eponymous fruit in the background of the shot.
Capture Yourself in Your Best Light
Though your camera’s built-in flash is perfect for capturing all manner of nighttime and indoor shots, portrait photography is often best lit naturally. Morning and evening light will give the softest effect (eliminating the harsh shadows the midday sun can cast), so look for a location that gets plenty of light during those times of day. An indoor location can still be perfect—just make sure it’s near lots of windows.
Set Up Your Shot
You don’t need an expensive tripod for a self-photo, but you also don’t want to end up with 50 unusable shots that caught only your forehead or your chin. Capture the perfect angle on the first try with a camera—like Samsung’s MV800—that features a flip-out 3.0-inch LCD display so you can see the viewfinder even from in front of the camera.
One of the great advantages of today’s digital cameras is the ability to store hundreds or even thousands of photos on a camera’s memory card, so feel free to experiment with angle and composition to ensure that you capture your best possible shot. Look for a camera with features like the MV800’s Intelligent Portrait, which takes three photos from different angles (and with different compositions) in a single click.
Striking the Perfect Pose
Take a look at your friends’ best headshots, and you’ll notice that most of them aren’t facing the camera head-on. The trick to a great pose is all about the angles: Tilt your face upward slightly (to prevent the dreaded double chin), angle your shoulders and pull them back, angle your face a little to one side. If you feel slightly awkward and uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it right! Or try the MV800’s Pose Guide function, which lets you select from a gallery of posed models on the LCD screen, and then just match your body with the pose.
The Finishing Touch
Add creative finishing touches to your photos, such as a black-and-white effect for a professional-oriented site, or fun effects like watercolour painting for social sites. These effects are easy to accomplish with photo-editing software, or can be found built right into some cameras. For instance, the Samsung MV800 comes with features like Magic Frame, which enables you to create unique photos from 12 background templates. With Funny Face, you can bend, stretch, and warp photos. Smart Filter 3.0 lets you create vintage sepia photos, colourful cartoons, brushstroke paintings, and more.
Less Self, More Portrait
Once you’ve drawn them in with your irresistible profile picture, don’t forget to give your new friends plenty of compelling photos to browse in your profile. Keep your gallery interesting with a mix of high- and low-angle shots, as well as macro (super-close-up) and wide-angle photos. The MV800’s Live Panorama feature makes it easy to capture wide shots. Simply take aim and hold the shutter button while you pivot to capture your photo, and then preview the final image to decide if the view you have is the view you want.
Don’t let your social media profile get lost in a sea of generic photography. With a little imagination, some practice, and the right camera, it’s easy to capture a self-portrait that will get you noticed and keep you top of mind.