Photo-Recipe for a Headshot that is YOU!

Okay ladies, Fall not only means the change of seasons.  It also means Family Holiday Photos is approaching!  October is a big month for people to schedule their holiday shoot.  If you are wanting to get your feet wet, there is no better time than now.  But how do you promote yourself?  The key to promotion is showing us who you are in a headshot that is YOU!

This may sound crazy, but clients aren’t looking at your photo quality as much as they are looking at how approachable you look.  People are terrified of being in front of the camera.  They think the camera is going to show all their worst qualities.  If you can show yourself as someone who is safe, excited, approachable, and fun…they will book YOU over the photographer who is award winning with no bio photo.  So how do you get a headshot that is you?

Photo-Recipe for a Headshot that is YOU!

With two photography books coming out in 2011, I thought it would be fun to work with Brian on a new headshot. Was it fun?  Well, anytime you work with your husband on getting a great photo of yourself…fun…is not necessarily the word.  But we did have some laughs in the midst of arguing.  🙂

Follow these simple photo-recipe steps to create your own bio photo!  (if you enlist your husband to take the photo…God be with you both.  :))

Step One: Find a background that represents the look you want to give.

I wanted a background that was bright but also soft.  Something that felt warm and light.  I had no idea where I’d find this background until I saw this tile wall in Las Vegas!

Get a photo-recipe for a headshot that is you from Me Ra Koh, The Photo Mom

Start thinking about the feelings you want to convey, and you’ll be surprised at how different backgrounds start to jump out at you in the most unlikely places!

Step Two:  Angle, Engage and Get Some Height!

One of my segments on the Nate Berkus Show was called “How to Look Thinner in Photos”.  If you missed it, you can follow the link below!  They apply to Step Two!  You want to angle yourself to the camera, put your weight on your front foot so you are leaning into the camera, and have the shooter be higher than you.  For me to make this happen, I had to get wet!  Yep, my tile wall was the back wall of a swimming pool!  So down the steps I went! Ha!

Get a photo-recipe for a headshot that is you from Me Ra Koh, The Photo Mom

Step Three:  Butter Up the Background!

Switch your camera to Aperture Priority mode and go as low as you can in your f-stop.  The lower you go, the more buttery, blurry the background becomes.  See what happens to the tile behind me when Brian used a low f-stop of f/2.8!  All those soft, pearl colors became a light, warm background.

Get a photo-recipe for a headshot that is you from Me Ra Koh, The Photo Mom

Step 4:  Zoom Baby ZOOM!

To avoid distorted head shapes, have your shooter use a zoom lens.  If your shooter stands back and zooms in, your head will look proportional with your body.

Step 5:  Patience, Playfulness and Practice!

Okay, let’s be honest.  If you are going to have your spouse do this for you, I don’t care how good he/she is, you are asking for trouble.  As the model, try to be patient, stay playful and give the shooter room to practice.  It will make a huge difference!  🙂

To see all the tips on “How to Look Thinner in Photos” from the Nate Berkus Show, CLICK HERE!

You must send me your results for this Photo-Recipe!  Email them to, or post your headshot with what you love most about it on my Facebook page.

Look forward to seeing what you send!


Me Ra