There comes a time when we all need a good photo – for professional purposes, or gifts for family and friends. 

Let’s face it:  not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, that’s for sure. But here are a few tips and examples of how to get the job done painlessly and quickly…

  1. Find a great professional photographer nearby. Get referrals from colleagues or friends, or search Google.


  1. A friend with a great camera, or even a good camera on their phone, can take a shot as a favor.

  1. Choose a background that matches your personality. For a professional photographer, that can mean a white, gray, black or any color you choose if taken indoors. Or, you can choose to have it taken at your business location to represent yourself professionally (especially if the photo is for the company’s website).


  1. If you’re a creative (or just want to be perceived as more creative, choose a funky background, yet make sure it’s not too distracting.

  1. Feel free to have the shot done outside since natural light is always a winner. Make sure the sun is overhead so that you as the subject aren’t squinting directly into the light.


  1. Wear white around the face since it will cast a complementary light on you by refracting and reflecting whatever light is nearby.

  1. If a friend is taking it, grab a standard piece of white posterboard to hold in your lap, out of the range of the camera. This will also cast a light toward your face to make the photo really pop.


  1. Filter and manipulate how you’d like in post-production (if on a phone, that’s even easier), then have developed at a local photo developer. Even a drugstore can develop it for less than a buck a photo.

  1. For family and special friends, get a simple frame to place it in before gifting it to the special recipient.

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