There are many reasons to have a headshot. If you have a blog you could use it for your About Me page or as your avatar on Twitter or Google Friend Connect. If you have a shop you could use it to introduce yourself to your customers. If you have neither you could use it as your profile picture on Facebook, etc.
Now, it's supereasy to take a MySpace type picture and call it a day but let's be honest, it's neither flattering nor professional. If you put a teensy bit more effort into it you can have a really cute picture that tells your customers/readers/friends a little bit more about you. And I promise it really won't take that much more effort than snapping a bathroom pic.
You'll need a couple things for a really great headshot. A backdrop and a camera. Derrrrr. Good lighting is a must and a tripod is a plus but not necessary. I hope you didn't get scared off yet! I know some people get intimidated by "good lighting" thinking they'll need a studio setup with fancy lights or a flash. Really all you need is a window and a bright day. Seriously. I took all the pictures in this post in my living room facing a window. No lights on, no flashes. Easy. Now, I did wait til it was bright in that particular room so start paying attention to when it's the brightest in whatever room you're going to use.
Next: your backdrop. I used a vintage sheet but you could also use a plain white bedsheet, wrapping paper, an afghan, anything you think would make a great backdrop! Just make sure it's big enough to cover the area you want to be in your picture. Now, I usually use this backdrop stand I bought but I know it's not exactly a common item to have lying around your house, so in the interest of this tutorial I draped my sheet over the television.
What's easier than that?! PS, excuse the mess...we're redecorating. If you can't use the TV, you could hang your backdrop from a curtain rod, bookshelf, on the back of the couch, even off the dining room table. Don't worry if it seems low, you don't necessarily have to be standing. In fact, I was on my knees to take these pictures.
Set your camera up on your tripod or sitting on a surface across from your backdrop. Once you have it set up take a picture to make sure the lighting is ok and so you have an idea of where to stand/sit. If you have a remote, awesome! If not, set your camera to the timer setting to give you time to get from the camera to where you'll need to be standing/sitting. Actually, I use the timer option when I'm using my remote as well to give me time to hide the remote.
Start snapping your pictures! Make all kinds of funny faces whether you think they'll look good or not. A lot of times I like the pictures where I think I'll look dumb much better than the ones where I think I'll look good. Case in point, all three of these pictures.
That's it! Upload your pictures, pick the best ones and if you want you can do a little editing to make them even better. You can use Photoshop if you have it (or you can check out the free trial!) or try an online editor like Picnik (which is sadly going bye bye in April...). And that's pretty much it! Just one more tip, the better you feel the better you'll look in pictures so put on your makeup, fix your hair and even wear that pretty new top. Your confidence will come across!