Making a great first impression is essential for gaining new business. That’s why having a current and quality headshot is an important piece of your branding. Not only does it showcase your professionalism, but it also demonstrates that you are established and trustworthy. If you want to save money or simply enjoy DIY, here are seven tips for taking your own headshot:

Ask For Help.

Just because you aren’t hiring a professional doesn’t mean your photo has to look like a selfie. Borrow a tripod for a level and steady shot. Also, have someone around to give feedback and offer suggestions.

Pay Attention to Lighting.

If you are shooting inside, natural defused light from a window works best. If outside, avoid direct sunlight. Too much light can wash you out, not to mention cause you to squint.

Be Mindful of the Backdrop.

A busy or loud background will take the focus away from you. Instead, look for a color or a simple backdrop—walls or sheets work well—that complements and helps you stand out. The same goes for the outfit you choose. It should be flattering, not distracting.

Frame the Shot.

While you want a close-up, you don’t want it so close that the picture looks too crowded. Zoom out enough to allow for more space above the head. Also, arrange the shot slightly off-center for better composition.

Express Your Personality.

Standing straight towards the camera can make you look stiff or nervous. Try a few different stances and head angles. And remember: Just because it is a business photo doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and show off your smile.

Know Where to Look.

Eye contact is key to grabbing someone’s attention and making a connection. Display your confidence by looking directly into the camera lens.

Give Yourself Choices.

Block off a few hours and take your time. The more photos you get, the better your chances of finding the headshot that makes you happy. It is also good to pick out a few winners for different marketing purposes.