How To Take The Perfect Headshot

Something I get asked about quite frequently is how I take my photos. To be honest, there are so many ways I could answer this question because I take my photos a few different ways. What I'll focus on in this article, though, is how to take your own headshot in a way that looks professional and clean. Headshots are vital in the digital world if you're looking to spruce up your online profile. LinkedIn is a place that I commonly see people needing them for. If you're a freelance artist in any way, they're perfect for whichever social media platform you use. Now, if you're lucky enough, you may have a friend who has fluent in photography and can take your headshot for you, but if you aren't so lucky, fear not, I've got you covered. From my experience and knowledge, the key ingredients to make a great headshot happen are: natural lighting, a tripod, a camera with self-timer, and a good background. Let's dive in a little deeper so I can better explain each component. 

Natural Lighting
Unless you're experienced and well-rounded in knowledge of artificial lighting, you're better off using natural lighting (from the great outdoors)... plus, in my own humble opinion, I think natural lighting looks best! If indoor, I like to take my photos in front of a big window so that I can get all the light possible. To me, this is the ideal route because it's the most natural form of light and when efficiently supplied, it will make the quality of your photo better. 

Tripod + Self Timer
While you can just use the good ol' selfie stick or even just your arm, a tripod works best because your camera is still, which will prevent the photo from turning out blurry. Even the slightest movement, depending on the camera, can really affect the photo quality. I highly recommend using self-timer with a 3-second count so you don't have to have your arm in the way. The idea is to make this look less like a "selfie" and more like a professional headshot, and while you may not be a professional photographer, you can still make your photo look pretty professional. The camera itself really isn't too important. Believe it or not, I usually take most of my own headshots using my iPhone. I have a great camera that works perfectly well, but I love using the front-facing camera so I can see how I look to ensure complete satisfaction!

Good Background
Just like the subject, the background is pretty important as well. Choose wisely... Depending on your line of work, there are so many options you could go for. Always choose something more on the simple side of the spectrum, as you are the main focus of the photo. A plain white wall works perfect, or a park with nature in the background. It's fine to get creative and have fun with it, but from my experience, it's also best to keep it simple. This is just the headshot -  the cover of the book! 

I hope this article has helped you and you are able to take something away from it! If you're still a little unsure on how to go about this, there are plenty of examples on the internet that can spark some inspirationAs always, if you have any questions at all, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer! Until next time!! x

Track Your "Fun" Spending Pt. 1

For the past two years, I've written numerous blogposts on saving money and maintaining a frugal lifestyle. I've talked about the importance of not carelessly spending money and having a plan in place. I've been doing pretty good with it, but I have to be honest, I'm not perfect and I'm certainly not the all-star minimalist these blog posts might lead you to believe I am. I definitely save money, but I also spend money on frivolous things from time to time (because I'm a sane human who enjoys treating myself here and there) - not to the extent where it's a problem but to the extent where I start to think of all the money I could have saved if I hadn't purchased said frivolous things. Looking back at 2017, I feel like I really purchased a lot more than I intended. However, I will say that I think it's easy to get carried away when you don't keep track of all your purchases... you don't realize how quickly things add up.

With that said, I've decided to keep a running list for 2018 of all  *unnecessary* purchases. This can include of anything from clothes to candles and plants to books, and it's purpose is to allow me to look back on it after... let's say a year or six months pass. It's totally cool to treat oneself and all but it's also important to stay completely aware of what you've bought. I think it's also important to set a yearly dollar limit on yourself. If you're trying to really save up on money, you have to set boundaries and get really organized. Create a budget if you must (highly recommended) and track all "fun" money spending.

Since you're all probably wondering what exactly I've purchased this year, I'll share with you my list to give you an example. It's not so important to be extremely specific on when and where - just an item label and price is all you need. At first glance, this list is a little disappointing and long. It's only February. What I can tell you about this list though, however, is that the majority of the items came from small businesses which was one of my goals for 2018 - to support and shop from only small businesses when possible. Another thing is that there is only one article of clothing on here: black skinny jeans - something I actually needed. I've always been a person that loves to buy new clothes and I think I've really come a long way. Ultimately, I'm really happy I've been tracking my "fun" purchases because it really doesn't feel like I've purchased that many items. It's kind of an eye opener and can now help to gauge how the following months go. I plan to check back in with you all in a few months and share the updated list! In the meantime, I challenge each of you to start tracking your own spending. You might really be shocked at how much you actually buy over time!

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