image showing both good and bad photo location

Choosing Your Location

Once you're sure you have picked out the right look for your professional photos, the next question is how do you find the right location?

Choose a place where you'll be comfortable. Don't feel like you have to be in any specific type of spot. Professional head shots can look great outside with trees as your background, in the city with buildings behind you or even indoors in your office, if you have the proper lighting. Make sure that the light on your face is even and doesn't have any splotches. You want to avoid bright sunlight to avoid squinting as well. An outdoor spot with even shade or an indoor space with bright, white even light are ideal. 

Think about the weather and temperature when planning your location. Avoid extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold. This can apply to both indoor and outdoor locations and can make a big difference to how comfortable you look in your photos. Sweating and shivering don't send a message of confidence. Also, consider how wind or a surprise rain storm will affect your photos when shooting outside. 

Make sure the space around you is tidy and not distracting. Large objects, clutter or anything nearby that can draw attention away from you should probably be cleared away. Unless the objects near you are relevant to your day-to-day work, they should not be a major focus in your photograph. 

Your environment can leave as much of an impression as your look in a professional photograph, so just think about the type of setting that will best reflect your job and your personality. You can be a bit creative and choose something that really shows off who you are, and still make sure it does not distract from your professional image. 

Other articles in this series:

A Photo Guide to the Do's and Don'ts of Professional Head Shots

Choosing the Right Outfit for Professional Photos

Professional Photos

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portrait of Kat Merriman