Photography for your small business is essential, so I’m going to share some pro tips for taking photos of yourself with your cell phone. Photos are super important for sharing our stories on social media. The pictures with our faces get the most engagement because people can connect with them. If you can’t afford a professional photographer, that’s totally fine. Your cell phone has a camera that takes perfect social media images.

Before you take photos of yourself, clean your cell phone’s lens. I do this all the time if I’m taking pictures with my son, or if I’m going to take a selfie. Use a soft shirt or cloth and give it a little wipe to remove the fingerprints, dust and whatever else accumulates from being shoved in a purse or left on the counter.

Find Great Light for Your Small Business Photography

If you’re inside, find a big beautiful window to stand near. In the afternoon and first thing in the morning when the sun lower in the sky, it shoots through your house. I don’t want you to stand in that light because you’ll squint, and it’ll be terrible. Instead, take your photos in the middle of the day to get that soft, even light.

Stand in front of the window with your face towards the light. Don’t put the window behind you, put it in front of your face. If you are outside, find a shaded spot with even light and again, face the sun to reduce shadows.

There’s always going to be a falloff with shadows and shade. That’s when there’s a bright part of the image and a dark part of the image. Just make sure the sun isn’t touching you, so the falloff happens somewhere other than your face. You want your face to be evenly lit.

Use Portrait Mode to Focus Your Brand

Most newer phones come with portrait mode. This allows the camera to focus on your face or the subject of your photo, and the rest of the image is blurred. In the photography world, we call that bokeh, and it’s so pretty. It makes your photo look more professional, and if there is a mess behind you, it blurs it away.

Since our cell phones have this built-in, and it’s crazy easy to achieve. I use portrait mode to shoot all the time because it just looks more put together. If your phone has portrait mode, get comfortable with it, because it’s a fantastic tool.

Have Fun With Your Creativity

Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you’re taking cell phone photos, use the self-timer or get somebody to take the shots. Have fun with it because your personality will come through and it won’t look stiff. You want people to know you are warm and inviting. Smile, laugh, or make a joke. Sometimes even if you just fake laugh out loud you will end up actually laughing so give that a try.

Edit and Enjoy!

You want to create a consistent vibe in your small business photography so people will instantly recognize your images. There is a mobile version of Lightroom that lets you upload presets. Once you get it set up, you can give all your photos a consistent theme with one tap.

No matter how experienced you are, selfies feel awkward sometimes so have fun taking them. If you are looking for a supportive group of small business owners, I’d love to invite you to check out JLP community, where we love to talk small business photography all the time.