Taking Professional Headshots with the OnePlus 6T

  1. Carl
    Co-founder Staff Member Mar 1, 2019

    Carl , Mar 1, 2019 :

    Hi friends,

    Today, we celebrated Employee Appreciation Day at OnePlus. In addition to in-chair massages and catered lunches from Sophie’s Cuban, we invited Brady R., our videographer and photographer, to take professional headshots for all our colleagues in New York. Naturally, we used our favorite camera—the OnePlus 6T.


    Afterwards, I asked Simon L., our Director of Imaging, and Brady R. to share some tips on how to take professional headshots with your smartphone.

    But before you ask why you need a professional headshot, consider that your headshot is an opportunity for you to make a great first impression to potential employers, co-workers, and clients. Whether you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, or even just your work email, a well-taken headshot can make all the difference.

    Professional headshots also benefit employers and companies. In recent years, workplaces have become increasingly virtualized, with regional offices and remote workers collaborating from across the globe. When OnePlus was founded in 2013, we started with a handful of people. Now, we have over 1300 employees around the world from 19 countries in 15 locations including New York, London and Shenzhen. Maintaining clear and effective communications can quickly become a daunting challenge, especially in inter-office environments. When communicating online, a clear, well-taken headshot lends a deft personal touch to each message.

    In this post, we’ll be taking headshots with the OnePlus 6T. To follow along, all you need is your smartphone, but consider enlisting a friend to help you snap the perfect photo.

    Step One: Lighting and Location

    The first step is to find the right backdrop for your headshot. Keep in mind that a headshot generally consists of a tight crop on the subject’s head and shoulders, so you don’t need a large surface to work with. What you do need, however, is a place with good natural lighting. Think soft and even lighting. This means, on a bright and sunny day, you may need to step into the shade. Cloudy days provide a softer, more diffuse lighting that won’t make you squint.


    Position yourself by a window or step outside and look for a simple, neutral surface such as a bare wall or frosted glass panel. Or, pick a patterned surface for some added texture. Consider brick, wood paneling, or even dense foliage. If you’re stuck indoors and only have access to artificial light, try indirect lighting techniques such as positioning your lamp to “bounce” the light off a white or gray wall. You can also check your phone’s settings to enable HDR mode, which can help even out harsh or unflattering lighting. OnePlus’ cameras are equipped with an industry-leading HDR mode that will work behind the scenes to give your images more dynamic range. The OnePlus 6T also features Studio Lighting, a pixel-based exposure optimization algorithm, which utilizes a combination of face and edge detection to dynamically tone the shadows and highlights on the subject’s face, ensuring that skin tones and overall color rendering looks more natural in different lighting conditions, therefore reducing the need for post-processing. Finally, portrait mode calculates and applies a depth-of-field effect to images, while using multi-frame processing to ensure scenes are accurately exposed.

    Step Two: Posture and Expression

    When taking professional headshots, the subject should appear confident with a calm, natural expression. Find your best side in the mirror or with the front camera, and keep your shoulders relaxed and pulled back slightly, bringing your chest forward. Incline your head towards the camera and tilt your chin down. The goal is to create some separation between your chin and neck, giving you a more pronounced jawline.


    If you’re having trouble achieving a natural-looking smile, feel free to put on some upbeat music or watch a funny YouTube clip. If you need to adopt a serious expression but don’t want to seem bored or morose, try thinking about your favorite food. You’ll be surprised at the results!

    Step Three: Compose, Edit, and Share

    Ask a friend to help take your picture. We like to position the camera on the OnePlus 6T at eye-level or just slightly lower. Compose the frame with the subject’s eyes around the top third of the image. Don’t forget to focus on the eyes!


    Although a traditional professional headshot consists of just the subject’s head and shoulders, it’s best to compose from a reasonable distance—both to keep the subject at ease, and to keep lens distortion to a minimum. Most smartphone camera sensors already offer plenty of detail and resolution. Remember, you can always shoot wide and crop later.


    Finally, when it comes to editing, your priority is to ensure the subject’s face is well exposed. Play with the exposure, contrast, and saturation settings until you settle on a result that looks natural. If parts of the image are too bright, simply pull down the highlights. If areas in the image are too dark, bring up the shadows. Oftentimes, a light touch is all that’s needed.


    And that’s it! Pretty simple, right? I’d like to thank Simon L. and Brady R. for putting together this helpful guide on how to take great headshots on your smartphone. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to take better headshots? Share your best Shot on OnePlus portraits!

  2. YRJ
    Lollipop Mar 1, 2019

    YRJ , Mar 1, 2019 :
    @Carl is now a model too....?
    Sweet :D
    Thanks for putting this guide together people, hopefully we get to see better heads now :)

  3. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Mar 1, 2019

    Shivang Joshi , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Thanks for such a great content. But you forgot to look after one small, but important detail. Even though we are talking about Portraits in this thread, and also about using the Portrait Mode for doing that, the screenshots which are shared displays that the picture was being clicked in the normal Camera mode. (It's named as "Photo" on our devices)


  4. Bhavdeep Singh Rathore
    Eclair Mar 1, 2019

  5. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Mar 1, 2019

    Mjo, SJBoss, GopalB. and 5 others like this.
  6. shezack
    Gingerbread Mar 1, 2019

  7. YRJ
    Lollipop Mar 1, 2019

    YRJ , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Well a headshot reminded me of PUBG :oops:
    I just hope it's all about clicking pics and nothing else.... :rolleyes::p

  8. v0 HaVoK 0v
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 1, 2019

    v0 HaVoK 0v , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Hopefully all this will help the people whining about there pictures of people, I somehow don't think so, but we can hope

    G_plusone likes this.
    Honeycomb Mar 1, 2019

    BYG BYRD , Mar 1, 2019 :

    Kindly add a contrast bar in Camera for pop up in images and sharpness option like color luts

    Beat Pixel Camera in short plz...it a downside

  10. script
    Nougat Moderator Mar 1, 2019

    woSch, otto2, Shivang Joshi and 5 others like this.
  11. G_plusone
    Marshmallow Mar 1, 2019

    G_plusone , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Stole my line :rolleyes::p
    Perfecting the art of Headshots
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019

  12. eye842
    Lollipop Mar 1, 2019

    eye842 , Mar 1, 2019 :
    For many people this has the opposite effect :D

    Ruby G., JohnS, Shivang Joshi and 2 others like this.
  13. eye842
    Lollipop Mar 1, 2019

    eye842 , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Reminded me of Unreal Tournament ;)

  14. FlixbusLennart
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Mar 1, 2019

  15. meatandy
    Oreo Mar 1, 2019

    meatandy , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Wow , Look at the head on that guy ! :D:p
    Sorry that's an inside joke. = P
    I find lightning to be extremely important , especially the direction in which it's coming from , also be careful to watch for unsightly shadows within the facial area.

  16. TibiTibi
    Nougat Mar 1, 2019

  17. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Mar 1, 2019

    Bouncer71 , Mar 1, 2019 :
    Which proves....

    No Portrait Mode needed to shoot a portrait... ;D

    Uhh.. I loved to play that Game... 8D

    SJBoss, woSch, Shivang Joshi and 3 others like this.
  18. Schafer
    US Brand Ambassador Mar 1, 2019

    Schafer , Mar 1, 2019 :
    The OnePlus 6T is definitely the best camera that I own and is on me at all times. I'll be taking note of this thread, thanks!

  19. B.yashaswi
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 2, 2019

    B.yashaswi , Mar 2, 2019 :
    Thanks for the post @Carl ,So from now Community profile pics of OnePlus team are going to change very eager to see them Is this what you wanted.

    FlixbusLennart and G_plusone like this.
  20. YRJ
    Lollipop Mar 2, 2019

    YRJ , Mar 2, 2019 :
    I'm always stealing content :D
    One heck of a game :cool:

    SJBoss and G_plusone like this.