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Due to the pandemic, we are not currently scheduling free drop-in photo sessions. When the sessions resume, you will be able to find details here.

Photo sessions will also be advertised in SOM Vital Signs and the Newsroom Events Calendar

It is easy to take a headshot with your smartphone! Just follow these simple steps and you will have an updated picture to use in no time.

  • Clean the lens of your camera before you start.
  • Make sure that you have natural lighting. It is best to have a light source in front of you, vs. behind you. Please try to avoid harsh overhead lighting and fluorescents.
  • Find a plain background to stand in front of, a light colored blank wall would work best.
  • If possible have someone take the picture for you, if not a tripod can be helpful.
  • Ensure your camera phone is set to shoot in high resolution mode to make for a better quality photo.


Go to Settings > Camera. Then ensure Smart HDR (Auto HDR on older iPhones) is switched off. If Smart HDR is on, you won’t have the HDR option in the Camera app

*note if you have an iPhone you can set your photo into Portrait Mode.

The HDR option can often be found under the Shooting Mode or Camera Scenes menu. If you are not able to find it there, please check under the camera’s Setting menu. The HDR setting can often be turned while the camera app is open. In one of the corners there will be an HDR symbol.  If you see it crossed out, that means it is currently disabled. Simply tap it to enable. On different models and makes HDR can also be referred to as “Rich Tone” or “Dynamic Tone”

If you have a Google Pixel 4 or Pixel 4XL, HDR will automatically be enabled.

If you have a Samsung GalaxyNote 20 follow these steps:

  • At the very beginning click on Camera.
  • Tap on Settings Icon in Camera.
  • Now just move the marker to Turn On HDR mode in your Phone.

If you are still having trouble on your Android device, the best option is to Google the model of your device + HDR settings for help!


  • When posing for the picture, angle your posture with your body at a slight angle and your face looking at the camera. You can cross your arms or have them at your side. Make sure that you are looking directly at the camera.
  • Instead of using the Zoom feature, move your phone closer to your face. The ideal distance is to have the camera 2 to 3 feet away from you.
  • Remember to relax and take more than one picture so you have a few different options to choose from.

Things to consider:

  • Keep your appearance professional, try a few different smiles and expressions to get a variety of options to choose from.
  • Dress for success. You should feel confident in yourself and that will reflect in the photo.
  • Make sure the background is clear of any clutter.

Do not position the camera in a very low or very high angle. It should be focused straight on you with the lens hitting you just about your eye level.

Good luck and have fun!