Ultimate Guide To Getting Photos Of Yourself Taken For Your Therapist Website

Images of you on your therapist website communicate who you are and can help visitors feel more connected. Because like it or not, we rely on images of therapists to get a feel for who they are. Do they have purple hair? Remind us of our favorite school teacher? Do they look kind and understanding? Or maybe they look like someone we have things in common with… like wow I have that same cardigan! 

Benefits Of Professional Photos

 Getting high-quality images of yourself taken by a professional photographer can:

  • Build Credibility: Professional photos convey a polished and authentic image, enhancing credibility and instilling confidence in clients and referral sources.
  • Tell Your Story: High-quality images serve as a powerful storytelling tool, allowing you to visually communicate your journey, values, and personality.
  • Engage Visitors: Professional photos provide a dynamic insight into your vibe meaning not only a visually appealing representation but one that can leave a lasting impression.

How To Have Photos Of Yourself Taken For Your Therapist Website

You know that you need to have photos on your website, so how can you work together with your photographer to ensure that you are getting the best shots you can? Let’s walk together through some of the common things you’ll want to think about and bring up in your collaboration with a photographer. 

Here Are The Ideal Photos To Have Taken For Using On Your Therapist Website

What images should you have taken? The answer is yes.  

Get as wide a variety of images as you can and as many as you can. That way, you’ll have plenty to choose from. 

That said, let’s talk about what the minimum ideal photos to have would be. You can use this below list to guide what you shoot and what to select and edit:

  • One Headshot. Get a headshot taken that clearly shows your face. It could be closer up or zoomed out but don’t zoom out so much you can’t see the whites of your eyes. This is the image you’ll use most! It can be repeated on various places in your website and beyond for profiles, directories, brochures, and more. Think of this image as your “avatar” that stands in for you across the web. When someone sees it, even as a thumbnail, they recognize it as you. This image should be shot in a *horizontal* orientation so that it can be cropped to square or circle easily. Some social media requires cropping so to avoid awkward composition, ask for horizontal format
  • One Creative Headshot. A second headshot but make it fun or different. Maybe wearing bright color, a textured background, or a smile instead of serious or vice versa as compared to your other headshot. What’s another angle of you that’s important to share?
  • Two Images With Background Space. For background images, try to get two or more images shot where you are small in the frame and text or a text box could be over part of the image. You should be in the left or right third of the frame and not take up all the space so that there’s some space directly on the image itself to place text. 
  • Bonus Points: Two Environmental Portraits. Get candid style environmental images of you in your office – in your chair, writing in your note pad, etc. Horizontal is better as you’ll have more cropping possibilities but vertical options can work too.
  • Bonus Points: Four Office Images. Four images of your office itself while you are in there anyway with a photographer. Can also shoot details as well as the entire space. Airbnb sometimes has good examples of how to shoot interiors as far as angles, lighting, and essence photos.

Should Photos Be Vertical or Horizontal?

Horizontal images are king on the internet and also crop to square and vertical more easily. So certainly prioritize getting some horizontal portraits.

In some cases, square or vertical will be good. Like in places on the site where we need a small picture of you within the content itself. 

Horizontal images, zoomed out, with plenty of negative space are a great idea as you can use them 100% stretched across the screen. They need to be zoomed out though to work in the context of the web. So perhaps the human figure would take up 10-20% of the frame area.

You get bonus points if the negative space is all one value too. So this means that if the negative space can be all light tones or all dark tones, it will make it easier to overlay text directly on top. Smooth and empty surfaces work really well for this. So think: big expanse of sky or a white or light- colored wall.

Mix it up in terms of orientation but certainly do not skip horizontal images.

Let’s Talk What Colors Should Be In The Images

The question of color in images really comes down to a question of your identity. Color images, what colors to have in the images, or even if you should consider black and white are all directions you can go with to reflect something about you as a therapist.

If you’ve already done the work of uncovering your visual identity: either through getting a logo made or a website designed, then you may already have color inspiration at your fingertips.

For example if your logo is blue, then try to incorporate blue into your photos. Usually going for a color match is easiest.

How do you show up for people? How do you hold space? And how do you fit into the journey that your best fit client is on?

Are you the therapist who is excited and encouraging? If yes, maybe try more exciting and encouraging colors. Think pops of bright colors like green, pink, orange. Or maybe in front of a colorful mural or painting.

Are you the therapist who is ultra sensitive and helps clients drop into the depths of their dark emotions? If yes, maybe try more muted colors or even black and white. 

It could also be about expressing a meeting point between you and your client. Like a shared identity. Are you a queer therapist who helps other LGBT+ clients be loud and proud after a lifetime of shame? If yes, maybe incorporate some rainbow details in some images like hold a rainbow mug. 

It’s also about more than just color or not, it’s also about qualities like contrast, depth of field (how blurry backgrounds are), saturation of colors, and more.

This post I wrote on what color your therapist website should be may be a good exploration for you to do. 

What You Should Wear For Your Photos

For your photos, wear the types of clothing you normally would wear in a session. That said, bring many options and work together with your photographer to select what to wear per each shot or to be able to try multiple outfits in one shot. Things like lighting and background can influence which outfit will work best in a particular shot. 

It’s also good to have at least a few outfit changes so you can reflect your sense of style across the images. Don’t just take all of the images in the same outfit.

What Mood Should You Go For? From Smiles To Serious – Try It All

Go for all of the moods. Try things out!

Unless you’re a very experienced model, it would be hard to know in advance what will “work” for you. And by that, I mean what will work photographically in terms of what will come across as the most authentic and true to who you are as a therapist. 

Hopefully your photographer will be someone you can be stupid in front of! And I mean that in the best of ways.

Even in the modeling/photography industry, we might take 100 shots to get just one. That’s because the tiniest of movements can make or break a shot. 

It also takes time to warm up and discover what’s working between the model and the photographer. 

  • Get goofy.
  • Try smiling like an idiot.
  • Try smiling normally.
  • Jump around and then get still and just relax looking at the camera.
  • Turn your shoulders to the left with your head to the right.
  • Then do the opposite.
  • Connect into your serious side.
  • Think about talking to your best fit client.
  • Think about how happy you are when you see your dog after a long day. 
  • And play!

If you try a bunch of things, one of the things is bound to work out. 

So it’s less about “having a plan” for the mood you will be in and more about being open to experimenting, open to feedback in the moment, and then open to being surprised that some silly moment may have turned into the best shot of you ever taken.

How To Be Photogenic

In addition to finding a right-fit photographer, you’ll also want to get yourself into the right mindset. Most humans are uncomfortable being photographed. If you feel you are not photogenic or comfortable, it is worthwhile to invest some energy before you pay cash money for a shoot to work on being able to be comfortably photographed.

Inspiration For Photos On Websites

Therapist Websites

Therapist websites that have some great images of therapists

Coach and Thought Leader Websites

It’s sometimes helpful to observe how some of the bigger names in other related fields (like coaching) are integrating images of themselves on their websites. Here are a handful of brands that therapists could draw inspiration from

Masculine Energy Examples

A handful for the masculine energetic folx

Finding A Right-Fit Photographer Is Key

The traits of a right-fit-for-you photographer are:

  1. You Get Along With Them Look for someone you think you’d get along with personality wise. The best portrait photographers quickly build repor but sometimes you can already get a sense of that just by looking at their portfolio and getting a vibe on a quick call. Check for that.
  2. They Already Shoot Photos Exactly Like The Ones You Want For Yourself Every photographer has their unique voice as a creative. The way you understand what that looks like is through looking at their portfolio. It’s a huge mistake to think that any photographer can shoot anything. Nope. They are pretty much stuck with the voice they have. That means: when you look at their portfolio, try and imagine yourself in the shoes of the people that appear in the photos. Your results will look the same or very similar in terms of vibes, composition, lighting style, etc to what they’ve shot before. So, can you imagine yourself in the photos they’ve already taken? and then using those exact photos on your website. If the answer is no, don’t work with that photographer

How To Find A Therapist Portrait Photographer

  1. Get a referral. If you like the photos of any local business owners, ask them who took them. Or if you know any entrepreneurs or other humans that may hired a photographer recently, even for a wedding or event, you can ask for a referral too. Note that especially wedding photographers might also offer portrait shoots.
  2. Search Stock Websites. Although not designed as photographer search engines, I’ve found stock photo photographers are often excellent at what they do. So how can we find them? On the sites they are posting their work for sale to: stock photo websites. My favorite stock site to search is stocksy.com. Just do a search on “portrait [your city]” and see what comes up. That way, you may sometimes find local-to-you photographers who are good at portraits.
  3. Search Instagram. Instagram is, actually, a search engine for finding photographers. It’s just a bit mixed as to the quality you will discover. To search instagram, search hastags such as “#[yourcity]photographer” or “#[yourcity]portraitphotographer” 
  4. Budget Option: Find a Student. If you’re on a budget, you could see if there’s a way to hire a student photographer. I would recommend calling and asking at a local art school or the art department at a college or community college.

Examples Of Photographers Doing Great Work

To help you identify what types of photographers to look for, here are some photographers doing great work

Photos: Important and Worth It

Photos of you are a key piece of a successful website. Putting in the effort to find a great photographer and get photos taken takes work but the outcome of having quality, connecting photos is so worth it.

Hope these tips have helped. Good luck. 

Kat Love

Hi, I'm Kat! Therapists helped me heal from childhood sexual abuse, so I've helped them with websites and marketing for over 7 years. You can get a website designed with us or write your therapist website in the easiest way possible with my easy, fast, and affordable sister solution called Empathycopy. Glad you're here.