What is a Professional Headshot?

YSM uses the Business Headshot Style when headshots are required online and in YSM publications. This style of headshot is very standardized. 

Professional Headshot Criteria

The Person 

The person’s clothing is professional and refined; the person in the photograph looks composed. 

The Photograph 

The picture is vertical. The image includes the face, the head and shoulders, a plain background, and is not cropped too closely to the head. The picture should be in color, in focus, have proper lighting, good composition, and expert color correction and retouching. 

File Size 

The image file needs to be at least 960 x 1200 pixels. While this is the minimum, to accommodate "Retina HD" resolutions we recommend uploading a much larger size at 4,096 pixels high. Images fitting these files sizes will be between  1 MB and 8 MB in file size. 

How Do I Check the Pixel Size and DPI? 

There are varying ways and programs to use to achieve an image with high enough resolution, but a general rule of thumb is that the vertical side of the image needs to be at least 1,000 pixels long and the dpi needs to be at least 300 dpi. Again, you should have a file that is more than 1 MB to achieve this.

PC

If you are using a PC, you can right-click on the image and select “properties.” Under the “General” tab you can view the file size, and under the “details” tab you can confirm the pixels and dpi information for your image. 

Mac

If you are using a Mac, you can use ctrl-click, select “open with Preview” from the drop-down menu. In Preview, select “Tools” from the main menu, and then “Show Inspector.” This will give you the file size, the image size, and the image DPI.

What Makes an Unusable Headshot? 

There are many kinds of photographs of people that do not fit the business-style headshot that YSM uses to represent its faculty and staff in publication online. Images that do not fit the standards above can potentially be used for other purposes, but will not be used as a profile picture. 

Examples:

  • Selfies are not usable headshots
  • Photographs taken with a cell phone in general are not usable
  • Images of people backed up against a wall, horizontal images, and images that have been cropped too closely to the subject’s head do not fit the standards for this style of headshot
  •  Photographs of people at a party, giving a talk, in a meeting, on the phone, sitting at a desk, or in general doing anything other than looking at the camera and posing do not fit this style. 

Where Can I Get a new Headshot? 

YSM’s Office of Communications offers several headshot shoots each year. Contact ysm.editor@yale.edu to be notified the next time there is a shoot. 

Checking Properties

Under the “General” tab you can view the file size, and under the “details” tab you can confirm the pixels and dpi information for your image.