So, you’re getting published (hooray!). At first, everything is going fine. You’re humming along through the preliminaries when–BAM!–your publisher tasks you with submitting a professional quality, high resolution, 300 DPI, capture-your-personality on camera headshot. Your mind floods with questions: What constitutes “professional”? What is resolution? What does “DPI” stand for? What is a camera?! Who am I?!

Okay, so we’re being a touch dramatic. But if you’re not already tech-savvy, figuring out all of this jargon can be intimidating. Especially since your headshot will be used in so many situations as you’re marketing later on. It really becomes the world’s “window” to you, meaning your headshot can either be your most valuable asset or your worst nightmare.

Below we’ve pulled together some great resources that explain the basics of headshots, from decoding common acronyms to helping you pick your outfit. Remember, while we don’t require you to hire and pay a professional photographer, this headshot is an investment. Often, you will get what you paid for, so we do encourage you to consider going the professional route if your finances allow.

Remember that the most important goal of your photo is to represent yourself well to the reader. And feel free to call on your DRB liaison for help if you feel you need a second opinion.

“Say cheese!”