How to Create a Header Image

Have you've been wondering how fellow bloggers and Instagramers create these beautiful, modern, styled headers? Do you need to figure out how to make these beautiful headers on your own - one that is personalized for your style and brand? Website mastheads, headers, landing pages and even Instagram accounts have images like these to show clients a super personalized look into their brand. It creates a highly cohesive, beautiful and professional way to speak to your clients.


I made a short video tutorial for you showing you the time-lapse version of my styling process. The rest of this post breaks down my camera settings, my editing process and tips on lighting so you can get your booty to making your very own header. Watch the video below.

Below is my header image before and after. You can see there are very minimal edits that need to be done when you get everything set up right. I bumped up the light slightly, added some warmth and smoothed out some areas of the black surface where you could see some scratches.



1. Use the best lighting... always use natural light when creating marketing images. When shooting on top of a solid color the best possible light is overcast or diffused lighting. If it's too direct, bright or harsh you'll get glare lines over your surface and those are impossible to edit out. If the light is a little too harsh trying closing the blinds or pulling white sheer curtains over the window.

2. Use side light... have the light coming from the side helps illuminate your scene properly. It helps give you highlights in just the right places. Try really hard not to use back-light (where the window is behind your surface). This will create harsh shadows that are really hard to recover in editing.

3. Use the right settings... for the shot above I had my Nikon D600 set to the following: ISO 250 27mm f/2.8 1/100 sec. You want to open your aperture as wide as it'll go to let in all the right light. Use a low ISO so your marketing image can be as crisp and clear as possible.

4. Leave some blank space... as you can see above there is a section in the middle that's blank. I did that intentionally because I  knew I would be using this for my website landing page. I wanted the text that I added to be able to have somewhere to live clearly. You could create this same look with blank space or even an open notebook that you can lay text over.

p.s 1. if you're using a cup of any kind make sure there's liquid in it. It looks kind of janky, when shooting from above, if it's empty. 2. that square piece of "marble" I'm using? Yeah, it's a sample of laminate counter top I picked up from Lowe's. Trade secrets, ya'll.

Good luck! Get to styling and get yourself some beautiful headers. Local loves (tulsa and surrounding cities) holler at me so you can set up your own lifestyle marketing session and have a professional do it all for ya!