Your LinkedIn headshot should reflect the professional side of you and the best way to do so is with a professional headshot. Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed by having a profile picture? No offense, but keep the selfies for your Facebook page and Instagram.
A really great LinkedIn profile picture can help you standout amongst the crowd of applicants or potential clients online. As a photographer specializing in professional headshots, I've learned a few tips along the way that I'd like to share for taking a great LinkedIn headshot:
1. Be yourself
I always tell my clients to dress as they would if they were going on a job interview for their dream job or as if they are meeting a client for the first time - dress to impress and dress for your industry. Ask yourself what people in your industry wear and choose a style that is similar, but still reflects your personality and uniqueness.
Natural smiles are always the best, so I will sometimes tell a funny joke or start a conversation during a session to get my subject to act naturally and to feel comfortable in front of the camera.
If you normally wear glasses, keep them on. If you usually tie your hair back, tie it back. The same goes for makeup. If you usually wear eyeliner or lipstick, then go ahead and apply your normal makeup and try not to overdo it. It's that simple.
2. Eye contact
I always focus my lens on the subjects' eyes and it's especially important to capture sharp eyes for LinkedIn headshots because it adds more of a trust-factor and makes you more approachable in my opinion.
3. Avoid distracting patterns
Keep it simple! Heavy patterns can be distracting, so stick with solid colors especially to avoid moiré when you have really close parallel lines.
Bring a blazer or cardigan to wear over your dress shirt or blouse to create two looks, one professional and one a bit more business casual so you have lots of options to choose from for LinkedIn or any network.
4. Go outside
I prefer to shoot my headshots outdoors with natural light against the gorgeous natural scenery whether it's against the greenery or a stone wall - you will end up with many different backdrops to create a variety of images.
Outdoor headshots standout against the traditional corporate headshots taken against a white, gray or black backdrop. I choose non-distracting backgrounds and shoot at 200mm with a wide open aperture to blur the background.
Work with the natural light. The best time to shoot outdoors is during golden hour - an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset for optimal lighting. This is to avoid the harsh sunlight during the day. Overcast skies are also good for headshots because it create a huge diffuser of soft, natural light for your session.
Taking portraits can be fun if you can just relax and take direction from the photographer. It may take a few clicks before you feel comfortable which is totally fine. Being relaxed shows on camera, so roll those shoulders and breathe because in a few minutes you will be all done and will be pleasantly surprised to see the stunning portraits you just took!
The hardest part will be picking your favorite shot for LinkedIn, so ask your significant other, family or friends for advice before uploading your headshot to your LinkedIn profile or company website.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me anytime. Interested in updating your LinkedIn headshot? Contact me for more information and to setup your session.
LinkedIn Headshot Photography in Stamford, CT by Natasha Miller ©Tashography 2015