If you need professional head shots for LinkedIn, (and many of us do) you should check out these 7 Top Tips.
‘… some professions and personal brands need a more serious look, and if that applies to you then it’s fine …’
How To Take Headshots for LinkedIn; My 7 Top Tips
Learning how to take headshots for LinkedIn is easy with these tips – they’re tried and tested and they’ll save you heaps of time, and many disappointments.
1 – Get the Lighting Right Any photographer will tell you that the success of your photos relies on carefully considered and arranged lighting. So take your time with this, and experiment.
Never use fluorescent lighting or standard flash photography. Go for natural light, especially if you don’t have good equipment, either outdoors or using the natural light coming through a window, for example.
Avoid taking shots in the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead.
Twilight is ideal because the light is warm and the angle of the sun is low. Generally, light that comes down on you from above can make you look drawn and tired.
Take some test shots and look for hard shadows. Shadows should always be soft to be flattering.
2 – Keep the Focus on You Remember the focus of a head shot is always YOU, so make sure there are zero unwanted distracting elements. Check for signs, trees or posts that seem to grow out of your head! Ideally the background should be slightly out of focus.
3 – Consider Including just ONE Personal Accessory that reflects your personality and makes you who you are – a unique individual.
Consider your jewellery, your hairstyle or your make-up. Maybe you have a favourite tie or scarf you always wear? If it’s not too busy and distracting and it suits the shot, use it.
You can ask advice of friends and colleagues, but be careful who you ask. They should be someone you trust, someone honest and reliable who understands what you’re trying to achieve.
4 – Don’t Alter Your Appearance You need to be recognisable when you meet people face-to-face. The last thing you want is to give the impression you’re not genuine.
Please don’t be tempted to ignore this advice – it’s crucial to learning how to take headshots for LinkedIn. Wanting to look your best is understandable but make sure it’s still ‘you’ in the photo.
5 – Avoid These: busy patterns, all-black clothing, all-white clothing, plunging necklines, bare skin. Why? Firstly these will detract from You. Secondly very dark or very light colours are difficult to photograph.
But what if one or more of these is essential to you? What if you must wear black for the headshot? Don’t worry, a good professional photographer can fix this problem. Call John for more advice.
Its a good idea to choose a colour that reflects the industry you work in (for example, blue is often used in the finance sector, black for legal, etc).
Another handy tip; if you’re going for a particular job, consider wearing a colour that matches the company’s brand – it’s a subtle way of building an immediate connection – with very little effort.
6 – Smile, yes, but make that smile natural and real – the whole of your face should smile, not just your mouth.
If you’re struggling to get that natural smile, close your eyes and bring to mind a happy memory. Find something that makes you laugh first and fills you with enough joy to keep you smiling when the laugh ends.
Practice with a mirror or your phone to get that smile right. Remember too, some professions and personal brands need a more serious look, and if that applies to you then a relaxed expression and subtle smile are fine. The goal is to be authentic and appropriate.
7 – Relax and try to enjoy having your photo taken. Scan you body for discomfort, and rid yourself of it.
This can be much easier said than done of course, but practicing relaxation, perhaps by following your breath in and out for a few minutes, is the way to master it.
You can help the process by making sure the environment you’re taking the shot in is one you feel at ease in.
To sum up, this advice applies not only to how to take headshots for LinkedIn, but equally to all head shot photography.
Whether it’s for your website a CV, your email signature or business card – a good head shot photo is useful for so many purposes. It’s a great investment in time and money.
So now you know how to take headshots for LinkedIn, you should see some great results. But if you need more help, contact me below or see my Headshot Photography Packages.