In 2020, your headshot in LinkedIn is crucial if you want to stand out and get hired.
There are two common mistakes that people make in their LinkedIn profiles, one is to leave a blank space where their profile photo should be and the second mistake is to have an outdated photo, a selfie or even worse, the photo that your friend took of you at the last gathering at the barbecue.
Not having a photo or using an unprofessional headshot can cause that recruiters will easily skip past you and you loose that great opportunity to get your dream job. Make sure your portrait work for you, and avoid unprofessional mistakes.
As a photographer I’ve worked with hundreds of professionals to upgrade their headshots, and I’ve compiled the ultimate guide for getting a great headshot, even if you aren’t photogenic or are scared to stand stand in front of a camera.
Now more than ever, you have to show up to be seen and these tips will help you create the best headshots. A professional headshot photo shoot may seem daunting until you know all the details. Read all of these tips to achieve great experience at your photo session and therefore a great photo for your LinkedIn profile.
1. Find a Professional Photographer.
Nowadays the easiest way to find the right headshot photographer for you is to do a simple google search for “headshot photographer” including your location or to ask your friends or colleagues for recommendations.
You can also find a lot of photographers and their work, and maybe some of their life habits, in Instagram or any other social media.
Once you’ve gotten names, be sure to check their portfolio and client reviews to ensure that you’ll be getting great images and a great experience. and that they are the perfect fit for you.
The photo should be a head shot for the simple reason that LinkedIn photos are very small. If you use a full body shot, no one will be able to see your face and this is almost as bad as not having a picture at all.
You’ll want to ask if you’ll be getting digital images and what kind of retouching they will do if any.
A good Professional Photographer will coach you on how to pose and find your best angles. Look at their portfolio, do their clients look comfortable and at ease in their photos.
Investing in Professional Photos can be pricier than you might think, but hey you are investing in your self and you worth every penny.
2. Choose your Background.
Now that you’ve found your photographer, ask he/she for location recommendations. Does he/she shots in a studio? On location? Can he/she come to your place of work?
With the right camera and lens, your professional photographer can blur out the background enough to ensure that you’re the focus in your photos, and giving your photo a contemporary look.
3. What to Wear.
Think classy and choose outfits that make you feel confident in your photo. When you feel confident in your clothes, that feeling can translate into your pictures through your expression.
I recommend to pick their favorite suit, make sure it doesn’t bunch up when you button it or sit down.
Don’t choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors.
Ties look best when their tone lands between the suit and the shirt.
If your don’t wear a tie, choose a non-white shirt, maybe one with thin strips that are a little further apart are okay.
If you wear a button-down shirt, it’s better to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look and make sure not to show the undershirt beneath the button-down shirt, wear a v-neck or no undershirt at all.
Make sure that the collar of the shirt of the shirt looks not too loose or too tight on your neck.
Choose a professional suit or outfit that has a classic and contemporary look, you should not be able to tell what decade your photo was taken.
Same as men, don’t choose Don’t choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors.
V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best in women. Just be careful not to choose something with too low of a neckline, no cleavage.
Stay away from short sleeves or tank tops, executive headshots look better without bare arms.
For jewelry, I always prefer a headshot with no jewelry at all, or something very small, classic like a little diamond is ok. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe.
Wear makeup! But do not wear heavy one. How much is too much? Everyone is different, so it depends on how much makeup you usually wear, you want to be easily recognisable as how your generally look in person. For some women, that means wearing your makeup exactly how you usually wear it, for other women it is wearing a little more, for others a little less. Nevertheless, try to choose light to medium eyeliners, eyeshadows and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker that your skin tone.
If you normally don’t do your own makeup, hire a professional makeup artist. They will know what to do when they work with a headshot photographer.
Makeup done correctly can make you look like a polished version of yourself.
4. How to Prepare:
• Take care of yourself: Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking a lot, drink plenty of water for a few days and on the day of your headshot.
• Prepare your clothing: A great way to avoid showing up to the shoot stressed out, is to get all your clothes cleaned, ironed and on hangers a couple of days in advance.
• Hair: Do not cut or dye your hair right before the photo shooting. Freshly colored hair can look too vibrant and unnatural on camera, drawing more attention to your hair than your face. A new haircut also looks its best after at least a week after and colored hair looks more natural after 1 to 2 weeks worth of shampooing.
• Be on Time: This is really important. What most people don’t realize is that natural light photographers are 100% dependent on the sun and if their clients show up late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light.
• Relax and trust your Photographer: Remember that your photographer doesn’t expect you to be a pro at this. They work with normal people every day. If you walk into a shoot ready to be coached, you will take the pressure off yourself and end up with a more relaxed experience and photos that you will love and be ready to finally showcase in your Linkedin profile and across your other social media accounts.
I hope this tips will help you to plan your next headshot and be confident when you show up to it.
If you’re interested in booking a portrait photographer you can trust that understands how to coach you, find your best angle, the best light and locations, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I live in Chicago downtown and know the best locations for an awesome photo shooting. If you’d like to see more examples of my headshot photography check out my portfolio.