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February 19, 2015 / Stephanie Anderson

5 simple tips to refresh your headshot

What does your LinkedIn profile picture say about you? As content on the web becomes increasingly more visual, pictures have become an integral component of our LinkedIn profiles. In fact, according to LinkedIn, you’re 14 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a headshot, and most people do. The real question now is, of all those LinkedIn profile pictures, does yours stand out?

Well, if it’s a cropped picture from the last wedding you were in, a selfie you took with your smart phone at your desk, or that picture of you with your three best friends in Cabo, probably not. I’d say it’s time for a headshot refresh.

Hiring a professional photographer can run anywhere from $50 to $500, but with any camera and a colleague you can update your profile picture, and maybe even your career. Here are LinkUp’s five no-fail photo techniques for a better headshot:

1. Utilize natural light

Flashes and fluorescent lighting cause harsh shadows and shiny spots. Find a window with good natural light to illuminate your face.

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Flash

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Fluorescent lighting

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Natural light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Select the right wardrobe

When selecting your outfit, find something that is aligned with what you actually wear in your office and industry (business, business casual, or casual) and avoid busy patterns that could distract from your face.

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Too casual

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Too busy

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Just right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Find a clean background

The goal of a headshot is to highlight your face, don’t make it compete with the background.

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Distracting color and shape

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Clean lines

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Solid background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use a flattering angle

Taking headshots from an elevated angle flatters by slimming the face. Avoid shooting the image head-on or you’ll risk looking like a mugshot.

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Head-on mugshot

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Snag a stool and shoot

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Flattering downward angle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Have a friend use your phone

We were able to use a Nikon D600 for our office photoshoot, but any point and shoot, or even your phone, will do if you utilize these tips. Be sure to avoid an unprofessional looking selfie, by having someone else take it for you.

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An obvious selfie

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Background distractions

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Clean iPhone image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow LinkUp on LinkedIn and connect with me for more job search and career tips and tricks!

2 Comments

  1. Jacob / Feb 23 2015 4:42 pm

    Since I am biased because I am a headshot/portrait photographer, have a pro do it. Much better results and the profile headshot will stand out from the rest. Experience, equipment and retouching does make a difference. Great info here, if you decide going DIY way. Cheers!

    • Stephanie Anderson / Feb 23 2015 4:54 pm

      Thanks! That’s fair, a pro will definitely return great results. In the absence of a pro, you can always make do.

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