A professional headshot is crucial for making a good first impression on LinkedIn. It's the first thing people see when they visit your profile, and it can make a big difference in how you're perceived. We’ve put together a list of LinkedIn headshot tips and we'll walk you through each step of taking a great headshot.
Step 1: Choose the Right Background
The first step in taking a professional headshot for LinkedIn is choosing the right background. You want to select a simple, neutral background that won't be distracting or take away from your face. If you are using the actual background of your photo, avoid anything too busy that can distract from the main subject - you. If you are editing out the background, a plain white or light gray background is a great choice.
Step 2: Dress Appropriately
It's important to dress appropriately for your business headshot but remain true to who you are. You should wear clothing that fits well and looks polished. Avoid patterns and bold colors that might be distracting. You want to dress in a way that makes you look professional and approachable, and is also an accurate representation of who you are and the type of work you’re looking for. Do you need a little inspiration? Checkout Snapbar’s guide on what to wear for professional headshots.
Step 3: Good Lighting
Lighting is the single most important factor in taking a high quality headshot. You want to find a well-lit area with natural light if possible. Avoid harsh overhead lighting or direct sunlight which will create unflattering shadows on your face. Natural light is best, so consider taking your headshot inside, facing a window. Snapbar has gathered a great selection of LinkedIn headshot examples to help with inspiration.
Step 4: Frame Your Shot
When taking a headshot, it's important to frame your shot properly. Aim for a head and shoulders shot, making sure your face is in focus and centered in the frame. Don’t worry though, if it’s not perfect - you can use various editing software to crop your photo later, so err on the side of caution and give yourself plenty of room to work with. Snapbar has also put together a list of the best professional headshot poses to help!
Step 5: Pay Attention to Your Posture and Expression
Your posture and expression can make a big difference in how you're perceived in your headshot. Stand up straight, and look confident and approachable. Avoid slouching or looking stiff. We’ve found one of the best methods is to angle your body slightly and turn your head towards the camera, looking directly into the lens. Check out some of our top headshot examples for more inspiration.
Step 6: Take Multiple Shots
It's always a good idea to take multiple shots from different angles and with different expressions. This will give you more options to choose from and help you find the inspired headshot for your own LinkedIn profile. You can also ask a friend or colleague to take the photo for you, which can help you relax and look more natural while making it easier to strike the right pose without worrying about the photography.
Step 7: Edit Your Photo
Once you've chosen the best shot for your professional profile, edit it to improve the brightness, contrast, and sharpness as needed. You can also crop the photo to remove any distractions or unnecessary elements. Keep in mind that you want your headshot to look professional but still natural, and a proper representation of who you are professionally.
In conclusion, taking a professional headshot for LinkedIn doesn't have to be complicated - but it is important! By following these best practices, you can create a headshot that will make a great first impression and help you stand out to recruiters, clients, and potential employers. Remember to keep it simple, professional, and approachable. If you want an all-in-one solution that does a lot of this work for you, check out our Studio for Individuals platform which guides users through taking a great headshot with their own device. Good luck!