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  • Writer's pictureChris

How to Take Professional Looking Photos for LinkedIn

Having a professional photo on LinkedIn is incredibly important. It gives prospective employers a window into your personality and is almost always the first thing someone sees when they look you up on LinkedIn (and they do!). It can communicate your confidence, creativity, professionalism, and competence. First impressions matter. You want to make yours a good one. Read on to find out how!


1. Location, location, location! You might not think it really matters, but it absolutely does. The location you choose helps to showcase professionalism as well as what kind of jobs you would like to apply for. A person looking to be a professional wrestler (shoutout to you) should not have the same scene as an aspiring data scientist. They will clash and send mixed messages. For Terri's shoot, we chose busy downtown Kansas City, Missouri. This gives a relaxed feel, but the ambiance also conveys professionalism.

2. Wardrobe selection. When it comes to patterns, shapes, lettering, etc., less is truly more. You don't want the first thing people notice in your photo to be the different-sized polka dots on your shirt. You want the focus to be on YOU. For this shoot, Terri chose a simple beige collared shirt with white stripes. The brown blended in well with the tones of the bare trees in the background.

3. Have the photographer get close up to fill the frame with your face and shoulders. I know, I know. "But Chris, the examples you've shown so far don't do that!" Yes, I am aware. But we wanted this shoot to be a mix of personal and professional headshots. We did some of the latter as well, as you can see below. The main idea is filling the frame with the face and shoulders of the subject can really make it easy to block out a lot of otherwise distracting elements. In this photo, there were cars zooming by and large groups of people walking. Getting in close to Terri easily eliminated all of that.

4. Lighting. This can kind of tie into tip #1 as the location will most likely provide the lighting. The general tip here is to keep the big orange ball known as the sun to the back of your subject. That's what we did in this session and you can see it provided a nice glow to parts of her hair. If I had Terri facing the opposite way, the sun would definitely have been in her face and would have cast harsh, deep shadows on her face and would likely have led to her squinting. No squinting is allowed in your photos!

5. And finally (I'm a little biased here), consider hiring a professional! We can take these tips and many more we've learned along the way to help craft just the image and style you're going for. Our knowledge and expertise can really go a long way toward capturing the nuances of your personality and showcase not only who you are, but who you want to be!

I hope these tips help YOU when you decide to either have your picture taken or are privileged enough to photograph someone else's professional photos.

Until next time,



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