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What Are LinkedIn Headshots?

LinkedIn headshots are a type of business portrait photograph typically used for company websites, business cards, press releases, and of course, LinkedIn profiles. While the word “LinkedIn” might imply that they’re only used on that specific platform, these photos are oftentimes used on a variety of professional platforms.

LinkedIn headshots should focus on making you look professional, friendly, and competent.

A great headshot is a great first step for building an awesome personal brand that helps you get hired faster, improve your sales numbers, or attract investors to your company.

Why Are LinkedIn Headshots Important?

Have you ever met someone that you instantly either liked, or disliked?

Maybe you knew why you felt that way about them, or perhaps you didn’t, but most people are prone to generating “first impressions” of other people in just 1/8th of a single second. These first impressions can have dramatic impact on who they hire, buy from, and otherwise listen to.

These days, most first impressions start online.

Hiring managers use LinkedIn to screen applicants. Potential clients use LinkedIn to research vendors. Investors use LinkedIn to learn about company executives. 

A great LinkedIn headshot is critical for making a good first impression with these people – and so can have a major impact on your career. 

What Do I Wear for LinkedIn Headshots?

It depends on your personality, industry and where the photos will be placed!

For more conservative industries like law and finance, we recommend the standard suit-and-tie, or female equivalent.

Otherwise, the best rule-of-thumb is to take a look around LinkedIn to see how peers and senior executives in your industry are dressed. Make sure to pay closer attention to people who are successful vs whomever is in your immediate network.

Remember, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  If you’re still not sure, then ask us! We’re always happy to provide guidance.

How Do I Pose for LinkedIn Headshots?

No need to go crazy on your poses for LinkedIn headshots. In our sessions, we tend to focus on minimalist poses. We’ve seen other photographers force clients into some truly bizarre poses. But, we avoid this practice like the plague.

We are, after all, showcasing your professionalism — not our photography.

At the beginning of your session, you should warm up with simple and straightforward poses. Simply stand there and smile.

Later, we will work toward some arms-crossed headshots and perhaps a couple candids.

What Backdrops are Best for LinkedIn Headshots?

For more conservative industries like law and finance, we recommend neutral backdrops based in white, gray or black. With those colors, we can get some really crisp shots that convey reliability and consistency.

If you work in creative industries, non-profits, or tech, and you’d like your photos to have a bit more “pop,” feel free to pick a colored studio backdrop or try an outdoor/in-office session. These photos often have a bit more personality.

If you’re a senior executive, entrepreneur or thought-leader, you should probably have several photos of yourself that you can use across platforms. Ideally, you would have a couple outdoor photos to supplement your studio headshots.

If you have the same exact headshot on LinkedIn, the company website, and press releases, it can look a bit amateurish.

How Should I Prepare for LinkedIn Headshots?

There are three keys to preparing for your headshot ahead of time.

First, if possible, try to get some sleep, exercise, and sunshine in the weeks before your session. Our editing team airbrushes your selected photos before delivering them to you, but your preparation will help ensure that the photos look as natural as possible.

Second, make sure to briefly wear your desired clothing a couple days before your session. You want to make sure that your outfits still fits properly and doesn’t need dry cleaning.

Third, take a look at some prior photos of yourself and see if there are any that you particularly like. When you arrive at the studio, show those photos to your photographer, and that will help us find an angle that you find flattering.

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