Stunning Headshots to get noticed on professional social media sites like LinkedIn
Tips for a great Headshot
Headshots and Business portraits by :: David Lancaster
In todays world everybody needs a high-quality headshot. It is essential for your LinkedIn profile. Having a photo makes your profile more likely to be viewed. Chances are you have other social networks and services that can accommodate a profile photo, from Facebook to Twitter to Slack.
For non-professional social networks like Facebook, a casual snapshot can be fine, although you need to avoid using the post-party bathroom-mirror selfie: recruiters and potential employers routinely check Facebook profiles when evaluating candidates, and a profile photo that screams “party animal” also screams “DO NOT HIRE.”
For professional applications such as LinkedIn your headshot should convey an air of professionalism. The photo should be of high quality, sharp, well lit, and nicely composed.
Here are some tips to a high-quality headshot:
Natural soft lighting is key::
Avoid direct harsh light such as direct sunlight or using a camera’s built in flash. If you are taking the photography indoors by all means avoid fluorescent lighting which casts a green hue. For best results use soft lighting such as outdoors in the shade or on a cloudy day.
Get close up:
Because profile photos tend to be small, and if your photograph is full-length from head-to-toe then it will be hard to see what you actually look like. A head-and-shoulders portrait makes a better headshot. Some camera lenses, such as those on a smartphone, introduce distortion if you get too close and can make someone’s nose look too big. To avoid this, put some distance between the person and the camera. To do this zoom in or use a telephoto lens. If using a smart phone then use the “pinch gesture” to zoom in.
Use a simple background:
A simple background makes you the focal point. This can be accomplished with a white or black foam board. Other options include using an uncluttered background. A simple way to do this is using a shallow depth of field. Use the portrait mode on the iPhone7 or if you have a SLR camera use a wide open aperture. This is known as the f-stop: the lower the f-stop number the wider open the aperture.
Do not wear sweats, or heavy metal t-shirts with picture and writing on them. Dress like you might for a job interview, or at least a business dinner.
If this sounds too complicated and you want to make the best first impression then consider investing in a professional photographer.
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