7 Tips for Taking a Professional LinkedIn Headshot

Improve your LinkedIn presence with our 7 tips for a professional headshot. Enhance your personal brand and make a great impression on your target audience.

7 Tips for Taking a Professional LinkedIn Headshot
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Improve your LinkedIn presence with our 7 tips for a professional headshot.
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How to take a professional headshot for LinkedIn: 2024 guide
Your headshot is one of your LinkedIn profile's most prominent elements, boosting your views by up to 21x.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Users who see your LinkedIn profile picture can form a lasting impression about you almost immediately.
They may not go through your profile if that impression isn't good enough. This means you may miss out on valuable prospects that would’ve become leads or clients.
With the seven tips that we’ll show you in this article, you’ll learn how to take a professional headshot for LinkedIn that will:
  • Create the right impression on your target audience
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1 - Wear the Right Clothes

Dress in a way that's appropriate for your industry while portraying your personality and brand. Wear what you’d usually wear to work.
The color of your clothing should contrast with your skin tone and background so that your face stands out. Go for clothes with plain colors since they create more contrast with your skin and background.
You want to appear attractive, not repulsive or seductive. LinkedIn is not a dating site. So, avoid clothes that are too revealing.

2 - Have a Good Background

Busy backgrounds will fight for attention with your face. Simple backgrounds with plain colors like grey, white, and sky blue
  • Complement your skin tone and the color of your attire
  • Make it easy for you to replace the background with your custom background
When shooting outdoors, ensure there are no distractions in the background. Use a soft bokeh effect to create a slightly blurred background. This ensures your face remains the center of attention.
If you need to replace your headshot’s background with a custom background image/color, you can use Removebg’s background removal and background replacement tools.
Other tools for background removal include:
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3 - Take Care of Your Hair

Visit your hairdresser if your hair is looking untidy. The goal is to look as sharp as possible. Your hairstyle should reflect how you’d normally appear at work. Style your hair the way you’d love to appear if you were to attend an important meeting.
When posing for your headshot, ensure your hair doesn’t cover your eyes, ears, or eyebrows so that your face is visible.
If you don’t usually have facial hair, shave off any facial hair before your photoshoot.

4 - Use Proper Lighting

Soft natural light is the best type of lighting for your LinkedIn headshot.
To get the best lighting for indoor shots, you’ll need a
  • A natural light source like a window or door.
  • Lamp to illuminate your background. This helps separate you from the background.
  • Board wrapped in aluminum foil. This helps create even lighting across your face by bouncing off the light to your face and minimizing shadows.
Avoid overhead and fluorescent lights. Overhead lights create shadows on your face, while fluorescent lights change the tints of your headshot.
For outdoor shots, stand behind the sunlight so you won’t squint your eyes from direct sunlight. Better still, shoot under a shade, so you get more diffused light.
The best time to shoot outdoors is just after sunrise or before sunset. The sunlight is soft and warm during these periods, ideal for outdoor shoots.
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5 - Use a Recent Picture

Your LinkedIn headshot should be up to date and reflect your current appearance—hair, glasses, and makeup. This way, people who see your LinkedIn profile picture can recognize you when they meet you.
If you make any significant change to your appearance, update your headshot to reflect the change.
Using a recent picture for your LinkedIn headshot also boosts your credibility. If people think you’re deceitful about your appearance, they may have doubts about your services or products.
Pro tip: As much as possible, make your profile pictures consistent across all your digital platforms to ensure consistent branding and make you instantly recognizable.

6 - Don’t Use a Selfie as a Headshot

LinkedIn is a network for professionals, and selfies cannot give you that unique touch that makes you appear as one.
  • The shooting distance is at arm's length—too short for a professional headshot
  • Most smartphone cameras have wide-angle lenses that can distort close-up photos
Instead of using selfies, ask your colleague or friend to take the picture for you. With proper lighting, most high-end smartphone back cameras can produce high-quality images that pass for a LinkedIn headshot.
Asking someone to take your photo also helps you strike a better pose than if you were to take a selfie.

7 - Don’t Use Too Much Makeup

Your makeup should enhance your natural look. Excess makeup will
  • alter your photograph’s lighting
  • distract the viewer
  • make you appear artificial
Remember, your headshot should reflect your current appearance.
Read this headshot makeup guide for a comprehensive tutorial on using makeup for your next headshot.
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