Great looking headshot is the first step into your customer's door. It takes your online appearance to a professional level and shows people that you are serious about the job.
And if your phone is less than 3 years old, you can do it yourself. Just follow the steps that are described in this post. Of Course it will not be high quality photo studio level, but will look much more presentable than cropping yourself out of wedding or vacation photos.
First rule : do not use Portrait mode on your phone, because it will interfere with photo settings. Use regular Photo mode.
What to wear:
- ‘Business professional’ or ‘business casual’ outfits are the best for business headshots: sport coats or casual blazers, collared shirts or button-down shirts, casual slacks like khakis or chinos, collared or non collared blouses or dresses.
- Avoid patterns and logos
- Flat ironed outfit looks much better than outfit with wrinkles
- Neutral or muted colors will work the best. Just like the patterns they are not taking attention away from your face
How to style your hair:
- If your hair is fuzzy, you can spray a small amount of water to keep them together
- For long hair, split them either front or back, but nothing should rest on the shoulders. Also keep hair away from the space under your neck. I prefer to keep less hair in front and put the rest on the back. Typically more opening on the side that are closer to the camera make photo looks neat
- Simple makeup works the best. Avoid overdo.
- It is not part of your brand, keep jewelry simple. Our goal is not to distract attention away from the face
- If you see that your skin has oily shiny parts, gently tap it with paper towel
Find the best lighting spot:
- Choose a plain wall for the headshot and ideally your outfit will be contracted to the wall, but make sure that its colors are not dominating the photo.
- The ideal light for the headshot - soft even lighting. It can be archived 3 ways:
- Using sheer curtain on the window to diffuse light
- Step 2-4 feet back from the window
- Use light that are reflected from the white wall
If light that comes from the window will not be diffused , it will make you squint and create deep under the eyes shadow
If you step far from the window, your phone will adjust settings to compensate for the light and this will lower photo quality.
- Turn off the light that are over your head, because it will cost your phone to change white balance to match two different light temperature and will make your skin look unnatural
- Clean the clutter on the background , a lot of people paying attention to everything that they see on the photo
- Preferably your background will be plain and creating contrast with your hair and outfit
Ask help: Family member, friend of co-worker who can take photo for you will make a big difference if you just taking selfie:
- Front facing camera produce much better quality images
- Having hand that are holding the phone to take selfie looks distractive
Level, Angle and Cropping:
- When we talk about headshot we want to see your face mainly. Do not crop more that your elbows for horizontal photo and more than till top of the ribs when taking vertical photo
- Hold your phone on your eye level or forehead , but not higher than 15 degrees, because it will cost disproportions
- Slightly tilt phone downwards
- You don't have to smile if this is not your personality. For non-smiling headshots try to engage your eyes by squinting it like you are listening to your co-workers at the meeting. That will make you look strong and confident
- For natural looking smiles : think about memories that make you smile ( vacation, bonus, ice-cream shop, your cat…) But do not hold a smile for too long - it will make it look stiff .
And try 20+ times - this is what we do at the professional session.
Now you good to go to create your LinkedIn Profile photo yourself