3 Steps for a Professional Social Media Headshot

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good headshot for your social media accounts.

A picture on LinkedIn, for example, will mean your account is likely to be viewed more; LinkedIn’s algorithm for search results prioritises profiles with an image, so your profile won’t be getting the full visibility it deserves without one!

Now, you can endlessly search through your FB albums or Instagram account for a suitable photo that makes you look like a true professional but I doubt you will find much other than selfies… which, before you ask, are not appropriate!

I’ve broken down the process of getting it done professionally especially for you.

Step 1. The Photographer 

If it’s your first time (basically, you haven’t a clue how to start) then consult your network – ask your family and friends, or colleagues – maybe one of them has a great headshot on their account that you can ask them about.

If this doesn’t yield results, then do some online research using phrases like “headshot photographers” or “professional photographers” within your area. Go to their websites and get yourself a quote.

Step 2. The Headshot Itself

There are certain boxes you need to check with regard to photo requirements…

Background – Nothing too busy or distracting. Blurred images work well to keep you as the focus, and pastel colours are great if stark white washes you out.

Attire – Think smart & professional (or smart-casual if you’re not into ties and blazers), but keep it simple. A headshot is supposed to be about you, not what you’re wearing.

Smile – It’s not a passport photo or mug shot. Show a little personality.

Angle – Tilt your head or look at the camera over a shoulder, but don’t be completely symmetrical. Try a few things and see what works for you.

Step 3. The Editing

You need to be completely in focus and your entire face needs to be visible. Typically, headshots are taken from the chest or shoulders up so if that’s not what the photographer captured then you may wish to crop the image.

Make sure that the end result has good lighting (no dramatic shadows) and a close crop because, ultimately, it will be quite a small size on the computer.

Now go, get to it and happy snapping!

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