12 Top Tips to Shoot Professional Profile Photos

Would you like to update your Linked In profile photo? Here is my step by step illustrated guide to creating professional profile photos, using only your smartphone. Please note the pictures in this post where taken during the Lockdown 2020 and are for illustrative purposes only!

Tip #1 Location 

Indoor shoot 

• Natural light, the bigger the window the better. 

• Space to move around, the bigger the room the better. 

• Background for your picture - tidy and non distracting, either a plain wall or your working environment which will help tell your story. 

Outdoor shoot 

• Open space 

• Simple backgrounds such as foliage and trees, or a plain concrete wall.

Tip #2 Light

Indoor shoot- Natural light gives far better results than your house lighting, try turning the house lights off. It is best to face the window, rather than side on and you want to avoid the sun hitting your face as this will be too harsh and it could also affect your facial expression. .Outdoor - Overcast, flat light light is better than full sunshine. If the sun is out then try to move to the shade of a building or trees.

Tip #3 Equipment 

 • Smart phone . 

• Helpful extras but not essential are tripod or gorilla pod, selfie stick and a reflector or white card to reflect light into your eyes. 


Tip #4 Clothing 

You have to decide what is appropriate for you, this may be determined by the type of work you do. For example a chef would look great in his chefs ‘whites’. Personally, as a photographer, I would go smart casual. Once you have decided, you could also try 2 or 3 options; experimenting with light and dark colours. Be careful choosing anything with patterns as this may be distracting. 

Tip #5
 Set up 

 Ideally, you want a tripod but if you haven’t got one you can get away with holding your smartphone yourself or ask someone else to take it for you.
Don’t stand too close to the window but ensure you have at least half a metre from your background. 

Tip #6
 Camera settings 

Experiment taking pictures on the different settings your smartphone offers. But be careful not to add too much filtering, think natural and professional.
Quality - make sure you look at the quality settings and choose the highest setting, this way you can crop in and re-frame your portrait without it looking pixelated. 

Tip #7 Body Posture 

Whether you are standing or sitting make sure you have good body posture, so ensure your back is straight and shoulders are back. 

Tip #8

For a Linked In profile always keep your face straight on to the camera. Also try turning your body away from the camera, whilst keeping your head facing forward. This can be more flattering for females. 

Tip #9 Facial Expression 
Practice a range of different facial expressions and decide which ones you feel comfortable with and ultimately communicate the right impression. 

Tip #10 Composing your picture 
Hold the phone at eye level, not below or above you.
Compose your picture so you have space above and below your face. Do not fill the frame with your face as this will cause distortion and will be unflattering. It is better to have the space and then crop in later. 

Tip #11 At the moment of taking the picture, check 

Body posture and pose 
Facial expression 
Framing - space above and below and hold camera at eye level 
Hold the smartphone very still and press the button gently. 
Review the picture and continue to shoot, whilst adjusting your facial expression and body posture to gain variety and options to choose from.

Tip #12 Post Production 

Review your pictures, send them to a friend who can offer their opinion. 

Choose the picture to upload. 
Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness (if required). 

Next task, do you need to review your contact info and or work experience? 
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you have found it useful. I would love to hear from you, so if you have any questions, then please contact me. 
Please share this article with anyone you feel could benefit from it.

Why not take a look at my portrait gallery 

Richard Richards Photography    

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