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Sunday, August 24, 2014

5 Easy Steps to Create a "Professional" Headshot for your Social Media Profile

Robin Brodrick's LinkedIn Profile Photo
Many people have asked me to refer them to whomever I hired to take my LinkedIn profile photo. I always smile because this photo was taken on a Sunday afternoon, in my house, by my husband (who is by no means anything close to a professional photographer).

Here's how we did it:

  1. Do it on the day you get your hair professionally cut and styled. If you are female, do your makeup (a matte finish works better than a dewy or sparkly one). I did my own makeup, but you could have your makeup done professionally at Clinique, Mac, or any other cosmetics counter in the mall. If you are male, make sure you are clean shaven or that your facial hair is neatly trimmed.
  2. Iron a neutral colored sheet and tack it to the wall. We chose gray because I thought it would compliment my skin tone, but you could just as easily use white, beige, or any other neutral color. 
  3. Position one Bayco 150-Watt Incandescent Portable Work Light on either side of you. Using two lights like this helps reduce or eliminate shadows. To produce truer colors than a normal incandescent light, we used a bright white light bulb that produces a natural daylight appearance. You can use any brand, but we used Utilitech 18-Watt (75W) BR40 Medium Base Bright White Indoor Flood Light CFL Bulb Energy Star. The total cost for materials was around $32.
  4. Get another person to take a ton of photos of you from as many different angles as possible. When that person gets bored and starts complaining, you should review all of the photos, decide you don't like any of them, and get that person to take a whole other round of photos.
  5. Choose the photo you like best and crop it appropriately. I used Windows Live Photo Gallery, but you can use any program that achieves the same result.

See the difference that cropping makes?

You can also check out this awesome post by Ariella Coombs that outlines what your profile photo should not look like (although I disagree with #8 - I happen to love black and white profile photos).

Have you created your own professional looking profile photo? What methods did you use?

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