Should you smile in your LinkedIn profile photo?

We have lost count of how many LinkedIn profile photos we have captured for London clients over the years. Our usual approach to each headshot commission is to capture a batch of portraits with a serious expression and then another batch with plenty of smiling. This gives the client the choice to use either on their LinkedIn profile. We were asked the other day if you should smile in your profile photo. After thinking about this we are not sure and would always suggest that it is down to your personal choice and what best fits with your character and profession.

This got us thinking and we decided to do some research. Having found a video about how to make a great LinkedIn profile and it revealed some interesting points about whether you should smile in your LinkedIn profile photo. In the video by Lieven Buyse a communication trainer, he tells you about a service called photofeeler.com. This allows you to upload your LinkedIn profile photo and a group of people rank the headshot on three criteria. Likeability, influence and competence. He uploaded his current LinkedIn profile photo which he is not smiling and it ranked 88% competent 88% influential and 47% likeable. He then uploaded a headshot where he was smiling as he wanted to improve the likeable score. This ranked 60% likeable but the competent score dropped to 76% and the influential score dropped to 70%. He decided to use the profile photo where he was not smiling on his LinkedIn profile as he decided being competent and influential was more important in business than being likeable.

 

Serious no smile expression to look professional in your LinkedIn profile photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found this really interesting for future advice to clients that potentially a smiling profile photo could actually produce a negative response to your LinkedIn profile. As mentioned earlier you have to use the right expression for your business sector. For example, if you work in legal or financial sectors you might want to appear approachable but think about what potential clients want from you. They might be trusting you with legal matters or after financial advice so it is critical that you appear competent and professional in your LinkedIn profile photo.

 

LinkedIn Background Photo

Why do I need to add a background photo to my LinkedIn profile page?

Adding a background/cover/banner photo to your LinkedIn page will help make your profile look more professional and give a better impression to the viewer. If you do not add a background photo and leave your profile with the default background image, your profile looks incomplete and unprofessional.

How do I know what to use as a background photo?

LinkedIn is a database and business social media platform. Your profile page needs to reflect which business sector you work in. Along with your profile photo, your background image needs to indicate to anyone viewing your profile page that you are a professional working in a certain business role.

Where can I get a good background photo or image?

You can pay a professional photographer or illustrator to create a background image. This allows you to have a unique image that is tailored to exactly fit your requirements. If your budget does not run to this then you can buy a royalty-free image from a growing number of picture libraries. You can also search for non watermarked images that you do not have to pay any copyright fees to use.

How do I add my background photo?

Login into LinkedIn. Go to your profile page. Click on the camera icon that is in the top right corner of your default background image. Click on ‘Upload photo’ then select the image you want to use from your computer and click apply. If you want to replace, delete or reposition your background photo then follow this process again.

What size does my background photo need to be?

The ideal size for your background image is 1584 W x 396 H in pixels. The file size needs to be smaller than 8MB and it needs to be formatted as a JPG, GIF or PNG file.

What is the best kind of LinkedIn background photo?

LinkedIn suggests that photos work better than images with logos. If you want to use your business logo as a background image try and capture it in a photo. Make sure your photo is crisp and sharp. Low-resolution photos will look pixelated and blurred. Use photoshop or other photo software to improve your photo and to resize to best fit the LinkedIn background format.

This is a LinkedIn background photo we created to demonstrate that we supply corporate headshots for our London clients to use on their company websites and their individual LinkedIn profile pages.

LinkedIn background banner cover photo sample.

LinkedIn background banner cover photo sample.

For further information please visit the LinkedIn Help page about background photos.

 

 

 

 

How to get a professional LinkedIn photo in London.

A step by step guide on how to get a professional LinkedIn photo in London.

Professional LinkedIn headshot captured in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I book my LinkedIn photo session?

Get in touch with us here and we will book you in for your professional headshot.

Where will the headshot be taken?

You have 2 options.

  1. You come to our London studio space.
  2. We bring our studio setup to your London offices or home. Our mobile studio setup includes a background with professional lighting and a portrait lens and camera.

How long will the LinkedIn photo session last?

Each session lasts 30 mins and we capture approx 40 images.

What do I need to bring?

Any change of outfits you might want to wear. LinkedIn headshot wardrobe guide.

What happens during the LinkedIn photo session?

You will be given guidance on stance and poses. We capture a range of facial expressions so you have a wide choice of headshots to choose your favourite.

When do I get my LinkedIn photo?

Approx 24 hours after your session we will send you preview images of all your headshots via a secure download link.

If you want any retouching or airbrushing we can complete this for you within 24 hours.

How do I pay for my professional LinkedIn photo?

After the headshot session, we email you our invoice which you can settle via bank transfer or credit card.

What if I want a certain style of professional LinkedIn photo?

We can replicate any headshot style you require. You just need to send us a sample of what you require or you can look at the different corporate headshot options we have to offer.

Will I need a makeup artist?

No need anymore. Our professional retouching and airbrushing service can make you look your best without it being seen that the headshot has been photoshopped.

Retouching process on LinkedIn professional headshot.

Professional LinkedIn Profile Photo

Do you need a professional LinkedIn profile photo?

LinkedIn is an online worldwide database of professional business people. Used by companies and individuals, it is a very useful tool to help your business. You can create a LinkedIn profile at no cost and use this profile as a showcase for your business skills and experience. Potential clients or employers can view your LinkedIn profile so you need to ensure that it is as professional as it can be.

Why you need a professional LinkedIn headshot?

When a viewer looks at your LinkedIn profile the very first thing that will catch their eye is your profile photo. You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression so if your profile photo is a poor standard then this will reflect on you.

How do I get a professional LinkedIn headshot?

If you decide to get a professional LinkedIn profile photo or headshot then let us discuss the options and the process. Firstly you will need to find a portrait photographer who has experience with corporate photography. After a few searches, you will need to check out their portfolios and check they are within your budget. Make sure whoever you pick has past experience in corporate portrait photography and is used to working in a business environment. The photographer needs to understand that you do not need a nice smiling photo for a dating site but a professional portrait for business.

What should I expect after I commission a professional corporate photographer?

After the shoot, you should receive the full selection of all the headshots captured on the day. You would be asked to make a selection of your preferred headshots and these will be retouched and airbrushed to make you look your best. Be careful to only make subtle changes to your headshots. Removing spots, scares and reducing wrinkles is acceptable. Remember your LinkedIn profile photo needs to resemble a current version of yourself.

What type of LinkedIn headshot should you get?

A great way to make sure you get the ideal professional LinkedIn profile photo is to show the photographer headshot samples you like. Ideally, these are headshots from their portfolio or samples you would like them to replicate. Another factor to look at is what style of headshot best represents my business sector. If you work in the Financial or Legal sectors you want a headshot that shows you as a responsible and professional individual. On the other hand, if you work in the media or creative sectors you can be more relaxed and quirky.

Professional LinkedIn headshots that show a range of different styles.

Sample of LinkedIn profile photo taken in London offices.

LinkedIn professional headshot captured in London offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above headshot samples were captured in business offices. This gives the impression of a working environment that fits with the image of a busy professional.

Professional LinkedIn headshot for profile page

Professional LinkedIn profile photo in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have two corporate headshots which have been captured using a studio setup. This means you have the benefit of soft lighting and a plain solid background. Clean crisp and professional.

Professional LinkedIn headshot captured with London City background Professional headshot taken in London for use as a LinkedIn profile photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above we have samples of LinkedIn profile photos captured in London showing that the individual lives and works in the City.

Reportage action corporate photography for use as LinkedIn profile photo. LinkedIn profile photo captured in London offices by a professional corporate photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural and unposed corporate reportage photos are becoming more popular for use as LinkedIn profile photos.

City professional headshot for LinkedIn profile photos Contemporary City professional headshot for LinkedIn profile photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using post-production processes these headshots have been captured on a plain background and then a City backdrop has been added to give a sense of London.

If you have any further questions please visit my LinkedIn profile page and we can discuss your requirements.