Tips and ideas for a great LinkedIn profile photo.

Your LinkedIn profile photo is the first thing an employer or client will look at when visiting your profile page. It is your digital shopfront and it needs to look professional. Here are some tips and ideas on what to do and what not to do.

  1. Dress in your usual business clothing. Do not get overdressed or go out and buy a new outfit. You will look overdressed and therefore not like the real you. You want to wear your day-to-day wardrobe. Make sure it is clean and free from any creases or stains.
  2. Have a natural expression. If you are the type of person that smiles all the time then smile. If you are the type of person that rarely smiles then do not smile in your photo. It will look unnatural. Be yourself it will work better for you.
  3. Get someone else to take your LinkedIn profile photo. Selfies are not suitable for LinkedIn. They look amateurish and unprofessional. Ask a friend to take your headshot and do a few varieties so you can choose which looks best.
  4. Be careful what is in your background. You do not want a vivid pattern or strong colours behind you as these will distract the viewer. Have a plain background or a business environment behind you.
  5. Choose a recent photo. It is best to take a new headshot for your profile. You want it to relate to your current position.
  6. Do not show your hobbies or friends in your photo. This is not the place for your interests. You can add these as a part of your CV in the profile copy.
  7. Do not pass the photo through Instagram filters. You want the profile photo to look natural and original. Adding filters using any photo software or app is unprofessional.
  8. Go professional and hire a LinkedIn photographer. It is a very important part of your business marketing so it is worth getting it done properly.
  9. Get a profile photo that is taken straight on. Do not have it taken looking down or up into the camera. You do not want a creative or arty headshot. This should look realistic and business-like.
  10. Make sure the profile photo is close up as when it appears on your LinkedIn profile the image is small. We would suggest that your face takes up over 60% of the overall area.

A selection of LinkedIn profile photos that show a variety of different expressions, poses, and backgrounds.

LinkedIn profile photo sample with plain background. LinkedIn profile photo sample smiling looking off camera LinkedIn profile photo sample with half smile and simple background. LinkedIn profile photo sample smiling with blurred office background.



How much does a LinkedIn profile photo cost in London?

If you are looking to improve your LinkedIn profile photo and have decided to hire a professional headshot photographer the first question will be how much does a LinkedIn profile photo cost? On average you will be looking at £100 to £200 plus VAT. Prices vary as there are plenty of different headshot services in London.

We can suggest some different options and the pros and cons of paying more or less for your headshot.

  1. London photographic studio. This option allows you to visit a LinkedIn photographer and capture a wide variety of poses and expressions. You can take a change of clothing and have your profile photo taken with different backgrounds and using different lighting techniques. This will be the most expensive option as you will be paying for the photographer’s time and studio space. On average your session would be 30-60 minutes.
  2. London office. Hire a corporate headshot photographer to come to your business premises and bring their lighting and background equipment. The photographer can set up in your meeting room and they can photograph 10 people within an hour session. This reduces the LinkedIn profile photo cost to each person as you are only paying for a fraction of the studio booking. You will not get as wide a selection of headshots to choose from but you will end up with a high-quality profile photo.
  3. London location. This would be the most affordable option for London professionals. Arrange to meet the LinkedIn photographer at your choice of London location. Maybe you want to be photographed in a certain area of The City or in front of a West End landmark. The photographer will have a minimum kit with them but will still have a high-quality portrait lens. Your session should last around 10-15 mins. The downside is that you are open to whatever the British weather might decide to do.
  4. Post-production services. LinkedIn photographers will have different packages on offer so find out prior to your booking what Post-production services are including in their costs. Retouching and airbrushing can really improve your Linkedin profile photo. Subtly removing spots, scars, saving rashes and reducing wrinkles and bags under eyes. Some photographers offer to change background colours and add different cityscapes to clearly show that an individual is based in London.


LinkedIn Studio Profile Photo London

London Studio Profile Photo

LinkedIn Office Profile Photo in London

LinkedIn Office Profile Photo in London

LinkedIn London Location Profile Photo

LinkedIn London Location Profile Photo

LinkedIn London Cityscape Background Profile Photo

LinkedIn London Background Profile Photo

What to wear in your LinkedIn profile photo. Wardrobe tips & ideas.

So you have booked your professional LinkedIn profile photo session. Then comes the first question, what should I wear? We get asked this all the time and our advice is to wear clothes you feel comfortable and confident in. As LinkedIn is a business social media platform you should always dress according to the business sector you work in.

Whatever you choose to wear for your LinkedIn profile photo make sure it is clean and well ironed. Nothing looks worse than a crumpled suit or dress. We have seen over the years a progression to more relaxed dress codes in the corporate world and now men and women can dress less formal but your clothes still need to be presentable and professional.

Dress according to your character. If you are an outgoing bubbly character then this will reflect in your wardrobe. If you are a more reserved character then let your wardrobe reflect this.

We do suggest that you wear something from your current wardrobe. Do not go out and purchase a whole new outfit just for your professional LinkedIn profile photo. You might feel and look uncomfortable in something you are not used to wearing.

Tips for Women.

Solid colours are better. You want to avoid too many colours and any large strong patterns as this can look too much in a small profile photo.

Hair should be worn as you would in a business meeting. Remember to look professional rather than attractive.

Jewellery should be kept to a minimum and understated is preferred.

LinkedIn profile photo with tips on what to wear for women

LinkedIn profile photo with suggested wardrobe ideas for women









Tips for Men.

Jackets should be solid colours and avoid bold designs as these can overpower the profile photo.

Shirts should be white or lighter colours. Dark shirts do not work well. Avoid stripes.

Ties should be simple patterns or one colour. Bring a selection all to see what works best on the day of the shoot.

LinkedIn profile photo with tips on what to wear for men.

LinkedIn profile photo with suggested wardrobe top tips for men.

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 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.