Tips on your LinkedIn headshot shoot.
If you have made the decision to commission a professional LinkedIn headshot shoot then here is a list of things you should expect to be included. Having picked the photographer you would like to use you will need to establish the style of LinkedIn profile photo you want to be captured. The style will determine if the shoot will be using studio lighting and your choice of background colour or on location with an office or cityscape backdrop.
You should expect the photographer to be using a long lens sometimes known as a portrait lens on your LinkedIn headshot shoot. The reason for this is that a long lens will compress the headshot which gives a more flattering portrait. A standard lens or wide-angle lens is not suitable for headshots as they will distort the face and make the centre features look bigger. The other benefit of a long lens is that the photographer will be further away from you which is less intrusive so you will look more relaxed in your LinkedIn headshot. Although the photographer is at least 3 metres from you the long lens will still be capturing a close-up headshot showing in your best light.
With regards to lighting the headshot, you should expect the photographer to be using off-camera flash lighting. If they have a flash on camera then the lighting will be too direct which is harsh and can result in red-eye. A couple of flash lighting units should be on stands with good quality diffusers or softboxes to balance out the lighting and create a soft and professional lighting source.
The photographer should give you direction on how to stance and facial expressions. You should expect a good variety of poses and expressions so that when you come to select you have a good variety to choose from.
Make sure you agree prior to the shoot what the photographer will include regarding post-production work. Ask to see samples of their retouching skills and find out how many headshots they will agree to work on within the agreed cost. Most people are unaware of how advanced digital make-up has become and a skilled photo editor can change backgrounds, remove spots and scares and make you look fresh and turned out well. Remember you should ask to see the before and after post-production samples as photo editing work needs to be subtle and you should not be able to see any evidence of this being carried out on the final LinkedIn profile photo.
Sample showing a quality LinkedIn headshot photo from a professional photographer