Headshots – Why They Matter & what to do about them

Article by Neil Porter 26.08.15


I feel compelled to write this because the more I connect and interact with people on LinkedIN, Twitter and other social media sites as well as investigating people on their own websites – the more I see this happening. 

We all want to convey a highly professional image of ourselves or our businesses – yet seem perfectly happy to allow the very first thing that people see and judge you on social media to be a “selfie” or entirely inappropriate image. 

It seems the equivalent of trying to design your logo with no design skills, trying to build a website with no website skills – there really is no reason to let your image be let down by an unprofessional photograph.

Ideally you really should employ a professional photographer to do this for you – it really is not as expensive as you probably think it is and they will work with you to get a picture you will be delighted with.

However if you simply are unable to do this then in a bid to see these sort of pictures eliminated from professional social media around the world I would like to offer some tips to achieve this:

1. NO “selfies” – we all know at least 1 person who can take the photograph for you, ask them.

2. Professional – Save pictures of you with your child, dog, car or a beer for facebook. 

Your business linkedIN and Twitter profiles are no such place

3. Relevant – ideally you want an image with just you in it and a clean uncluttered background – a white/cream wall will suffice. 

However, if you are a kayak salesman then a lake backdrop is fine for example..

4. Recent – the picture must be a recent image of you. Don’t have that shot of you from the 90s, because when you turn up for the meeting no one will know who you are!

5. Well Lit – Make sure where you are taking the image is very well lit – ideally with all round natural light. Facing towards the light will ensure your face is well lit naturally as long as the sun isn’t causing you to squint to see properly of course!.

6. Avoid flash – as per above I always find that unless you have a high quality professional flash kit that these images look washed out with cameraphone of compact camera flashes.

7. Keep it simple. The more you try and do the harder it will become.

I hope these tips help you but if you find the images are still not what you are looking for then please feel free to get in touch and I will be happy to discuss your requirements and see how I can help you .

Neil Porter