Connect Deeper With Your Photo

I’ve been working as a professional photographer for the past 10 years and my work ranges from celebrity photoshoots to humanitarian work around the world.

I’ve also founded an online university to teach photography as well as a movement where we give photos away to people in need.

LinkedIn has been so great for me when it comes to connecting with professionals. A lot of social media doesn’t appeal to me, but using LinkedIn has given me a way to build deeper relationships with the people I want to work with.

Photography comes into play on LinkedIn in a major way. Your profile photo is the first thing people see when they come to your page. Although it’s a professional platform, I like to see some personality in people’s headshots.  
An overly sterile corporate look isn’t going to stand out to anyone and most of all you want to leave an impression that makes others want to connect with you more.

It’s more intriguing and fun to show off that personality, but you have to keep the quality as high as can be.  
Paying attention to your background, lighting, pose, and appearance all go a long way to crafting that professional image.  

When I take photos of my friends and clients I like to think about why they’re looking for professional quality photos and what the photos are meant to achieve.  
Some photos are meant to have a more “corporate” look to them. These are more formal than “lifestyle” photos that tend to give off more personality.  
Lifestyle photos usually show off the subject being caught in a moment, in other words, they’re meant to feel more candid.

Generally, I use a big soft light because the bigger the light, the more flattering the end result. I sometimes use ring lights which work well too.

Depending on what the client does for a living, having their workspace visible in the photos typically is fine. A lot of photographers will have photos of them holding their cameras. I think that’s a bit cliche!

You don’t need to literally show what you, I like photos that show off your personality in more subtle ways.

For “avatar” photos you have less leeway because the photo is likely going to be cropped as a square and shrunken down as an icon. Still, personality can help here.

Connecting with the camera also changes the dynamics of a photo. How much eye contact the subject makes with the camera can cast a different vibe on the image.

Lighting also plays a large effect when it comes to the overall look so make sure you’re expressing your wants and needs clearly with the photographer.

As photographers, we love good communication, but we’re not mind readers.


Action Steps

  1. Think about what you want to achieve with your headshot and how that ties into what image you want show off to the world.
  2. Decide if you want a more corporate or more lifestyle look.
  3. Decide on what type of lighting and location you will use for your shoot.
  4. Try different types of photos and vibes with your photographer, be sure to communicate what you want.


Result You Will Achieve

A better LinkedIn profile photo that shows off your personality and professionalism.

Mentor: Jeremy Cowart

Founder of OKDOTHIS. Jeremy is an Emmy nominated celebrity photographer, teacher and entrepreneur.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.