linkedin tips for photos

Bad LinkedIn profile pictureBad idea for your Linkedin photo

You may need a few LinkedIn tips for photos and not even know it.

A lot of professionals are using an unprofessional picture for their LinkedIn profile and don't realize that it could be damaging their career. Are YOU projecting a bad message and hurting your career?

Your LinkedIn profile picture has more impact than you may know.  It's the first thing viewers see and you only get one chance at making a first impression. A bad profile photo creates a negative impression, sometimes subconsciously.

Just employ a few simple photography tips and it can make all the difference in the world for you.   I am amazed and sometimes I even cringe when I see some of the LinkedIn photos people use for their profile picture.

Linkedin profile photoProfessional LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn has well over 270,000,000 monthly users and membership grows literally by the second. Does your photo look like someone you would like to work with on a professional basis?  

I won't provide you with any specific examples of bad profile photos from LinkedIn. Browse around on LinkedIn and you'll see them soon enough. It's not my intent to insult or belittle anybody by showing their photo, so I won't show any examples.

How does it make you feel about the person?

Having an out of focus, off-color, poorly lit, or badly posed picture for your profile photo shows a lack of commitment to professionalism. Video of some interesting LinkedIn statistics:

tips on how to take your own linkedin photo using a basic camera

  1. Don't use your cell phone. (2018 Update: If you absolutely have to, don't get too close-you'll get spatial distortion.)  Definitely no selfies.  Your arms are too short. Have a friend take the photo from at least 8 feet away. Then crop it tighter afterwards if your cell phone camera has a decent sensor. Although the sensors have enough pixels on more recently made mobile phones, they don't have the right lens.  A simple point and shoot camera with a zoom lens will suffice better and has plenty of resolution for a small profile photo for the web.
  2. Use a telephoto setting on the camera from a comfortable distance and you will get a good pleasing perspective.  Cameras that are too close to our face will give you an unflattering look with a head shot.
  3. Don't use the camera's built-in pop-up flash.  Pop-up flash on point and shoot cameras and DSLRs produce harsh shadows and give you bad photography lighting; often red-eye reflections
  4. Look for or create a big light source behind the camera, not behind the subject.  There are many bad LinkedIn photos because of back lighting behind the subject.  I've written several articles on lighting and it is the single most difficult skill to master with photography. You don't have to be a lighting master though to improve your LinkedIn photo if it's really bad to start with.  Here is another one of the LinkedIn tips for photos that's really easy to use: Use a nice BIG window behind the camera or bright lights aimed at a wall behind the camera.

Smiling LinkedIn Photograph - Trust and Desire to work with a nice person.

Professionally done, a quality photo creates a professional identity in the marketplace. It's the first thing a prospective employer or a potential customer will see.

Correctly Cropped LinkedIn Photo

two more linkedin tips for photos

5.  Find a simple background, solid in color and neutral. Bright colors, stripes, patterns and lines are all distracting elements.

6.  Crop your photo so that it is a head shot, not too close so that its only just a face, but not too far so that it shows much of your body.  Smiles are more inviting than serious or stern facial expressions.

most common photo mistakes with linkedin photos

  • Too many people.  It should only be of one business professional,  not a family or a team photo.
  • Not looking at the camera.  Looking away cause mistrust.
  • Distracting or inappropriate clothing.  Enough said.
  • Logo or sales pitch message instead of a photograph of you. You are telling all LinkedIn members that you don't know how to use LinkedIn.
  • No photo.  This says you are unprepared, uninterested or too scary to look at and does not bring a desire to do business with you or connect with you.

Here is more on how a bad profile picture can really cost you:  LinkedIn Photo Mistakes. If you found these LinkedIn tips for photos valuable, you can make a tiny gesture, just a little thank you that will help this photography site continue on.

Can you help me get the word out about my photography site?  Let's help everybody improve their technique. After all, photography is a very powerful medium to communicate positive messages throughout all of civilization.

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