★ Working with a Professional Photographer - The Checklist

There are clear advantages to working with a professional photographer. Among other things, they have an eye for design, experience helping people relax in front of the camera and (often) better equipment than the rest of us.

Here are two shots of me on the same day, for example. The first is a selfie - where I did not have control of the lighting - and the second is with a professional (photo credit below). I assume you will agree that the latter is far more polished and overall a superior image.



Yet even the best photographers may not be familiar with the LinkedIn format and platform, so they may need guidance to ensure that the final image projects the confidence and gravitas you wish to portray. That doesn't mean they can't get a great shot!

As part of this course, I have prepared this checklist for you to review and - if it is helpful - share with your professional photographer. (Please see attached PDF that you are free to print and share, whether or not you are enrolled in the course.)

In addition to the suggestions I have to prepare yourself for the shoot, here are my top seven pointers on working with professional photographers to help make your photo shoot a success:

1)   Choose a neutral background without distractions (in the form of texture, line or color).

2)   Generally, "creative" or casual shots don't work for an executive or attorney headshot.

3)   Dramatic or directional lighting also generally doesn't work. Soft lighting is preferred.

4)   Beware the bare skin look, i.e., short sleeves or sleeveless (with a notable exception – see more on that in the next section).

5)   Remember that the format of the LinkedIn photo (currently, at least) is a circle. Shots should be centered so they can be cropped without coming in too close.

6)   As the subject of the photo shoot, watch your body language. Because of the small circular format, anything a bit "off" looks exaggerated in your LinkedIn headshot.

7)   Make sure you know what you want – there are other lessons for more advice on how to do that – and make it known. Professional photographers are experts on photography and can give you ideas and direction, but ultimately you are the expert on you 

Any photographers worth their salt would prefer you speak up before or during the shoot than complain afterwards about the experience or result!

In the following lesson, I have attached a PDF with the checklist, details and sample images to illustrate each point.


Top and bottom image credits: © 2019 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Middle image: © 2019 Alejandro Barragan IV. All rights reserved.

Checklist - LinkedIn Headshots with a Professional Photographer.pdf