As I always say, I’m much cuter in my head. But my LinkedIn profile picture no longer looked like the real me, so I knew it was time for a change. Fortunately, my good friend Caren Libby, a professional photographer here in St. Louis, ably shot my new profile picture, which I’m happy to say reflects my real age, but still makes me feel OK about myself.
Caren also agreed to share tips about what makes for a great social media picture. Learn from her suggestions and then get busy posting a new photo online that reflects the real you in the best way possible.
Q. Why should people have their photo on their LinkedIn profile and other social media sites?
A. Social media is a communications tool, and people are more comfortable connecting when they can put a face with a name and persona. A professional image reinforces the visual impression of a personal brand, and it also gives recruiters a more complete overview about you as a potential candidate.
Q. What makes for a great profile picture?
A. Sharp, high-resolution photos give the best impression whether they’re in a small LinkedIn square or a large Facebook Timeline Cover. An exterior or interior location with soft lighting and a neutral background is ideal. A simple hairstyle and minimal or no jewelry puts the focus where it’s needed … on your face. Solid-colored clothing that complements the skin works best in most environments. Colors that are in contrast to the background usually show better unless you want a dramatic effect (like black on black). A natural smile is the best accessory.
Q. Can you share some examples of good photography?
A. These images illustrate a variety of poses and styles indicative of the subjects’ personalities or careers.
|Examples of portrait photography by Caren Libby.|
Q. What mistakes do people make with their profile pictures?
A. Fuzzy images, harsh lighting, unnatural coloring and snapshots taken in a casual setting don’t reflect your professional best. Some people prefer not to smile, but even a slight smile can create a feeling of friendliness and approachability.
Q. How do you go about taking people’s picture?
A. Before the shoot, I talk with clients about what they want from their photo session, and we determine the best location and time to meet. I e-mail a confirmation along with a link to my website so they can view my work and read my tips. They can bring props, accessories and clothing changes, depending on the nature of the session. Most photo sessions last 30-60 minutes and include several poses and backgrounds. The primary purpose of the photo shoot is to capture the best possible images and have fun doing it.
Afterwards, I send them their photos in digital format in sizes that are appropriate for posting online, as well as for using in print materials or other purposes.
Q. How should people contact you if they’d like their picture taken?
A. I can be reached through my photo blog, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 314-258-2718. Caren's photo blog address: http://photographybycarenlibby.com/
I heartily encourage St. Louisans to contact Caren to arrange for a new profile picture and for everyone else to hire a proven professional photographer in your community. Having a great profile picture is an important component of your personal brand and can help you exude the confidence needed to Get a Job! -- Kathy
- Add a good photo to your social media profiles! It encourages people to connect with you and let’s recruiters put a face with your name.
- Hire a professional photographer with exceptional samples of flattering portrait photography.
- Encourage your photographer to shoot your image using several backgrounds and in a variety of outfits.
- Make sure your photo reflects your personality and professionalism.
- Choose a picture that is sharp, high resolution, flattering and clear.
- Opt for soft lighting with a neutral background (whether the photo is shot indoors or out).
- Keep your hairstyle simple and your jewelry and accessories minimal.
- Choose solid color clothing that compliments your skin coloring and contrasts with the background.
What other tips do you have about social media profile pictures or what comments do you have about my new pictures? Share your thoughts on the Getajobtips.com blog or a LinkedIn discussion group that might have brought you here.
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