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Everything on LinkedIn Headshots: Dressing, Pricing, Poses and Tips

Is it time to update your LinkedIn headshots? Whether you're budget-conscious or camera-shy, our tips will help you make the most of that one chance to make a great first impression.

A man dressed in formalwear posing for a professional headshot
A man dressed in formalwear posing for a professional headshot

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”: Will Rogers

In today's digital world, your professional image can be affected by a single click. With your expertly taken LinkedIn headshots, you have that one chance to make a fantastic first impression. A professional headshot can open multiple doors of opportunities for you.

This article covers everything you need to know to create a great LinkedIn headshot. Whether you're new to the industry or looking to refresh your portfolio, our tips will help you radiate professionalism. From outfit selection to striking the perfect pose, we've got you covered for everything.

Whether you're budget-conscious or camera-shy, our tips will help you make the most of that one chance to make a great first impression.

What are LinkedIn Headshots?

Linkedin headshot of a woman in a red shirt

LinkedIn headshots are more than just some everyday pictures. They're your virtual handshake in the professional world. These photos are like your visual business card, representing you when you can't be there in person. They're crucial for making a positive first impression. They also show potential employers, clients, or partners that you're professional and approachable.

Your LinkedIn headshot should capture your personality and professionalism. It should be a clear, high-quality image where you look friendly and confident. The background should be simple and not distract from your face. Think of it as your professional persona condensed into a single photo.

When it comes to dressing for your LinkedIn headshot, choose an outfit that reflects your industry and personal style. Dressing professionally is important, but you also want to feel comfortable and authentic. Avoid busy patterns or overly casual attire. Such outfits can detract from your professional image.

In terms of posing, you should aim for a natural and relaxed look. A genuine smile can go a long way in making you appear approachable and friendly. Your body language should be open and welcoming while conveying confidence and professionalism.

Your LinkedIn headshot is a key element of your professional brand. It should represent you authentically and professionally. 

Are LinkedIn Headshots Important?

A man and a woman at work in professional wear

We all know that first impressions matter significantly. So, LinkedIn headshots hold remarkable importance. They are the initial point of contact that can shape how others perceive you in the professional world. Investing in a professional headshot is an investment in your professional success. And, LinkedIn headshots are a vital component of your professional toolkit.

They help in the following ways:

  • Personal Branding: Your LinkedIn headshot is a visual representation of your personal brand. It communicates your professionalism, personality, and style. A well-thought-out headshot can differentiate you from others in your industry. This allows you to leave a lasting impression on recruiters, clients, and peers.

  • Professionalism: A high-quality headshot demonstrates that you take your professional image seriously. It reflects your attention to detail and commitment to excellence. It exudes confidence and competence and such traits are highly valued in the business world.

  • Networking Opportunities: LinkedIn headshots can enhance your networking efforts by making you more memorable to potential connections. A professional headshot can increase your visibility and credibility. This further leads to more meaningful professional relationships.

  • Career Advancement: These days, a strong LinkedIn presence is essential for career advancement. A professional headshot can make your profile more attractive to recruiters and hiring managers. This will potentially open up new career opportunities for you.

What Do I Wear for LinkedIn Headshots?

A woman in a solid color shirt posing for a professional headshot

A good first impression is mostly dependent on what you wear in your LinkedIn headshots. Along with making you appear put-together and friendly, your clothes should also showcase your individuality and professionalism. 

  • Dress for Your Industry: Consider the norms of your industry when selecting your outfit. For formal industries like finance or law, opt for a classic suit or business attire. For creative fields, you can showcase your style with a fashionable yet professional outfit.

  • Choose Solid Colors: Solid colors work best for headshots. They are less distracting. Select colors that complement your skin tone and express a sense of confidence.

  • Avoid Busy Patterns: Steer clear of clothing with busy patterns or large logos. They can be highly distracting in a headshot. Opt for subtle patterns or textures that add interest without overwhelming the image.

  • Focus on Fit: Make sure your clothing fits well and flatters your body shape. Ill-fitting clothes can distract from your overall appearance. This might give off a sloppy impression.

  • Keep Accessories Simple: Limit accessories to a few well-chosen pieces that complement your outfit. Avoid anything too flashy or distracting.

  • Grooming is Key: Pay attention to grooming details such as hair, makeup (if applicable), and facial hair. Aim for a polished look that highlights your features.

  • Consider the Background: Choose clothing that contrasts nicely with the background of your headshot. This will help you stand out and create a more visually appealing image.

💡Pro tip: Consider wearing colors like blue for trustworthiness, black for leadership, and grey for sophistication in your LinkedIn headshots. Your choice of color can subtly influence how others perceive you in your professional profile.

How Do I Pose for LinkedIn Headshots?

A woman smiling warmly for a professional headshot

Posing for your LinkedIn headshots may seem daunting, but it's easier than you think. Before your photo shoot, practice your poses in front of a mirror. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident when it's time to take your headshots.

Depending on your industry, you may want to convey different emotions. For example, a slight smile works well for most professions, but a more serious expression might be suitable for certain roles.

Some poses are listed below:

  • Stand or Sit Up Straight: Good posture is key. Whether standing or sitting, keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. This posture shows confidence and professionalism.

  • Angle Your Body Slightly: Avoid standing or sitting straight on to the camera. Instead, angle your body slightly to the side for a more flattering and dynamic pose.

  • Relax Your Shoulders: Tension in your shoulders can make you appear stiff. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang naturally by your sides or gently rest them on a surface if sitting.

  • Smile Naturally: A genuine smile can make a world of difference in your headshot. Think of something that makes you happy to achieve a natural, relaxed smile.

  • Focus on Your Eyes: Your eyes are the window to your personality. Look directly at the camera with a friendly and engaging gaze. Avoid squinting or staring blankly.

  • Chin Down, Head Forward: To avoid a double chin, slightly lower your chin and push your head forward. This helps define your jawline and creates a more flattering angle.

💡Pro tip: Channel your inner confidence by picturing yourself in a role that reflects your career goals. This mental exercise can enhance your posture and expression. This will give your LinkedIn headshots a natural, authoritative look.

What Backdrops are Best for LinkedIn Headshots?

A man posing for a professional headshot in an office/studio background setup

The backdrop you choose for your LinkedIn headshots can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your photos. 

  • Solid Colors: A solid color backdrop is a classic choice for headshots as it keeps the focus on you. Neutral colors like gray, white, or black are versatile and work well for most industries.

  • Avoid Busy Patterns: Avoid backdrops with busy patterns or textures that can be distracting. A simple and clean backdrop will ensure that you are the focal point of the photo.

  • Consider Your Brand Colors: Consider using a backdrop that complements or matches your brand colors. This can help reinforce your brand identity in your headshots.

  • Natural Settings: If you want a more relaxed or casual look, consider using a natural setting as your backdrop. This could be a park, garden, or even a coffee shop, depending on the image you want to convey.

  • Professional Studio Backdrops: You can also go with backdrops available in the photo studio. These backdrops are available in a variety of colors and textures to suit your needs.

  • Virtual Backgrounds: With the rise of virtual meetings, some professionals opt for virtual backgrounds for their headshots. While these can be convenient, make sure the background looks realistic and professional.

💡Pro tip: Choose a backdrop that complements your professional story. A bookshelf implies expertise, while a cityscape suggests ambition. The right backdrop can make your LinkedIn headshots stand out while telling a compelling story at a glance.

How Should I Prepare for LinkedIn Headshots?

You need to prepare well for your headshot session. This will help you get impactful photos that improve your online presence.

Some tips to help you prepare effectively:

  • Choose the Right Outfit: Select clothing that is professional and reflects your personal style. Avoid busy patterns or logos that may distract from your face. Make sure your outfit is clean, pressed, and fits well.

  • Grooming: Take care of grooming details like your hair, makeup (if you wear it), and facial hair. Make sure your hair is styled neatly, and your face looks clean and well-groomed.

  • Rest and Hydration: Get plenty of rest the night before your headshots to avoid looking tired. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin looking hydrated and healthy.

  • Practice Posing: Spend some time practicing your poses in front of a mirror. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident during the photo shoot.

  • Selecting the Right Photographer: Your photographer should specialize in headshots and have experience working with professionals. Look at their portfolio to see if their style aligns with your vision.

  • Communicate Your Vision: Before the photo shoot, communicate your vision and goals to the photographer. Discuss any specific poses or looks you want to achieve.

  • Relax and Be Yourself: During the photo shoot, relax and be yourself. A genuine smile and natural poses will result in the best headshots.

What If I am Not Photogenic or Hate Getting My Photo Taken?

A man clicking a photo from his phone

Feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera is completely normal. Many people can relate to the discomfort of having their photo taken. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can overcome these feelings and feel more confident during your LinkedIn headshot session:

  • Choose a Skilled Photographer: The selected photographer should be experienced in working with individuals who may not feel photogenic. A skilled photographer can help you relax and capture your best angles.

  • Practice Posing: Before your photo shoot, practice posing in front of a mirror. This will boost your comfort and confidence in front of the camera.

  • Focus on Relaxation Techniques: Practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves. Remember, it's normal to feel nervous. Taking a few moments to center yourself can make a big difference.

  • Wear Something Comfortable: Choose clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident. When you feel good about what you're wearing, it can help you feel more confident in front of the camera.

  • Communicate with Your Photographer: Be open with your photographer about your concerns. They can offer guidance and reassurance to help you feel more at ease during the photo shoot.

  • Take Breaks if Needed: If you start to feel overwhelmed during the photo shoot, don't hesitate to take a short break. Stepping away for a few minutes can help you regroup and come back feeling more relaxed.

  • Focus on the Outcome: Remember that your LinkedIn headshots are an asset to your professional image. Keeping the end goal in mind can help motivate you to push through any discomfort.

How Much Do LinkedIn Headshots Cost?

LinkedIn headshot costs typically range from $100 to $1500 or more, depending on various factors. While this range provides a general idea, it's essential to understand what factors might influence the final price:

  • Photographer's Expertise: Experienced photographers may charge more for their services due to their skill and reputation.

  • Location: The cost of living and market demand in your area can affect pricing. Photographers in major cities may charge more than those in smaller towns.

  • Package Offerings: Some photographers offer package deals that include multiple outfit changes, digital retouching, or additional services. These packages can impact the overall cost.

  • Licensing and Retouching Fees: Some photographers include ownership of purchased photos in the session fee. Some may charge extra for licensing, especially for commercial use. Retouching fees, which contribute to the final polished look of your headshots, can range from $50 to $150 per photo.

💡Pro tip: AI-driven services like InstaHeadshots offer various packages for your professional headshots. These services start at $29 for 20 HD headshots in 10+ styles in around 90 minutes.

How Do I Choose the Right Photographer?

Choosing the right photographer for your LinkedIn headshots is crucial. It makes sure you get high-quality photos that represent your professional brand effectively. 

How to choose the right  photographer for your professional photo

You can make the right choice by using the following tips:

  • Review Portfolios: Start by looking at the photographer's portfolio. This will give you an idea of their style and whether it aligns with the look you want for your headshots.

  • Check Reviews: Reading reviews from past clients can give you insights into the photographer's professionalism, communication, and the overall experience they provide.

  • Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from colleagues or friends who have had professional headshots taken. They can provide valuable insights and referrals.

  • Discuss Your Vision: Before hiring a photographer, discuss your vision for the headshots. Make sure they understand your goals and can deliver the look you want.

  • Consider Experience: Look for a photographer with experience in taking headshots. As they will have the skills and knowledge to capture you in the best light.

  • Discuss Pricing and Packages: Understand the photographer's pricing and what is included in their packages. Make sure there are no hidden costs.

Consider “The Hundred Dollar Headshot”, which starts at $99, as a cost-effective choice. Additionally, you can employ inexperienced or aspiring photographers who are ready to get their start. These people give their all and maybe even their greatest effort.

What Role Do Lighting and Technical Details Play in Headshots?

Lighting and technical details play a crucial role in the quality and impact of your headshots. Understanding how these factors contribute to your photos can help you achieve the best results. 


Proper lighting is essential for creating flattering and professional-looking headshots. Natural light is often preferred for its softness and ability to highlight your features. However, artificial lighting can also be used effectively, especially in controlled studio settings.

  • Directional Lighting: Lighting that comes from one direction can create shadows. This will help in adding depth and dimension to your face.

  • Diffused Lighting: Soft, diffused lighting can help minimize harsh shadows and create a more even complexion.

  • Backlighting: Adding light behind you can create a halo effect. This will separate you from the background and add a sense of depth to the image.

Technical Details

Technical aspects such as camera settings, lens choice, and depth of field can also impact the final outcome of your headshots.

  • Camera Settings: The photographer's choice of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can affect the sharpness and clarity of the image.

  • Lens Choice: Different lenses can produce varying levels of distortion and bokeh (background blur). They can impact the overall look of the headshot.

  • Depth of Field: The depth of field refers to the area of the image that is in focus. A shallow depth of field can help isolate you from the background. Whereas, a deeper depth of field can keep more of the background in focus.

Should I Edit My LinkedIn Headshots Post Shoot?

Editing your LinkedIn headshots post-shoot can be a valuable step in enhancing their quality. Though, it's essential to approach editing with caution to avoid overdoing it. As this will present an unrealistic portrayal of yourself. 

  • Minor Adjustments: It's generally acceptable to make minor adjustments to your headshots. You can adjust brightness, contrast, and color balance. These adjustments can help improve the overall quality of the photo without altering your appearance significantly.

  • Skin Retouching: It's common to retouch skin to remove blemishes or smooth out uneven skin tones. But, it's important to maintain a natural look. Overly retouched photos can appear artificial and may not accurately represent you.

  • Background Editing: Editing the background of your headshots can help improve the overall composition of the photo. Make sure that the edited background looks realistic and complements your appearance.

  • Consultation with a Professional: If you're unsure about how to edit your headshots, consider consulting with a professional photo editor. They can provide you with their editing services and help you in maintaining a natural and professional look.

How Should I Use My LinkedIn Headshots for Maximum Impact on Platforms?

Your LinkedIn headshots are a powerful tool for creating a positive first impression and building your professional brand. To maximize their impact on platforms, consider the following strategies:

  • Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile: Your LinkedIn profile should be complete and up-to-date. It should include a professional headline and summary. Your headshot should be the focal point of your profile, so choose a photo that is clear, well-lit, and professional.

  • Update Your Headshot Regularly: As your professional image evolves, so should your headshot. Consider updating your headshot every few years. Also, whenever there are significant changes to your appearance or professional brand.

  • Use Your Headshot in Marketing Materials: Your headshot can be used in various marketing materials. You can use them on your business cards, email signatures, and company websites. This will create a consistent and professional image across all your communications.

  • Engage with Your Audience: Use your headshot to humanize your interactions with your audience. Respond to comments and messages with your headshot visible to help build trust and credibility.

What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid in LinkedIn Headshots?

When it comes to LinkedIn headshots, there are several common mistakes that people often make. Avoiding these mistakes can help in ensuring that your headshots present you in the best possible light:

  • Using Outdated Photos: Using an outdated photo can misrepresent your current appearance and professional image. Make sure your headshot is recent and accurately reflects how you look now.

  • Overly Casual Attire: While it's important to show your personality in your headshot, overly casual attire can give the impression that you are not taking your professional image seriously. Opt for professional attire that is suitable for your industry.

  • Poor Lighting and Composition: Proper lighting and composition are essential for creating a professional-looking headshot. Avoid harsh lighting or distracting backgrounds that can take away from your face.

  • Lack of Expression: A blank or unengaged expression can make you appear unapproachable in your headshot. Smile naturally and convey a friendly, confident demeanor.

  • Ignoring the Background: The background of your headshot should be simple and unobtrusive. Avoid busy backgrounds that can distract from your face.

  • Over-Editing: While some editing is acceptable, over-editing your headshot can make you appear artificial. Keep edits natural and subtle.

  • Not Seeking Professional Help: If you're unsure about how to create a professional-looking headshot, consider seeking help from a professional photographer. They can ensure that your headshot is of high quality and meets professional standards.

When Should I Update My LinkedIn Headshots?

A woman in red posing for a photo

Regularly updating your LinkedIn headshots is important. This makes your profile accurately reflect your current professional image. 

Some key times when you should consider updating your headshots:

  • Change in Appearance: If your look has changed significantly, update your headshot. This change can be a new hairstyle, glasses, or facial hair. It's a good idea to update your headshot to reflect these changes.

  • Career Milestones: Update your headshot after achieving a career milestone. This can be a promotion or a new job. This can help in showcasing your professional growth and success.

  • Every 2-3 Years: Keeping your headshots up to date guarantees that your image remains contemporary. As it is true to your personality and style.

  • Seasonal Updates: Consider updating your headshots on a seasonal basis. This is particularly useful for seasonal marketing campaigns and promotions as it captures a variety of looks and trends.

  • Industry Trends: Keep up with developments in your field and make any necessary updates to your headshots. This indicates your dedication to remaining current and competitive in your industry.

How Can a LinkedIn Headshot Impact My Career?

Your LinkedIn headshot can have a significant impact on your career in several ways:

  • First Impressions: Your headshot is often the first thing people see when they visit your profile. A professional and welcoming headshot can make a positive first impression on recruiters, potential employers, and business contacts.

  • Professionalism: A high-quality headshot communicates professionalism and attention to detail. It can help you stand out in a competitive job market and give the impression that you take your career seriously.

  • Personal Branding: Your headshot is a key component of your personal branding. It can help you communicate your personality, values, and professionalism to your network.

  • Networking Opportunities: A professional headshot can increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters and industry professionals. This will further lead to valuable networking opportunities.