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Tips for Taking a Professionally-Looking Profile Photo

Your appearance in your professional portfolio creates a first impression on visitors, so you want to make sure it's a good one.

Here are some tips on how to take a professionally looking photo for your LinkedIn/professional portfolio:

1. Lighting:

  • Use natural light whenever possible. If you're taking the photo indoors, find a window with soft, natural light. Avoid pictures taken in the dark.

  • Avoid harsh overhead lighting. This can create shadows and make you look tired.

  • If you need to use artificial light, use a softbox or diffuser to soften the light.

Avoid pictures taken in the dark

This is PERFECT (natural light coming from front side)
  • Smile √

  • Background √

  • Eye contact √

  • Focus on face √

2. Background:

  • Choose a simple, uncluttered background. A natural setting, like a park or garden, works well. (e.g., greenery/landscapes with natural background such as ornamental plants/flowers; with more focus on your face).

  • Avoid busy backgrounds that will distract from your face.

3. Clothing:

  • Dress professionally, but in something that you feel comfortable in. A suit or blazer is a good option, but you can also wear a nice blouse or sweater.

  • Avoid wearing anything too revealing or distracting.

  • Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.

4. Hair and makeup:

  • Make sure your hair is styled neatly. You don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

  • Apply makeup that is natural and professional-looking. Avoid anything too heavy or dramatic.

  • Make sure your eyebrows are well-groomed.

5. Expression:

  • Smile! A genuine smile will make you look approachable and friendly. 

  • Make eye contact with the camera. This will help you connect with the viewer.

  • Relax and be natural. Don't try to force a pose.

6. Technical Tips:

  • Use a high-resolution camera or phone. The higher the resolution, the better your photo will look.

  • Take the photo in portrait mode. This will give you the right aspect ratio.

  • Crop the photo so that your face takes up at least 60% of the frame.

  • Save the photo as a JPEG/PNG file.

Here are some additional tips for taking a great profile photo:

  • Get someone else to take the photo for you. This will give you more control over the lighting and composition.

  • Take several photos and choose the best one. You can always ask a friend or family member for their opinion.

  • Only if needed (better to keep naturally taken original photographs), use photo editing tools/apps to make minor adjustments to your photo. This can help to improve the lighting, color, and contrast.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment! There is no one right way to take a profile photo. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable in your photo.




Natural light, coming from the front

Darkness, light coming from behind

Smiling face (a mild, natural smile)

Serious face

Background: natural landscapes/ornamental plants, flowers.

Plain wall with a dull colour

By following these tips, you can take a professionally looking profile photo that will help you make a great first impression on LinkedIn/other professional sites.

We hope that you may find these tips helpful.

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