Recently, my good friend Mark inquired about a headshot. He was looking to brush up his LinkedIn profile. And it sounds like his mom was in need of a new photo of him as well (moms are always good clients, no matter how old the kids are).
Headshots are becoming increasingly important in networking. You should always have a solid photo of yourself handy — even a good selfie is better than nothing. A Facebook profile photo can be a little less formal, but try not to have a drink in your hand. Your profile images, current and former, are typically more public than your other shared photos, so if there’s even the remote possibility that you’ll need the photograph to convey a message to an employer or potential client, a professional headshot is wise.
Mark and I met outside his apartment. He lives in one the coolest areas of Jacksonville — very urban and walkable with amazing restaurants. We didn’t have to look far for a background. The bricks add a bit of subtle context to the photo and avoid the stuffiness of a studio backdrop.
I love the challenge of photographing kids, but working with an adult was a nice change of pace. Mark follows directions much better than your average five year old! If that were a LinkedIn skill, I’d endorse it.
Here’s a quick portrait tip. Keep the background as simple as possible. A brick wall, as shown in this photo, is perfect. A simple background will keep the viewer’s attention on the subject. You’ll be amazed how much an uncluttered scene can do for a quick portrait.