top of page

A DIY LinkedIn Profile Headshot

That Looks Like a Pro Shot It


Update your photo to modernize your brand and help you to emerge from the masses on LinkedIn. People form an impression of you immediately. In the virtual world, your social media photo drives that first impression. If you don’t have time for a professional photo shoot, you can do it yourself if you know the basics.



1.) Background

A popular trend is a bright solid backdrop, primarily because it flatters the subject and it catches the eye of the visitor. Consider purchasing a roll of seamless paper from a photography supply store. There are dozens of colors from which to choose. Select a color that suits you.  No need to invest in background stands for the paper, you can adhere it to the wall with tape.  A roll cost about $15.  This paper will not cast a glare.  Another DIY option is to use a matte finish table cover as your backdrop.  Be sure the cover is wrinkle-free and is not shiny.


2.) Lighting

A DIY photoshoot does not mean you must have amateurish results. Lighting is essential to a quality photo. There are two ways to achieve optimal lighting without a professional studio.


Take advantage of outdoor natural lighting during the “golden hours.” This is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset. These are times of day when the daylight has a red hue and the light is softer.  Pay attention to your background for an outdoor shoot just as you would an indoor shoot.


The second DIY lighting tip is the “three-light shot.” Turn off the overhead lighting and darken outside lighting. Place one clamp light behind the subject on the ground shining upward. Next position one light on each side of the camera, both facing the subject. Adjust the lighting until there are no shadows cast. You can find clamp lights at a hardware retailer, ranging in price from $8 to 20.


3.) Wardrobe, Hair, & Makeup

The ideal photo for LinkedIn is a headshot. Choose garments suitable to your target career. In other words, if a suit is the norm in your industry, wear a suit. Pay attention to your hair and make-up. A little more make-up is necessary because lighting will have a fading effect.


4.) Photo Enhancement

Don’t hesitate to use Adobe Photoshop to whiten your teeth a bit and smudge away some wrinkling. This photo should be “your best you,” so enhance, but not to the extent that you are not recognizable. When saving your file pay attention to the technical specifications provided by LinkedIn (currently 500-pixel square).


With these DIY tips, you can update your photo as frequently as you would like without hiring a photographer.

bottom of page