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“Babe, you’re fabulous and your LinkedIn headshot is terrible.”
^^ I cannot tell you the NUMBER of times I’ve shared this with a career coaching client. Luckily, my client knows that I’m right – and they agree with me.
LinkedIn Headshot Tips
Usually, I get a response like, “I know my headshot sucks, but I’m not sure how to take a photo – or how to even find a photographer!”
I’m not a professional photographer, so for this blog post I interviewed my friend and creative collaborator, Mira Zaki. Mira is a professional branding and commercial photographer who is based in f New York City and travels all over the world.
In this post, Mira will share:
- How to find and interview a photographer
- Tips on how to take your own headshot photos
Real Quick – Mira’s Photography Background
Before we jump in, I wanted to share a bit about Mira’s background – so you know that she really knows what she’s talking about!
“I fell in love with photography when I was 8 years old and picked up my family’s Polaroid camera. When I shook the photo and it appeared, it felt like magic. I found a way to express myself and experience the world around me without having to talk, and I was absolutely enamored. I couldn’t stay away! I took photography classes from that moment on, throughout all my schooling, and decided to study it professionally, too. I got a B.A. in Commercial/Advertising Still Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography before moving to NYC to begin my photography career,” Mira shares.
LinkedIn Headshot Tips – Mira’s Top 3!
Tip #1: “Know your industry,” shares Mira. “If you work for a Google type of company, your headshot should reflect that vibe, or get to know the industry you’re applying for if it is not your industry.
Tip #2: “Smile genuinely- photos have energy, people can tell when you’re uncomfortable or faking a smile!”
Tip #3: “Hire a professional- it’s important to invest. While your loved ones, neighbors, and friends support you- they have a skewed perception of you. A professional will give you the correct look you need whether they know you or not,” she advises
How does someone find a photographer to take LinkedIn headshots?
Finding a professional photographer can be tricky, as there are a lot of unprofessional people out there!
Ask lots of questions!
“Interview your photographer! It doesn’t have to be a transaction,” shares Mira.
Ask a prospective headshot photographer for:
- 2 referrals // speak to a past client or two
- Ask how many photos you get
- Ask what the timeframe is for the entire process.
- Also- ask if this will be a collaboration, and if you are able to participate in the creative process (I always do this!) so that you are creating something that will suit your needs. If you want to- ask them why they are a photographer, it will tell you a lot more than a website can!
How can people avoid a boring LinkedIn headshot?
The world is full of boring LinkedIn headshots, and I’m not here for it! I asked Mira how to avoid a boring headshot, and here’s what she shared:
“This is the job of the photographer- have a discussion with them, tell them what is important to you, to the company or business, and they should give you photos with a variety of elements that share your personality, whether it is hair style, clothing, accessories, or simply the use of color,” shares Mira. “Ask questions of your photographer before hiring them!”
What does a headshot photographer or personal branding photographer charge?
“My personal branding shoots vary in price and package size from $5,000-$25,000+,” shares Mira. “My background in commercial/advertising photography and editorial photography have given me the foundation to provide a professional experience and photos that will last you longer than a year. If requested, you can get the whole enchilada 🙂 A hair stylist, make up artist, and wardrobe stylist to create a unique, stand-out branding photoshoot!”
Details on Mira’s headshot sessions can be found HERE!
The goal of a branding shoot is to tell your story. “A branding photoshoot is an essential today because photos tell a faster story than words do, it helps us relate to people, it connects us to each other in an unspoken way. Branding is how you market yourself to both your clients and prospective clients.”
Any Tips for a DIY LinkedIn Headshot?
Mira gets that not everyone can invest ASAP in a branding session (and many people need a better image to use while they plan their branding photoshoot).
Because of this, she actually created a course on SELFIES, to teach people how to take their own photos of themselves!
“My selfie course was born in the pandemic when I created my first course- a smartphone photography class, and the specific questions kept coming about how to take an actual selfie that people liked and wanted to use without spending 3 hours taking it, 2 hours editing and using filters, and still being unhappy with the result. The course covers- lighting, angles, color, composition, posing, and smiling genuinely.”
The selfie course is $99, and you can learn more about it HERE!
Capture your personality!
“This isn’t a normal ‘DIY’ selfie class, I talk about really getting in touch with who you are, loving yourself greatly, and sharing your true self with the world,” explains Mira.
Check out the course HERE!
Connect with Mira!
Mira is a master networker, and she’s always connecting folks. I encourage you to check out her Instagram and Facebook, and you can view her website here.