SOCIAL MEDIA HEADSHOTS, PROFILE PICTURES & PORTRAITS
Professional Headshots For Social Media, Avatar Photo Tips, Zoom Profile, Linkedin Headshots, Instagram Photos, Slack Profile, Twitter Headshots, Facebook Profile
Social Media Headshots – What Are They? Professional Profile Pictures
Social media headshots are a rather new type of headshot that came about with the adoption of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Slack & LinkedIn.
These headshots are meant to convey personality and individual character traits to show a more about who someone is about beyond the traditional cropped headshot.
They serve a purpose in a business setting to ID colleagues and teammates on outlets like Slack, where pages like Instagram and Twitter are mean to put a face to a name or brand.
Professional Headshots For Social Media Avatars, Zoom Profile Picture Ideas
There are conflicting opinions on whether one should have professional headshots for social media accounts or have more candid, organic headshots – it’s possible to have both.
There are ways to have professional headshots that are also approachable and show personality rather than be overly stiff and boring. Smiles, outfits, and backgrounds can help to set the tone for what a headshot should convey about you.
Related read: Social Media Photo Dimensions Guide
Social Media Headshots vs. Official Corporate Work Headshots
Some industries and teams strongly prefer individuals maintain the corporate brand in the social media profiles, while others go as a far to control their work profiles on social media.
Regardless of the setup, it’s important you understand the norms and expectations for your industry and company. It’s not uncommon to use a different headshot for social media than what is used on your official company page.
CEO’s often hire me to take 2-3 different headshots depending on the outlet they are looking to showcase their photos – investors, employees/recruiting or in the community. Look at what others at your company are doing to get some tips on how you should approach your headshots for social media profiles.
Should You Sit Or Stand For Social Media Headshots? Standing vs Seated Headshots
That will depend on the environment as well as desired output of your photos. Some places might not be big enough for one type of photo or the other. Your photographer should be able to make recommendations based on space, lighting and aesthetics.
It will also depend on your subject, their body type and frame, the height of chairs and desks and whatnot.
Some people will have a preference for one or the other but regardless of direction or preference, keep in mind the orientation and website requirements (most social media outlets favor a circular or square frame).
Backgrounds For Headshots, What’s A Good Headshot Background For Social Media?
Typically, social media headshots tend to be a bit more colorful, social and fun than traditional headshots.
A pop in color in the background or outfit choice can help to distinguish your personal branding. Consider aspects like company colors, your location or your industry to figure out what works best.
A good photographer and image consultant can help you with the planning.
Backgrounds For Social Media Photos & Profile Headshots, Professional Profile Photos
It really pays to consider plans and unexpected events for down the road. A change in jobs, a business shutdown or change in locations could result in you having to change or update your social media headshots.
Using neutral colors, avoiding logos and using agnostic environments can ensure you have more flexibility with your headshots. Similarly, avoiding logos and specific places can make it easier to avoid copyright issues with books, commercial use of photos and the like.
What To Wear For Social Media Headshots? Social Media Profile Picture Outfits
What you wear will have an important impact into how you are perceived by clients, partners, investors, media outlets and more. Using accents to offset industry norms can help to soften intense vibes or industry stiffness. Having multiple outfits can help to target specific audiences across different outlets.
For me, I am a bit more relaxed with rules and constraints and am more focused on making clients feel relaxed, confident, and professional. I will factor in all these items and review outfits free of charge as I have a vested interest in how the photos come out as well.
If you browse my various headshot and portrait examples, most clients defer to my recommendations when trying to get the most out of their photos.
Women’s Headshot Wardrobe Tips
How To Pose For A Professional Social Media Portrait?
When it comes to poses, there is no universal best pose. The best pose will be determined by industry, seniority, function, outfit, background, and what you want to convey.
As you can see from the above examples and elsewhere on this site, some people look better standing straight ahead perpendicular to the camera (i.e. DMV/Passport photo style) while others look better with an asymmetrical look with others defaulting to slight turns i.e. 5-20 degrees away from the camera. Anything more than that can feel like a modeling portrait or trying too hard to make themselves appear slimmer.
A pose and smile can offset any expectations or associations within your industry and set the tone for how you will be different from others. Let your personality shine through!
Props, Locations, Environments For Social Media Photoshoots?
Depending on your industry and function, it might be wise to showcase either your place of business i.e. retail space, therapist office or wealth or prestige.
In other cases, it can be helpful to pose with samples of your work whether you are an artist or interior designer. The background of photos can signal a lot to audiences so don’t ignore opportunities to use your work space or work samples to show what you can do.
Landscape vs Portrait Orientation, Headshot Ideas
Most traditional and contemporary headshots are taken in portrait orientation (different from portrait mode on camera phones that blur backgrounds). More modern and creative photos are taken in landscape orientation formats.
You can take photos in both but ideally you should account for what your needs will be i.e. social media platform, LinkedIn etc.
In any case, a great photographer will take photos in all formats, so you can have options for cropping as you see fit.
Related read: Social Media Photo Dimensions
Slack Avatar Photos, Linkedin Profile Pictures, Facebook Profile Pictures, Linkedin Headshots, Twitter Profile Photos, Instagram Profile Pics, Profile Headshots, Social Media Profile Photos, Profile Pictures For Social Media, Social Media Profile Headshot, Social Media Photographer
For additional tips on how to take headshots, how to pose, what to wear, and background ideas, take a look at this headshot guide for help for both men and women.
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie is a professional photographer & dating coach based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, London, Sydney & beyond.
His photography style balances approachability and professionalism while focusing on personality by consulting on wardrobes, appearance, location scouting and what the client wants to signal, attract. His photos are natural, organic and free from artificial filters and photoshopping seen with other photographers.
When It comes to dating, his focus is on relationship-minded men and women while addressing lifestyle choices, appearance, hobbies, wardrobe, hygiene, communication skills, dating app profiles, blind spots, messaging, date ideas, confidence, location, etiquette & more. As seen in the NYT, WSJ & More.
Clients include VC's, CEO's, Attorneys, Tech, Non-Profits, Medical Professionals, Coaches, Engineers, Therapists, Government Officials, Shy Men, & Women, Actors, Models, Solopreneurs, Small Business Owners, Creative Professionals from Google, Apple, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tesla & more.
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