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We don’t give much thought to our social media photos, especially our profile pictures. While speaking with Andrew Collier on my YouTube channel, he told me lots of reasons why we should be spending more time on getting these photos right. He also gave away some very helpful top tips!

Why Professional Headshots For Social Media Matter

My previous blogs have focussed on content, algorithms, social media tips and everything else you need to know to keep you up to date in the ever-evolving world of social media, but this blog is all about the profile photos.

Having a professional profile picture has more significance than you probably realise. It’s true when you hear people say that a picture tells a thousand words – in the world of business they really do, so make sure that yours is saying the right things!

Andrew Collier, from JustHeadShots.Photo joined me live on my YouTube channel, to share his tips on how to create a good head shot for your social media channels

A little bit about Andrew and his photos

Andrew is well known and well liked in the North West. He also took my headshots, not just because he’s a fantastic photographer, but because he understands the world of marketing and what makes a great looking social media headshot

Twelve years ago, Andrew was a marketing consultant even though his passion was in photography, something he had been doing purely for pleasure for many years. During the recession of 2008 Andrew changed direction and set himself up as a portrait photographer. He was soon taking quality photographs of people – and their pets. Getting a dog or a cat to behave is no mean feat!

What makes a good social media photos or head shot?

According to Andrew, it’s about capturing the person’s personality and their character. A business headshot should capture the heart and soul of you and your business, your integrity, your positivity and give a feeling of trust. It should speak to the person looking at the picture, it should say, “you can trust me, I won’t let you down, I can deliver my promise.”

When you are the face of your business, likeability is key to attracting customers and a strong supportive network – a high quality head shot is a must to achieve this.

Get recognised

Having a quality recognisable headshot photos has been invaluable for me. I’ve turned up at networking meetings and people instantly recognise me and feel like they already know me – this makes for a very comfortable introduction.

My headshot clearly identifies who I am and what I’m like, it showcases my personal brand brilliantly.

How to create a good social media profile photos

Here are Andrew’s top tips for your social media profile picture:

Top Tip #1

Look into the camera. Making eye contact with the person viewing your social media profile is key to building trust and forming a connection. We’ve all met someone who fails to make eye contact in a social situation – it feels awkward doesn’t it? You may also wonder what they are hiding. It’s also never a good idea to wear sunglasses as these too hide those all-important eyes.

Top Tip #2

Remember the laws of attraction. We all do it without realising it, we are attracted to those we instantly feel a connection with. Feeling relaxed and confident as well as smiling goes a long way to make a first good impression. If you don’t come across as someone who is friendly, approachable and trustworthy it can take up to 7 months to change this first impression.

Top Tip #3

Don’t use selfies. If possible, ask someone else to take if for you. Just imagine that you have a similar social media profile to someone else, having a quality headshot could be the difference between getting the business and not.

Top Tip #4

Think of the positioning of the social media profile picture. Let’s take LinkedIn profile pictures as an example. The headshot always appears to the left of the screen, to the left of your posts and to the left of any comments that you make. Position your shoulders accordingly so that when your picture is uploaded, you are leaning into what you are saying. As LinkedIn tips go, this is one of my favourites!

Top Tip #5

Get close up. When you make a comment, your profile picture is only about 6mm big on a mobile phone. Make it count!

Top Tip #6

Use window light or light from a doorway if you are taking the photos indoors. Again, think of the way the light directs the viewer to read the words to the right of your picture. The left side of your face should have the light falling onto it.

Top Tip #7

Use north facing light for the best effect. Strong light is not flattering! North facing light illuminates evenly and softly.

Top Tip #8

Have a neutral background which doesn’t distract from you.

Top Tip #9

Have the picture taken from above to avoid more than one chin and to give a squarer jaw.

Top Tip #10

Don’t have reflections in glasses … more on this later in the blog.

Top Tip #11

Don’t be tempted to use old photos. Hopefully you’ll get to meet your clients in person or over a video conferencing call – it pays to look like who you say you are! There’s nothing stranger than meeting someone who looks nothing like their photo, plus it creates distrust and a trusting working relationship is unlikely to occur.

Professional photography for social media

If you don’t like the results after taking your own headshot and decide to invest in a professional one, this is what to expect from one of Andrew’s sessions.

  • It’s fun.
  • It’s relaxed and Andrew will make you feel at ease.
  • You get professional make-up that makes you look like you!
  • There’s time for a couple of outfit changes.
  • You’ll be given superb direction and told how to position your head and shoulders for best effect.
  • Before the session, you’ll be advised what to bring with you and how to prepare.
  • All this takes around 45 minutes, but due to the current pandemic Andrew is allowing an hour per person per session to avoid overlap.
  • After the session, Andrew will provide you with a selection of high-quality headshots.
  • Oh, and there’s home-made cake!

Reflection in your glasses?

If you do have a professional photographer take your headshot and the images come back showing reflection in your glasses, Andrew says you must reject them! A professional photographer should understand the complexities of angles and know how to eliminate reflection. Failing that, they should be able to retouch.

If you want to hear more about how to do this, but be warned, it’s not a simple process, listen to the livestream. Andrew was highly entertaining so I’m sure you’ll love listening to him for 30 minutes.

Book your head shots with Andrew: professional images for social media

Andrew knows how to create a good social media head shot and what makes a good social media picture, so you’ll be in safe hands. 

It’s easy and convenient to book too. Head over to JustHeadshots.Photo and book online for a session in Warrington or Chester. Andrew can also visit you at your home or place of work, to arrange this simply get in touch.

  • His next session is on 8th September 2020 in Warrington (Café At The Outset, Sankey Street).

Once you’ve got your headshot, why not join me on my next LinkedIn course to give your profile the ultimate makeover.

  •  My next LinkedIn course runs from Tuesday 22nd September 2020 for four days – one hour every day from 9.30 – 10.30 via zoom. You’ll learn how to transform your profile to attract your ideal customers, develop connections and get your business visible. You will also be given actions to complete for the following day.
  • Head to Eventbrite to learn more and to book.

For a taste of the kind of topics I will be covering in the course, have a read of my blog;  13 Linkedin Post ideas for 2020.

Bye for now, 


Becs Bate 

Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive


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