From the course: Portrait Photography: Business Portraits on LinkedIn Learning

What is a social media headshot? from Portrait Photography: Business Portraits by Robert Vanelli

When it comes to portraits, a social media profile photo is one of the most important photos to have—especially for ourselves and our clients. Think about it. What’s the first thing most potential customers are going see when they Google your name? Your online profile photo.

Now, personally, I had this really incredible photo that I absolutely loved and it was taken by a very close friend of mine who happened to be an extremely talented photographer and a photoshop guru. Back in the day when the sports grit was first making its way on the scene, everyone loved it, so he took a shot of me like that.

I stood sideways, looked intense and just gave a little look. I love that photo! I loved it so much that I took a shortcut. I used it for every one of my profile images. I used it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. I loved it. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine asked me to give a talk for his special camera club. When I sent him that image, he said, “Well, V, I know you and I know you’re a very lovable guy, however, looking at this photo, I don’t think the people who don’t know you at this convention are going to feel you’re very approachable”. I didn’t realize it until I saw the image again and I thought, he was right,  I don’t look approachable.

It’s a great photo. I love it. But it’s not good for that particular situation. So, it got me thinking. What I really need to do is take a simple, dramatic-type portrait of myself that I could use for professional sites, such as LinkedIn, or when I do special talks.