The new year is in full swing! This is the perfect time to give your LinkedIn page a makeover. Mark Kuipers is a photographer and has taken the portrait of many a Spot member. He shares the secret of the perfect profile picture.
“It is really important to post a good profile photo on LinkedIn, because it shows that you are serious and professional,” says Mark Kuipers, who has worked as a portrait photographer for many years. What you in any case should not do, he says, is use an unrecognisable photo of yourself. “For example, a photo taken from a distance; someone who doesn’t know you will have absolutely no idea who they are dealing with, because they can only see a vague figure,” explains Mark. “Also keep in mind that the photo will always appear a lot smaller in your feed and on a mobile phone.”
Another no go is a holiday snap or wedding photo. Mark also recommends using a photo which portrays you alone. “Don’t use a cut-out of yourself from a group photo, and don’t use a photo of you with your children. That’s much too personal.”
Look directly into the lens
On LinkedIn, it is best to use a head shot, which only shows your head and possibly your upper body. “I prefer the subject to look directly into the lens. That looks professional, and everyone can see directly what you look like. Moreover, you will come across as self-assured.” An alternative is a photo with the subject looking away from the camera and smiling.
According to Mark, it is also a good idea to take the photograph outside. “I usually prefer to walk about with the subject and take pictures in various spots and from various angles, preferably with a green background, such as in a public garden or park. But I also like to stand people in front of a building or a glass frontage, which produces interesting reflections.”
It is important that your photo has an uncluttered background. “So not in an office full of colleagues and computer screens,” says Mark. “The best photos have you in focus and the background slightly blurred. But a professional photographer will always take care of that.”
Jumper, or shirt and tie?
“Wear something appropriate for your job. Don’t wear a three-piece suit if you don’t wear one at work,” continues Mark. His most important clothing advice is to avoid all clothing with texts in large fonts or brand names. “And make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. I always recommend bringing a spare set along.”
Preparing for the photo
How do you prepare for a photo shoot? “Find something in your wardrobe you feel comfortable in, and I always recommend practising your smile in the mirror.”
Spot regularly organises portrait sessions where Mark is on hand to take the perfect photo of you. Interested? The next session will be on Thursday, 3 March. Keep an eye on Spot for more information!