Book Now

What is Personal Branding Photography?

If you’ve been in the business world for even a short time, you may have heard someone say that you need to know your own personal brand. With the rapid growth of social media, the gig economy, and digital dominance, personal branding photography is becoming an essential element for those who desire a successful career. […]

Why Do Medical Schools Ask for Headshots?

Many documents are required when applying for admission to upper-level academic institutions and programs. Applying for med school involves completing a series of documents, and you’ll be asked to include a recent photo with your application. Since you are trying to make a good impression and show your professional side, it’s best to forget about […]

Portrait vs. Headshot: What’s the Difference?

When you start talking about photography, it can be hard to distinguish between a portrait vs. a headshot. At first, it may seem that it’s just a matter of terminology. But that is just not so. The simplest way to state it is that a headshot is a type of portrait, with one of the […]

Realtors Marketing Without Headshots: Is It a Good Idea?

Real estate professionals do a lot more than help their clients buy or sell properties. They must sell their personal brand. Buyers and sellers have lots of options when choosing a real estate agent. Branding and marketing strategies can help you stand out and show clients you are your best choice. Realtors marketing without headshots […]

What is a Headshot?

There are many terms in the photography business, and it may seem a bit confusing at first. One such term is ‘headshot,’ which instantly conjures an image in your mind, but is it the right one? No matter what you think a headshot is right now, we’re going to explore them in greater detail. We’ll […]

Who Needs Professional Headshots? Do I Need One?

You might be wondering if your profession requires you to get a professional headshot. Even if it doesn’t, you’d be in a better position if you decide to get a headshot anyway. After all, there are many, many reasons to have a nice, professional photo of yourself taken. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor […]

LinkedIn Photo Tips 2021

Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, it’s unlike any other. Rather than sharing your personal life with your peers, you’ll be networking to find, or remain in, your ideal job. This requires you to think through your profile picture choice. After all, you’re not going to want to post a funny photo, nor should […]

How to Plan a Personal Branding Photoshoot

If you own a business, especially one online, you’ve more than likely heard someone say “personal branding” at some point in time. You may or may not know what the term means. Let us explain. It’s simple: When people refer to personal branding, they’re referring to branding (read: marketing) themselves. So your personal brand is […]

Why a Professional Headshot is Important

You know that old saying “first impressions make the best impressions”? Well, it’s true. Research has shown that it takes people about .10 seconds to judge you based on their very first encounter with you. Furthermore, research also suggests that those first impressions are very difficult to change down the road. So what people see […]

10 Tips for an Amazing Family Spring Photoshoot

Have you taken a look out your window yet? If not, run! Spring has sprung, folks. Budding trees. Beautiful flowers peeking out. The sun is actually starting to feel warm again. That means it’s the perfect time to schedule your family photoshoot! With such beautiful weather, you just can’t go wrong. Especially not if you […]

10 Professional Photo Shoot Tips For Your Photo Shoot

So you’ve decided to do a professional photo shoot with a Chicago portrait photographer. Congratulations! A photo shoot can be a fantastic memory in and of itself as you create photographs that you will carry with you through life and hand down through the generations. But in order to make the most of your photo […]

Market Your Business With Professional Headshots

You know this already, but it bears emphasizing: image is a vital part of any business. We live in an increasingly visual society. Much of the business you do will be online and so the image you portray there may be the only way people can engage with you. They’ll either like it or they […]

Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

It goes without saying—but I’ll say it anyway—cell phones are everywhere. There’s nowhere you can today where you won’t find someone using their phone, whether for business or pleasure. And frequently, whether you’re at work, a concert, or wandering a store, you’ll see people using their phones to take photographs. With the advent of phones, […]

7 Reasons Family Portraits Are Important

You see it everywhere today—people capturing the world around them using their phones, whether it’s a concert, sports event, school play, or any family gathering. To be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with that picture (pun intended). It’s wonderful that people can capture memories so easily and conveniently on the go.  However, when it […]

Tips for the Best High School Senior Portraits

What are senior portraits for high school? Senior portraits are the photographs you take toward the end of your final year of high school, when you are preparing to graduate. Whether you have the portraits done by a photographer contracted by the school or by an individual you yourself hire, a portrait will involve a […]

Building A Compelling Brand With Personal Branding Headshots

Some people overlook the importance of clearly establishing a personal brand. Today’s world is indisputably digital—and every bit as visual. Online platforms are increasingly your first opportunity to create a lasting, positive, professional impression on prospective clients. They’ll be looking at all the little details, and that includes examining your headshot for signs of professionalism […]

Do I Really Need a Professional Headshot?

It’s easy to overlook a headshot. It’s just a picture, right? Why would you need one? Well, the truth is there’s a very good reason why you absolutely need a headshot, ASAP: first impressions. The way the world works today, business is conducted online more often than not. You apply for jobs online. You submit […]

How to Get the Perfect Portrait Taken By a Professional

While you’d think having a professional portrait done should be easy, many people find it nerve-wracking. It makes sense—a portrait is something you’re not only going to share with people but is a memory that you will cherish for a lifetime. And you want that memory to encompass the whole photoshoot! To that end, here […]

How to Make Family Portrait Day Go Smoothly

When you decide to get your portrait of your family and/or children done in Chicago, it’s an exciting occasion! There’s all kinds of work involved in finding the right photographer, and once you’ve put in the work and settled on the photographer who you know will help you craft the perfect family portrait in your local Chicago area, then it’s time for Portrait Day.

Environmental Headshots vs Portraits: Marketing with Photography

Environmental Portraits are portraits taken of a subject in a surrounding; often their workplace, which helps tell their story. They are a great way to give the viewer an insight into the life or work of the subject and are an effective way to market yourself or help define your personal brand.

Data Reveals the Importance of Image in Job Search

A 2005 study by Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov found that people make snap judgments (impressions) about a person within a tenth of a second of viewing a photograph of their face.

We are Providing High-Quality and Affordable Headshots in the Chicago Area

It’s 2018 and we’re livin’ in a digital world. People want to see who they’re dealing with and it’s important to give off a great first impression. A professional headshot is the most immediate and effective way to do so. Like it or not, people are Googling you and it’s up to you to control your image.

LinkedIn Photo Tips 2021

Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, it’s unlike any other. Rather than sharing your personal life with your peers, you’ll be networking to find, or remain in, your ideal job. This requires you to think through your profile picture choice. After all, you’re not going to want to post a funny photo, nor should you use a snapshot from your phone. So, what should you do? Read on to find out the best way to get a compelling and professional-looking LinkedIn headshot.

What Should Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Look Like?

Choosing the right photo for your LinkedIn profile should take into consideration your personality and the impression you want to leave.  Generally, the following are essentials for displaying your professional side.

  • Your photo needs to look like you.
  • Your face should take up the majority of the frame.
  • You should be the only person in the picture.
  • Choose an approachable photo with an authentic expression. Confident, competent, friendly, genuine. Be yourself, it will show.
  • Wear what you would wear to work. Dress for the job that you have or want. If it’s a more casual job then you’d look weird in a 3 piece suit, if you’re a high-powered attorney you might consider a tie.

How to Take a Professional Photo for LinkedIn 

Getting the right photo for LinkedIn can be difficult. That’s because the image needs to be professional but also approachable. How do you walk the line between these two criteria? Here’s a few tips for achieving the right LinkedIn headshot: 

  • Choose a Recent Image – The purpose of your headshot is to get your foot in the door, but it’s also to present yourself with how you’d like to be seen: competent, professional, honest, genuine and trustworthy. 
    Let’s face it, most of us don’t look like we did in our 20s, even so, it’s best to avoid using an older photo. You don’t want clients or customers wondering comparing you to a15 year old photo and wondering if they’re in the wrong place. It’s best to present yourself as you are.
  • Dress Correctly – Choosing the right outfit may feel daunting, but there’s an easy way to do it. Simply think about the profession you want and dress accordingly! In other words, if the people who are currently doing the job in question wear a suit, then you’ll need to do the same. If, however, they wear a polo shirt and khakis, you should adjust your look (we’’ touch on more of this later). 
  • Requirements Exist for a Reason – It doesn’t make sense to spend a great deal of time and effort on a profile photo, only to have it rejected. To prevent this, make sure it matches LinkedIn’s profile photo guidelines and sizing when you’re creating and uploading your profile photo – that way, it ends up looking fantastic every time.
  • Don’t Forget the Cover Photo – It isn’t your profile photo, per se, but the cover photo you upload to LinkedIn can cause yours to shrink or change position on smartphones and similar devices. And, you don’t want someone to miss important information about you because they used a different device. Follow LinkedIn’s requirements and guidelines for uploading your custom cover photo, the same way you did with your profile photo. 
  • A Single Headshot is Best – LinkedIn is a professional website, and the focus should be on you. That being said, save the fun group pics for Facebook. A single headshot is best, and you should also ensure that your face takes up about 60% of the frame
  • Use a High Resolution Photo: Use a high resolution photo, although 8MB is the max. Try to avoid small, low-resolution images, which can happen if you try to take a picture of your employee badge. Always use a fresh one instead. 
  • Hiring a Pro Goes a Long Way – A selfie might be great for your social media profile, but the professional nature of LinkedIn requires a more professional approach. A professionally photographed headshot will help you stand out from your peers among potential employers or clients. It gives the right impression and helps to establish your place as a serious candidate.

LinkedIn Headshot Tips 

One of the first things to remember when getting a photo taken is to avoid extraneous details. Rather than doing a half-body shot, focus much more closely on your face. The photo you choose shouldn’t show more than the top 1/3 of your chest. 

Another tip to keep in mind is that there is more than one reason not to select a younger image of yourself. Aside from giving people a red flag, it can also make you look too young for the job you’d like. Remember the common adage: wisdom comes with age. 

Making eye contact is also a major point. But no matter what you choose to do with your eyes, make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses. 

LinkedIn headshots are all about creating your personal brand. Therefore, you want to work with a photographer who is also an artist. Make sure your personal brand shines through in your profile pic. 

Chicago Headshot

What Should I Wear to a LinkedIn Headshot?

Your Linkedin profile photo is the essence of your personal brand, and it is at the heart of the message you want to convey about yourself. Here are some tips on what to wear to a LinkedIn headshot:

  1. No Busy Stripes or Patterns: Avoid busy stripes or patterns since the photo itself is fairly small (400 X 400 pixels). After all, you don’t want anything that detracts too much from the real focus which is, of course, you. 
  2. Avoid Too Much Jewelry: Similar to the effect in #1, too much jewelry can be distracting. A pair of earrings can be a nice and understated touch, but something like a chunky necklace tends to be distracting. 
  3. Layers are Great: Layers look professional and bump up the contrast. Don’t wear too many layers on a hot, summer day, though. You can create an oven for yourself!
  4. Dress for the Industry: Do a little research and dress for the industry you are looking to work in. For instance, find out what the typical dress code is. If it’s business/casual, then a dark suit and tie might be too much. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to be hired by a powerful law firm, then a power suit might be more appropriate. 
  5. When in Doubt, Dress Up: No one is ever going to fault you for being overdressed in your LinkedIn profile pic. Meanwhile, being undressed can give the impression that you are sloppy or don’t take yourself or the job seriously. 
  6. Be Confident, Yet Comfortable: Wear something that you feel confident in. In other words, pick the outfit that you get compliments on every time you wear it. If you feel comfortable and confident then your headshot will reflect that. 

    Additionally, be sure that you feel comfortable in your clothing. You still need to look your best, of course, and you can reach this goal even with the fanciest outfit. If it’s the choice between one suit that’s comfortable and another that’s not, always choose comfort. This will make your image seem more genuine, which is a huge part of getting an interview. 

Can You Use a Selfie For LinkedIn?

While selfies are becoming more accepted on this professional networking site, it is still recommended to have a professional headshot.

A professional photo shows that you take yourself seriously and people will treat you accordingly.

First impressions go a long way. Your profile picture on LinkedIn is a key element to your presence there, and research shows that having a professional picture makes your headshot and profile more likely to be viewed by others. Kyle Bondeson is a professional, Chicago area headshot photographer with years of experience. When it’s time to spruce up your LinkedIn page, be sure to contact us!    

10 Professional Photo Shoot Tips For Your Photo Shoot

So you’ve decided to do a professional photo shoot with a Chicago portrait photographer. Congratulations! A photo shoot can be a fantastic memory in and of itself as you create photographs that you will carry with you through life and hand down through the generations.

But in order to make the most of your photo shoot, a little prep work is helpful. Here are 10 top tips for helping you get the absolute most out of your time with a professional photographer:

1. Consider clothing carefully before the shoot.

Clothing represents who you are. That almost goes without saying. So you want to take the time, prior to the shoot, to put together several outfits which project the image you want captured forever. Choose several outfits because that way you can go casual, dressy, do a fun, goofy picture if that’s your thing, etc.

  • Make sure you consider accessories—any jewelry, for instance—shoes, ties, etc.
  • Also think of things you can layer to easily create multiple outfits.
  • Pack the outfits the night before.
  • If this photo session involves multiple people, coordinating outfits is fine. Actually, it’s great! But that doesn’t mean you want to get all matchy-matchy. Rather, consider colors. If one person is wearing blue, for instance, someone else might wear a green that is a similar shade. 
  • Avoid khaki and bland white shirts. Get creative! Have fun!

Remember—the goal is for this picture to clearly represent you. So pick stuff that makes you feel good inside and out!

2. Consider hair and makeup.

Let’s face it—Chicago professional headshots and photo shoots don’t come cheap. So you want to look great in them! Make the absolute most of your time by considering every detail of your appearance, including hair and makeup. 

If possible, get your hair and makeup done by professionals. That takes a ton of pressure off you and allows you to have that much more fun at your photo shoot. Pros know all the tricks of the trade to make sure you look incredible. Take advantage of their expertise!

Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a friend who excels at the kind of thing. If so, enlist his/her help!

At the very least, strongly consider having someone do your makeup since good (or bad!) makeup can make or break a photo shoot. Professional makeup artists know all about highlighting key features, minimizing flaws, contouring, etc.

Whether you do your hair and makeup yourself or have somebody else do it, the key is to think ahead so that day of the photo shoot, you know the plan and are stress-free.

3. Prop it up.

As part of your pre-shoot prep, think of special things you want included in your photographs. It could be books, awards, suitcases, a special Christmas ornament, sports equipment, flowers, a funky couch—you name it, the sky is the limit as long as you can transport it without undue hassle. Make sure the props are unique and represent the image you want to portray. You want them to enhance the photo shoot and make it that much more, rather than overwhelm it. If you have questions about what will and won’t work, talk to your photographer ahead of time.

Make sure you have anything packed and ready to go the day before.

4. Location, location!

Where you have your photo shoot is every bit as important as what you wear. While photographers undoubtedly have places they love and can recommend—and don’t hesitate to ask about them—there are also special, meaningful places in your life which may make your photographs all the more amazing.

Take some time before the photo shoot to visit such places and figure out the ones that mean the most and which you want captured forever in pictures that will hang in pride of place.

A good tip to keep in mind when considering locations is that a nice balance of sun and shade helps create a good photograph.

While you’re free to choose as many locations as you’d like, do keep in mind that your time for the session is limited, so try to find places that are relatively close to one another so the majority of your session is spent taking incredible pictures and not driving from place to place!

5. Make sure you consider …

Your personality! Your hobbies! What you do for a living! What you love to do with friends! The more you can bring in terms of ideas/props/inspiration to the photo shoot that truly represents you, the more the photo shoot will be amazing. That includes locations. 

Maybe you want to take a picture where you had your first date. Maybe you want to go somewhere inspiration struck and led you to start a whole new business. Or the spot your kid first learned to ride a bike or scored that winning goal. Whatever it is that you want to remember forever, make sure it encapsulates your personality, your life, (and that of anyone else in the shoot) and tell the photographer all about it.

6. Think outside the box.

While you may have certain ideas in mind for a photo shoot, absolutely do not be afraid to get a little wild and crazy. Think unique! You don’t have to do the standard dead-on pose. Lie down. Jump. Sprawl on the grass. Sniff a flower. Use your locations and props to their fullest to give you a truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind photograph.

7. Do your research.

No, you do not want to copy somebody else’s special picture for your own Chicago headshots. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get ideas! Go looking online. Talk to friends. Look in magazines. Gather ideas that help enhance some of the looks and places you’re already considering. Put together a theme. Print it out or snap pictures of it with your phone and bring it to your photo shoot. The more you can give your Chicago family photographer to work with, the better the whole outcome will be.

8. Timing matters.

Yes, you only have a limited amount of time for a session, as we noted earlier. But in addition to that, you need to be aware that certain times of the day are far better for capturing lighting, atmosphere, etc. 

So make sure you show up at the appointed time. Even if you’re just a few minutes late, you may be missing out on the perfect moment because the lighting is suddenly all wrong. 

Show up on time! You’re paying good money to have the best possible experience. Make the most of it from beginning to end.

9. Strike a pose.

Practice some poses beforehand. At the shoot, don’t worry, the photographer is there to help and guide you. But doing some research and practicing in the mirror ahead of time will put you ahead of the game. You want to feel comfortable. This is supposed to be fun!

If you’re ever feeling awkward or shy or unsure during the photo shoot, talk to the photographer. He or she will be glad to offer expert advice to make sure you come out looking great.

10. Be you.

We’ve already said this several times, but it’s vital: be you at the photo shoot. Let your personality shine through. The pictures need to capture you and not someone else’s idea of who you are. So relax at the photo shoot. Let go. Have fun! It does not need to be perfect in order to be perfect.  

The more you allow yourself to just have fun, the more that will be visible in the photographs.

I’m a Chicago-based professional photographer with years of headshot and portrait experience. Please click on the Services Tab for detailed information on my photography services , and samples of my work, and book your session today!