by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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What considerations are especially important when taking a headshot for a professional networking site such as LinkedIn? Obviously, all normal good photography techniques apply, but are there any specific concerns for professional profile pictures?

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As a specific consideration for a social networking site, consider that the profile images are invariably to the left of their name / text. So having them (or their body at least) facing to the right means they're looking 'into' their content. – James Snell Dec 16 '12 at 18:03
@James: Good point, but that means the person in the picture should be looking to their left, not right. – Olin Lathrop Dec 16 '12 at 19:45
Just putting a real headshot there instead of thumbing your nose at everyone else by putting a picture of your cat, some silly cartoon character, etc, will already put you ahead of the majorit there. – Olin Lathrop Dec 16 '12 at 19:47

Remove distractions from the background, make sure to nail focus on the eyes, ensure proper soft attractive lighting, and use a lens that is both sharp and flattering for portrait photography.

Lots of tutorials and examples exist, search for "headshots":

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Hurley's advice should be at the top of the list. A trained monkey can do the mechanical photography part (generations of "school picture" types working for minimum wage and shooting 20-30 kids/minute have proved that quite thoroughly); the hard part is bringing the subject to life. "10% photographer, 90% therapist" is about right. – user2719 Dec 17 '12 at 1:21

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