Guess who was on an amazing podcast to talk alllllllll about headshots??


That’s right. THIS GIRL!

In this podcast, Angela and I talk all about headshots. The do’s and don’ts and general recommendations when you are looking to hire a photographer for your headshots or even tips on how to take your own headshot photos.


Before we get started, in case you wanted some background on Angela (because she’s fabulous and you should definitely connect with her)…

Angela Copeland is a career expert and Founder at her firm, Copeland Coaching. She is host of the Copeland Coaching Podcast, columnist for the Career Corner newspaper column, and author of career bookΒ Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job. Angela’s personal career background gives her the breadth to help job seekers with a variety of different needs, including finding the right job, interviewing, and offer negotiation. Angela shared her own career journey in a TEDx Talk, β€œHow I broke the rules & found my perfect job.”

Ok, so headshots…where do we even start??


Can you give me some general do’s and don’ts for the LinkedIn profile photo?

Yes! Here’s my short list:

1. Look professional.

2. Wear clothes you’d actually wear to work.

3. Make sure it’s just you in the photo. (And yes, this includes body parts that have been cropped out.)

4. Look at the camera to get that great eye connection.

5. Your face should take up most of the screen. Obviously, you can do more of a full body shot, but the larger your face in the profile photo, the better the human connection will be with recruiters and job employers.


Wait…do we smile or no smile?

Ahh, this depends on the message you want to send people viewing your profile. Strong and serious – no smile. Customer-oriented and approachable – smile!


How often should we be replacing headshots? (5:50 min)

My headshot on LinkedIn is 3-4 years old. Don’t feel like you have to change it every 6 months to a year. Just make sure that it actually looks like you. πŸ™‚ We don’t want to catfish our employers. Haha


I think the main thing I want to drive home in this first part of the interview is that your profile photo is a representation of you, the job you want, how you want your brand to be perceived. It should also be of just you! No kids, no random group photo that you cropped everyone else out of, no spouse. Just you. Period.


There is a place for personal photos…even on LinkedIn, but that place ain’t your profile photo. Show people the real you, but keep that business filter on it and respect the platform.


What do we wear in our headshot photos?


Here’s another one of those “…it depends” answers. And honestly, that’s the truth. What are you trying to accomplish in your photos? How do you want to come across? Do you want to look like a boss man in a full on suit? Would you rather look tech-y and fit into that casual environment? All of that goes into the “what should I wear” question. For someone just looking for a “normal” position, guys can definitely wear a suit jacket and button up – tie optional. For women, I’d recommend a nice work blouse with a jewelry pop and maybe a suit jacket depending on how “professional” you are wanting and how much you want to cover your arms.


Backgrounds…that’s something we choose?? (12ish min)


Well, kinda. Usually headshot photographers have background options that you can choose from (like a white, gray, blue background). You can also choose an actual location that fits your brand/style. Think hotel lobby, a colorful mural, a swanky AirBNB. When talking to your photographer, this is something y’all can brainstorm together and pick something that fits your style. You can make suggestions, but the photographer should also make recommendations that would work for you.


What about full-body shots? How do you plan for that? (14 min)


For a more full-body shot, that’s where the background really becomes more important since you can see more of it in the photo. I recommend finding a background that fits the look you’re going for and coordinate clothes to work with that.


Additionally, consider picking a background with props that fit the scene. Props like a desk…even a conveniently placed wall. These things are great to sit and lean on and add visual interest to the photo without taking attention from you.


What do we do for a photo when we, errr, don’t really have the money to hire someone? (17:30 min)


Girl. Been there, done that. I get it. We’re all going through a tough time right now. When you don’t really have the resources to have your photo taken…take them yourself. Pull out that swanky new phone of yours. Here are some tips for making the best out of it.

1. Stand next to a window. (Either facing or literally next to one).

2. Bring phone slightly higher (like forehead level) and tilt down.

3. Turn off all other lights in the room.

And voilΓ . 3 simple things you can do to make a LinkedIn worthy photo.


What’s the best way to find a headshot photographer??Β 

If you’re in the Denver area…hey heyyyyyyyyyyy. My name is Madison. Have we met yet?? I love shooting headshots…


If you’re elsewhere, I would honestly start with a Google search: “headshot photographers near me” (or actually put your city you’re looking for). In addition to headshot photographer, you can also search for a branding photographer as it’s a similar style photography genre. You can also bring your search over to Instagram. Just type in the search bar: #(your city)headshotphotographer. For me, this would be #denverheadshotphotographer. I could also use #denverphotographer and #denverbrandingphotographer.


What all can we expect when we hire a headshot photographer?

I can’t really speak for other photographers, but for me and my base package, you receive about 15-20 minutes of photos. One outfit, one location, a proofing gallery of watermarked images and one high resolution retouched image. This is the basic package and goes up from there. You can add on more time, more locations, hair and makeup, multiple retouched images…the possibilities are endless.


One benefit to adding on more time and outfits is the variety of photos you’d be able to get. You would be able to swap out your photos and use them on your website without being too repetitive.


And although it may seem “extra” to hire a hair and makeup person, it’s definitely well-worth the money to have them done for that extra professional look. Hair and makeup people know what they need to do make sure you’re ready for photos. I do retouch photos, but it’s always nice to start with the best image possible. They take out shiny spots, cover up certain spots…but just make sure you actually like their work before you hire them and see people like yourself in their portfolio. If you’re not sure how to find them, I love using Instagram for both hair and makeup people because you see an entire portfolio immediately. Just use #(yourcity)makeupartists #(yourcity)hairstylist.


Wait…so back to that retouching thing? Can you explain that a bit? (29:45 min)


Sure, so first off…just know that “retouched” and “edited” mean two different things in the photography world. Edited is color corrected and cropped. Retouched is individually fixing each little flaw within the image. Retouching would include things like smoothing out wrinkles, whitening teeth, taking out blemishes, thinning people up…all of that jazz. Retouching takes considerably more time.


When hiring someone, make sure you ask what you’re actually getting…retouched or just edited images.


And speaking of what you actually get, let’s talk a little about some of the different terminology here. (31 min)


Low resolution images or “web-ready” images are smaller file sizes that are meant for online usage. High resolution images or “print-ready” images are larger file sizes that you would want to print. You’ll want to confirm which images you are receiving and using so you won’t end up with slow load times online or fuzzy images in print.


What all do we get when we hire a photographer? In terms of usage rights, etc. (34:20 min).


Ahh, this is a good question. Usage rights are kind of hard to understand for photography because when you see images online…they seem like they can just be used randomly. But not the case. Definitely don’t do that. Haha. Most likely, here’s the arrangement that your photographer has set up. The photographer retains full rights to the image. You as the client will have personal printing rights. This is mainly so you don’t sell your image they took and make lots of money off of it, and they receive no commission. Honestly, this is really only a big deal for large corporations paying for an image for marketing, or influencers selling their images to promote companies. All in all, just know that you probably won’t be able to sell your images in any way without paying the photographer, but you also probably won’t need to and personal rights to the image will be plenty for you.


Can you give me some sort of range for headshots??


Honestly, headshots range all over the place. You can pay $50-$3,000 or more for a photo. It all just depends on what’s included in the session, how bitchin’ the photographer is, the finished goods, the services added, and the time of the photographer. Me for example, my sessions are $165 and include: 15-20 minutes of shooting, one location, one outfit, a proofing gallery, and one high resolution retouched image. Just remember that you are paying for more than just one photo. You’re paying for the knowledge and expertise of the photographer, their posing ideas, their technical skills, their location suggestions…all of that. Remember, this is a different experience than you holding up a phone and snapping a selfie. πŸ˜‰


Lastly, how do we control our online brand…especially while job searching?


Well, first I think you need to know what your online brand currently is. Do a self-audit and see what pops up when you Google your name. Then check out your social media accounts and profiles to see what photos and content pops up. Start there. It’s hard to change anything when you don’t really know where you’re starting from.


After you see where you are, you need to decide where you want to go. How do you want employers or future customers to see you. For the content that doesn’t fit within that view…clean it up!


I highly recommend “owning your name” meaning buy your personal URL. If you own your own business or even just want to further establish your brand, purchasing your URL name adds to that professionalism that so many companies crave. ie: my website is My email to contact me is Not Just something to think about.


Ok! That wraps up this podcast episode! I hope y’all found this helpful! Thank you again to Angela from Copeland Coaching for interviewing me on headshot photography! Make sure to give her a follow:ΒΒ and connect on LinkedIn:Β


And while we’re at it, have we connected on LinkedIn yet?? If not, let’s do itttttt!!!Β


And until next time!