What Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Says About You

Appearances count, especially for job seekers. At a job interview, a potential job seeker should looked polished and professional. However, some job seekers forget that thanks to social media, many employers have already formed an opinion about an applicant long before an applicant walks through the first door. This is one reason recruiters recommend that job seekers maintain a complete LinkedIn profile. A complete profile shows potential employers that a prospective candidate is a professional. 

One of the most important aspects of a polished LinkedIn profile is the profile picture. Statistics show that LinkedIn profiles with a photo receive far more inquiries than those without. As a professional headshot photographer in D.C., I see dozens of job seekers hoping to land the gig of their dreams. It’s my goal to craft a professional photo that will enhance a LinkedIn profile and help job seekers land that interview.

Example of before and after headshot. Who is more confident and able to do the job?

It’s a team effort between photographer and subject. The goal is to create a professional headshot in which the job seeker appears confident and capable. Your face should be the focus of the picture, and you should wear professional attire. More importantly, your face should have a pleasant facial expression.  

Working with a professional photographer on these critical headshots will ensure that your LinkedIn profile photo represents you in the best possible light. I work to create a photograph that shows your professionalism, but also a bit of your personality. This means assisting a job candidate in finding the right attire for the photo shoot, tweaking the color and contrast so the photo communicates life and vitality. I will also enlarge pupils, soften harsh light and make photo edits to ensure the best photo.

Minor tweaks aside, you really do want your profile photo to look like you. Research suggests that after networking events, corporate recruiters will check out LinkedIn profiles of those they meet. A recruiter who recognizes a person he or she met at the event will recall the personal connection you made. This greatly increases your chances of getting an interview.

Recruiters and hiring managers are seeking candidates who are the complete professional package. This starts with a professional headshot. A professional photo won’t get you the job, but it can help you get in the door. And then, it’s up to you.

Why You Should Get Your Hair and Make-Up Done Professionally

If you are an actor, you know the importance of make-up when you are in front of the camera. You would never dare set foot in front of a video camera unless you had your hair and makeup done. But, for others, such as business professionals, the choice may not be so obvious. Here are just a few reasons why I believe working with a hair and make-up professional is the best way to create a great headshot for your acting career!

Without professional hair/makeup.

Without professional hair/makeup.

Without professional hair/makeup.

Without professional hair/makeup.


Cameras are a wonderful invention, don’t get me wrong, but they do create problems for headshots without professional makeup (and hair). When I take headshots, I want to be able to focus on posing you and on creating genuine and fresh headshots, rather than focusing on the shininess of your skin or the fly-aways of your hair. Cameras however, like the ones used in professional photography, will catch all of those things - AND MORE! With a professional make-up artist, they can conceal your flaws, bring our your eyes with the best colors, smooth those fly-aways, and make your face look expressive and beautiful.

Emphasizing the Best

One of the best things about having a professional make-up artist do your make-up and a hairstylist do your hair is that they will be able to emphasize the best of your features. When I work with my preferred make-up artists and hairstylists, I will usually show them a picture of what I look like normally to give them an idea of what I want and they will be able to take it from there--they know how to make a face look good for the bright lights, high-res camera, and more because hair and make-up looks very different in photos than it does in person. One of the most important things for a headshot is to never try anything new with your hair or make-up. Keep to your normal look as it will never end well if you choose to try something new for your photos.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

With professional hair/makeup.

If you are looking for professional headshots in DC, look no further than my company, Headshots by Tim Coburn, for your best headshot ever.

Why You Should HAVE FUN during Your Headshot Photo Shoot

Since first impressions can never be undone, being careful to make the right one the first time around is always in your favor. Whether you are applying for your dream job, trying to book your first gig, or are attaching your face and name with your life’s work, the right headshot is an essential part of the equation. Read on to learn more about creative professional headshots and why I always recommend having fun during your headshot session.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

When you only have a second for your picture to catch someone’s eye, you have to make that second count. That picture will get seen more often than your resume will get read, and your headshot is generally your foot in the door. Make it count, relax and have fun. Let the photographer do the work.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

If your picture is the quickest way to tell your story, what do you want it to say? Are you a serious, accomplished professional? Are you a creative, bright personality? No matter what other people dictate as the norm for corporate headshots in DC, I always recommend letting your personality shine through your photograph.

The Secret Weapon: Have Fun

What is the best way to give a glimpse of the inner you through your headshot? Have fun with the photo shoot itself. When you are having fun, you are less concerned with your insecurities, you tend to relax into your natural self, and your level of happiness gives you a certain glow. Whether your personality is big and bright or more mellow and reserved, you can let that shine through so that people viewing your headshot get a small preview into who you really are.

So, on photoshoot day, take advantage of the opportunity to dress up, be the center of attention, relax, and have fun with your photoshoot. Always feel free to communicate how you feel and what you need in order to let go and just have fun.

What (and What) Not to Wear in Your Headshot

A professional headshot portrait is often a necessary step in the growth of your career. Headshots can be used on company websites, social media and business cards. These portraits offer a personalized touch to businesses, allowing customers to connect services and big companies with the individual behind the work. However, getting a good headshot isn’t necessarily as easy as snapping a quick photo.

The right clothes, look, and an experienced headshot photographer are all necessary in getting that perfect picture. A lot of my clients ask, “But what are the right clothes, the right look?”  I’ve compiled some of my favorite tips in the sections below. Follow these tips below for great looking headshots, and get that perfect picture every time.

Turtlenecks or boxy, plain shirts are unflattering, especially through a camera lens. I find that classic cut suits for both men and women are universally flattering and never go out of style. Choose suits that don’t wrinkle or bunch when sitting down. Choose the classic colors, like navy and gray. Shirts and ties (for men) should coordinate with the suit. A very classic look for men is a white shirt, unbuttoned and a dark blazer, very chic. Keep tie patterns simple with bright, bold colors because too many patterns can be distracting. V-neck shirts are typically very flattering for women, but make sure it’s not too low cut. We don’t want too many distractions.

Jewelry should be flattering rather than distracting. Sometimes it’s better to get a headshot taken with no jewelry. For women, makeup can be tricky when getting their headshot done. I suggest wearing the same amount of makeup one would wear each day and keeping eyeshadow and lipstick in neutral, soft hues. Too much makeup may divert from the subject of the portrait—you! Keep it simple and professional.

All of these tips are important in achieving a great headshot, but my most important piece of advice when looking for professional DC headshots is to find a great photographer. Photographers should be experienced, but they should also be able to make their subjects relax. A relaxed subject is a happy subject, and that is key in getting a great picture.

Benefits Of Having A Professional Headshot

Professional headshots are a good idea for professionals in any industry. Many people don't enjoy having their picture taken for various reasons, but there are countless benefits to having a quality headshot at your disposal. At DC Headshots, we know personally what a professional headshot photographer can offer your career.

Like What You See

Let’s face it, many of us don’t love how we look in pictures. But you need to love your headshot because if you don't like your picture, then you won’t post or share it. A professional photographer can use tricks with lighting, angles, and color to make you look your best. Professionals have training and experience that allow them to see what others don't see in order to enhance the image and bring out your best features. Headshots by a professional photographer should please even the harshest of critics,


It’s all about what you put out there. And a quality headshot is great advertising! Putting a friendly face forward can do wonders for business. The biggest benefit to professional headshots is what you can do with the photo. In today's online world, a professional photo can have dozens of uses from social media, blogs, websites and even email signatures.

Represents Professionalism and Quality

Cameras are everywhere; tablets, phones, computers, etc. Unfortunately, not all cameras or photographers are created equal. You wouldn’t choose a selfie from a phone to represent yourself professionally. Nor a decade old picture. On the other hand, a beautiful, professionally crafted headshot projects the image of success.

Why Your Old Acting Headshots Aren’t Getting Noticed.

As a headshot photographer in Washington, DC, I love helping talented individuals make their way in a competitive market. This city isn't normally thought of as a creative city, but we're out there! If you've noticed that your old actor headshots are no longer doing the trick at getting you auditions and call-backs, then I have a few ideas as to why that might be. If you think any of the following apply to you, then it might be time to get some new ones done.

Wear your hair in your headshot the same way you wear it to your auditions. 

Wear your hair in your headshot the same way you wear it to your auditions. 

They Don't Look Like You

Obviously, you want to look your best in your headshots. This is why there is make-up, wardrobe choices, and even photo-shopping. That being said, you really do want your headshots to look like you. If a casting director sees that there is a big difference from what they see on the audition floor, and what they see on your headshot, they might feel a bit confused. This can also make it hard for them to remember who you were when they are flipping through the headshots after the auditions. You want your pictures to appear natural and very much like you.

They Are Not Professional

Yes, it is sometimes expensive to get professional shots done. Yes, it is worth it. If you've been trying to cut corners by having non-professional pictures work as your headshots, then that could be your main problem in getting the kind of attention you want. You need to get the best pictures, and you want to show the casting directors that you are very serious about the career. Many times people see your headshot before they see you, if someone isn't impressed by your headshot, they probably won't be impressed by you.

They Do Not Show Enough Personality

Gone are the days when you would submit a headshot with a bunch of different posed shots with different facets of your life. This means that you have to show through your eyes and your resting expression just how dynamic your personality really is. This can be hard, but when it is done right, the calls will come flooding in.

There Are Too Many Distractions

You want your shots to be very simple and all about you. There should not be anything in the background or patterns in your clothing that would distract from you and what you can bring to the table. The headshot should be all about YOU! Not your clothing or anything else.

Tthis shot has shapes in the background, but the focus is still on the actor.

Tthis shot has shapes in the background, but the focus is still on the actor.

Seasoned Actor Gets New Headshot

Authority figures such as senators, office executives and pastors are roles Ned is no stranger to. He was recently cast in a historical reenactment for the Discovery network. But his old headshot didn't really show an individual in power as much as a warm friendly guy, which he is! It was time for Ned to update his look... and a few years had passed. It's important for actors to look like their headshots. We shot a few of those power looks together but also gave him range to use for different roles. Even if you are getting type cast as a specific part it's still important to have a neutral headshot of just YOU... no costumes. Check out Ned's different actor headshot looks below.

actor headshot
actor headshot
actor headshot
actor headshot
actor headshot

Actress Headshot Makeover



Lilian complained to me that her current headshot just wasn't her personality. She said it looked kind of bland and didn't showcase who she really was. When she showed me the headshot, I completely agreed! Here standing in front of me was a fun, sweet personality. But when I looked at her image, I didn't see much. She looked more like a singer than an actress. We created a few looks for her, something fresh, something sweet and a final image with a little more edge. While she was in hair and makeup, we connected quite a bit and I found out she was originally from Cameroon. I had recently just returned from Cameroon so it was fun to tell her about my experiences in her country. 

As you could tell, I was more than a little nervous about what to expect from the session, but I needn’t have worried at all; you both totally put me at ease from the start which made such a difference. Your patience, expertise, yet “down-to-earthness” made it easy to just sit back and roll with things. Thank you!
— Lilan
Behind the scenes with Lilian

Behind the scenes with Lilian

Headshot Mistakes



This is a CLASSIC example of why people come to me to redo/update headshots. Alicia was just the sweetest girl, an absolute pleasure to work with. So, you can image my shock and horror when she showed me her headshot. Eeek! She had gone to Philadelphia for her first headshot. Her teachers at her school took one look this and said, "You need to reshoot this!" It was pretty much the same reaction I had.

So what's wrong?

--Head tilt: It's in the passive position. Unless you are a therapist who needs your audience to see you as understanding, easy going, PASSIVE!, I wouldn't suggest this. Actors need to be confident, strong, charming, personable. All these things in one split second. No pressure.

--Background: Pink. Really? The simpler the better. You want YOU to show through the shot, not the background.

--Hair: It's too big for her head and it's too big for the photo. This image reminds me of one of those images you see in a salon, either on the wall or in one of those hair magazines. Not an actor headshot.

--Smile: I don't believe that smile for one second! She's like, "Hi, I'm smiling, I promise."

We threw the headshot in the headshot in the trash (before scanning it in of course) and quickly banged out some rocking new headshots! She's confident, cool, simple background and genuine expressions. She'll have a hard time choosing just one.

After shots: Fresh Faced!

Gopher From 'The Love Boat'

Fred came to my studio after his New York agent recommended that he work with me. Fred needed updated actor headshots and and couldn’t have been a more unassuming and down to earth guy! We got to chatting a little about his career and he told me he used to work in LA. I love to hear people's stories so I asked him what type of work he did out there, assuming film. He told me he actually was in TV and did a little shot for a while. Curious, I asked him if it was a show I might know. He casually replied, “Oh yeah, a little show called The Love Boat."

Blank stare. The.frickin.Love.Boat?!!

Turns out that not only was Fred “Gopher” on the Love Boat for nine seasons but he was a member of Congress, College Professor, TV and Radio host, former President/Captain/CEO of Goodwill and is a Harvard grad (!) What?! Who knew?!

Of course Fred didn’t mention any of this during the shoot (my assistant looked up his bio for this post). He wasn’t about bragging, just getting the best shots and his years of experience in front of the camera showed--he knew exactly what to do to get the shot! He really impressed me and I could tell he was a seasoned professional in front of the camera.

Fred and his agent were thrilled with his photos and he started booking work with his photos before they were even retouched! Score!

Michael Hayes - Actor Headshot

Michel Hayes is nothing short of fascinating! This man of 62, with the spirit of a 25-year-old, has handfuls of tricks in his bag. He had us laughing on our knees when trying on his outfits and showing off his posing skills before starting his acting headshot session. The man is a pro…literally! He has taught posing modeling classes and has his own work to prove it. Check out his vintage work (below) from when he used to model back in the day. He did print work, commercials and film in New York City between 1975-1992. He proudly worked with the likes of Oleg Casini and belongs to the Screen Actors Guild.

Beyond his charisma and on-camera personality, he left NYC to work on a United Nations project in Ethiopia where he met his now wife, Liberty. When he's not busy volunteering to change world crises, like the UNODC project to fight human trafficking, he loves to attend musical concerts of the legendary greats with his lovely lady. We wish this man the best of luck in his acting ventures as he re-emerges from retirement!

Below: Michael working in the 70s and 80s.

photo 1
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Seasoned Actress

Esther Covington is a seasoned actress! She's also a fabulous piano player and singer with a big personality! I know because she lives across the hall from me. Occasionally when I'm coming or going from my place I hear her practicing and I pause for a moment to enjoy the free entertainment. I scheduled her late on a Friday evening and we made a party out of her headshot session, complete with champagne. We waited a little while before popping the bottle though, we wanted her expression to be appropriate and the photos to be in focus! Here are the shots she selected.