#ELGL18 Photo Shoot: What Does Your Profile Pic Say About You?

#ELGL18 Photo Shoot: What Does Your Profile Pic Say About You?

This guest blog is by Angelica Wedell with the National Research Center, Inc. Meet Angelica at #ELGL18 – she’ll be behind the camera taking pictures at the conference!


Prospective employers, professional connections and even residents will likely see your LinkedIn profile picture before anything else when they search your name. So that photograph is in large part responsible for your reputation online and off.

After working with multimedia for the last decade, I believe the old saying is true: “A picture says a thousand words.”

The subconscious mind draws a lot of meaning from every visual element, from lighting and shadows to colors and shapes. Many of these connotations come from ancient days – back when our ancestors felt that peaceful shades of blue reminded them of sunny days and gentle ocean waves.

Some meanings influenced the lexicon in earlier days of mass media, like the color “Yellow” attached to “Journalism” since the 1890s to decry sensationalism. Movies today often use light and shadow to visually bestow fear or trust. Darth Vader is enshrouded in darkness while Luke Skywalker is lit brightly. Even the very angle from which a photo is taken can communicate authority, weakness or neutrality.

So what does your LinkedIn profile picture say about you?

There is no time like the present to refresh your personal brand online. So National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is sponsoring a professional photo-shoot at #ELGL18.

That means I get to take a portrait pic of your beautiful face and email it to you after the conference. And that photo is yours, completely free, to post wherever you want (like LinkedIn).

To help you look your very best on camera, here are three wardrobe choices you may want to avoid.

Tiny Lines or Checker Patterns

  • Shirts with fine lines cause an optical illusion called the Moiré Effect. Clothing with these patterns may look wonderful in person, but on camera these patterns seem to move and ripple. The effect also causes issues with picture quality when attempting to adjust the resolution of the image file. The Moiré Effect is even more pronounced on video. If you want to wear lines or checkers in your photo, I recommend choosing a top with very thick lines that won’t stress the eye.

All White

  • A lot of movies like to dress actors in all white tops in scenes where the characters are sick. This is because white is the most light-reflective color and washes out skin tones. Bright white can also cause a blooming effect under the flash. If you plan to wear a white top, pairing it with a colored sweater or blazer is a great option.

Flash Reflecting Bling

  • I love big, blingy earrings, but they don’t play well with the camera flash. Under the lights, the twinkle can create distracting, gleaming spots in the photo. Some celebrities will purposefully use highly reflective purses and jewelry to foil the paparazzi – a sparkle large enough will completely block their face! Jewelry can help polish a portrait, but it is best to choose adornments that don’t dazzle quite so much in the light.

Are you ready for your close-up?

You’ll find me taking pictures throughout the #ELGL18 conference. And come to the Celebration event on Friday evening where I’ll have some standing studio lights ready to go. For more info and updates on your favorite #LocalGov conference, visit elgl.org/elgl18.