When you think of remote work, you might not instantly make the connection to professional profile pictures. According to data from Google Trends, the search volume for both “headshot” and “professional headshots” is at an all-time high since 2004.
Why is that?
Hundreds of remote collaboration tools have been created alongside the rise of remote work, and just about all of them offer users the opportunity to upload a profile picture, ideally to attach a face to the otherwise unsocial world of working online.
Slack, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, or even the profile picture you use for email—there is a tiny box waiting for you to upload a profile picture in just about every tool or app you click on throughout your work day. Whatever you do, won’t leave them empty!
There’s something strangely impersonal about an empty profile picture in the workplace. We can’t quite put into words why empty profile pictures feel cold and more difficult to connect with, but we’re sure you know exactly what we’re talking about—it’s why you’re here, reading this article.
If your employer hasn’t asked you to update your headshot already, it’s coming. In 2023 the expectation is that remote workers use a professional profile picture when interacting with teammates and clients alike. The level of required formality will vary—typically a high-res headshot in casual clothing will be good enough to set you apart, with dress clothing more likely to make an appearance the higher your take-home salary is.
The point is, when you’re working online and taking your job seriously, you need to represent yourself with a professional profile picture. It shows dedication, professionalism, and helps your coworkers (and your boss) better connect to the human side of you.
I can now update my resume and social media profiles with a current headshot. - Toria
Where to get a professional profile picture
There are 3 primary options available to obtain a professional profile picture of your own; including 2 options you may not have heard of before, or perhaps only in passing conversation.
Find a local photographer
Do you remember back when the world was simple and you went to a photographer when you wanted a photo taken? While the modern headshot options below have made things much more interesting, local photographers are still excellent resources for getting professional headshots done.
The only problems we have with local photographers is that you need to conduct a vetting process on your own, and it can be difficult for the average person to separate the truly professional photographers from the pretenders. Plus, photographers aren’t cheap, and you typically need to disrupt your schedule to go see one.
Try virtual headshots online
Have you heard of virtual headshots before?
Practiced long before AI technology met photography, virtual headshots are essentially remote video consultations with photographers. In other words, you video call a photographer, walk them through your surroundings to find an ideal place to shoot your photos, hand your phone off to a friend or family member you have on standby, and flash your pearly whites while your friend is being guided by the photographer’s cues.
After your pseudo-photoshoot is completed, you’ll send all the photos you took to the virtual photographer who coached you through the session for professional edits. This is when they may decide to swap out the backdrop, touch up the coloring, and add some trusty airbrushing to clean up your headshot.
Virtual headshots are slightly more convenient than visiting a local photographer, but they still require a fixed time commitment, cost quite a bit relative to the few photos you get in return, and rely on the quality of your phone’s camera combined with the photoshop skills of the virtual photographer you’re paying.
Use AI to generate professional profile pictures
It’s the cheapest way to get your headshots done, with the most expensive package setting you back $49 for 240 professional headshots.It’s also the fastest way, with most turnaround times clocking in at 2 hours or less. But do AI headshot generators like HeadshotPro really work for creating professional profile pictures?
It’s funny—the companies behind professional profile picture generators like HeadshotPro tend to obsess over the lifelike photo quality of their outputs. It’s something our team of AI engineers is tweaking on a daily basis, to maximize the realism and consistency of our headshots. Yet, if you were to ask our average customer why they chose HeadshotPro, they’d likely tell you it’s because of the extremely convenient process.
I needed a professional headshot quickly. A shoot by a professional photographer was not possible due to time constraints and my budget. - Gary
To create your own AI-generated headshots, all you need to do is signup for HeadshotPro and upload 17-20 selfies—we’ll handle everything else, and approximately 2 hours later you will get an email notification letting you know that your headshots are ready for download. No phone calls, no consultations, no getting dressed up. It’s hard to beat the convenience of AI-generated headshots.
What makes a professional profile picture?
Most people will know a professional profile photo when they see one. If you’re unsure whether or not a specific photo is professional or not, chances are it’s not professional enough. Here are the common elements that make up a work-friendly profile picture you can feel comfortable using in a work environment.
Clothing that you’d wear to work
No matter how good you look in that white t-shirt, it’s a tough look to pull off in a professional work setting. An easy way to test yourself is to imagine you were wearing your pictured clothing on a day you had to go into the office—would you look out of place? If the answer is yes, it’s time to do an outfit change.
HeadshotPro currently offers 28 unique, professional clothing options for your AI headshots.
A backdrop outside of your basement
Taking a reasonably good selfie headshot is nearly possible with your phone—if you have the photo editing skills necessary to add a professional backdrop. Virtual headshot companies charge a lot of money to do exactly this: they aim for a ‘good enough’ selfie before loading the results up in Photoshop to make the photo appear as though it was taken by a real camera.
HeadshotPro has 24 unique headshot backdrops to choose from for your AI headshots.
A cool, confident facial expression
Even if it takes 100 photos to capture the right expression, it’ll all feel worth it in the end if you manage to capture the right look. If you go the “I’ll take it myself” route, you’ll have to learn how to shed the awkwardness and discomfort your face is broadcasting during your solo photo shoot. This is certainly an advantage of hiring a local photographer. Their years of experience will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
Does the thought of perfecting a pose in front of the camera fill you with anxiety? You’re not alone. An advantage of HeadshotPro’s AI headshots is that the model used, which learns about your unique facial features directly from the selfies you upload, consistently creates the most photogenic version of yourself. That means no posing and no awkward small talk with photographers.
You can get your professional headshots done in your pajamas and they’ll come out 2 hours later looking fantastic.
Where to use your professional profile pictures
Even if you don’t work remotely, a large part of your workflow likely involves getting your hands on online collaboration tools that have room to display your professional headshot at work. Here are the most common websites, services, and tools where you can take advantage of your professional profile picture.
The home of making connections with people you’ve never met before, LinkedIn headshots are one of our customer’s favorite reasons to use HeadshotPro. A professional profile picture is a known way to boost the amount of profile views you get on LinkedIn, which could lead to landing your next big job.
As much as everybody wants to see more photos of your cute pets, Slack isn’t the place to use them as your profile photo. Nobody will blame you for using a good enough photo in Slack, but there’s no denying that a professional looking headshot can help you appear more competent than that old vacation photo.
Some may argue Microsoft Teams is a slightly more corporate environment than Slack. You can make your professional profile photo as formal as you’d like with HeadshotPro’s selection of 28 unique professional outfits.
There are few industries where you can get away with foregoing a professional photo on your own company’s website. Get your headshots done and add them to your website to watch the trust potential customers have in you spike, big time.
Business & corporate events
Presenters, booth hosts, and minglers alike all need to present the best version of themselves at corporate conferences and events. HeadshotPro regularly delivers corporate headshots for teams at special rates—perfect for getting your entire team ready for a big event.
Professional email profile picture (Gmail, etc)
Using a professional email profile picture will impress your clients, coworkers, and your parents. It’s a quick win that could even boost the amount of replies you’re getting back. Nobody gets excited about replying to a default profile picture. Well, maybe just your mom.
And virtually everywhere else
You can never have enough good photos of yourself. There are virtually endless uses for professional profile pictures. With AI headshots that start from $29 and end at just $49, getting your headshots done is a low-cost high upside investment in your career for business professionals of all ages.
Fun fact: When we say professional profile pictures can be used anywhere, we mean anywhere. Here is one of most interesting examples, shared by a HeadshotPro customer: On short notice, I needed to provide a headshot for an upcoming pinball tournament that will be televised on Twitch and needed to provide a headshot while I was out of the country and could not get a new one taken. - Stephen, HeadshotPro customer
Professional profile picture examples
Each of the photos below are real customer headshots generated by HeadshotPro, shared with permission from each customer.
Fast pictures, professional looking. [Didn't have to] find and meet up with a photographer. - Marcie
Nice reviews and fair price. I can use the pictures in other places, like WhatsApp, Teams, etc. - Alex
Andreas generated professional profile pictures to use for an application photo.
Got a professional headshot at a lower cost, and helped myself be known to recruiters. - Eliel
[I'm] unable to take good pictures. [HeadshotPro] provided proper pictures for LinkedIn and my resume. - Floor