Professional Bio Shots

Professional Bio Shots

As soon as I mention professional bio shots, people have such strong emotions attached to this. If you’ve had great shots in the past you can get excited but so many of us have had such terrible experiences in the past with this that it taints our future enthusiasm.

Why is it important?

  1. You are your business. I don’t care if you have a product or service, you are still at the centre! I do question if you are not already featured on your website as the owner, why not?
  2. At some point you will need bio shots. Whether it is for LinkedIn, a feature on your business or maybe a speaking or panel opportunity, or perhaps an award. When this comes up, trust me, having a great professional bio photo makes a huge difference to your confidence and your outcome.

My background

When I started my clothing business in 2010, Leina Broughton now Leina & Fleur, I knew nothing about photography except I knew what I liked. Regardless of your creative side, you will know what you like too - once you start looking.

  • In 2010 phones and filters were not where they are today so it took a lot of testing and failing, but I’ve put in lots of work so hopefully I can fast track this for you!

3 Elements to getting started

There are 3 key things we need when getting professional bio shots;

  1. Vision
  2. Practice
  3. Photographer - this is optional, if you are street fighting and hustling to grow your business and budget is tight, our smartphones are amazing!! You can do this with a friend.

Let’s get started with Vision

As humans, we are visual and your photo starts a conversation with potential customers, suppliers and staff before you meet in person. From your photo, people can often get a feel for if you are an energetic match or not, or can imagine what it’s like to talk to you. Are you approachable or intimidating? What are you trying to say?

  • So this brings us to the first element of creating the vision.
  • Write down 3 words that you want to portray. What would you want people to think about you before meeting you?
  • For me, my 3 words are smart, savvy and warm. I use these 3 words as the gauge for any photos I have taken - does this photo say smart/savvy/warm?

(This photo and the series of my most recent images are by my friend and beautiful photographer Zoe-Marie. Check her out here)

The next part of the vision is Pinterest.

Yes I thought you’d enjoy the distraction!! If you’re like me and you have a love of collecting beautiful images, this is like self care in business. What I want you to do is to start making a board that is full of examples that you might be able to replicate for your professional shot.

I like to start this process by dumping a huge amount of images that you like, don’t overthink it, just add whatever sparks a “hmm that looks good”, that very first gut response. Now that you have a selection of images you can go back and cull using your 3 words as the measure.

Pinterest Leina Broughton Official

For me, I would ask, does this image say smart, savvy and warm?

You can repeat this over and over until you whittle down to a selection that you can replicate. I have a board that you can check out on pinterest that may kickstart your journey.

Elements in the photos

Now you have a collection of images (ideally around 10) you can start breaking it down into key elements.

  • Background - what is working? Do you know a location that could work? Could you hire somewhere? Loads of spaces for hire now so we have options. It’s not video so even a loud environment is ok, if it’s ok with you.
  • Props - are there any props in the shot? Will they work for you?
  • Style - what could work on you? What do you already own? Do plains or prints look better?
  • Hair - is it hair up, hair down or hair completely natural.
  • Makeup - what would work for you? Subtle and natural or perhaps a bold lip?

At this point you may decide to make separate boards for style, hair and makeup, it’s up to you. I definitely like separate boards as I like to be able to go to a makeup artist (Mecca is a great option for this) and I can show the artist specifically what I want.

Hot tips for creating inspiration boards for your professional bio shoot

  • Keep it tight - Studio vs countryside is not usually realistic for one photoshoot.
  • I like to stick to 3s - 3 subtle variations of background within one location (think home shoot might be kitchen, home office and lounge) and 3 different outfits, very achievable in one shoot. If you are shooting in your office you could even use 3 different walls to mix it up.
  • These boards are essentially going to be your brief for your friend or photographer to get the shot so make sure every image is relevant to your planned photoshoot.

Practice makes progress

You may have already heard me harping on about becoming the observer in your business and it is no different with photos. I have been to so many photoshoots and helped so many women get in the zone with this. Remember YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WE WANT TO SEE YOU. This applies to each and every one of you reading. You may not have photos that you love, yet. But they are just around the corner.

Get Judge Judy off your shoulder and start looking at photos as an observer.

    • What angle works for me?
    • What light works for me?
    • What clothes work best on me?
    • What poses work for me?
    • Does the background tell my story?

You are going to need a tripod, your smartphone and an understanding of how to use the timer on your phone and you are 3-2-1 ready.

Practice makes progress

Take your inspo images from Pinterest and start trying to recreate them. You can absolutely do this with a photographer but if you work it out on your own while you are navigating this space you will save yourself a huge amount of money and build incredible confidence. You might even start to enjoy yourself!

If you start freaking out at this point, remember why you are doing this;

That award? That opportunity to be featured or speak? Showcasing your business? This photo is wrapped with beautiful energy and you’ve got this.

Working with a photographer

Finding a photographer is easy when you remove the name photographer.

  • Imagine you are looking for a consultant in your business;
    • Research them
    • Does their work look relevant to your brief? (aka your pinterest boards)
    • Can you get a sense of working with them? Are they an energetic match? Socials are your friend here or a recommendation
    • Are they available and in your price range? Always know your numbers!!

Ideally you will get to a point where you are updating your bio shots twice a year, so finding a great photographer that you can keep on working with is key. And if the first photographer you find isn't a match don't take that as an excuse to not be in photos again, be the observer, keep looking.


I love measuring ROI and for me and as a ball park I want that to be $50 per image. So if the cost of your shoot is $500 (including hair, makeup, location and photographer) you want to be getting a minimum of 10 digital images you can use. 10 great images can last you a really long time, even 5 is workable.

And remember if you have no budget for this, it’s an opportunity to get creative!! Are there photography students looking to build their portfolios, or is your partner or kids budding photographers - use them. Once you have the practice and the brief you are ready to take control of your professional bio shots.

In summary

  • Get over your fear of being photos and get in them!! Your business needs you.
  • What are your 3 words?
  • Create those pinterest boards - add, cull, add, cull
  • Build your brief from your boards
  • And get practising!! Progress comes from action, action is where the magic lives!!
  • And find a photographer that is right for you; style, rapport, price and availability

Your Action Steps for this week

There’s a lot to digest here, especially if this space is new to you so my hot tip is to start with the 3 words that you want your personal brand to speak and to get that pinterest board started.

Remember I’m on Pinterest as leinabroughtoncreative, so please feel free to check it out (and follow!) and maybe re-pin some of those to get you started.

But remember, whatever you do, make sure it’s an action and not a thought.

The difference between good and great in business or anywhere else for that matter is action.

Forever learning, forever evolving,

Leina x

PS The greatest gift that you can give me and my business is to share this content, so a big thank you in advance for sharing ❤️

Leina Broughton

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