How to pack more into a portrait

When was the last time you refreshed your LinkedIn portrait? Or your ‘about us’ page image? Perhaps it’s time to look again.

Take a look at this:

Rameez Zafar

This is a blog post about portrait photography. But, perhaps a little unconventionally, it’s about how you can pack a whole world of meaning into a portrait by getting beyond the main subject.

Make the subject the star
‘But’ I can hear you saying, ‘isn’t the most important part of a portrait the… um, portrait?’ Yes, of course it is. And as you can see from the shots here, relaxed, natural shots of founder Rameez Zafar are very much the headline of every image. Actually, naturalness was the very reason Rameez asked me to be Eligible’s portrait photographer.

Rameez Zafar Photo

Sticking to the golden rule of portraits (make the subject the star) is perhaps more important than it’s ever been, because when it comes to using your portrait, many applications don’t have space for anything other than the headshot.

Your LinkedIn profile, for example, needs to show you at your best in one tiny circle. Aim for arty or offbeat, and you end up with a profile picture of half a cheek or the end of your nose. Try to cram too much into the picture and you end up looking really, really small.

The message behind your portrait


Portraits don’t only live on LinkedIn. Eligible is a new tech start-up. By their very nature, tech start-ups are modern, vibrant and energetic. So by using Canary Wharf as a backdrop to Rameez’s portrait, we’re filling the background space with images that scream modernity. The futuristic setting (not for nothing was part of Canary Wharf used as a location in the last Star Wars movie) chimes with the nature of the business. It may be subliminal, but when you see the complete portrait, the background image tells you something about the person in the foreground.

Does your portrait work that hard? If not, get in touch with me here. I’d love to help.

My commercial photography portfolio | Corporate photography portfolio | Blog posts