A few years ago, I did the official holiday portrait for Vice President Joe Biden and family. I first met the uber-charming Dr. Jill Biden and her staff while photographing an event at the VP's residence for the Red Cross. Two years later, they thought of me when they were looking for a portrait photographer to do some family photos for their annual holiday card.

(Below you can see an awkward photo of me, Dr. Jill and Santa Claus from that day.)

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Most folks who come into the studio mention new LinkedIn headshots as one of their goals. Here are a few of my thoughts on the topic.

Have Something... Anything!

You gotta have a photograph of some sort in your profile, even if it's from your trip to Cancun and there's an iguana on your shoulder. Your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed when there’s a profile photo. That’s huge.

Seriously, what is your impression of someone who has a ‘not pictured’ avatar next to their name? At best, they appear too lazy to upload ...

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Some days when I'm not shooting in my studio, I'm working on a personal project photographing people I find wandering down the alley behind my house. A few weeks ago, I got an exciting message out of the blue from the photography editor of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. He had heard about my project and wanted to publish a selection of images.

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When I'm not doing headshots in my home studio, I'm sometimes about 100 feet away shooting portraits in the alley behind my house for a personal project.

A few months ago, the Baltimore Sun got wind of the project and decided to do a short video which is now live here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/bs-vid-dennis-drenner-baltimore-street-photographer-20151225-premiumvideo.html.

To see more photos from the project, run on over to www.hampdenalleyportraits.com.

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The (somewhat creepily named) website Photofeeler.com rates business profile pictures based on how they project competence, likeability, and influence. These are basically the criteria we have in mind when shooting headshots, so we went ahead and put a few of our photos to the test to see how we would do. The results are in, and we’re pretty happy!

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