Everyone needs a profile picture, whether it’s for social media, a resume, or an app, but how do you take a profile picture that looks good and showcases your unique personality? The stakes are high when it comes to getting your profile picture just right. Your picture is the first impression you make on your online audience and a part of your personal brand that can impact you both professionally and socially.
Whether you’re signing up on a platform for the first time or simply want to update your existing profile picture, these tips will help you create an image you love and that puts your best foot forward.
While this depends on where you will be using your profile picture, it’s generally better to show your face. If you’re thinking about skipping featuring your face entirely in your profile picture so you can showcase your passions, such as a piece of art you created, you should reconsider. Your face allows you to connect with your audience, so it should be front and center.
If you want to show off your passions through the images, place those types of photos as your cover image or background, not in your profile picture.
Your head shouldn’t be too close or too far away from the camera. A profile picture should be framed, which means people can see your face but also a bit of the background. If you try to take a selfie for your profile picture, make sure you can hold the camera far enough away that you don’t cut off the top of your head.
If you can’t accomplish the framing on your own, you should consider hiring a professional photographer. They will be able to perfect the positioning and bring out some of your personality in the photo.
Consider the colors that are most prominent on the platform where you will be using this profile picture and find a way to add a contrasting color to the background. You can even make your background and your outfit contrasting colors. That can help your profile picture pop a bit more for those looking at it.
It’s also appropriate to go with an outfit color that makes you feel confident and powerful and goes well with your skin tone, hair, and eyes. Giving some thought ahead of time to which outfit color will be the most flattering can pay off when creating an amazing digital image.
Your profile picture should focus on your face, so keeping your background simple is an excellent idea. You don’t want your background to command more attention than your face does. Having a profile image with a blurred background will help make your photo stand out more.
A trained photographer has access to backgrounds that will work well for your profile picture. If you’re less than impressed with the background you’ve selected when you shoot your own picture, it may be time to enlist some professional help.
Sometimes, we have a hard time seeing ourselves the way others do. That’s when it can pay off to ask for a second opinion from a trusted friend or colleague. If you don’t mind sharing your profile picture attempt with others, ask people close to you for their honest opinions. What would their first impression be if they didn’t know you and saw this photo for the first time?
You might be surprised at their answers and realize that the impression they get isn’t the vibe you’re trying to put out there. It might be a good idea to give them several options to look at, so you can find one that is universally liked.
If you are running your own business, there is a way to sneak your brand into your profile picture, too. In fact, it can be a clever source of marketing. You can place your logo in the background, wear a branded shirt, or add a mini logo to your photo if there is some space. You could also include a prop in your photo that is symbolic of your career, such as a calculator tucked in your front pocket if you’re a financial advisor.
Not everyone feels confident about their photography skills. Just as you might call a mechanic to fix your car or go to a professional to have your taxes done, you might want to consider calling a professional photographer to get the best professional photo you can.
Your photographer can talk to you about your career, goals, and what you’re hoping your profile picture will accomplish. You can book a mini-session that will give you several photos to choose from, so you can find one you love.