When was the last time you updated your profile picture? Maybe you’ve had the same photo from your summer vacation up for months or you’re coming up on a year of post-grad life, but you still have a cap and gown in your picture. It’s time to reevaluate some things.
Having the right profile picture can totally change your online image. It can be the difference between a left or a right swipe on Tinder or getting a response from a business professional whom you’ve reached out to on LinkedIn.
Regardless of what you want to do with your online presence, you first need to use the following tips to get the best profile picture possible.
1. Play up Your Best Features
Go take a look in the mirror. What do you notice first? Is it your eyes, your smile, or maybe your hair? Whatever your best feature is, you should have a profile picture that showcases this.
If you love your curves, your muscles, or something that isn’t necessarily from the shoulders up, there are some ways to get these in the shot. You can try sitting down or standing further away from the camera. Or, you can use this as a time to focus on your face and find other things to appreciate about yourself.
2. Know Your Angles
It’s one thing to pick out your best features in the mirror and another to find the right angles that complement them. Figure out if you look better when a picture is taken from the right or left side of your body.
Also, practice how to hold yourself up and how to make your smile look natural, not forced. Other angles to consider are the height at which you’d like the camera to be and how far away you’re going to stand from it, too.
3. Get Full Body Shots and Close-Ups
Your best angle may be a close-up shot that brings out your eyes or something from the waist up that highlights your curves. Either way, it’s best to get a mix of close-ups and full body shots.
This allows you to have some variety when it comes down to picking your best profile photo. You may go into a shoot feeling certain about one angle until the photographer finds something else that works. Not to mention, every social media platform and online dating site has its own way of formatting a photo.
4. Pick a Scene That Suits You
As you’re thinking about all the angles and camera positions possible, be mindful of the background you’d like to have. Choose a scene that reflects who you are.
If you love to be outdoors, go to a park or to the beach to take pictures for your profile. If you’re all about working out, take a few pictures at the gym.
But, try to align the scene with what you want to use your profile picture for, too. Having dedication in the gym doesn’t get you very far if you’re looking for professional job offers. Similarly, a work-related headshot may not be your best option if you’re looking for a romantic partner.
The right background for your profile picture is something that expresses your character and meets certain requirements. It’s professional enough for your job hunt or interesting enough to catch a potential partner’s eye.
5. Dress the Part
Here’s another thing to think about: your outfit. No matter how good you look in person or what your best angles are in front of the camera, you need the right outfit to make yourself stand out. This goes for all profile pictures – professional headshots, online dating sites, and the average social channel, too.
You want people to think you have a good sense of style. This tells potential employers that you know how to pay attention to detail and be presentable. It tells men/women that you take good care of yourself, which is a quality many people want in a partner.
Plus, when you look good, you feel good! The right outfit will make it easier to pose for photos and show off your personality when it’s time to take your pictures. This easy-going attitude translates into the shots taken.
6. Choose the Right Time of Day
Timing isn’t something many people think of when preparing to take some online dating profile pictures. However, this can really make or break how the images come out.
The last thing you want to do is have the perfect backdrop and the right outfit, only to have the sun shining behind you. Backlight makes a shadow fall on the entire frame.
But, you don’t want to be looking right at the sun, either. This will cause you to squint and maybe even start sweating a little, which isn’t very cute. There are some exceptions to this rule, like if you’re going to be inside or you’re in an area that’s otherwise covered.
Sometimes, sunlight behind you can be a good thing if you find the right photographer. The best time to try out this approach, though, is at sunset.
7. Take Plenty of Photos
Okay – you’ve planned every detail from the place and timing to your shoes and hairstyle, now what? It’s time to take photos! Take as many shots as possible when you’re with your photographer.
Even if the first couple of shots turn out great, use your time to try different angles and various distances, too. This provides you with plenty of high-quality options to choose from for a profile picture, which is much better than having slim pickings.
8. Download More Than One Profile Picture
Speaking of choosing the good profile pictures from the bad, make sure you keep a handful of your favorite shots. It might be a good idea to use different photos for your Facebook, Instagram, and dating profile. Or, you may want to keep everything consistent.
Either way, having more than one new profile picture is still a good idea. It gives you a backup photo if you get bored and want something new. This collection is also good for an online dating profile where you can showcase more than one image, even if there’s only one profile picture.
9. Add Something Unique
When you’re ready to click “save” on your best profile picture, look it over one last time. Ask yourself what’s missing. Can you do anything to this picture to make it better?
Play with the thought of adding a filter or some sort of feature to make the photo stand out even more. This can be especially great if your favorite sport is in full swing at the moment or if there’s a cause getting attention right now that you’re passionate about.
But, make sure borders, stickers, and filters enhance your profile picture. If they look too distracting or cover part of your face, stick with the classic shot.
Getting the Best Profile Picture Made Simple
It’s one thing to understand the tips above in theory, and another to actually get the best profile picture as a result. What if you don’t know any photographers who can take your new photo? What if you need this done right away?
Don’t worry — you’ve come to the right place. Click here to find a photographer in your area and get the process started!