How to Take the Perfect Profile Picture

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In the digital age, profile pictures count. As the first impression you give friends and potential followers, it is vital it’s flattering and representative, but it’s not always easy to get a photo that captures your personality. Whether you’re looking for a picture for a dating profile or for the latest social media app, you want to look at your best.

Below are five tips to ensure your profile pictures stand out from the crowd.

Good Lighting

Lighting can make or break a photo, so take time to make it work for you. Whether you let natural light do the heavy lifting or cheat with the help of a fluorescent ring light, make sure the light faces you front on to avoid overexposure. For a dramatic result, go bright or opt for a more natural glow with softer light. If you wear glasses, check for reflections in the lenses or the dreaded glare.

Dress to Impress

If you want a headshot, what you are wearing will be less important than if you are hoping to capture a full-length shot (headshots are generally a better choice for a profile picture, as it can be difficult to see details of a full-length shot in a thumbnail), but you can still showcase your personality from the neck up. Makeup, hats, and accessories can make a bold statement.

Plain and Simple

Although it can be tempting to have a striking backdrop, a plain colour is a better choice. You should be the centerpiece of your profile picture and a light-colored background is flattering and ensures you are the main attraction. Think of the actor and model headshots you see and you’ll notice how effective the simple background can be.

Looking Great

Decide what you want your photo to say. If you are staring straight into the camera, your image will portray that of a confident, assured individual. Depending on your facial expression, it might be alluring or may be aggressive. Looking beyond the camera or down to the floor can display a thoughtful or coy demeanour. Your expression changes your whole look, so try a variety of poses to find one that best represents you.

Filter-Free

Filters are commonplace on social media but consider whether the effects you are adding are benefitting your photos. If your photo will be seen by your boss, family, or potential dates, do you really want it to have kittycat ears and whiskers? Even ‘beauty’ filters designed to widen eyes or smooth skin can look false. Instead of using filters, try changing the brightness, sharpness, or saturation by uploading photoshop to the Lenovo laptop you use for schoolwork. This improves images without contorting features. Your profile picture should look like you, not a cartoon version of you!

Whatever you choose, you should feel comfortable and relaxed – a profile picture should encapsulate your essence. While you don’t have to smile on your profile picture, do consider that a happy resting face is seen as healthier and more attractive.

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