Taking the perfect photo for social media has become something of an essential skill, particularly if you are regularly using photo-based apps like Instagram. Unfortunately, taking a great profile picture isn’t as simple as just pointing and shooting, or pulling a duck face in the mirror, but luckily for you I’m here to help you out with some tips for taking the perfect profile pic.
Really people, get your lighting sorted. There are far too many people on Instagram who have decided to go with a profile picture which is either too dark or far too bright – changing the brightness after taking the picture doesn’t count! Make sure that you take your photo in a bright space, where your face is clearly visible.
When framing your profile picture, you should aim to have your head and the top of your shoulders visible – anything more than that is likely going to be too much, and it will be lost in the small size of the image on Instagram. The other thing to remember is that Instagram crops your image into a circular frame when you upload it as a profile picture, so it is best to plan for this and avoid having any detail (or even parts of your face) in areas that might get cut off.
Choosing a subject for your profile picture might not be that difficult, especially if it is for your own personal profile in which case the subject is likely to simply be your face. The key component to remember when choosing your subject is that a profile picture is the most abstracted high-level representation of what your profile is and what it is about. For better or worse, people will judge the quality and content of a profile based on the picture, so make sure that it is relevant and of a high enough quality to garner interest.
Choosing what goes in the background of your profile picture will likely not be that high up your priority list, but it can be another area which holds your image back if you’re not careful. You really want the subject of your image to stand out, so try and make sure the background is a colour that nicely contrasts with the foreground and draws the eye.
Hopefully this doesn’t need saying but remember not to leave anything embarrassing in the background of your profile picture too! You don’t want to construct the perfect shot, only to have everyone focus on what is going on in the background.