How to Take a Great Photo for Your Social Media Avatar

With the absolute explosion of all things social networking, you’d have to be living under a cloud of dirt in some remote corner of the galaxy not to have heard the word and it’s likely you actually have an avatar of your very own. . . or at the very least a profile picture or two or three adorning all the social networks you frequent.  

**PLEASE NOTE: Different profile pics are appropriate for different situations and that ultimately it’s all a matter of preference.  As a general rule of thumb however, not all profile images are created equal.  9 times out of 10 you’ll find that the majority of these tips apply. . .And it should go without saying that not EVERY photographer needs a picture of themselves hugging their 5d.

1. Fill the Frame
The most successful profile images, the ones that really make a distinct statement that is difficult to forget, are those that are easily visible even at minuscule sizes.  It’s important that your profile picture doesn’t require the viewer to squint and lean a nose length from the screen to determine what they’re actually looking at.

2.  Keep it Natural
Help your subject relax.  Profile pics with relaxed, natural smiles are most inviting. Whether you’re shooting for a personal facebook account or a head shot type photo for Linkedin or a less formal shot for a company’s twitter updates, a nice, natural portrait is best.  Natural portraits convey an air of confidence and competence simultaneously.  They also invoke feelings of comfort and a feeling of trust.

3.  Clean up the Background
Distracting elements in a profile image are a big no no.  Please don’t take someone outside and have them stand in front of a big bush.  That thing will swallow your subject whole at .5″ by .5″.  A nice clean background is best.  Create some distance between your subject and their background and shoot at around f4 or lower.  Be careful, you want to keep your subject’s eyes sharp.

4. Play with Angles
A profile picture should say something about who you are.  It should be interesting and hopefully eye catching and unforgettable.  One way to experiment with this is to play around with camera angles.  Exercise caution! A funky angle just for the sake of it is like the #1 sure fire sign of an amateur photographer. . . “I’m going to be creative and show how artistic I am by not holding the camera straight!”
Appropriate use of angles can also help make an image appear more flattering to the physique.

5.  Keep it Professional
Last but not least, keep it professional.  And by professional mean: cover yourself up for crying out loud!

Join The Mailing List To Recieve Free Updates!

Back Next