I was having lunch with my friend Alicia earlier this week and talked to her about my most recent post “How to Nail Your Profile Picture on Your Social Media Accounts”. We tossed around a few more ideas that everyone should think about when choosing a profile picture.
1) If you can’t get a professional photo shot done, create your own.
With photoshop, instagram and a plethora of other online photo editing tools, it’s pretty easy to create your own head shot. You just need to get a fairly decent camera and a location in your house/office to take the picture. Try to stay close to windows so you get the natural light and wear bright colors so you stand out. The best thing to do is to get a friend to come to your house/office to take your photo so that all you have to worry about is posing. (Tip: If you don’t have a blank white wall, hang up a white sheet to use as your background)
2) Dress for your audience
I prefer to wear suits quite often so my head shot reflects that. If you work in Tech or another creative field, you may not be comfortable wearing a suit in your picture. No problem! Just choose an outfit that reflects your personality, line of work and style. (Tip: Try not to wear too much black, grey or white. They tend to wash out in a head shot)
3) Update your photo regularly
Make sure to update your photo every year so that it doesn’t look dated. Some people assume that if they work at the same company or are in the same field for a few years then they don’t need to update their photo. It’s really important to refresh the content on your social media pages regularly so that people see that you are actively engaged.
4) Don’t use a black and white photo
Black and white photos are really cool for artistic pictures but not for professional social media profiles. The only exception is if you are an artist and you are trying to make a statement. That being said, try to keep your picture simple. No fancy borders, effects or editing. Just get a natural photo that looks like you and speaks to your professional side.
5) Figure out which side of your face photographs better
This sounds strange but I’ve noticed that for most people they have a better side that shows up well in a photo. Make sure to take your head shot from that angle so that it is more flattering.
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