Profile Yourselfie: Creating the Best Profile Pic

If your online time is focused on more than just email and searching, chances are you’ve got a social page where a profile pic shows your fabulous face. But does that profile pic represent you well? If it looks janky, it’s time to create a new one and put your best foot forward. We’re going to take a look at a PicMonkey staffer’s profile pic, and show you how a thoughtful re-take and some easy effects can really boost her online presence on professional networks like LinkedIn (we’ve got another article on LinkedIn), and social networks like Facebook.

photo of Karen's old profile pic

This is Karen’s old Linkedin profile picture. There are a few things we want to do, to help her hit a high note, here. First, she’s not really letting her bubbly personality shine through with that bad-girl serious expression. Also, the selfie arm-holding-camera thing is okay for social profile pics, but we shouldn’t be seeing it in a professional profile pic. And lastly, her photo is over-edited — too many effects! Now let’s begin the revamp…

Things to remember when shooting your profile photo

  • Use a neutral or muted color background. White backgrounds can wash out lighter skin tones, and brightly colored backgrounds can cast an uncomplimentary hue across the skin.
  • Use your best, most natural smile. Don’t be afraid to show your pearly whites!
  • If possible, use a self-timer to take the photo, to get rid of the arm in the picture. This will reduce the chances of a blurry photo, and give you a shot you can use in both professional and personal spheres.

Editing your photo for professional sites

photos showing before and after Daguerreotype_Brady effect

You can do a (nearly) one-click edit for your professional profile picture by heading straight to the Effects tab. Click Daguerreotype and select “Brady.” This effect replicates the look of Civil War photographer Mathew Brady (Google it and you’ll sound so photo connoisseur at your next cocktail party). By sheer coincidence, it also magically wipes away skin imperfections and beautifully enhances the darks in photos. Also try Tranquil, Dusk, or Film Stock for more one-click color options that look very professional as well.

Editing your photo for dating sites

When you want a photo to show off your date-worthiness, remember that gaudy overuse of effects and too much Blush Boost can shed the wrong (somewhat humorous) light on the assets you want to promote.

photos showing before and after Intrepid efffect

Start by going to the Touch Up tab. Get rid of stray hairs using the Clone tool, soften wrinkles with Wrinkle Remover (here we used a 70% fade), and smooth out minor skin flaws using the Airbrush effect. Add subtle color to the lips using Lip Tint, for extra pout-ability. Then zoom in to add Mascara (here at a 60% fade). To add a final touch to your dating allure, try adding the Intrepid effect with a 50% fade. So Zsa Zsa, dahling!

Tip: You don’t want to look like you belong in a wax museum! When using Touch Up effects, adjust the “Fade” slider before you apply them, so you can choose the right strength for the effect.

Editing your photo for social sites

photos showing before and after light effects and tiara overlay

On Facebook and other purely social social networking sites you can go for more relaxed, candid photos of yourself. Kayaking selfies, bowling alley selfies — why not?! Or you can add fun personality notes with editing. Here’s where there are virtually no rules. Play around until you’ve created the perfect selfie for your friends and family to see!

Use Light Trails textures to set an effervescent mood. Or transport yourself to fairyland by adding pastel Clouds textures. Be sure to set “Blend Mode” to Normal and click the paintbrush to erase the clouds off your face in the original. Or be royal! Add a tiara from the Hats overlays, and some Sparkle Stars. Her majesty “likes” your post about whatever it is you commoners do!

Tip: If you do choose to play it goofy with your Facebook profile pic, just make sure your page isn’t linked to other professional websites. Many will automatically pull your Facebook profile pic into their pages, and you really don’t want Ms. Future Boss Lady to see that shot of you with your nose Scotch-taped to your forehead!


Read more:

  • doug edge

    when will pimonkey create a cut and post app. like the piZap one

  • yegeta

    I was planning to edit my photo for social sites.
    Are there any additional tools in Picmonky such as gradient and stroke?

    thanks for the tip

  • Pingback: Dig Our New Look! | PicMonkey Blog()

  • okeskinidis

    I actually wrote a post all about this! How to take creative photos with your iphone, and then editing with picmonkey. I absolutely love the simplicity of picmonkey, as well as the affordable price when creating unique designs! Thanks for the great tips too :-)


    the blog post is here; if anyone wants to check it out :-)

    • PicMonkey

      Hi Oly. Nice article, but you forgot to mention PicMonkey. What in the what? 😉

  • okeskinidis

    Ahh, we owe you an apology! Looks like when editing took place, our editor omitted it. We’ve quickly fixed it :0) The good news is that, tomorrow’s post is a tutorial on “How to Make Your Fashion Blog Look Chic”. Pretty cool right?
    Thank for being fabulous,

  • bethaua

    Sooo going to add this to my upcoming Tute on how to make fun designs with PicMonkey — getting my readers designer vibe ON!

  • susan

    How do I get a floral background on a collage???