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 is it your best profile pic option? Does it represent you? 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 more tips in our article about getting the best LinkedIn profile pic), and social networks like Facebook.
This is Karen’s old LinkedIn picture. There are a few things we want to do, to help her hit a high note. 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 profile photo for professional sites
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.
Tip: If you’d like your profile pic to be square, try using Blank Facebook Post or Blank Instagram Post. These two social media templates are basically instant profile picture makers—they’ll not only reshape your profile pic to its regular quadrilateral self, but they will also resize it so that it’ll render bea-you-tifully. The Facebook post will change it to 1200 x 1200 pixels, and Instagram will be 1080 x 1080. To insert your image to either one, just open the template and right-click, then select one of the “Replace from…” options.
Editing your profile 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.
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 percent 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 percent fade). To add a final touch to your dating allure, try adding the Intrepid effect with a 50 percent 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. For more posing and editing tips, check out our article about online dating profile pictures.
Editing your profile photo for social sites
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 the 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!
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