How to Take a Great Profile Picture… for Online Dating, Social Media or Anywhere Else!
Ah, the art of the profile picture! It’s an art some have mastered, and yet others struggle to understand. From blurry, out-of-focus snapshots to the awkward bathroom mirror picture – we’ve seen it all. And, dear friend, we’re here to help you. Read on to learn how to take a great profile picture – for your online dating profile, social media account or just about anywhere else.
Before you read on, remember that you can achieve the following with nearly any photographic device. Whether you’re ready to bust out your digital SLR, prefer your handy point-and-shoot or choose to rely on your smartphone – you’ll be posting star-quality pictures in no time at all.
It all comes down to four easy-to-follow instructions:
1. Natural Light is Your Best Friend
When taking a photo, always make sure you’ve got natural light. Artificial flash, fluorescent light bulbs or your side table lamp will never be able to compete with the benefits of natural daylight. Taking photos outside (but not in direct sunlight) or by a window will immediately up your picture-taking game.
An important tip to remember is to face the light. You should always face your light source and take your photo with things in this order: light, camera, and subject. This will allow for the light to show on your subject (you!). It’s going to minimize fine lines, really light up your complexion, show off the sparkle in your eyes and result in the highest quality photograph possible. When you face away from light, you end up with unflattering shadows, low picture quality and a blown out effect.
2. Ditch the Duck Face
There’s a time and place for silly, funny faces. Your profile picture? Not one of them. Ditch the duck face, kissy lips and pouty poses. Your profile picture is your first impression online, so make it a good one!
Something else to avoid is looking mean or disinterested. There’s no better pose than a warm, welcoming smile – whether you choose to show off your pearly whites or not. Your face lights up when you smile, you automatically look younger and you’ll be perceived as more approachable and happy. Save the duck face for another time, and opt for a 100 watt smile.
3. Know Your Angles
There’s no shame in practising your game! Take a few shots of yourself from different angles to get a feel for what angles work best for you. You might find holding the camera slightly higher than your face helps lengthen and thin your appearance.
Maybe holding it a little lower helps to accentuate your chin and bring out your bone structure. Whatever the case may be, take a bit of time to learn your best angles and put them to work!
4. Don’t Over Edit
When it comes to photos, natural effects are always best. Nothing looks worse than an overly edited photo. An Instagram filter is fine, but don’t go crazy with layering multiple filters or trying to Photoshop your body to look different. Not only will it be easy to tell you’ve doctored the picture, but it’s not a true representation of yourself. And, you’re pretty great just as you are!
Take a few photos and choose your favourite, but don’t feel as though you have to have a magazine-ready photo. Remember that celeb pictures are often very, very airbrushed and that you’re a real, authentic person. Real is always better!