Top 5 Tips for a Professional Profile Pic

I find myself forever scrolling on LinkedIn on the “People I May Know” screen. Row after row, face after face, I look through to see any new connections to make.

Last night, while scrolling through, my scrolling was halted by some interesting profile pictures.

Right, wrong or indifferent, the way you present yourself, visually, can alone make an impression. You are your brand, inside and out. Your profile picture often times can be the first introduction someone has of you. Before they even read your name, title or life story, they see your face. Here are a few tips to make sure your next profile pic has your best side and captures who you are:


1 – Light. Light. Light.
Florescent lights are not your friend. They are no ones friend. Stop taking the bathroom and office cube selfies. If only equipped with yourself and a cell phone, find a window or step outside for natural light. Avoid bright sunlight or over exposing your picture so everything is white. Facing a window for your next selfie can do wonders.


2 – Keep it Natural.
There’s a lot of great filters out there that add the right amount of contrast and saturation to images….then there are others that add too much, in a not-so-good way. I’m not saying no to filters, I like them and use the VSCO app often on my own iPhone photos, just be particular on how you edit your images. You are who you are, don’t try to disguise it with a heavy filter that distracts or hides who you are (at some point, you’ll be meeting these people in real life).


3- Add Some Personality.
I’ve never been a real fan of the studio, fake backdrop portraits. They kind of remind of school pictures, remember those? Oh, I dreaded them every year and ended up hating mine…every year. Are you a coffee lover? Head to your favorite coffee shop with your favorite frothy friend in hand for your picture. Are you a big reader? Incorporate some of your favorite books or your collection. Not a suit and tie type of person? Then don’t be. What’s your brand? What do you want people to know about you just from your profile picture?


4- Own it.
There are very few people I’ve come across in my time as a photographer that jump at the chance to have their picture taken. I get it, I’ve nit picked my images too. No one is asking you to be perfect, just own it. Every single feature, that beauty mark, your freckles, how your nose crinkles when you laugh – own it. Confidence can carry in pictures, so make sure you wear it well.


5- Put the Camera Down.
The right light. The right pose. The right background. The right amount of editing. That can be a lot on the already pressure of getting the right shot. Good thing you know someone who can take care of that for you : )  For real though, that’s what professional photographers are for, to take care of all of those details for you. Find a photographer you click with and trust. A simple, amazing quality photo can make a world of difference.