A profile picture plays an integral role in everyone's personal as well as professional life. Be it an Instagram profile picture, a Facebook profile picture, or a picture for your LinkedIn profile or your CV, it's super important to have a couple of DIY profile picture hacks down your sleeves.
In this end-to-end guide, I'll talk about how to how to take a good profile picture along with a few editing & retouching tools. But before we get into that, why is a profile picture important anyway?
In this article
Part 1 Why is a profile picture important?
Here's my take on why a profile picture is important for you in a professional setting. LinkedIn is currently perceived as the "professional" social media network. It's recommended to keep your LinkedIn upgraded with your current achievements.
On a similar note, updating your profile picture on LinkedIn/CV/resume helps your audience (followers, recruiters, job seekers, etc.) to give a face to your industry experience.
In a personal setting, things get simpler. You can keep a profile picture that was shot from a weird angle or you could choose to keep using profile pictures - well shot & well-edited. But, always keep in mind that your profile picture is the first thing any onlooker will notice when they come to your profile.
So, to make sure you have the DIY profile picture beginner tips, let's start off with some simple, quick tips to capture a great profile picture.
Part 2 How to Take a Profile Picture at Home in The Post-COVID Era
There are many myths about getting a perfect profile picture. You might've heard a few of them yourself:
- "I am not good with cameras."
- "I am not very photogenic."
- "My photo retouching skills are basic."
In this DIY profile picture guide, we're here to break such myths. So, what ‘makes' a great profile picture? Is it good lighting, the right clothing, proper pose, or a clean background? Actually, it's a mix of all these.
Lighting plays a very important role in the end-quality of any picture you take, especially your profile pictures. If you've got the right eye to catch the light, you're halfway there to creating a perfect profile picture.
With your DIY profile picture, you don't have the light setting of a studio. You'll have to play around with natural light itself. So, I'd recommend choosing a room with an ample amount of natural light - it could be your bedroom near the window or your living room.
If you have a room with too much natural light, you can use white curtains to diffuse its sheerness. On the other hand, shoot in early morning light or right before sunset, to get the perfect natural light you need for a profile picture.
Clothing plays a large role in deciding whether a picture will be used on a professional platform or a personal one. Depending on the end goal of your DIY profile picture, you could either be wearing professional attire, casual, or semi-formal clothes.
Having said that, the part of your body that you're planning to capture also plays a vital role. Do you want to click a portrait or a full-size profile picture?
As per my recommendation, portraits work best for profile pictures because they are clearly visible even in the short frames of social media's profile pictures.
3.A proper pose
This is one of the most crucial aspects of a perfect DIY profile picture. Most people don't know how to pose properly and end up staring blandly in the camera. It doesn't matter whether you're trying to look friendly, approachable, or casual, the pose you decide for your profile picture will end up determining the quality of your profile picture.
For profile pictures for LinkedIn or your CV, your overall pose/composition should be clean & simple. A simple smile can go a long way. Unlike what most people say, I recommend having 3/4th of your face visible in professional profile pictures.
For casual pictures or WhatsApp profile pic, choose a pose that you're comfortable in. If it doesn't feel natural and you're uncomfortable, it reflects in the picture.
4.A Clear background
The background of your DIY profile picture matters as well. Unless you're in a natural setting, there are always unnecessary background elements that could ruin your otherwise perfect profile picture. So, how to make sure that the background of your profile picture is perfect?
I've seen that you can never go wrong with neutral backgrounds. Use a tool like Wondershare Pixcut and use the power of AI to clean unnecessary background elements from your profile pictures. This will really pop your portrait and vitalize its design.
Here's the best part - PixCut is an online tool and it's 100% free to use.
5.Manage a relaxed face
Here's a beginner 101 tip for a perfect DIY profile picture - never try a pose you're not comfortable in!
This tip works great especially for profile pictures for professional use. Have a relaxed face. It won't only account for a great profile picture but also reflects that you're calm & composed. This tip can be used or omitted for casual profile pictures.
I've seen people using all sorts of poses for their personal social media handles - angry, weird faces that are well-edited to grab the attention of friends and followers.
6.Retouch the picture
Last but not the least, retouching photo is as important as taking it for a perfect DIY profile picture. No matter how perfect a picture is, retouching it makes it look better and allows you to make it even better.
In the next section, we'll look at a couple of mobile apps to give your profile pictures a perfect feel and look before using them.
Part 3 Photo retouching apps recommendations
There are many photo editing and retouching apps available out there. After going through quite a few of them, I've come up with the top 3 ones that you can use to easily edit your DIY profile pictures.
AirBrush is a top-rated photo editing/retouching app - available for both Android & iOS users. This is one of the easiest photo-editing apps I've come across that allows quick retouching of images. You can use it to lighten up your profile pictures and pop their colors to make them perfect!
This photo editing app has some mind-blowing, real-time editing tools. You can use it to remove blemishes and create overall aesthetically pleasing images.
Even though the basic features in the app are free, it contains ads/in-app purchases for a few completely valid premium features.
Photoshop Fix is Adobe's way of competing with mobile editing apps. Adobe is already famous for its plethora of photo/video editing tools and we all trust its capability. Photoshop Fix is no different. As of now, this app is only available for Android users.
The app allows you to smooth, heal, lighten, and make other edits to create aesthetically pleasing profile pictures.
Apart from the basic picture editing tools that can be used to create a perfect profile picture, Photoshop Mix allows you to paint over your picture. So, if you consider yourself creative, this app is the perfect place to try your skills.
Fotor is a mobile editing app and it is available on Android and iOS. This is one of the simplest photo editing apps I've used for revitalizing my profile pictures.
The app allows you to have full control of your profile picture by using its creative features such as stickers, borders, and much more. It also has a one-click enhancement feature that allows you to instantly retouch your profile images.
Other than portraits, you can also use the app to create innovative colleges, create designs, and add appropriate filters.
Part 4 The bottom line
I hope that these tips will help you understand how to take a profile picture or CV photo. Here's the last tip to create a great profile picture - be natural. Be it with your pose, editing, or retouching your picture, always make sure to be natural and not overdo.
Having said that, the mobile apps I've mentioned above work great for slightly retouching or editing your profile pictures. Use the tips and the mobile apps to give your best impression through your profile picture.