What Makes a Good Profile Picture

Does your Facebook photo show off your personality…or your pet?
Amber Evans from Stars Talent Studio has 10 dos and don’ts for your social media profile picture.

Instead of taking photos a few inches away, which can distort facial features (especially the nose, wrinkles, etc), step back 4 feet and zoom in with your camera. Almost all cameras provide some sort of zoom feature. Most smartphones zoom by touching the screen with your fingers. By zooming in with your camera correctly, you will now flatter your features!

As you determine your photo spot, take a look at what is around you, especially behind you. Try not to have anything directly behind you for at least 15 or 20 feet, if possible. Solid and pattern walls are best! When you select a solid background you become the focal point instead of having unnecessary distractions.

Taking your own portrait is one of the biggest faux pas around. Mirror shots or extended arm shots are only okay if you’re 16 and getting ready for Homecoming. If you have to, there are ways to maneuver the camera so your arm isn’t in the shot, but don’t think you’re fooling anyone… There are many people in the world who wouldn’t mind taking your picture!

A picture might be worth 1,000 words, so be aware of photos that show too much skin, display alcohol, or are in a bedroom setting. Set boundaries and show that you are respectful of yourself. With over 250 million people that could see your photos on line, say NO to lingerie shots, bikini shots, cleavagecleavage shots, or showing off your ripped abs as your profile shot. This only shows you are seeking for attention! Add captions to add a backstory to your tasteful photos and encourage comments and likes.

Avoid MUG looking shots. Whether you are looking for a dating profile picture or a pic to use for your Facebook or other social media accounts, select a fun, genuine photo of yourself which shows your personality. Photos communicate how you feel about yourself. Display photos that show you are happy, healthy, and confident. Avoid photos that make you look depressed, angry, or cocky.

Whether you are using a timer with your camera on a tripod, or having someone take the picture, you want the camera to have a great angle on you. This doesn’t mean it has to be straight-on (although that’s the most popular). To thin yourself out a bit, angle your body about 45 degrees away from the camera, but keep your head looking at the camera. Try different ideas with your arms (straight down, on hips, one arm on hips, arms crossed, etc). Applying good photo movement can provide a stronger range of photos to select from. So shift your frame (including your shoulders) around! Also, try moving your feet around and shifting your weight!

I don’t recommend having several people in the profile photo (especially not 5+), or a picture of your cat, dog, or even a landscape shot.

Make it clear and accurate who the person is! — In your profile shot you want only you in the picture. It is confusing to others when your BFF or significant other join in on the fun. Choose “only you” for your profile shot online, rather than your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend or party group which may confuse people on your status or who you are!


If you’ve got a smart phone, tablet, or computer, you can add Photoshop to your photos with a variety of applications. Our favorite free apps include Pixlr, PE Fotolr or Snapseed! They all help with removing red eye, auto-adjusting levels, and upping the contrast are all really easy tricks you can do to make your images really shine.

You may have played around with them for your Friendster or MySpace profile, but now it’s time to stop making your face glow green and blue, and avoid using those stock filters. Your profile shot should be what you look like… not you as a cartoon.

Amber M. Evans is the owner of STARS Talent Studio. She has also been an International model, Judge for the Miss America and Miss USA organizations, Author, TV Personality, and Inner & Outer Beauty Expert. She owns the #1 Talent Agency in the Nation Devoted to Developing Healthy Role Models in the Media and is being looked at for a national reality TV show. She represents singers, bands, models, actors, and voice talent for music, fashion, and entertainment industry. Feel free to call for a free consultation at (801) 201-5885, email her amber@starstalentstudio.com
or visit her website at www.starstalentstudio.com.

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