Creating Your Best Profile Picture
Science shows there's more to creating the perfect photo for social media profiles then you may have realised
Surely you just take a quick selfie when you want a profile picture and then you're good to go? Well, not according to science. Studies show there's more to creating the perfect photo for a business bio or social networking platform. A hastily taken snapshot is unlikely to generate positive results unless you're lucky enough to get everything right the first time. Crafting a terrific image takes effort, but can be worthwhile.
Research suggests people are attracted or repelled by certain qualities when looking at photographs of others. No doubt, you want your profile picture to appeal to a specific group of people. Whether you're uploading a photo of yourself to your company blog or an online dating website, you hope to project an image that says something positive about you. The following tips will help you get it right.
DON'T OBSTRUCT THE VIEW
The eyes are supposedly the windows to the soul. Cover them with dark glasses, and people might wonder what you're trying to hide. Let viewers see your peepers, and they are likely to imagine you're honest and trustworthy.
Similarly, don't obstruct observer's view of your head with a hat in your profile picture. After all, you're not in disguise. The same goes for wearing a big scarf that obscures your chin; apparently, people like to see its outline with a little shadow.
Smiling makes a better impression than not doing so, but how big you smile should depend on the impact you want to have. Laughing in your profile photo will help others see you as attractive, so doing so is great if you wish to entice a date. Otherwise, smile with your mouth open, showing a little of your teeth; refrain from chuckling when you want people to take you seriously.
Naturally, your head needs to be in your profile picture, but you can expand the shot as far as your waist or shoulders for the best results. Even if you are gorgeous, cropping photos to show just your face will turn people off.
SQUINCH YOUR EYES
People subconsciously read body language, and they know a false smile when they see one. Genuine smiles make you tense the tiny muscles around your eyes, which makes them appear half-closed. Narrow your eyes in profile pictures to look authentic.
FORGET THE CLUTTER
Don't make the mistake of thinking your profile picture will be enhanced if your cat, uncle, or favorite potted plant is in the shot when trying to take a professional-looking snap. Cluttered photographs are confusing and don't make you appear competent. A picture should only be of you when it's work-related.
FACING THE CAMERA
Should you face the camera if you're using your profile picture to attract new contacts? For women, the answer is yes. Men get more favorable results when they turn away from the camera. Some say it makes them good-looking. The jury's still out when it comes to pulling in customers, though. Research isn't clear on which way they should glance in professional shots. The answer is to experiment and see what works for you.
Your profile picture is your introduction to strangers and can be more powerful than the words you use in your bio. Take your time and put in the effort to craft a terrific photo. As a result, you'll make a great impression on the people you want to attract.