The formula for cool profile pictures is flattering angles, expressions, lighting, and poses. Better self-portrait photography skills will impress your friends and attract more clients. We have cool profile picture tips to help you stand out from the social media crowd!

What You’ll Need

  • A tripod – the taller and sturdier, the better! It should reach your height so that you can be comfortable when posing.
  • A camera – this can be a smartphone camera too. But for the best results, I’d recommend using a DSLR.
  • A remote – this will take photos for you, which means you won’t have to run back and forth to get the perfect photo.
  • An editing program – a program like Lightroom is great for light retouching work.

Technical Tips for Self-Portraits

Before you plan your shoot, you need to know how to use your camera’s technical settings to your advantage.

It should take you around 5-10 minutes to set up your camera.

Find a Well-Lit Location to Flatter Your Features

This can be a shaded area in a park, a room on a bright day, or any other place that has good lighting.

Natural light is the best source of light for good profile pictures. It will make your face glow, add depth to your eye colour, and light up your background. Unlike artificial light, natural lighting won’t create colours that are difficult to edit.

Avoid Hard Light for a Softer Image

Hard lights will add too much texture to your photos and make you squint.

Don’t take photos outside at midday. Instead, go out when the sun isn’t too strong. The golden hour is a great time to take warm, well-lit self-portraits. Soft and ambient lights will make your skin and facial expressions smoother!

If you’re indoors, photograph yourself in front of a curtained window. Diffused window light is one of the best lights for classic profile pictures.

Take Vertical Photos to Show a Pose

If you want to emphasise more than your face, rotate your camera to a vertical position.

Vertical photos will show off your outfit, posture, and pose. They work better for that than a horizontal photo. Vertical photos considered to be a rule in portrait photography.

Use Auto focus to Ensure Sharp Images

Instead of guessing where you’ll stand, set your camera to auto focus. This will ensure that you’ll look sharp no matter where you stand.

Be careful when taking self-portraits in places with lots of foregrounds. If something is covering your lens, your photos can end up looking blurry.

If, for whatever reason, your camera can’t find you, hold your hand above your head to catch its attention.

Have a Mini Test Photo Shoot Before You Start

Even if you’re using a remote, you need to make sure that your self-portraits are in focus.

During the first few minutes of your photo shoot, go back and forth.

Make sure that you’re standing in the right place and that the composition looks great and your image is tack sharp. Ideally, your eyes should have a crisp focus on your photo.

Check that nothing is covering your face!

Take Smartphone Selfies Before You Begin

It’s likely that you don’t stare at yourself in the mirror all day. This means that you’re not aware of your best angles and poses!

You don’t have to practise in front of the mirror. Use your smartphone camera to try out different expressions, angles, and poses instead.