Profile pictures are very important online— for your personal social media pages, your official business accounts, to even online dating. Profile pictures play a central role in shaping someone’s first impression of you from the moment they encounter your page. It conveys a certain image and message about your personality and character for those who see your picture for the very first time. For your business profile, a good profile picture can really affect whether someone wants to reach out to you or consider you for a certain role.
The Meaning Of Profile Pictures
A Picture Of Something Else
As we have mentioned earlier, a profile picture should be a photo of yourself that introduces others to who you are. Most profile pictures are used for personal accounts, be it for social media or for business-related purposes. If it is a personal account, make sure that the photo that is put up is a picture of you. Don’t put a profile picture of your favorite pet, or a random sunset image as your profile picture because that is not you. What others are looking out for when they check your profile image is to see you in person.
When you give them something else, it may send off negative messages. This is especially true for professional, business profiles. If you choose to put something else other than your face as your personal profile shot, it may send off wrong messages like you are afraid to connect with others. People can interpret this differently, ranging from thinking that you are insecure, or that you are a snooty person. A personal profile picture is a representation of your personal branding. Therefore, you should always put your own picture as the profile photo.
The Dreaded Blank Photo
This is a continuation of the previous point. Besides putting a photo of other random objects and things, you should also definitely avoid putting a blank picture, or simply using the default avatar of the page that you are using. A blank photo can send off wrong signals like you don’t pay attention to detail, you don’t care about how you portray your own page and your own image, or that you think that you are superior to other pages that you don’t need them to connect with others. If people misunderstand your intentions based on your profile picture, chances are they will be unwilling to connect with you and reach out to you. This can be disadvantageous if you are using a professional, business-related platform.
Portraits & Close Ups
Okay, so you have decided to include your face in your profile picture. You’ve also decided that a picture of you at the beach will be a good option. But wait, the picture is 90% of the ocean and only 10% of your face. Your face is too small to be seen properly and no one can even tell that it is you. Like we have mentioned earlier, your face should be the main focus of the profile image. A picture with a nice background can be used as a profile image, but you also need to make sure that your face can be clearly identified with one look at the photo. Profile pictures are meant to show others who you are, and a photo with a small face makes it hard for others to identify you and have to spend time searching for you in the picture. If you decide to use a photo of yourself with a nice environment or background, make sure that your face remains the most prominent and is the main focus of the image.
Yikes! Horrible lighting can majorly worsen your profile picture and decrease its quality. Even if you have a nice photo of yourself, with your face as the main focus, horrible lighting can be a deal-breaker and make all your previous efforts at a good photo go to waste. If your picture has horrible lighting, chances are your face can’t be seen clearly either. People will have to spend time changing the brightness of their screens and scrutinize the image to decide which part of the image is your face. A well-lit photo that shows your face clearly is an indication of a good profile shot and you should always avoid a photo that has horrible lighting.
Bad Quality Is More Than Bad Lighting
Besides horrible lighting, a photo that is of bad quality can greatly sabotage your profile shot as well. Bad quality in a photo can refer to low contrast or poor colors. The most common mistake would be a poor resolution. An image of poor resolution means that whatever is in the photo can’t be seen properly and is mostly pixelated. Again, this means that your face can’t be seen clearly and people have to spend time scrutinizing the photos. Although you don’t need a full and high-resolution picture as your photo, you should still ensure that the photo is of a good resolution such that the photo is clear and colorful.
Importance Of Profile Pictures & Shaping Impressions
Having a good profile picture is actually really easy and straightforward. The most important thing to remember is that your face has to be clearly seen and should be the main focus of the image. Avoid everything that compromises this. Having a good profile picture can be really important in establishing your online presence and can draw others to connect and reach out to you.
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