• Anna Zaharyan

5 TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE PICTURES THAT WILL MAKE YOU SHINE


What do your best social media profile pictures say about you?

What do you want people feel as they look at them? What do you want them to do?

In our digital age social media presence is crucial for every business, and it’s the huge part of building connections and relationships.

It’s impossible to create a powerful impact on others without quality visual tools.

To choose the best for your photos, think about what you want them to do for you. Pictures tell a story. They bring out emotions. They represent your personality.

What is your goal?

Is it building new social connections and finding like-minded people to communicate with?

Or it’s for advertising your business services, networking, branding, and marketing?

Maybe you want to find a significant one, and need irresistible photos of you to stand out from the crowd on the dating sites.

Maybe you need an online portfolio to show your skills and qualities, to attract clients and agencies.

Or share your family news and special experiences with those loved ones far away through the quality imagery.

In any case, you want to connect with people for some specific reason, and evoke positive emotions in them. Your photos have to have strong visual impact, right composition, and a focal point to lead the viewer’s eye to what you want them to notice.

If this sounds like you, here are some tips and tools for you:

1. YOUR PHOTOS SHOULD BE HIGH QUALITY AND INTERESTING TO LOOK AT.

Gloomy, low-resolution selfies wouldn’t do you any good, not even by sharing them with your friends, and definitely not for business or for the dating sites.

Most people have low-quality photos on their social media and dating sites.

Grainy, dark pictures.

Pictures that distort your facial features because of the wrong camera angles.

Stone-faced photos that will bore anyone to tears and scare them off.

Conflicting colors and awkwardly cropped photos that raise questions and disturb the eye.

Pictures taken on a direct sunlight with the black shadows under your nose and blown highlights on your forehead.

They can’t be flattering. They can’t attract attention.

They scream cheap, amateur, and uninspired.

Fancy snapchat filters just make you blend in with the crowd even more, because you see them everywhere.

What is special about you or your business/service? What do you want people feel and do as they see your photos?

Make sure that your pictures are bright, clear, and interesting visually. Think of your facial expression. Practice in front of a mirror before taking a photo, to feel more relaxed and confident. Personal and engaging expression creates a sense of socially approachable, trustworthy person, and helps to start relationships of all kinds and attract business clients.

The more you practice your expression, the better you will look on your pictures. If you need a further assistance with this, feel free to contact me for a personalized session.

I prefer natural light, because it’s the best soft lighting you can get.

It makes you look younger with fewer wrinkles and texture, if you learn how to use it properly. Remember that you should stand in a shadow close to the sunlight area. Reflector is an affordable and easy tool to add more light to the face. White reflector adds a soft, subtle light, and a silver reflector creates more harsh light. Just make sure you turn it to the right direction to bounce sunlight to the face. On a direct sunlight use a diffuser to block the sun from above and avoid harsh shadows and highlights on the face.

2. YOUR PHOTOS SHOULD REFLECT YOUR BEST PERSONALITY TRAITS.

Profile pictures can be boring, if they say nothing about your personality. Even if it’s just a business headshot on a white background, people still read information from your face, they still want to know what kind of person you are, if you can be trusted, and if you look friendly and approachable.

People base personality traits off of your photos. You can guide them through this process and show your best qualities. Take some pictures of you doing things you love, looking happy and full of life, confident in your skills. Confidence and happiness are attractive to everyone.

Show them why you are unique, and they will want to know you better.

3. YOUR PHOTOS TELL A STORY AND/OR CONVEY AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE.

Successful pictures is a visual tool to get your audience interested in your story.

In today’s digital world everyone owns the media, and your audience chooses personalized services based on social media pictures. Every outstanding photo creates a certain emotion in people and captivates them with a story behind.

Show people exactly what you want them to see in you and/or your services.

People want to feel trust as they view your images, and expect you to look engaging.

Unfortunately, most people tend to look tense and unnatural when they take selfies. They turn off their personality and make faces or fake smiles instead, and viewers feel that it’s not authentic. Even in front of a professional camera people often look awkward.

That’s why professional photographers guide them throughout the session, to see which poses work to highlight their best qualities and showcase their story.

When taking pictures yourself, make sure you choose the right location/background for your message, colors that work well together to bring the emotions and mood you want to conduct, quality lighting, and the overall composition.

4. PLAN THE COMPOSITION, COLORS, AND LIGHTING.

This is crucial. You can’t get engaging and attractive images without the right lighting and composition.

Composition should be the first thing to consider as you plan your shots. It’s putting together things in your frame in order to make your most important object stand out.

The right composition leads the viewer’s eye to the focal point and creates a visually pleasing image. Avoid cropping people off the existing picture. Photo of a person with someone’s hand on their shoulder looks awkward and suspicious. Don’t crop objects by their wrist, knee, elbow, or feet line; it will look weird and disproportional.

Right lighting and color choices are also essential for a picture to attract attention. Make sure that you think about the lights direction, intensity, size, and softness. All these things work together.

For example, bigger and further light source can create similar effect as a small diffused light that is very close to the object.

What kind of light to seek depends on what result you want to get. For dramatic shots hard light from a side and a dark background would be the best choice, because you need to build contrast and a moody feeling. For a beautiful female portrait you would use a big soft light with a diffuser and reflectors.

Choosing colors is a whole new broad topic. Learn colors that look well together and match your message to the world. If this are pictures for your business website, consider choosing colors that you use for your logo, brand, and marketing materials, or colors that work well with them.

These colors should illustrate your type of business and your unique services.

5. CAMERA ANGLE MATTERS.

Did you notice that selfies usually end up distorting your looks? You get the same issue when you hold your camera too close to the person’s face.

It happens, because perspective changes dramatically depending on a distance between your smartphone (or your camera) and the face. Try to take a selfie with a selfie stick and notice how much different your face will look. The closer your lens to the person, the more distortion it creates.

Pictures taken too close makes your face look longer and your nose bigger; in other words, a face or a body part closest to the lens looks larger than it is and becomes a focal point.

Camera angles change the perspective and the mood of a picture.

If you shoot from a low angle, it portrays confidence and power. It also elongates your body and legs and makes your head look smaller. Watch out for a double chin, if you use a low angle.

If you shoot from above, you can hide double chin easily, as well as make the person’s eyes bigger and brighter, but it might make your nose and forehead larger and your body smaller.

I plan to write a few articles about camera angle tips, as I can share a lot of detailed knowledge about this topic.

I know it feels overwhelming and stressful, as you think about all these things, but having a set of high quality pictures can help you shine anywhere on your social media and attract the right people.

It is essential for your business success.

I am here to help you with all the tips and tricks to set you on the right track. I also offer a whole professional service, so you could just relax and enjoy the process and the result.

The only thing you will be asked for is being yourself, and let me do the rest.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

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www.fireart-studios.com    Glen Allen, Virginia, 23060

© 2012 by Anna Zaharyan. All Right Reserved.

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