Is Your Profile Picture Tarnishing Your Personal Brand By Sadia Barlow Photography

Creating the right photo to convey your brand can be difficult in the ever-changing digital world we live in, from lighting and positioning to how we dress and where the photo is taken.

To help entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd, personal branding specialists Sadia and Ian from Sadia Barlow Photography shared 10 tips highlighting how to frame the perfect profile photo.

Sadia and Ian’s top tips include:

  1. Tell an authentic story– Think about the story you want to tell. What do you want to say about yourself and the values ​​you stand for? Spend time noting the important elements of who you are, your personal life, and your business that you want to share online.
  2. Think about the setting– Where the photos are taken is important to tell your brand. Pick two or three areas that you visit often and you feel you excel at. It could be a local park, a friend’s sofa or your garden – choose somewhere you feel happy and comfortable.
  3. Check the background for distractions– Once the location is chosen, look around and make sure there are no distractions such as trees or poles appearing above your head or unwanted items such as rubbish bins or road works in the shot. Avoid having distracting objects within the frame.
  4. Plan the different image layers– The layering of a photo, the foreground, middle and background play a vital role in creating a striking image. Plan what will be seen in the foreground (eg pen and notebook), the middle (eg you) and the background (eg office setting) to help tell the story of who you are and your services.
  5. Don’t feel the need to dress to impress– Think about what you want to say in your picture. Do you want to be seen as creative and fun or professional and businesslike? Wear clothes that are true to who you are and that make you feel comfortable and try to keep logos and patterns to a minimum.
  6. Relax and feel comfortable– We all know how hard it is to relax when having your picture taken, but our true personality is usually best captured when we are relaxed. A photo shoot can feel intimidating at first, so find what helps you feel more comfortable and relaxed and incorporate that into the day.
  7. Face the light source– Adjust the shot so your face looks into the light source. A profile photo looking into the light will show the eyes and accentuate the face, placing shadows in the background and highlighting the facial features.
  8. Face to the left– When using profile photos on professional platforms like LinkedIn, also think about which way you’re facing – a profile photo should usually look towards the text to guide readers to your profile (so normally the left).
  9. Crop the imageexactly – If cropping the image, be sure to edit the image in the right place. For example, either cut around the knee, the waist or the chest area. For profile photos, make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame to make sure it fills the space.
  10. Resize photos for social media– Each social media platform requires a different image resolution and size, so make sure they match. For example, the recommended dimensions are a 110px x 110px image on Instagram, 180px x 180px on Facebook, 400px x 400px on Twitter and 300px x 300px on LinkedIn.

Sadia Barlow, co-founder of Sadia Barlow Photography said, “Having a creative and authentic online personal brand is essential for business owners or entrepreneurs to connect and build rapport with like-minded people, potential clients and prospective employers. However, how do we effectively communicate a creative and honest online visual presence? We understand the importance of creating a compelling online presence and how authentic, high-quality photos can instantly deliver both personality and branding, so we hope these tips will help professionals stand out from the crowd.”

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