Taking Profile Pictures

Flattering faces
Profile pictures are all over the Internet: Flickr, Facebook, Google, Amazon, you name it. If you want your profile to stand out from the crowd, your pictures should give people a peek at your personality. Here are some tips on how to have fun with your photos.

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profile picture of a woman laughing

 

picture of a boy jumping and a mans face

Share the Inspiration:
"I wanted to create an early 1960s movie star retro look from my collection of vintage clothes and accessories. On a bright sunny day my friend shot a variety of angles of me and captured a bunch of spontaneous expressions. I picked one for my Facebook page."
— Kathleen, Baltimore, MD

Let your personality pop

  • Have someone snap a few shots as you jump in the air, hang upside down, or dance to your favorite song.
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  • Be a rock star. Wave your hair and pump your fist in the air like you don't care.
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  • Dress it up. Put on your sports uniform, day-punk outfit, or favorite club-wear, then strike a pose.
 
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children climbing and playing on the beach

Make the most of your scenery

  • Choosing the right backdrop can tell someone a lot about you.
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  • Photos taken poolside or at the beach say you love to play.
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  • Are you into sports? Have a friend snap a candid shot of you as you drive one past the goalie, spike one over the net or slide into home.
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  • Like dancing? Have your picture taken at your favorite hot spot.
 
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image of a couple

 

image of couple canoeing

Share the Inspiration:
"I love this shot of me and my boyfriend. We just got off the boat ride. It's so cool because you can see Niagara Falls behind us. I set the camera on Auto Flash so our faces would really shine."
— Abha, avid traveler

Have camera, will travel

  • Show off your inner cosmopolitan. Always keep your camera ready when you travel.
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  • The world can't help but notice your love for adventure when they see you snorkeling in the Caribbean, leaning on the Eiffel Tower, or admiring the Taj Mahal.
 
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woman making a funny face with paint on her face

Choose your mood

  • Let's face it. You're a complicated person with many sides and many moods. Here's your opportunity to share them all.
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  • Go vogue, purse your lips, try a pout – come up with facial expressions that reflect all the moods that make you unique.
 
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girl taking picture of herself in outside car window

 

picture of young women

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DIY on the fly

  • Your hair is perfect; your outfit is perfect, the moment…perfect. You don't have time to wait for someone to stroll by to take your picture, so go ahead and snap some yourself.
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  • Hold the camera in your hand and let the shutter button fly. Handheld portraits give you the opportunity to make those faces you'd be too embarrassed to muster around friends.
 
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image of young boy smiling

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Use a real smile

  • Seriously, don't say "cheese" – this typically produces an artificial smile.
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  • Ask your friend taking the picture to say or do something funny to get you laughing.
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  • If taking the picture yourself, think of something funny to elicit a natural smile.
 
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picture of puddle with reflection of clouds and person taking picture

 

picture looking up and close up of youg childs face

Share the Inspiration:
"On Take Your Child to Work day, we handed participants a Kodak camera and taught them a few basics about self-portraiture. Leave it to kids to be creative!"
— Vera, Rochester, NY
Writer/photographer/mother

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A new angle

  • Aim the camera up, down, left, and right. Different angles give folks an 180° peek at the true you.
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  • Want to see what they see? Take a picture of your reflection in the mirror.
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  • Show your mysterious side by taking a picture of only a portion of your face.
 
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picture of woman in color and in black and white

Share the Inspiration:
"I wanted to glamorize an ordinary snapshot. First, I converted it to black and white and added contrast. Then I created a duotone with two bright contrasting colors: perfect for viewing on a monitor. Then I added a halftone effect to add texture."
— Ann, Rochester, NY

 

picture of women converted in photoshop

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Improve on nature

  • There's no shame in a little tweaking. Finesse your pics with photo editing software.
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  • Bump up the color saturation or increase brightness or contrast to give your photo some pop.
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  • Experiment with software tools, effects, wacky colors, or tones and give your profile just the right mood, and an "A" for creativity.
 
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two picture of women with their dogs

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Animal lovers unite

  • Say you're pro pets with a fun picture of you and your pooch.
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  • Don't own a pet? No problem. A shot of you feeding pigeons at the park says more about you than if you're just sitting on a bench.
 
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two images, plain and red eye correction

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Goodbye, red eye

  • How embarrassing. You go through all the trouble of setting up the perfect shot and there it is – red eye. When pupils affix on something bright, they shrink, reducing the potential for red-eye
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  • Glance at a lamp or the nearest light source right before the photo is taken.