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    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.