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How to Take Better Profile Pictures: Essential Tips to Ditch the Mugshot Look


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Struggling with your profile picture? Let’s clear one thing right off the bat: your Fiverr profile pic isn't some haphazard selfie you take on a boozy night out with pals or in your mom’s kitchen wearing a negligee. Put on your big-boy pants or a proper business outfit. 

Here are some tips to get you started. Hopefully, you’ll come out on the other end with an excellent profile picture, not looking like a mugshot from the local county jail. 

Consider your brand

Consider your brand’s character. Are you the smooth, classy consultant type? Think polished suits, serene expressions, and tasteful home offices. If you’re more of the quirky designer type, bold colors, expressive (but nice) clothing, and a lively backdrop might suit you better. The key here is to dress professionally but appropriately. You’re the brand, and clothes maketh the man (or woman). 

Pick a background

A cluttered background with a rogue pile of laundry or your mama’s dishes ain’t gonna cut it. Go simple, uncluttered, and professional. Something plain and neutral works best, or you can go for a blurred background. If you can swing it, try to make your background relevant to your niche, but remember that less is more. 

Good lighting

Natural light is your best friend. Aim for natural light, ideally during the "golden hours" of early morning or late afternoon (I prefer late afternoon. I look like a sloth on crack in the morning.) Ensure the light is in front of you, avoid harsh and direct sunlight (it will make you squint and look pale), and hard shadows on your face. If you only have indoor lights, ensure they’re soft and not fluorescent. 

Focus on the face

Your face should be front and center. Include your head and the top of your shoulders. Look friendly and inviting. For framing, try to leave a bit of space on every side.


Sit or stand straight. Your image should reflect confidence. For a slightly more inviting photo, try angling your body a bit. Not facing directly at the camera with your body can make the picture more inviting and avoid that threatening mugshot look I mentioned earlier. It also makes you look more dynamic. 

Get a good photographer

This isn’t just about the technical aspects of it. Almost anyone can take a good photo with the right smartphone these days, technically. But knowing exactly how to draw out a genuine smile, a relaxed and authentic look, and when to take the photo is better left to a pro. 

I hope this helps! 

Edited by smashradio
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