As promised, I’m back for part 2 of tips for capturing a profile picture for your business.
Today, we’ll discuss tips for post-production (that’s just a fancy term for adjustments made to a photo after it is taken).
Let’s take a look at my before and after profile pictures again:
In part 1, I mentioned that it took me about 30 minutes of editing to get my profile picture the way I wanted it, but you don’t have to spend that much time to make improvements to your profile picture.
I will also mention that I use Photoshop Elements to do most of my editing, but many of these steps can be accomplished with a free online photo editor like Picnik.
Here are a few tips:
1. Brighten the exposure.
Again, the specific steps for this process depend on the software/editor that you use, but if your photo looks a bit dark, you need to experiment with brightening the exposure a bit.
2. Reduce noise.
Thanks to Janet Phillips’s post on The Daily Digi, I found this fabulous free download that gets rid of digital image “noise” that occurs when a camera’s ISO is set too high (not enough natural light) or the photo is underexposed.
If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to read this post, which includes before and after examples as well as a link to the download. Try it! You’ll be amazed at the difference in your photos!
3. Clone out any distracting elements.
Distracting elements could be anything from an unsightly blemish on your face, to a white chair rail (like the one in my picture). Picnik has a free Blemish Removal tool that is great, and other photo editors have a similar tool (usually called a clone tool or a blemish tool). Picnik does not have a clone tool in the free version, but the Photoshop Elements clone tool is great!
4. Crop effectively.
This step is extremely important!
a. When you crop your profile picture, leave some “white space” in the final cropped shot to give the eye a chance to “rest” a bit. For example, in my final cropped profile picture, do you notice the plain space on the left side of the picture (on the right side of my face)?
b. Let the white space “lead” the eye into the blog. In other words, if I had put my profile picture in the left sidebar of my blog, I would have cropped the photo with white space on the right side of the picture. Make sense?
c. Don’t be afraid to crop closely. Your face shouldn’t fill the entire frame, but it should be close enough that your audience senses a real connection with you (and your business).
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In closing, I challenge you to set aside some time to capture your own profile picture! You can take it yourself by using a tripod and self-timer, or ask a friend or family member to take the shot for you. I can’t wait to see your profile pictures!
Part 1 of this series: Tips for Capturing an Effective Profile Picture – Part 1
top image from The Empty Nest (luv4sams)