They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. That saying has only become more potent with the rise of social media, as people scramble to make use of unique profile picture ideas.

Every picture leaves an impression on the viewer. So you want to have a positive impression on the viewer, and for that, your picture should reflect your personality.

You don’t want a professional photographer instructing you to sit a certain way or stare profoundly into the abyss to upload good profile pictures. All you need is some good ol’ inspiration.

In this article, we’re going to discuss different profile picture ideas to inspire your creativity, along with some editing tips and best practices.

Let’s get into it.

Bonus: Create intriguing profile pictures in less than a few minutes with our easy-to-use design tool!


10 Profile Picture Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Social Media Presence

You might have seen thousands of pictures on your news feed since you started using social media platforms. Or, might have even had many profile picture ideas to consider. But, only some will really catch our attention and make us want to connect with them.

There’s a fine line between appearing fun and being professional. It all depends on what we want to share and how we want people to perceive us. That said, our social media platform says a lot about us – almost everything.

Your profile picture can be a gray area when you don’t know if it will look good, or what effect it will have on people; be it your Instagram account or Facebook profile, or even your Linkedin profile, for that matter.

However, you may be able to nail it, at least the profile picture part, using some inspiration.

Below, we will discuss the 10 best profile picture ideas to consider when uploading a new profile picture:

1.     Headshot

Head Shot Profile Picture

It can be tempting to choose a photo where you’re being handed an award or a selfie from last night with a group of your closest friends. You can save those for another album.

As your first impression, your profile picture should be of your head and shoulders. No, not that head and shoulders.

Head and Shoulders Profile Picture

You should really focus on framing yourself with a close-up of your face and eyes. It should really bring out your facial features; it tends to increase trust.

It is very important to be looking at the camera for your main picture, for personal branding, that is.

2.     Avatar

Avatar Profile Picture Ideas

Avatars are no longer popular in just video games but have become increasingly popular on social media platforms as well. Many people still use it to give their profile a unique identity, while staying completely anonymous.

They tend to provide a general outlook of how you look without revealing the fine details.

You can use a bunch of anime avatar-making software to make cool profile pictures.

These avatars are mostly used on Twitch and Discord. But, they can be used as pretty much any profile picture. Plus, you can customize it however you like. Give yourself some avatar wings while you’re at it, or dragon scales.

3.     A Personal Picture (Not of You, Personal TO You)

Personal Picture for Profile

If you don’t want to connect with every other person, or just want to connect with people that really know you, you can choose a picture of something that’s close to you. It could be a picture of your pet, car, kids, or your favorite flower.

This is great for people that don’t like to reveal their personal profiles and want to control who they connect with. Or, people who just want to show off their cute dogs.

4.     Logo

Pixelied Logo Profile Picture

If you have a business profile and want to use your business logo as your profile picture, go for it. You can use your custom logo for your brand.

If you don’t have one, you can either use your business’s storefront for your brand profile accounts, which is very common in branding.

A high-quality image of your logo can make you stand out and be more discoverable for new and active customers. It also helps increase brand recognition and awareness.

5.     Your Core Team

Core Team Members Picture

Along with logos, you can choose to add your core team members as your business profile picture.

This shows transparency and credibility while forming a sense of familiarity.

It’s a small world out there, and if a customer sees a photo of your employees, they’re more likely to make a connection. They might even offer you their business as it builds a sense of trust.

6.     Smile

Smile Profile Picture Ideas

Body language speaks loud, and so should your smile. Your smile should be wide and welcoming, rather than a mugshot. It’s safe to say that a welcoming smile is one of the best types of profile pictures you could upload.

A smile compels your audience to connect with you make you seem more welcoming and friendly. Even if it’s for your professional profile, it will create an instant connection with more people willing to approach you.

Ask yourself, would you rather connect with a smiling person or someone who’s looking glum?

However, make sure it’s not a smile like this.

Weird Smile Profile Picture

7.     Colors

Colors in Profile Pictures

Colors are an extremely strong way of expressing emotions, and an excellent showcase of our personality. They tell us something about a person on a subconscious level.

Furthermore, colors are also a great way to stand out. You should use more contrasting colors for your social media profiles, and warm tones for your professional networks. Color psychology is a very real thing, and it works.

For example, orange is the recommended color for Instagram. Alternatively, Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook mostly use blue as their primary color.

Another way to utilize colors is by making use of unique colors that no one else uses.

There’s a lot of psychological research that goes behind how color affects the way people respond, so make the best of it.

8.     Basic Editing

Basic Editing in Profile Pictures

A few things fall into basic editings such as clarity, contrast, and cropping. Your profile picture should have enough saturation to make it warm and natural, but not too low and not too high either.

The picture should be clear of any distortion, and not look very grainy. Avoid noise in your photos at all costs, unless you’re going for that particular aesthetic.

For cropping, you should stick to the standard square 1:1 aspect ratio, since most platforms require a square image. For example, if you want to upload a PFP on Discord, you need to follow the recommended Discord profile picture size.

Focus on what you want to show and how much you want to crop out. You should keep the main focus on you and your face at all times.

9.     Background

Background Profile Picture

Keep your background as simple as possible to keep as much attention on yourself. A busier background will distract the viewer.

You should keep the background contrasted with the colors you’re wearing. For example, if you’re wearing warm colors, have the sky as your background. Similarly, dark colors should be contrasted with dark colors as the background.

10. Professional Photographer

Using Professional Photographer

To make a high-quality picture, hiring a professional photographer will get you a better chance to aim for a better frame. A skilled friend could also take great headshots that will feature you.

However, there’s a very strong difference between a professional photoshoot and the kind of photoshoot we do on our phones. You should highly consider hiring a professional if you’re focused on social media marketing.

However, if you’re trying to develop a brand, analog photography is your best bet. You need professional-looking photos of your products, even if it’s your profile picture.

The Ideal Dimensions for Social Media Profile Pictures

You want to look professional no matter what the case is, but it can be difficult to understand and optimize for all social media platforms.

With different dimensions, one picture cannot work for all. You’ll eventually need to crop it; otherwise, it will just look pixelated.

Below is the cheat sheet for dimensions for most social media profiles:

  • Instagram Profile Picture: 320 X 320 pixels
  • Facebook Profile Picture: 170 X 170 pixels
  • Facebook Cover Photo: 828 X 465 pixels
  • Twitter Profile Photo: 400 X 400 pixels
  • Twitter Header Image: 1,500 X 500 pixels
  • LinkedIn Profile Photo: 400 X 400 pixels (minimum)
  • LinkedIn Custom Background: 1584 X 396
  • LinkedIn Banner Image: 646 X 220 pixels
  • YouTube Profile Picture: 800 X 800 pixels (Size Guide)
  • YouTube Banner Size: 2,560 X 1,440 pixels on desktop (Size Guide)
  • Twitch Profile Picture: 800 X 800 pixels (Size Guide)
  • Google+ Profile Picture: 250 X 250 pixels (minimum)
  • Google+ Cover Photo: 1080 X 608 pixels
  • Pinterest Profile Picture: 150 X 150 pixels

You can find a detailed guide here.

How Do I Take a Professional Picture Myself?

You should keep in mind that while taking a headshot is important, the key is to mix things up a bit while still keeping it true to who you are. With a few tips to get the right shot, you can easily create professional headshots yourself.

Ideally, professional headshots should be updated every year, and now, when technology is literally at our fingertips, we should definitely put it to better use.

Try using your phone to get some test photos. This will give you an idea as to how the final product might turn out. Use a tripod if you have one.

Below we’ll discuss a few tips to keep in mind when creating captivating headshots:


It can be hard to get professional lighting at home, but not impossible. Find a location that works better with the light source you have.

Don’t feel overwhelmed though, check out these tips on how you can nail it.

One useful tip to avoid shadows is to have the light focused directly on you, and additional lights focused on either your side or pointed towards the wall. This will ensure that the light is focused on all 3 parts of the frame, avoiding any unnecessary shadows behind you.

You can also make homemade flash diffusers using a white balloon and a flashlight. Just blow up a balloon and put it over the flashlight. It depends on how big you blow the balloon up. Test it out to see what works better for your portrait.

Try Different Poses and Attires

Once you’re all set up with the location and lighting, find out what color contrast works best with your clothes and the location. Try to focus on rather simple and professional attire, as it is a professional headshot.

Once you’ve got sorted that out, it’s time to set up your tripod. You’re aiming for a square image, so set your tripod according to the frame starting from your head down to your waist.

You’ll want to try a mix of different poses to see what works best for you. To be fair, everyone knows their good side.

In Conclusion

Now that you have a set of profile picture ideas to give you an edge over the ultra-competitive content on your social media platforms, you can start taking some good pictures of yourself.

Your profile picture is the key to creating your personal brand.

It pretty much impacts almost every response you get off your social media accounts, regardless of whether you’re a blogger, business owner, or influencer. Everyone needs an online presence nowadays, including small businesses.

With some of these photography tips and ideas and an excellent picture editor like Pixelied, you can create the perfect profiles for your social media presence.