Instagram Inspiration

7 Best Practices For Choosing Your Instagram Profile Picture

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When used right, Instagram is a powerful tool that can help you reach and connect with a wider audience. To make the most of this tool, you need to dedicate some time and energy to optimizing your profile. This involves choosing the best possible profile picture. 

Whether you are choosing an Instagram profile picture for a business or personal account, you have come to the right place.

7 Top Tips For Picking The Perfect Profile Pic

Below, we have put together everything you need to know about choosing the optimal profile picture. 

When it comes to choosing a profile picture for Instagram, you can go one of two ways: a headshot or a logo. 

If the Instagram account is for your business, it’s a good idea to use your business’ logo for your profile picture. Logos are easily recognizable and signal that this is a business account. A picture of an individual working at the company could be misleading, especially if your company has more than one employee. 

If you have a personal Instagram account, we recommend using a headshot. Your profile picture is pretty small on Instagram, and you want your followers to easily recognize you. Using anything other than a headshot can make this difficult.

Choose An Image With The Right Resolution 

A bad-quality profile picture comes across as careless and unprofessional. To avoid blurry or pixelated images, make sure that you are using a high-resolution picture. 

Your profile picture will be displayed as an image with 110 x 110 pixels on a mobile device and 180 x 180 pixels on a computer. So, aim to use an image that is at least 180 x 180 pixels, so that your profile picture will have the highest possible resolution. 

Remember, anything above 180 x 180 pixels will simply get compressed by Instagram so don’t worry about getting it a lot higher than this. In fact, incredibly high-resolution images that are compressed can come across as blurry. The sweet spot is anywhere between 180 x 180 pixels and 500 x 500 pixels. 

Crop It Correctly 

Instagram profile pictures are displayed in a circle frame. So you’ll want to use an image that has a 1:1 aspect ratio (ie it’s square). 

You don’t necessarily have to start with a square image and can crop your image in the app. However, bear in mind that you will ultimately be working with a square image when choosing your picture. 

Make sure that nothing important is in the four corners of your square, as these could be cut out by the circle frame. You should also make sure that your face or brand logo is in the center of the image as this is the most satisfying to look at. 

Woman in hijab taking a selfie

Use Good Lighting

If you are using a headshot for your profile picture, make sure it is taken in the best possible light. A subtle change in lighting can make the world of difference! 

If possible, opt for bright, natural light. Try and take your profile picture during the daytime to prevent any harsh shadows. 

Don’t worry if you are struggling to find good natural lighting. You can just use a ring light instead. Ring lights were developed to provide you with balanced and continuous artificial lighting and are incredibly popular amongst influencers and content creators. 

Use Contrast To Your Advantage 

Because profile pictures are limited in size and quality, you need to find other ways to stand out with a clear image. This is when contrast becomes your best friend. 

If there is a stark contrast between you and your background, this is not only eye-catching but also makes it easier for viewers to identify the contents of the image. Think about it, a black image against a white backdrop is a lot easier to see than a pink image against a purple backdrop. 

Play Around With Color 

The colors of your profile picture should coincide with your overall aesthetic. Your profile picture should be representative of the rest of your Instagram page and overall brand. 

If your other Instagram images and brand follow a more neutral and muted color palette, so should your profile picture. 

If you are representing a bright and colorful Instagram page and brand, don’t be afraid to use a pop of color in your profile picture. Using a yellow backdrop, for example, is a fun and eye-catching way to stand out. 

Although you can get creative when it comes to the color of your background, it is always best to stick to one or two colors in your background

You want your face to be the center of attention. A busy and cluttered background can draw viewers’ attention away from your face and make the image seem too busy. 

Trends are one of the most dominant forces on social media today. It is almost always a good idea to hop on trends to reach a wider audience. Profile pictures, however, are an exception to this rule. 

Trends change every day. When choosing a profile picture, you should aim to choose one that you can use for a while. If your profile picture contains a trend, it becomes ineffective as soon as the trend goes out of fashion. 

You don’t want to be forced into changing your profile picture quickly because it contains an outdated trend. Rather, go for a timeless picture. You can invest time and energy into creating the best possible profile picture and then use it for a long time. 

Two women looking at Instagram on phone

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right Instagram profile picture is as much an art as it is a science. You want to get creative and give the world some insight into what you or your business is all about. However, there are some general rules and tricks that everyone should follow to ensure that they are choosing the best possible Instagram profile picture. Follow the best practices outlined above and put them to good use! 

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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