The ten worst types of profile photograph you really want to avoid!

Profile Photographs to avoid!

Whether you love or loathe photos of yourself, you just can’t escape showing your face in this new age of digital.  At some point, you can guarantee you’ll be asked to upload the dreaded profile photograph. But, beware, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach this.

We’ll just make the distinction here, before we go any further, we’re not talking about your personal Facebook or twitter pic.  You can be as zany as you like with those! We’re talking about the profile photograph you choose to portray you in your professional capacity – maybe on your company website or LinkedIn profile.  Getting this wrong could be costing you valuable credibility and, yes, business too! This is where image is all important.

We’ve seen a fair few profile photos in our time and it never ceases to amaze us how many variations there can be!  From the scary or silly to the downright bizarre, we feel it’s important to point out how vital getting this right really is.

To help you avoid sending out the wrong message with your professional profile photo, we’ve compiled this list of ten types of profile photograph you really want to avoid.

1. The Shadow

profile photograph

Are you trying to be Mr. Invisible, man of mystery? Or Ms. UFO, the unidentified female object?  I’m afraid anonymity just simply won’t do if you want to be taken seriously! You may be the shy, retiring type but, these days, you have to battle your insecurities or risk being passed over as insignificant. No-one wants to engage with a shadow, you’ll simply be seen as a non-entity.



2. Scary Mary

profile photograph

We don’t mean to be unkind by saying this, but some people do look a little scary on their profile pics.  You can smile and still be taken seriously, honest!




3. Family Guy (or Gal)

profile photograph

We love that you love your kids, that you play with them in the park and bake cakes, eat ice-creams and pull funny faces together, we really do.  But there’s a time and a place to share that love.  Unless they’re an integral part of your business, leave ‘em out people! (Not literally, just out of the picture).

Remember it’s your profile pic, not your kids’, or your dog’s for that matter…


4. The Wallflower

profile photograph

Please don’t stand up against a wall to be shot! Choosing an uncluttered backdrop is important, but nothing looks more unnatural than the head and shoulders, back up against the wall photo.  Believe me, if you look like a wallflower, you’ll probably be treated like one.  You very rarely relax having a photograph taken this way, and it shows. You tend to get the ‘I hate doing this’ grimace. Find somewhere you can feel a little more at ease.



5. Extreme Close-Up

profile photograph

Yes of course we want to see your face, that’s the whole point of having a space for a profile pic, but it really doesn’t need to fill the whole space…  Extreme close-ups are very rarely flattering, and can even be a little scary, so just back away people. Please, just back away.




6. Super Selfie

profile photograph

We have nothing against the selfie.  As facebook fodder, they’re fine – but on a professional profile? Not so much. It smacks of haste over good taste. If you haven’t had chance to get your profile photos professionally taken yet, at least ask a friend if they can do the honours.




7.   Groupie

profile photograph

Similar to the selfie in many ways (and often taken using the same, stretch your arm as far as you can method) the groupie is not a good look on Linked In. You don’t want to raise the question ‘which one are you?’ when sharing with an audience.




8. Cartoon

profile photograph

Unless you’re an illustrator or artist, and this is your own work, swapping your profile photo for a cartoon cat (or similar), no matter how cool, isn’t a great idea.  It can make you seem childish and immature which, we’re sure, isn’t the look you’re going for…




9. Random

profile photograph

A tortoise? Mexican hat? Dolphin? Delphinium? Really? (And, yes we have seen these!).  Do we need to spell this out? Whatever relevance this may have to you or your business, to others it will just be a random object.  It may be quirky, but a lot of businesspeople run a mile from quirky!



10.   Poser Pout

Young Shy Man On A White Background

Are you a professional model? If yes, then fine! A poser pout is exactly the look you should be going for.  If you’re an accountant however, this might not go down so well.  Keep it to a friendly smile. It’s not a dating site!



If you’re at all unsure about getting it right, why not contact us?  We can use our portrait photography skills to get you noticed for all the right reasons!

Here’s a showcase video of some of our previous portrait photography.

You might also like to read our previous blog on a catalogue photography shoot.

Call us on 01527 874819 or use our contact form