Is it time to update your profile pic? Here are some tips to get you started so you can start making a good impression on those who want to connect with you. Do you ever wonder if your friends describe you as that girl or guy who’s really more attractive in real life? Well, if you’re tired of your pals defending your looks to those who haven’t met you, maybe it’s time you learn how to take awesome profile pictures. No disrespect to your cat’s cute mug or your oh-so-expensive car, but these don’t really say “This is me and I’m worthy of everyone’s good first impression.” And before you think “Nope, I don’t care what others think,” remember that from a professional or business perspective, you might be sending the wrong message about yourself. Sure, it sounds absurd that a photo could cost you your dream job but why even risk it when it’s not that hard to update your profile picture anyway? But I don’t know where to start… So you’ve been using your grumpy cat’s photo as your profile pic for so long that nobody outside your closest circle of friends know what you really look like these days. What you need to do is whip out your phone or digital camera and take test shots right now. This is just for practice, so don’t get frustrated as you may need to take lots of photos later on to get the best one. But if you have no patience for all that selfy stuff, you can always get a friend or a professional to help out. The point is to use a current photo of yourself and let the people who are looking to connect with you easily identify you with your picture. Okay, let me try DIY style first. Any tips? The main thing to remember here is to keep it simple. You don’t want to draw attention away from your face. You want to keep your background nice and clean to maximize the little space that you have. And speaking of maximizing space, you should definitely be thinking single instead of group when you’re selecting a profile picture. After all, you don’t need to prove that you’re not allergic to people and that you can function normally in social situations like the next guy (or gal). It’s your profile pic, your online portrait; it’s the one time you can make something that’s all about you. Got it! What’s next? Right! So now that you’ve taken test shots and learned how to keep things simple, you’re ready for the more technical stuff like using Photoshop and posing the right way to avoid double chins, lazy eyes, and whatnot. Don’t worry, these are about as complicated as hosted phone systems so there’s no need to panic and stress yourself or others out. Okay, so as not to confuse you, you just need to take note of these three things: lighting, angle, composition. We say take note because any professional photographer would know the importance of the rules related to these three factors but would also understand that there are cases when said rules can be broken. Of course, the assumption here is that you’re not a pro, which is why you’re here, reading this and, hopefully, getting the photo-taking tips that you need. As for lighting, you don’t need to go super bright that it washes your face out nor do you need to go for that “I’m lurking in the dark” feel so you’ll come off as a mysterious person. Experiment with natural light first, but avoid direct sunlight as that might cause you to squint and form shadows under your nose and chin. With regards to Photoshop, you can always try other photo editing tools if you think the former is too difficult to use. And last but not the least is composition, where you may want to read about the rule of thirds. Now the good news is that you’re not limited to a traditional digital camera when you want to employ said rule. Your smartphone is good enough to practice on, so why not start shooting your perfect profile pic today? About the author: Monique Jones is an Engineer who deals with telephone systems. Monique graduated as a Cum Laude with a Degree in Civil and Communications Engineering. Besides being an Engineer, she also works as a part time Writer. She helps her colleagues and other people about their communication issues, giving effective solutions to address their needs. On her free time, she works on her fashion business, read books, and chat with friends. She also loves traveling and photography.