Monthly Archives: Feb 2016

Perfect Profile Photo and what research found.

Perfect Profile Photo what recent research found.

The perfect profile photo is your shop window in the digital world. People looking to do business with you or people in the business world view this every time they interact online with you (if you have one).

Good profile photos have become an essential tool in your armoury, in the modern social media world. You have probably heard the expression “people buy from people they like know and trust”.
Still need convincing then look at the research visit PhotoFeeler and see the detail.

To clarify the research it did not include the characteristics like gender, age, and physical traits.

What was used to research the Perfect Profile Photo?

They used:-

• Eyes
• Squinting
• Face
• Smiling
• Body
• Area Shown
• Setting
• Editing

800 profile photos were used and were rated for perceived Competence, Likability and Influence in the viewer’s opinion, the photos received 60,000 ratings.

What was it that people said about those photos?


When viewing images of someone people like to see the full facial features of who they are looking at. Obstructions or poor lighting can hide features and this reduces the likeability of what the viewer is seeing. Look into the camera don’t hide.

Eye Obstruction

Perfect Profile PhotoIt is important that people can see who you are. Wearing dark glasses may look cool but your full facial features hide your eyes. Think “the eyes are the window to your soul” by showing your full facial features your impression will be more likable.

Likewise obstructions from hair, glare, won’t reduce your Likability, however with reduce visibility of your facial features this may be detrimental to the perception of Competence and Influence.







Perfect Profile PhotoEnsure that you squint slightly when looking into the lens. Having wide open eyes gives the impression of the rabbit in the headlights, it denotes fear. Having a slight squint, increases the perception of your competence, influence, likability and feels more comfortable for the viewer.


A defined Jawline, profile photos that show the outline of your jaw increase your perception of competence, influence, and likability.


Corporate PhotographyI know we have all made excuses, “I don’t like smiling”, “my teeth aren’t white”, “I’ll crack the lens” but that’s what they are excuses.

Want to increase the perception of people viewing you? Then an open smile is a good way of doing so. By smiling you appear friendlier, happier, healthier, and more relaxed. If you really have an issue with the colour of your teeth or they are cracked, let the photographer know these can be adjusted in Photoshop.

If your smile is a closed smile (no teeth showing) then your perception of competence, influence, and likeability is likely to drop by half of that with an open smile.

Be careful though don’t turn the smile into a laugh, although this was found more likeable the competence and influence was shown to have dropped. So keep the smile controlled.


Style of DressPerfect Profile Photo

The way you dress in a photo says a lot of who you are. Think it’s not important and anything will do?

The research showed that formal dress gained the greatest perceived Competence and Influence. That is a dark suit over a light coloured shirt/blouse, and men you need a tie.

By all means dress down for your photo but this will lose viewers perception of how credible you are. Also beware of stripes and bold colours.

Body Area Shown

Perfect Profile PhotoPerfect Profile PhotoWhen having a portrait taken for business how much body area do you show?

Close-up of the face, Head and face, head and shoulders or head to waist shots, the research showed that head and shoulders or head to waist shots fared better than face only close-ups. Those people that used a full body shot negatively affected competence and influence. Likewise did those with a face shot.


The research never came up with an answer to this. However as a personal opinion the background needs to be plain or out of focus. The important thing is that the subject stands out. Maybe you can experiment with different colours. Have your headshot taken against a green screen and have a series of different background (colours or out of focus) being used.

Avoid direct sunlight images as you will either be squinting with the sun in your face or to dark (unless flash is used) with the sun at your back. Both of these viewers will lose confidence in you. One other thing that the viewers never favored was the inclusion of a gimmick or more than one person, they weren’t sure which was the right subject.

Perfect Profile Photo Perfect Profile Photo Perfect Profile Photo








background for Professional Head-shotsCorporate Photography10





Key here is moderation; all digital photos benefit from some editing, softening,  spots, colour correction, dandruff, lightening, contrast and ,, etc., but avoid anything extreme.


People place trust in those they buy from. That trust is formed from a 1/10 second glance of who you are. You owe it to yourself and your business to have the best perfect profile photo you can.

Viewers like to see a clear face, that’s smiling and has a strong defined jaw. The choice of clothing should be formal wear dark suit with light shirt/blouse, tie for men. For the best profile look for head to waist shots against a plain colour or out of focus background. Most importantly the person the image refers to should be the only one in the picture.

For your perfect profile image for social media contact Martin now.




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