5 Tips For The Perfect Profile Picture: A Getty Photographer Shares His Secrets

If springtime has you updating your Facebook profile pic or signing up for an online dating service, having the perfect picture is of utmost importance. Thankfully, NY Fashion Week’s photographer Jemal Countess of Getty Images has us covered with tips to ensure we look out best in our profile pictures.

The Outfit. Vibrant purples, reds and earth tones are generally my favorite colors for portraits and beauty shoots. That being said, a color’s appearance is often intensified by particular skin tones – and all colors don’t look good on all skin types – so be sure to try a few different looks out.

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The Makeup. Aim for strong eyes, defined lips in bright reds or browns, moderate blush/slightly contoured and defined cheeks. But please don’t go crazy. Too many ladies over do it to the point of looking like extras in an 80’s hair band video. I am also a fan of nude lips too. But, once again, it depends on what the rest of your face is doing. And remember: camera light is more direct than your bathroom light and harsher, so make sure you blend your makeup well.

The Background. I believe it is a combination of lighting and background, but stay away from cool or cold backgrounds (like blues and greens). My mind instantly jumps to Miami and where I look to shoot portraits in natural environments all the time. Even if shooting against palms or plants I want to intersperse bits of color to break up the green. Otherwise I love pastel backgrounds

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The Lighting. Harsh light is very dramatic and conveys a nice sense of energy, but can sometimes be unflattering. Muted light is more gentle and often considered “beauty light.” Assuming you don’t have a lighting director on hand, you can counter the effects of harsh light (like that created with most point and shoot cameras that make people look shiny) by putting a napkin or tissue over the flash.

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The Angle. Angle is critical!! A round face should be at a slight angle with chin down to avoid the “Sun dial/clock face effect.” So, so, so many ladies make the mistake of the chin-up, “Hi-Fashion” pose, yet only Carol Alt, Linda Evangelista and a few other supermodels can make this angle work. A long face should be parallel to the camera (the chin too far down makes you Jay Leno). If you have a larger nose or wide eyes, angle your face slightly to the side and chin slightly down. That being said, the name of the game is confidence radiating from the inside!

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