7 Tips for Choosing the Best Instagram Profile Photo

Whether you’re just starting your Instagram account or your profile photo needs an update, choosing the perfect Instagram profile photo is challenging. You want to choose a photo that suits your brand identity and resonates with your audience. These tips will help you choose the best Instagram profile photo to complement your profile.

How to Choose the Best Instagram Profile Photo

Two women reviewing photos to choose the best Instagram profile photo

There are several best practices to follow when choosing your Instagram profile photo, such as:

  • Choose a high-quality photo of yourself, your business logo or product, or another photo that’s closely related to your brand identity.
  • Choose a photo that visitors to your profile will immediately recognize as you or your brand.
  • Choose a photo that matches your brand colors and style for a cohesive aesthetic.

Why Does Your Instagram Profile Photo Matter?

Coworkers in office comparing photos to choose the best Instagram profile photo

Instagram was originally created as a place to show off photos. Although your profile picture takes up a small amount of real estate on your Instagram feed, it’s also one of the most important parts of your account. Think about it: What do you tend to notice when you land on an Instagram page first? Probably the user’s profile photo.

When you’re trying to establish a presence on Instagram or bring awareness to your brand, your profile photo becomes even more important. In this guide, we outline a few tips to help you choose the best profile photo for your Instagram page.

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Instagram Profile Photo

Woman browsing photos on a table to choose the best Instagram profile photo

Using a high-definition photo with excellent lighting is your first step to making your Instagram profile photo look its best. Consider these other useful tips to help you choose the best photo that captures your brand and personality.

  1. Decide Between Photo and Logo

First, businesses should consider whether to use a photo or a logo. This can be especially tricky for solopreneurs or microbusinesses with one owner as the primary face of the business. However, some larger businesses might also have trouble deciding. For instance, should a dog food brand use its logo or a close-up shot of a dog eating its food?

Most importantly, your Instagram profile photo should align well with your brand and build brand awareness.

So, perhaps the dog food business could use a shot of a dog eating from a bowl with the brand’s name on it. Or, a solopreneur could wear a shirt with their brand’s name or brand’s colors in their headshot. 

Logos work well, too, if your logo is recognizable. However, growing businesses that are still making a name for themselves should be sure only to use a logo that shows up well on their feeds. If users can’t read the business name, a logo as a profile photo won’t do its job.

  1. Consider Getting Professional Headshots

If it fits into your budget, you could set up a professional photo shoot to get a series of shots for use on Instagram and your other social media channels. The great thing about headshots is you can use them wherever you’d like, such as in your email signature or on your website, giving you a lot of usage for your money.

Look for a photographer specializing in professional business headshots. Many photographers even offer mini sessions at affordable prices that include a few different shots. 

  1. Or, Play the Part of a Photographer

If a professional shoot is completely out of the budget, take your own photos using your phone. If possible, set up a tripod with a wireless remote in a well-lit area of your home, or use your phone’s timer feature. Look for an area with a clean, uncluttered background — preferably, a clear wall space. 

Once you find the right spot, start experimenting with a few poses. Snap several photos so that you have plenty to look through and choose from. Be sure not to take photos too close up, making it difficult to crop your photo later for Instagram.

  1. Choose a Timeless Photo

If you want your Instagram profile photo to represent you and your brand on Instagram for a while, your photo needs to be timeless. In other words, avoid using a photo with a pose or clothing that you think might feel outdated in a few months. 

  1. Match It to Your Branding

The best way to ensure that your profile photo will never outgrow your brand, or vice versa, is to fit it right into your branding. Wear your brand’s colors and show your brand’s personality through your pose. For example, a silly or laughing pose can be great for influencers known for their humor, but posing with a phone or laptop might work really well for a social media management company owner. Because branding-focused photos resonate with your brand, they’ll likely work for years to come as your go-to Instagram profile photo.

  1. Don’t Crop Too Much

Avoid cropping too much of your picture before uploading it to Instagram. Better yet, hold off on cropping it at all before uploading it on Instagram.

Although you can use a free photo editing app like Canva to crop your picture before uploading, we suggest sending it right to Instagram to do the job. This gives you a little more control over the cropping to see what your photo will look like in the circular frame that Instagram has for profile pictures. 

  1. Ask Your Network to Help You Choose

Still not sure which photo is best for your Instagram profile picture? Consider asking your network which one they prefer. Narrow the options to your top 2-4 photos. Then, create a post on LinkedIn, Twitter, or professional Facebook groups to poll others on their favorites. Add a little information about yourself and your brand to help respondents better understand what you do and what you’re trying to accomplish with your picture.

Choosing the best Instagram profile photo is often difficult. To choose the perfect photo, select a photo that’s high-quality and perfectly in sync with your brand identity. By following these and the other tips above, you’ll be able to narrow the choices quickly and choose a photo that makes an impact. And, don’t forget to install the Instagram follow button on your blog or website. With an Instagram follow button, your visitors can follow your Instagram profile with a single click.

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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