Is this a good profile photo?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by eirik_j_rgensen, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Hi.
    I recently snapped this photo of myself to possibly use as a profile picture on networking sites.
    I took it in my room in front my computer, do you think anyone'll notice, and does it matter, really?
    >is the photo itself good and can be used as a profile picture?
    (I heard you shouldn't take selfies to use as profile pics, but I don't think you can notice it.. do you?)
    Thanks! :)
  2. [[I heard you shouldn't take selfies to use as profile pics, but I don't think you can notice it.. do you?]]

    Yes, you can notice.
    [[and does it matter, really?]]

    That all depends on what kind of impression you want to give.
  3. Okay, if you can ignore virtually everything've got a great smile and a good haircut with a quite pleasant face.
    After that, the lighting is awful, the camera angle is way too low and totally emphasizes your nose, your eyes are heavily veiled by the bad lighting, and ....the one thing you can actually correct in this have a huge light trap in the very distracting large window to the right, which you could crop out.
    Clean the lens of your computer camera. The veiling across your current image may be partially due to a dirty lens as well as the strong light coming directly from the window. Be sure that you do not have a strong light coming from behind you as you do here.
    If you insist on doing this yourself, turn 90 to 120 degrees to your left (with your computer) so that you have light falling across your face from the window, raise the computer camera so that the lens is at least at a level with, or slightly higher than your eyes and then look upward into the lens so that your eyes are nicely opened. Do NOT raise your face to look up at the lens, just raise your eyes slightly while keeping your face about level.
    Get that smile back, maybe tilt our head a trifle to one side or the other, and then take the shot.
    Most selfies that seem to work are in fun situations where personality and what's happening are more important than projecting a more business like image. If you are after something that shows you to a real photographic advantage for your profiles, good lighting is everything.
  4. No...Not a good photo of yourself. I agree with Tim, the lighting is awful.

    Odd that the bright window light is behind you, but you have light glowing on your face. Computer screen or another source causing this? Try another with the curtains closed. Do you or a friend have a camera or phone that you can use for your profile photo?
    I ask about the camera, because I see that you just joined today and this is your first post. I hope that your not toying with us.
  5. [[I ask about the camera, because I
    see that you just joined today and this
    is your first post. I hope that your not
    toying with us.]]

    - No, I am not 'toying' with you. I posted
    this thread to have your opinions on
    the photograph, and tips to take a
    photo of more quality.
    Thanks for your help and opinions -
    greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your help. The picture
    was actually taken with a Sony
    Handycam, not a computer camera.
    The computer monitors generate a lot
    of light, though, which is what I think
    you refer to regarding the light on my
    I'll take a few pictures tomorrow (it is
    currently night in Norway where I live)
    and update this thread. I would
    appreciate if you could check back and
    give me your opinion then as well :)
  6. A nice face and expression but not an ideal portrait, Eirik. Luckily, you can try and try again. The two biggest problems are 1. you are too close to the camera so the lens is distorting your face making your nose and chin look large. 2. the light from the window is hitting the lens causing an extreme amount of flare which reduces contrast and jukes the color somewhat.
    Back up a bit. You have a large enough file you can crop into. Get that light off the camera lens!(close the curtain partially) You might try to put a white card in front or to the side of the camera to kick in a bit more light to your face.
    You could try to apply a bit of Photoshopping to this image, as I did below, to help improve it but I think it would be better to try and re-shoot it. Do use some image editor to adjust the color, contrast and touch up zits, stray hair and such. In any case play with various approaches and have fun!
  7. Thank you very much, Louis!
    I'll take a couple of pictures tomorrow
    and adjust it the way you and Tim
    suggested :)
    Please check back then and give me
    your opinion :)
  8. Eirik, Sorry I was confused about the type of camera, but the positioning and cleanliness rules both still apply. I'll be glad to help in any way I can.
    Louis has done a terrific salvage job on what is there, but starting over will almost certainly give you a really big boost in quality.
  9. Hello
    I took four pictures just now, and the one that I uploaded is the one I think was the best one.
    I tried to adjust it the way Tim and Louis suggested. I took the photo in front of the window this time, with the camera sitting on a few pillows in the window frame. I was sitting on a small table. The room itself is very dark (I partly closed the curtains, I only left some open for the camera to shoot through.) I did get light on my face, though. I need your opinion on it. Is it better than the previous one?
    If you want to shop it a little, feel free (I was very impressed with your work, Louis :])
    Thank you! :)
  10. grh


    You're moving the right direction. A bit of PS for clarity and sharpening (and some cloning to remove the bed) results in this:
  11. Eirik,
    Most people would consider the new one a better photo "technically", probably because it doesn't have what photographers consider flaws. To me, it's lost the charm, energy, sweetness, candor, and spontaneity of the original, which is what I was afraid of when you talked about re-shooting. I can understand the original bothering people, but I'd go with that. Instead of trying to hide what are being thought of as flaws, I'd try enhancing them, maybe just a little, and not being self conscious about them . . . making them part of the expression, which they were to begin with. The strong back lighting was never a problem for me and added great energy and complemented your natural smile and exuberant eyes. It also created great rim light on your face, which framed you so nicely. The exposure was a bit off, but not so much that it ruined the shot. Sure, the pink flare on your cheek stood out . . . I'd live with it and you could even emphasize it as much contemporary cell phone photography would do. That original photo could be put through an iPhone app and come out looking great, and age appropriate. The haze in the original is a matter of taste, but trying to get rid of it also made the photo lose something. Your new photo just doesn't have the expression and life. If I found a picture of myself from when I was your age and it looked remotely like the one you originally took, the flaws would be endearing and the photo would be a treasure. If I found your new one, it would just be another snapshot of myself, to me, mostly because the new expression is so much less vibrant and full of life.
    This doesn't mean you haven't received some really good advice here and I'd urge you to keep experimenting, learning, and honing your skills. That would be so you could consciously choose to make the picture you made at first, or something more like it, if you wanted to. Instead, you did it by mistake, which we all know can be a great way to stumble onto something, but you don't want to be in a position of just relying on happy accidents, because they won't always come along. It's a good idea to perfect technique and have the kind of control being suggested here and then you can start breaking traditional rules of photography, which is what your original photo did, maybe in a less refined way than would ultimate be desired.
    Anyway, if you can get the technical side down, then you can concentrate on the expression, which is what the original has so much of.
    Best of luck!
    P.S. Just saw Gary's reworking of your second photo and he did a wonderful job and gave it back some of that expressiveness I felt was missing. Still probably prefer your original as a more candid photo of yourself, despite its flaws.
  12. Yes, Eirik, as Gary pointed out, you are moving in the right direction, technically. The lighting looks pretty good but, as Fred points out, expression is a key component is a successful picture. Also keep in mind what is behind you. You don't want distracting elements taking away from your picture. Get yourself an image editor, there are many free ones available, so you can work on the image.
    As I hope your gathering, there are a lot of elements that make a good self, or any, portrait. Digital images are free so play around with it and remember, to answer your other question, yes, a good picture can make a good visual impression.
  13. I have to agree with Louis and Fred regarding the wonderful spontenaity of the firs one, but the light and ability to see into your face and eyes are light years improved.
    I would watch out for the back ground and take several exposures remembering to let that smile shine and then choose the best of those.
  14. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If, as you say, it's just a profile photo for social networking, the latter one is light years ahead. Just "instagram" it and you will have the perfect photo for that use.

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