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People use profile photos and headshots for a variety of reasons these days from social media platforms to a bio on a website, but is the image they are using the best one? Does that image project you as the most trustworthy, attractive and confident person you can be? As a leading web design company we have a list of insider tips for creating trustworthy profile photos we use with our customers to help present them in the best light and today we wanted to share that knowledge with you.

After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, why not ensure those words reflect the best you that you can present?

Insider Tips for Profile Photos

Many of these tips can be applied to headshots as well as photos involving more than one person:

  • Lead with the left – The left side of your face should usually be emphasized in photos rather than the right side or straight on. The reason is that because our faces and expressions are never perfectly symmetrical due to how the right and left brain hemispheres exhibit control over the body. Images that focus on the left side of your face will naturally express more emotion which will often make you more attractive and approachable versus the right side which will be more serious and controlled. Even when smiling, the left side appears more natural.
  • Smile with Confidence – Facial expressions instantly convey a tone to a viewer. An honest smile not only conveys happiness but also shows friendliness, openness and a willingness to connect. These are all aspects you should want to convey to potential customers rather than a stern or serious image which could be interpreted as neutrality, sadness, anger or fear; all emotions you most likely do not want to convey. On top of that, a smiling image with slightly raised eyebrows (often known as slightly surprised) is considered more trustworthy than other variations of facial expressions.
  • Showcase Intelligence – When people perceive you to have lower intelligence it instantly affects the desire to interact negatively. There are a few factors that go into this. One is basic facial structure which you can’t do much about. Smiling slightly helps relax certain features. Your style of dress and grooming also affects your overall appearance and perceived intelligence.
  • Edit the Pupils – Eye contact is a big deal when it comes to representing confidence and making a connection. With that in mind should it be a big surprise that when tested, people with larger pupils were considered more trustworthy? A little bit of digital editing to increase pupil size to more than half of the iris is recommended.
  • Look at the Camera – Looking at something off to the side of the camera creates a picture of distraction rather than attention. Even people who are trying to create a pose of thoughtfulness or reflection tend to fall short. Instead look directly at the camera and create eye contact with the viewer. This will make you more attractive to the viewer compared to if you are looking away or off to the side.
  • Cocktail Photos – An interesting study showed that when comparing photos of people in the same pose with no drinks, a single cocktail and a bit inebriated, the pictures after one drink came across as the most attractive. The theory behind this result is that a small amount of alcohol relaxed the subject both with their facial expression and body language. In addition the slight flush many people get from a cocktail adds a layer of color to the face. The key here is not to overdo it.

The bottom line is that your goal should be to always put your best foot forward in business from the quality of the copy on your website down to your profile picture. Our insider tips for creating trustworthy profile photos are useful ways to ensure that people see you in your best light to create the best impression possible when you can’t be there to do it yourself.


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