5 Tips For Thumbnail Headshots That POP!

April 10, 2012 · 11 comments

in Entrepreneurs

Nowadays your thumbnail headshot is used many places online, from social media profiles to articles to avatars. Make sure your thumbnail grabs attention with these 5 tips:

1. Give Good Personality
Although your photo is small, you still want your personality to shine. Use a shot with a great expression: warm, friendly, approachable, fun etc.

2. Wear Something Colorful
Wear a bold or bright color but stick to a solid color, nothing busy. This will help your image stand out.

3. Use a Close-up Shot
Keep the focus on your face and eyes by using a close-up image, and stay away from shots with busy backgrounds.

4. Crop
If you have a headshot you just love but it’s not close-up, or the background is a little busy then crop. Cropping is a great way to create a better thumbnail by putting more information in a smaller area. The idea is more face, less body.

5. Sharpen
When you upload your thumbnail double-check to make sure it’s not fuzzy. It should look clear to you on your screen. If not, use your image editor to sharpen the photo.

That’s all folks! Does your thumbnail headshot jump off the page?  I’d love to know your thoughts.

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  • nikastewart

    Thank you SO much for these useful tips, Tanzie! Too many people have unprofessional thumbnails that don’t show off their true personality.  I am so glad I have this list to go back to. 🙂

    • I think for most the thumbnail/profile pic is an afterthought. Glad you find this post useful.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • I just changed one of my Facebook profile photos because I realized it was so small (it wasn’t cropped”) that you couldn’t really see it was me. Good advice. Facebook let’s you crop in their program. What do you suggest for those who need to crop a photo when it’s not Facebook? (I used webresizer.com a couple of times, wondering what else is out there)

    • Yep Beatrice, that happens if you’re not using a close-up image. I’ve never heard of webresizer.com but just checked it out. I uploaded a hi resolution photo and it made too small, so didn’t like it. I use photoshop for all my resizing. Check your computer apps, you probably do have some sort of photo editor. But I’ll look into other software or websites to use….hmmm, sounds like a good follow-up post on details of resizing your thumbnail image. Thanks!

  • Renee

    Thanks Tanzie for these tips. I never think about my profiles on sites like facebook. I wonder if it matters as to what type of camera you use such as camera phone vs a digital camera?

    • Renee…for your personal profile on Facebook, I think it’s fine to use whatever image you want. But for business social media profiles like Linkedin, FB page, Twitter etc, an attention-grabbing profile pic this best. I often click on profiles just because the photo is interesting then I end up reading and learning more about that person and their business. If you have a professional headshot you can resize it and make it work as a thumbnail but you can also use a cell phone shot, if is taken well. I’ll be posting in future about how to get better cell phone images, so definitely check back in.

  • Your advice is right to the point.  Your headshots are perfect for this.  I can’t tell you how many people, including my own mother, (a harsh critic of others photography) who have expressed to me how much they love your photos.  Your headshot has done so much for my business, Bffl Co.  Thanks

    • Oh gosh Elizabeth, this is so great to hear, especially the part about your mother. However, I can’t imagine you having ever taken any not-so-good shots. : )

  • Leslie

    perfect advice. Love your tips and hopefully used them all when I took my shots!

  • Oh I should have read this before my photo shoot! I had no idea what to do, my photographer helped me so it worked out in the end. I will definitely use these tips for the pics I take myself, especially #4, #5 on cropping and sharpening. Thanks!

  • Love these suggestions, Tanzie. I tend to go with natural colors, so your tip to wear color is an important reminder for me, and I never really thought about using a close-up, but it sounds like a great idea! Thanks, you’ve just helped me improve my next round of photos!

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