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How to Choose The Right Instagram Photo

By @ijyoyo | December 20 2021 | Envision

It’s about that time to change your profile picture! In this article I will go over a few things that you should think about while either taking new photos or using previous photos for your instagram. Portrait profile picture

Brand Positioning

Make sure the profile picture matches with your brand! How do you do this you may ask. Looking for similar accounts in your niche such as travel, fitness, photographers or business people. You can also look at profiles of mutual accounts that you follow.

This includes deciding whether you want it to be a logo or a portrait photo. What is the difference between the two? A logo is great for retail brands, large brands and more. Portraits are great for personal blogs, people, lifestyle pages and more.

Portrait instagram profile Let's go through some examples. A travel blogger would like to change their profile picture to something that lets people know what their page is about while also showing their face. A portrait would be best for this situation to initiate people to check the profile out.

Another example might be a new beverage brand company that would like to engage more on social media. This beverage band may find it best to use their logo as the forefront of their profile page and include this in their instagram profile picture.

Brand positioning is also great for meeting your audience where they are at and meet their expectations.

Get that resolution!

Resolution is important when you upload and are choosing a profile picture for instagram. Just like uploading a photo , instagram profiles are no different. This is a instagram profile picture idea.

Instagram profile photos are displayed on the app and the web as a circular icon to navigate to your profile. Make sure your profile is a 1:1 ratio to properly fit in the size of the instagram profile picture.

Instagram profile picture example Another good rule of thumb is to find a photo that is above 500 x 500 pixels in your image. Although much higher resolutions are common and preferred. You don’t want anything pixelated or blurry as a profile photo.

Also avoid the old camera! Either get photos taken by a professional or get someone else to do them.There is nothing wrong with vintage cameras. There is less resolution and megapixel capacity in older digital cameras however.


As a photographer I always look at lighting. Avoid harsh lighting on the face. Avoid photos that have long shadows on your face and make it look rough.

Instagram profile picture ideas Go for soft lighting. This occurs when you are not directly in the way of the light. It gives the skin a soft look. Often there is diffusion in the light as well. You can get this from diffusing light or by taking your photos close to a window. Windows usually diffuse the sunlight directly on you and create some great effects. This is why window lighting can be on fleek!

Also make sure that there is a good contrast between the background and the subject (you). This means that the background may be farther away or darker than you are. There also might be some blur involved

Get your logo professionally done

If you are a retail or business that is not focused on one individual you should opt into getting a logo profile photo.

There are some great online options out there for professional logo design on a budget. From my experience being a graphic designer this can be essential to creating a memorable business. It is essential to your business to get it professionally done

Instagram profiel tips The graphic designer can help position your brand and or help you with the color schemes you already have in mind. They can join your ideas with new ideas.

I would highly recommend looking on Fiverr for logo designers. Although I am not sponsored by Fiverr I have worked and commissioned work there. You can chat professionally with the logo designers and they can abstract what you are thinking into a real logo draft. Otherwise there are plenty of online services that can help you as well. These cost because of the uniqueness and fine detail in each design that will be unique to them. Getting your logo professionally designed can help reduce the amount of times you will need to change it in the future. They can also help you with the instagram profile picture sizing, resolution and positioning.

Don’t change your profile too often

Avoid trendy looks or things that you might change very soon. This is because people often recognize your account by your profile picture, if you change that then people will have a harder time recognizing you. This can make you lose some recognition.

It helps to have a consistent brand that you can look at and recognize right away. For outsiders it can be difficult and confusing switching your profile picture often.

Tips for instagram profile photos How much is too much may depend on your industry or what kind of profile you have set up. Established accounts shouldn’t as often. Smaller accounts might find it best to change it every few months to see how this affects engagement .

Remember that you are working with a small circle

You can either try a headshot or a bodyshot. Today I find it common for fashion models, influencers and the like to use bodyshots. These are fine oftentimes you must be weary that it fits in your profile. It is also difficult to see your face from a body photo.

Remember to try your best to avoid white lines for your profile photo to fit. There are a couple ways around this by cloning the background and extending it on either side to create a seamless look. You can do this effect on an app or get the original photographer to help you out and extend it.

Headshots are also great because they will be the first people to identify as you. Make sure to smile or make a happy grin!

Gear outdoor photoshoot Mid Shots are also popular too. This is where your torso and everything above is shown. This is great when you are wearing something that represents your brand like a suit, branded t-shirt or the like.

Don’t forget to add filters or anything that matches your brand's account. Filters on VSCO or Snapseed can be great ways to edit your photos subtly for a great profile photo on Instagram.

Get a selection

If you are shooting for a new profile picture or using a previous photo shoot, remember to try and get some variety. These will first allow you to choose between similar photos and also allow you to update your profile picture more often and subtly.

A variety of selections includes different facial expressions, different backgrounds or different props.

Different expressions can vary from a selection of accounts to the next. Business persons might find it best to smile and look welcoming to a profile. Modeling accounts might be interested in showing off a modeling look or a pose to show their style. Stylists might focus on the style of their work if they have it on. The traveler might want to make a fun face. Really it all comes down to your brand's true personality and connecting with others on instagram.

Props are one of the most underrated additions to your photos. This can include animals, products or the like seen on your page often. This will resurface the idea of what your instagram account is about.

Changing the background or doing a different pose can also be essential to standing out in your business or personal lifestyle. Some examples include posing for a yoga account vs a professional modeling account. Backgrounds should match in conjunction with your entire account. If you have an outdoors account, shoot outdoors for your profile. If you are a lifestyle account try a photo studio or an indoor photo shoot. These are all things to consider when choosing profile pictures for Instagram.

Use Art

If you aren’t a business or a person, you can use art. Using art can be a great profile photo. However make sure you own the rights or ask for permission to use the photo.

Art photos, drawings or murals are great. They can give a vague idea of your profile, but they can work nevertheless.

If you create art and want to display a piece of work this can be great for you!

Profile ideas for boys & girls

Best profile picture for instagram for boys may include photos of yourself. Either professional photos or simple selfies. Make sure you are centered in frame and have good lighting.

Some great profile picture ideas for girls include pictures with friends, selfies or solo photos.

All in all these are things to consider when choosing profile pictures for instagram. You want something that is unique to your brand, you want to envision something that others will understand your account by. Considering these, will help you as you decide what your next profile on instagram should be.

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