instagram profile picture / how to choose an instagram profile picture

7 tips for choosing the perfect Instagram profile picture

. 5 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
7 tips for choosing the perfect Instagram profile picture
"In the night, there are sights to be seen
Stars like jewels on the crown of a Queen
But the only sight I wanna view
Is that wonderful picture of you…"

The Beatles

A picture speaks volumes, and if it’s your Instagram profile picture it certainly does all the talking being the very reflection of your personality. After all, it tells everybody what you and your brand are all about. Here are 7 tips for choosing the perfect Instagram profile picture and becoming a head-turner. So, won’t you smile for the camera?

1. Profile picture should be on-brand

It makes sense to keep your logo as your profile picture if you are a business or a brand on Instagram. This will help in instant brand recognition and brand awareness that is so important for someone who doesn’t know your brand. But if your business is more personal, and you are a stylist, cinematographer or sports coach, for example, using a headshot as your Instagram profile picture is logical as YOU are the brand.

2. Get the aesthetics right

Aesthetics is everything, and your profile picture should match your overall Instagram aesthetic.  So, keep the look and feel the same in terms of colour scheme and edit so that it looks similar to the other images on your Instagram account.

3. Keep your profile picture a constant

Make sure that your profile picture matches the look of all seasons. It doesn’t look very professional if you pose in the snow during winter and keep that profile picture in summer. This might indicate to a new follower that you aren’t very active on Instagram to have kept a dated profile picture. So don’t go seasonal with your profile picture and don’t post a childhood photo no matter how cute your family thinks it is. You should have a neutral background to that profile picture so that you can use it for a longer time, especially if you have taken care to have it shot professionally. Another piece of advice is for when you decide to change your Instagram profile picture (which you ideally should every six months). Ensure that you keep the same image as the profile picture on all your other social platforms as well. This consistency is needed for brand recognition across all platforms.

4. Edit the profile picture to the right size

Confused about the perfect size of an Instagram profile picture? Worry no more! Note that all profile photos should be in the shape of a perfect square at 110 x 110 pixels. Make sure that you don’t deviate too much from this directive as Instagram might crop your profile picture into a circle otherwise. But not all circles look bad. The world is round after all! You can check out if your Instagram profile picture looks good in a circle in the ‘Edit Profile’ section of your profile page.

5. The background is important

If you are selling yourself as a brand on Instagram and have a headshot as a profile picture, the background that you intend to use is of prime importance. You should choose something that strikes a fine balance between something bold and something soothing. This is because it shouldn’t be distracting and take away the focus from the main image - YOU! So, avoid a bright red wall for example. Remember that the objective is to sell yourself and not the grand monument that you were thinking of as the background before you happened to read this. Play with various textures to see which one goes best with your headshot. It would be cool if the background matched the colour sensibilities and aesthetics of your overall Instagram theme, wouldn’t it?

6. Use props

What? Use props? But won’t they be distracting like the monument I was planning to use as the backdrop?

No! These are specific props related to your trade that we are talking about and not just any random prop to make you look or feel good. If you are a cinematographer, maybe you should pose with your camera in the foreground. A hairstylist might want to hold one of her instruments of style and smile at the camera. Any prop that adds value to your brand and personality and makes you stand out will suffice. But for heaven’s sake don’t pose with a cigar.

7. Focus on logo/headshot

Keep in mind that your logo or headshot, whichever is applicable, should be the focal point of your Instagram profile picture. This is because people will be accessing your profile mostly from smartphones where the screen is so small that it’s not possible to zoom in or expand. So, the logo or picture should take up as much of the circle as possible for maximum visibility. Don’t be too far away in your photo in an attempt to pose like John Wayne or James Bond. Keep it simple by being at the forefront of the frame so you are easily recognizable.

Follow these 7 great tips to create an awesome profile picture that helps you stand out from the crowd on Instagram. As they say, the first impression is always the last impression!


  1. What makes a good Instagram profile photo?
  • Decide what you want - a personal photo or a brand logo.
  • Whatever you do, don’t use an off-centre photo.
  • Use a photo with good lighting and clear contrast for great visibility.
  • Avoid selecting a trendy photo that has to be updated often.
  • Take professional aesthetics into consideration.

2.  How do you choose your profile picture on Instagram?

To add or change profile picture:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap Edit Profile > Change Profile Photo (iOS) / Change Photo (Android).
  3. Select where you'd like to import your picture from.
  4. Move or size the image within the circle cropping.
  5. When you're satisfied, tap Done (iOS) or Next (Android).

3. Does profile picture matter on Instagram?
Yes. But if you don't upload it in the correct size requirements, it won't look good no matter how great a photo it is. Images that are too small or too large don’t work and will come out blurry and pixelated. The maximum file size of a profile picture on Instagram is 10MB.

4. Why does Instagram ruin profile picture quality?
Instagram uses massive compression algorithms in all uploaded pictures. This reduces the size of your photo and lowers the quality as well in an attempt to free storage space for the company.