What makes a good profile photo?

Good profile photos make a good first impression, professionally taken headshots are even better

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

What makes a good profile photo?

A good profile photo will help you make a good first impression on a prospective student/parent. If you come across as a mature professional, then it is much more likely that they will engage with you.

A good profile photo should be:

  • A clear, well-lit photo showing your face

  • High resolution so that it shows up nicely on small and large screens

  • You should be dressed smartly (with a big smile!)

  • Taken against a neutral background

  • Ideally, the photo should not have been used elsewhere as using it could compromise your privacy.

A bad profile photo has:

  • Other people/cropping easily visible

  • Taken on a night out, e.g. at a bar/club

  • Blurry, unable to see a face or poor resolution

  • Crazy, doing extreme sports or activities

Remember that Spires is an online tutoring platform for professional tutors. It is not social media, and tutors need to demonstrate professionalism at all times. This extends to responding to messages in a timely manner, putting the appropriate care and effort into your profile and writing tailored bid messages.

How can I take a good profile photo?

To take a good profile photo, tutors can either:

  1. Use a service to have professional headshots taken

  2. Follow a few simple tips to take one themselves

1. Having professional headshots taken through a service

There are many services that will take a professional headshot for you. This often involves much more than just taking a photo, they often have a studio, and some may be able to help create the image of an educator e.g. by taking a photo with a bookcase or a whiteboard. They often provide multiple shots and also send you the photos as digital files ready to use on the internet.

These services start at £70 in London, and this pales in comparison to what you could earn as a tutor. If you have done more than a few hundred hours of tutoring through the platform, then we recommend you take this option.

2. Tips on taking a good photo yourself

In addition to following the advice given towards the top of this article, a few small adjustments can help improve your photo:

  • Ask someone else to hold the camera - selfies do not make good profile photos.

  • Dress up - A collared shirt or a jumper, anything above a T-shirt!

  • Use natural lighting - Reflected sunlight is best as artificial light will leave you looking yellow/blue and direct sunlight may be dazzling and leave deep shadows.

  • Try different angles and take multiple photos - Angles can be used to minimise glare which is especially important if you wear glasses. Taking lots of photos will allow you to experiment and work out what looks best.

  • Use an editing service - There are lots of services that will touch up your photo on sites like Fiverr. They can also add a background e.g. Law books for a law tutor.

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