Creating the right photo to convey your brand can be challenging in the ever-changing digital world we live in, from lighting and positioning to how we dress and where the photo is taken. To help entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd, personal branding specialists Sadia and Ian from Sadia Barlow Photography have shared 10 tips highlighting how to frame the perfect profile photo.

Sadia and Ian’s top tips include:

  1. Tell an authentic story – Think about the narrative you want to tell. What is it you wish to say about you and the values you stand for? Spend time noting down the important elements of who you are, your personal life and your business which you want to share online.
  2. Think about the setting – Where the photos are taken is important to telling your brand story. Pick two or three areas which you frequently visit, and you feel makes you stand out. It could be a local park, a friend’s sofa or your garden – choose somewhere you feel happy and comfortable.
  3. Check the background for distractions – Once the location has been chosen, have a look around and make sure there are no distractions such as trees or poles appearing above your head or unwanted items such as bins or roadworks in the shot. Avoid having distracting objects within the frame.
  4. Plan the different image layers – A photo’s layering, the foreground, middle-ground and background, play a vital role in creating an eye-catching image. Plan what will be seen in the foreground (e.g. a pen and notebook), the middle-ground (e.g. you) and the background (e.g. an office setting) to help tell the story of who you are and your services.
  5. Relax and feel comfortable – We all know how difficult it is to relax when having your photo taken, but our true personality is usually best captured when we are calm. A photoshoot can feel intimidating at the start so find what helps you to feel more comfortable and at ease and incorporate this into the day.
  6. Face the light source – Set the shot up so your face is looking into the light source. A profile photo looking into the light will showcase the eyes and accentuate the face, placing shadows in the background and highlighting the facial features.
  7. Face towards the left – When using profile photos on professional platforms such as LinkedIn, also think about which way your facing – a profile photo should usually be looking towards the text to guide readers to your profile (so normally the left).
  8. Crop the image correctly – If cropping the image, be careful to edit the image in the right place. For example, either crop around the knee, the waist or the chest area. For profile photos, ensure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame to ensure it fills the space.
  9. Don’t feel the need to dress to impress – Think about what you want to say in your image. Do you want to be seen as creative and fun or professional and business-like? Wear clothes true to you who you are and that make you feel comfortable and try to keep logos and patterns to a minimum.
  10. Resize the photos for social media – Each social media platform requires a different resolution and image size so make sure they match. For example, the recommended dimensions are 110px x 110px image on Instagram, 180px x 180px on Facebook, 400px x 400px on Twitter and 300px x 300px on LinkedIn.

Sadia Barlow, Co-Founder of Sadia Barlow Photography said, “Having a creative and authentic online personal brand is essential for business owners or entrepreneurs to connect and build a relationship with like-minded people, potential clients and prospective employers. However, how do we effectively communicate a creative and honest online visual presence? We understand the importance of creating a compelling online presence and how authentic high quality photos can immediately deliver both personality and brand, so we hope these tips will help professionals stand out from the crowd.”

For further details on Sadia Barlow Photography, visit

Notes to Editors:

  • Sadia Barlow Photography is offering journalists a complimentary one-hour personal branding session in return for an editorial review, please contact Sarah Salord at GEC PR on for further details.
  • Image 1: Personal branding photo taken by Sadia Barlow Photography at London Fashion Week in 2019
  • Image 2 (from left to right): Ian Barlow and Sadia Barlow, Co-Founders of Sadia Barlow Photography
  • Image 3: Photo taken of Dhriti Mehra, Life Coach during a Personal Branding Shoot in her back garden.
  • High-res images available to download from

Sadia and Ian created Sadia Barlow Photography in 2017, and together bring a range of qualities and skills to their craft. Ian, with his focus on composition, pattern and form, and Sadia with her eye always on the emotion, together bring something totally unique to the table. Unlike many photographers, they do not have a ‘look’ or editing style, rather, they take each project and style it according to the client’s branding.  This differentiates them from other Personal Branding photographers. Sadia grew up in London, Stockholm and Karachi, and Ian hails from Barnsley, South Yorkshire and currently live in West London.

For Media Enquiries and Images contact: Sarah Salord | GEC PR |