Instagram PFP: Everything You Need To Know

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 31, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

When it comes to Instagram, appearances are everything. From curating your feed content to perfecting your brand aesthetic, it’s all about looking the part. So, it only makes sense that you would want the perfect Instagram PFP. Not sure what we mean by this term? This social media abbreviation stands for profile picture.

Some people also use the abbreviated lingo as a way to say Instagram picture for proof. This phrase is a way of ensuring that another person on the social media app is real. Asking them, “Instagram PFP?” is essentially asking them to send proof that they are who they claim to be.

Either way, you’ll want to ensure your PFP for Instagram is a genuine representation of yourself or your brand. After all, it’s often one of the first things people see when they come across your profile. Need a little help perfecting it?

That’s where we come in. Below, check out our top tips for how to get the best possible profile image for your Instagram account.

Smartphone opened to an Instagram profile

Why Should You Focus on a Good Instagram PFP?

When it comes to promoting yourself on social media, having a good Instagram PFP is key. Wondering why? As we mentioned above, this is the first picture that people will see when they land on your Instagram account. You want to make sure it entices people to check out the rest of your posts. This will hopefully lead them to become a new Instagram follower of yours.

Located at the top left-hand side of your profile, your Instagram PFP sets the stage for your entire grid. Additionally, your profile picture is the thumbnail picture that people see when they scroll through their new stories. Instagram displays this at the top of your home feed. Users will tap on your profile picture in order to play your sequence of stories.

Those who also host blogs or accounts on other social media websites will often use the same picture across all channels. This way, they create a sense of cohesiveness and brand awareness. This means that every blog post or video share will show the image. So, you can see why it’s important to have a top-quality profile picture.

Women learning how to take a good Instagram Pfp.

What Makes a Good Instagram PFP?

So, what makes a good Instagram PFP and how do you choose the right profile picture? There are a few different things that go into it. First, you will want to make sure that your profile picture is a clear representation of you, your brand or your business. This way, your audience and followers are able to understand what your account and content will represent.

Of course, you also want to focus on the characteristics of the image itself. When taking a new picture, there are many attributes you will want to keep in mind. From lighting to color choices, even the smallest detail can play a big part. Read on as we highlight a few key qualities that will have your Instagram PFP standing out above the rest.

Use Natural Lighting for Your Instagram PFP

The first tip at the top of our list for capturing the best pictures? The lighting you use. For the best-looking results, you should utilize natural lighting to take your Instagram PFP. By this, we mean light coming from the sun. So, you are not relying on the help of a camera flash or other sources of artificial light. When it comes to photography, natural light creates the best overall image.

Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that the coloring and shadows of natural light can change with the time of day. Morning and evening light can cast different shadows while clouds can dim the overall brightness. We recommend experimenting with snapping a few pictures throughout the day, to identify what works best for you.

These are all things to keep in mind when planning your next photo shoot for your Instagram PFP. As an added bonus, natural light is obviously the most cost-effective lighting to use in photography. Just head outside with a friend or trusty tripod and start snapping away.

Smartphone laying on top of a laptop computer.

Colors Will Make Your Instagram PFP Come Alive

Next up, let’s talk about color. Or for some people, the lack thereof. When it comes to taking an Instagram PFP, many users like to incorporate a pop of color.

A splashy shade can help to portray many things across the screen, including mood and personality. In order to stand out from the crowd, try blending in hues like blue, green and red.

For another option, try adding a hue to your picture’s background color. Boldly painted walls are always eye-catching and can pack a big punch. You can even take your photo in front of a green screen and manually add the background color of your choice.

However, there are people who prefer to portray themselves in black and white. For many, this matches their brand and overall Instagram aesthetic. Don’t worry, we’ll cover this topic further down below. If neutrals are more your style, focus on the use of contrasts and strike a balance between light and dark.

Smartphone opened to the Instagram app.

Take Size Into Consideration for Your Instagram PFP

Your Instagram PFP is shown as a tiny thumbnail in the shape of a circle. You may have even tried to upload a new picture and realized that the image wasn’t cooperating with the rounded cropping.

When it comes to sizing, it’s best to use pictures that have an aspect ratio of 1:1. By this, we mean that the image’s height and width are equal. If you are looking for a close-up shot, you’ll want to crop from the shoulders up. This will allow your face to be front and center and clear to see.

If you are using a logo or wording for your PFP Instagram, size is an important thing to keep in mind as well. After all, you already know how small the image appears to other users. Tiny text will be hard to read and understand. Make sure the logo image or font is clear, bold and easily viewable to your followers.

Person taking a new Instagram Pfp with their smartphone camera.

How To Achieve Your Best Instagram PFP: 3 Top Ideas

Of course, there are many different theme and style directions you can take when capturing your Instagram PFP. Content creators will want to make sure that their pose, clothing, and facial expressions all reflect their personality and brand. This is important because it helps their followers better relate to you and your content. It gives them a trustworthy and credible connection.

For example, are you learning how to become a travel influencer? If so, you should think about using an adventurous travel photo that will grab the attention of your viewers. Similarly, people who are striving to become fitness influencers can consider highlighting their physical activity of choice. Above all, you want to make sure that it is a true and genuine representation of yourself or your brand.

Below, let’s take a look at three top genres of photo direction and how to achieve them. Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at the design process to make your Instagram PFP stand out from the rest. We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need.

1. Create a Cool PFP for Instagram

Many people on Instagram strive to achieve a seemingly cool PFP for Instagram. However, the definition of cool can obviously vary from person to person. So, a cool PFP Instagram will not look the same for everybody. Instead, stick to what is important to you. Staying true to yourself is one of the best ways to grow your brand on social media. It will let your followers best relate to you and your content.

Still not sure where to begin to achieve an overall cool look? Try utilizing the help of a profile picture template. These online services offer plenty of design tools and many even have a profile picture maker, doing the work for you.

To get you started, try checking out Canva. This creative website service allows you to add plenty of cool extras to your Instagram PFP, from frames to filters. They even format your image to the perfect Instagram size. With a few cool graphic design elements, you’ll be standing out in no time.

Women taking a new Instagram Pfp with her smartphone.

2. Create a Funny PFP for Instagram

Perhaps your Instagram account focuses on comedy. This can range from stand-up routines to creating pop culture memes. If humor is your interest, you’ll want to incorporate it into your Instagram PFP. Having a little fun with your pose or back can clue your audience into what they can expect from your profile.

Looking for inspiration when it comes to capturing a funny PFP for Instagram? We’ve got a few ideas. Look to silly extras to liven up your background. Large hats, wacky sunglasses and colorful clothing are all great items to try. You can also use the help of filters, stickers or added emojis to bring some humor to your Instagram PFP.

Alternatively, practice a variety of funny facial expressions to liven up your look. This will allow your followers to get a peak at your lighthearted personality and let them know you don’t take yourself too seriously.

3. Create an Aesthetic PFP for Instagram

We can’t discuss style directions of an Instagram PFP without discussing the concept of aesthetics. After all, the social world focuses on things looking just right. The word aesthetic means, “concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty”.

If you are wondering how to create an aesthetic PFP for Instagram, we’re here to help. First and foremost, you need to identify the aesthetic you wish your picture and profile to have. That is, the style and beauty you wish to achieve. This will help to make sure you are getting an Instagram PFP that properly represents you and your personality.

Many people like to make their Instagram feed, including their profile picture, have an overall pleasing aesthetic. This can range from bold and colorful to minimalist and neutral. We recommend researching popular aesthetics on Instagram to see which best matches your style preferences. Once you get a sense of what catches your eye, work on incorporating those colors and textures into your pictures.

 Person scrolling through Instagram to find a new Instagram Pfp.

Instagram PFP Downloader

There may be times when you wish you could download and save an Instagram PFP – whether it’s your own or another user’s. But is this possible? We’re here to tell you that yes, it is. However, you’ll need to use the help of a third-party app or website in order to do it.

When it comes to choosing an Instagram PFP downloader, you have plenty of options available. We recommend checking out IG Downloader. This web-based service allows you to view and download an Instagram profile picture in full size – and high quality. They also offer plenty of other download options as well, from reels to videos and even IGTV.

Simply enter the Instagram handle of the person in question, no profile link required. One nice feature that IG Downloader offers is the ability to download profile pictures of private profiles. That’s right.

Their services work on all accounts and are absolutely easy and safe to use. Simply head over to their website and start downloading today.

Person scrolling through Instagram, getting inspiration for a new Instagram Pfp.

Instagram PFP Zoomer

As you know, your Instagram PFP is a small image at the top of your profile page. Since the image is so small, it can often be hard to properly see all the small details of the image. Have you ever wondered if there was a way to zoom in or enlarge these images? There actually is – but there’s a catch.

Currently, Instagram does not offer a way to zoom in on or enlarge a profile picture. However, you do have other options. You can look outside of Instagram and utilize the help of a third-party app or website. These services help to take an PFP Instagram from its original size to a close-up in a matter of seconds.

Looking for a recommendation for the best Instagram PFP zoomer? Check out Zoomer for IG, available for download in the App Store. This app does not require a sign-in through your Instagram account. Instead, simply search for the account in question through their app and you can zoom up to 8x into their profile pictures. Best of all? This service is anonymous, meaning the owner of the Instagram PFP will never know you saw them up close and personal.

At Path Social, we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and an AI-targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we organically target and reach users that engage in your content. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.