Editing Your Professional Selfie

I’m a big fan of having a good professional picture for LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, and other work-related online presence tools; as I’ve written about before. Many times people have pictures of themselves they like, but perhaps don’t have a professional background (because of the beach scene behind you).

Recently I’ve run across a couple of tools that within a few minutes can edit that vacation picture into a professional selfie.

Background Removal

I’ve tried to do background removal before in Photoshop, and that experience made me hate Photoshop with the fire of a thousand suns. But I found a free online tool called https://www.remove.bg/ that does the background removal automagically, only keeping a person in the shot! The process is simple, just upload your photo and download the result, sans background.

Remove.bg Screenshot

Note: I’ve noticed this website struggles removing the background between open earrings, but handles hair fairly well.

Background Addition

Now that you’ve removed that beach scene, you need to replace it with something, so you need a photo editor. (No, I’m still not using Photoshop. Still hate it and it’s not free.) For this step there’s a free online photo editor called LunaPic https://www.lunapic.com/.

Upload the photo from the Background Removal step, then navigate to Draw menu > Background Tool.

LunaPic Image 1.png

Then click on “use our patterns or colors“.

LunaPic Image 2.png

Now pick a color. Black, white, and grey are all excellent options. Click the Apply button when you’re happy with the color and save the photo.

Original Photo

Joel Leichty with Busy Background

Updated Photo

Here’s the result after removing the background and replacing it with a black one.

Joel Leichty with Black Background

More Colors

One other idea I had for colors is to use your company’s branding colors for the  background. Here’s the same image as above using SAGlobal Blue.

Joel Leichty with Blue Background

Cropping

LunaPic also has a simple cropping tool (Edit > Simple Crop Tool) – you’ll want to do a square crop and your eyes should be approximately 1/3rd the way down from the top.

LunaPic Image 3.png

Additional Examples

Here are some other photos taken with various cameras and settings showing the possible results. I tried to use some more complex background examples to show the results – in same cases it’s not perfect (my hair is losing some “spike”), but in general I feel this works quite nicely for a small profile picture.

I’m a dork.

Now I’m a dork with piercing eyes.

A recent picture going from a grey background to an SAGlobal theme color background.

 

Good luck; hope to see your smiling faces online!

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