How to Make a Cool PFP for Instagram and Facebook

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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How to Create a Profile Picture

It’s no secret that having aesthetic profile pics (PFP) for your social media is key to standing out among the crowd. But what if I told you your profile picture could be deterring people from your page? Or even worse – damaging your business. Studies suggest that people form a first impression within 1/10th of a second. That means that within 1/10th of a second, you can lose a follower or a prospective client solely based on your social media profile. 

With the world becoming more digital each year, social media’s purpose has become far more significant than socialization. Today, your social media profile isn’t just for friends and family–  but also employers. Whether you work in social media or not, most employers will quickly search your social profiles to see what kind of person you are outside your technical resume. You might not get the job if you’re applying for a Management position and your PFP is you at a party with your besties. 

A unique and professional PFP helps us develop trust with our audience and show off our creative personality. Essentially, our social media profiles are an extension of who we are and what we represent. If you’ve been putting off updating your PFP, I’m here to walk you through it step by step. 

In this article, we’ll go over precisely what a PFP is, how to use PhotoDirector to create the ultimate PFP edits, how to update your social media PFP and provide you with some insider photography tips. 

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a cool PFP to make your social media dreams come true.

What is a PFP?

In the world of social media (and this article), a PFP refers to your profile picture. The term was first coined in 2010 after the launch of Instagram. But the acronym has several meanings beyond profile pictures, such as picture for proof.

As many of you know, the internet is filled with bots and catfishes. If you get a friend request or a direct message from an unknown person, just send them a PFP request. It’s a quick and easy way to avoid ending up in your own episode of “The Tinder Swindler.” 

Having a clear PFP that is unique to you and your brand is essential to establishing trust with your audience and proving that you are, in fact, a real person. 

Best Software to Make a Cool PFP

PhotoDirector Logo


PhotoDirector is the best overall professional photo editing software. Turn your PFP into something special with customizable colors, illuminating effects, precision layer editing, and immaculate photo retouch abilities. 

PhotoDirector is loaded with RAW Power to support professional file formats and popular cameras. If you’re new to the editing game, PhotoDirector also comes with loads of learning resources, such as tutorials, tips, and guides. 

How to Create a PFP

Are you wanting to update your PFP but don’t know where to start? Or, maybe you’re ready to make the change but doubting your technological capabilities. If so, listen up. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or editor to create an eye-catching PFP. In fact, making a high-quality PFP doesn’t have to be complicated at all. 

Photo editing software such as PhotoDirector allows you to revamp your PFP in minutes, and I will show you exactly how it’s done.

Follow these steps to create a PFP using PhotoDirector editing software.

  1. Click on Library and then the Import button at the bottom of the panel. From here, you can select Photos to import an individual picture or Folder to import a folder containing multiple photos.
  2. PhotoDirector - Import
  3. Touching up your PFP is your first step in achieving vivid colors and sharp detail.
  4. First, select the Adjustments tab, then choose either Manual or Presets. Remember that you are enhancing your PFP, not changing it entirely. If you make too many adjustments, your results will be unrealistic.

    PhotoDirector - Adjustments, touch ups
  5. Remove an unwanted object by selecting the Guided tab in PhotoDirector and clicking on Content-Aware Removal. This feature is AI-powered for the seamless extraction of unwanted objects. 
  6. Use the brush tool to highlight items you want to remove and click Apply

    PhotoDirector - Content-Aware Removal
  7. Replace the background of your photo by selecting the Guided tab in PhotoDirector and clicking on Background Removal. This feature is AI-powered for instant selection of the main subject of the photo. 
  8. Use the brush tools to select yourself and choose Remove unselected area. Click Apply to remove the background. 

    PhotoDirector - Replace the background
  9. Add effects to your PFP, like sparkles and light rays, which is a great way to spice up your PFP.
  10. First, choose the Guided tab in PhotoDirector and select one of the provided effects: Photo Effects, Animation Effects or Light Effects. Each of these sections will have various effects that you can try.

    PhotoDirector - Light Effects
  11. Add Overlays to your PFP by selecting Guided, Decorations, and Overlay. You will be shown many Overlays (or filters) on the left-hand side of the screen. Choose which Overlay you would like to apply to your photo, such as a Light Leak, which gives your image the effect of being taken with an old film camera. 
  12. Play around with as many Overlays as you’d like. You can also adjust the Opacity and Rotate or Flip the Overlay Effect

    PhotoDirector - Overlay, Light Leak
  13. Add Text to your PFP if you feel added text matches your brand. When you add text to an image, it inserts as a layer on top of your photo. 
  14. PRO TIP: Complete all desired edits and save your photo before adding text. You can re-upload the image and add the text as a new layer. 

    First, import your photo and click the Edit tab on the top of PhotoDirector’s screen. Now use the Text tool to add a text box to your image.

    PhotoDirector - Add Text

Tips for Making a Cool PFP

Now that you’ve got your editing skills dialed in let’s talk about some insider photography tips to get you started. Creating a cool PFP begins with the photo itself. Everything from the color of your background to the focus of your camera will impact your PFP quality.

Tip 1: Choose a Simple Background 

Selecting a simple background is one of the most critical steps in making a cool PFP. When choosing where to take your photo, think about backgrounds that will make you stand out. Additionally, your background will largely determine what you should wear in your PFP. 

If you’re choosing a bright-colored background, you should choose plain clothing such as white or cream. The white clothing will make you pop against a bright background. 

Similarly, if your background is light or white, you should choose a contrasting color or pattern for your outfit. I personally love a classic black outfit against a white background for my PFP.

Whatever you decide to do – make sure it aligns with your brand! 

Tip 2:  Position Yourself 

How you position yourself in your photos makes a huge difference in perfecting your PFP. The gold standard for positioning yourself in pictures, especially your PFP, is centered. 

Many social media apps function on an auto-cropping system for their profile pictures. For example, Instagram and Facebook crop your photo into a circle. If you upload a photo where you are pictured on the left-hand side, you will be cropped out of the image. 

Tip 3: Incorporate Your Brand

You will get the most out of your PFP by incorporating your brand into the photo or editing process. If your social media feed is all black and gray, it would be wise to have a PFP that matches that aesthetic. 

Similarly, if your message and content are inspiring, bright or cheery – you may want to consider smiling or laughing in your PFP. 

Another PFP brand tip is to use the same PFP across all social media outlets, which will create a cohesive feel for your brand.

Tip 4: Lighting Is Everything

Everyone has experienced feeling good in the mirror but not on camera. Most of the time, this can be chalked up to insufficient lighting. Investing in a ring light is a great idea for taking high-quality photos, but you can also use natural sunlight. 

For the best lighting experience, ensure there is strong light directly in front of you, not coming from behind. Your photo will appear washed out if the light or sun is behind you. 

Download the Best Software to Create a PFP for Free

Now that you’re fully prepared to take your PFP to the next level, it’s time to download PhotoDirector and get started. With PhotoDirector’s preset templates and guided editing, you will become an expert editor in no time.

Did we mention it’s free?


1. What does PFP mean?

PFP is the acronym for a profile picture and is used primarily in texting and across social media platforms like TikTok and Facebook. A secondary meaning of PFP is a picture for proof. You can use PFP to request someone to send you a photo confirming their social media account or in casual conversation. 

When your friend sends you a message about how cute her new nails are, you can respond with PFP, which indicates you’re asking for a picture of the new nails to prove they are cute.

2. What is PFP in social media?

Regarding social media, PFP can mean either a profile picture or a picture for proof. But more importantly, your PFP is an embodiment of your brand. Think about it this way. If someone sends you a cold pitch message on Instagram and they have no profile picture, are you going to respond? Probably not. 

An excellent way to avoid making mistakes with your PFP is to look at your favorite influencers and brands and analyze their profile. When you review their profiles, think about what exactly makes you enjoy their content and apply that to your PFP.

3. What is PFP in TikTok?

A TikTok PFP differs from those on other social media platforms in a few different ways. Although PFP still means profile pic, TikTok is a video-only platform, making your PFP one of the only still representations of your brand. Choosing a PFP that matches your brand or interests is essential to forming relationships with your viewers.

4. How do I change PFP on TikTok?

Changing your PFP in TikTok is easy. Once in the mobile app, click Profile on the bottom right and select Change Photo. From here, you can upload your newly created PFP.

Suggested Size: Minimum 20 x 20 Pixels

5. How do I change PFP on Facebook?

To change the PFP on your Facebook profile, head to your profile and select the Camera Icon next to your default photo. Now, choose the Select Profile Picture option and select the edited PFP from your camera roll.

Suggested Size: 170 x 170 Pixels

6. How do I change PFP on Instagram?

Once you’re on your Instagram page, click Edit Profile and Edit Picture or Avatar toward the top of your screen. Now Choose From Library and select your updated PFP in your camera roll.

Suggested Size: 320 x 320 Pixels

7. How do I change my Discord PFP?

Mobile: Select your profile picture on the bottom right of the screen. Select User Profile and Change Avatar to upload your new PFP, and select Save.  

Desktop:  If you’re using a desktop, you will want to select the Gear icon on the bottom left. Now choose My Account (this should be the first page showing after selecting the gear icon) and click on Edit User Profile, Upload Image. Select your new PFP and click Open. Keep in mind Discord will automatically crop your photo. 

The recommended size for a Discord PFP is 128 x 128 pixels. You may upload an image in PNG, JPG, JPEG, or GIF formats. For the best PFP, make sure your photo is centered and square.

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