Yesterday's blog post talked about the importance of a GOOD QUALITY profile photo. Today let's talk about how to create and upload an HD profile photo in ActiveRain. If you have not uploaded an HD photo, you will see the "placeholder avatar" whenever you look at the leaderboard. Besides that, there is other good news inasmuch as when you do update your profile with an HD photo, you will get bonus points for doing it!
Even if you already have an HD photo, you may be ready to update your profile photo to a better version. Today's lesson will help you too. Let's assume that you have a good resolution starting photo to work with. You want a big enough file so that when you crop it down you are AT LEAST 600 pixels across. AR classifies an HD photo as 600 pixels x 600 pixels (square). [btw, square format photos work best in the blog commenting context, you'll also see them on twitter too]
There are different programs that you can use to edit photo files. Free is always good and there are plenty of free apps to choose from. I'm going to demonstrate one way here today that is a web-based app you can use at www.picnik.com (My other all-time favorite is a free download from Google called Picasa, but I'll save that for another set of blog posts for there's plenty to share about that app!) Today, let's just use Picnik becuase it's fast and free.
After you go to the Picnik website, look for the "upload a photo" button on the home page. Select the JPG file that you want to use as a basis for your HD profile photo.
Once it is uploaded, notice the top of the window has a horizontal tab bar with categories. Choose the "Edit" tab and you will see these commands that we need today "Crop" first, then "Resize" after.
First, of all click the Crop button.
Next, in the dropdown list, choose the "Square" option for your crop shape
Next, you can drag an edge or a corner of your crop area to get it to the right size. Also, you can click inside the boxed area and drag it around to move it to exactly the right place. Once you have got it set just right, click the "Ok" button.
Next, click the Resize button
so we can get the image down to the 600pixel target size.
Type 600 x 600 in the input boxes, and then click OK
Finally, you will need to save the file on your computer. Click the "Save and Share" tab and then type a name that has the good keywords (like shape and size). Here in my example for Kate, I used the filename "kate-square-600px" - you can see it automatically does the .jpg ending. Next, click the Save button. It will pop-up and ask you which folder to put the file into. If you want to be really organized and efficient, create a Portraits subfolder of your main Pictures folder where you can put these files for easily finding them later!
Ok, we're almost done! The last step is to go to ActiveRain. On the left navigation menu, click "Edit" (profile). On the next screen you will see where your photo goes. Right under it, click the "Choose File" button and go select the file that you just created (see now how easy it was to find it if you were organized). Once you have selected the file, notice the "Upload HD Profile Photo" button. Important, you need to click it to finish the task.
Good job! Now I expect to see no more "placeholder avatars" out there! (ok, maybe not). Well you can tell all your friends who have this problem to come see my blog article!