How To: Take a background photo with your smartphone

Not everyone has access to a camera or a photographer, but one in five people around the world now have a smartphone (crazy, right?!). While some of the most beautiful about.me pages have high resolution photos, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to visually tell your story with just a smartphone. Here are steps to taking a great shot with your phone to use as your about.me background.

(1) Consider composition. Turn your phone horizontally, and take a photo with you on either the far left or far right. If you’d like to get technical, follow the “rule of thirds.” Composing shots this way is a standard practice of many professional photographers and also a good way to leave space for your biography section on about.me. You don’t want anything to block that beautiful body or face of yours, do you?

about.me smartphone how-to background photo 3

(2) Choose your landscape wisely. Try to find a unique spot to take your photo. Red brick, graffiti, white walls, city skylines, and beaches are examples of ideal places to take a photo. This photo was taken in front of a house, so don’t worry if you can’t hop on the highest rooftop in your city.

about.me smartphone how-to background photo 2

(3) Use photo filters. Take advantage of smartphone apps like VSCO, and play with different filters to add some artistic spice.

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BONUS: Above all else, be yourself and don’t be afraid to show your personality!

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Shopping, Saving and Maintaining Sanity with Mommy Bloggers

There are a ton of awesome bloggers on about.me, but have you checked out our mommy bloggers? Mom or not, their pages and blogs have lots to offer from money saving advice to funny videos and shopping tips.

Take a look at all their pages here and don’t forget to congratulate Amy Clark (our header photo) on her 10 year anniversary with MomAdvice.com.

Kate Marsh LordApart from being The Shopping MamaKate Marsh Lord is a die hard Ohio State buckeyes fan. OH-IO!

Kat Bouska We loved the photo Kat Bouska selected for her page. It seems to embody the quirky name of her blog, Mama’s Losin’ It.

Carrie RochaCarrie Rocha started Pocket Your Dollars after pulling out of $50,000 in debt.

Kimberley BlaineCheck out The Go To Mom’s website to see Kimberly Blaine, interview Vice President Joe Biden.

Know any other groups of cool people using about.me? Leave us a note about it in the comment section so we can feature them!

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The Price is Right, Cupcakes and Waiheke: Staff Picks

Our weekly Staff Picks post lets you get to know some of our awesome users. Check out their scintillating personal stories and quirky favorite things. Above is Vincent Mikolay who was once a semi-finalist in the Nintendo World Championships. Check out his page for more fun facts and send him a compliment!

Below are other pages we love.

Ria Cruz Meet Ria Cruz a marketing specialist and cupcake enthusiast. Wonder what her favorite kind is!

Paora Joseph Paora Joseph is an indigenous filmmaker and Maori psychologist when he’s not making films.

Amanda BarronAmanda Barron is an actress who loves cage fighting and Shakespeare. Two passions you don’t often see together.

Have a fantastic week and remember to discover even more great pages on our Staff Picks page.

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Featured Friday: An Actor, Epidemiologist, Developer, and Social Media Marketer

It’s back! Every Friday at about.me we feature some of our fantastic users who have interacted with us on Twitter throughout the week using the hashtag, #FFaboutme. To be considered, we ask our followers to include their about.me page links in their Twitter bios.

What are the benefits of adding your about.me page to your Twitter bio? Your about.me page serves as a comprehensive way to tell your story on the web. Not only does it allow you to write a compelling biography about yourself, you can consider it a hub for all your other social platforms, blogs, playlists, and more. Here are some awesome people who have made excellent use of their pages:

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We loved Ahmad Dohjoka’s page because his bio describes him both personally and professionally in such a friendly manner.

jpeg-3Next up, we have Tim King: bearded adventurer, part-time writer, and cider drinker. Cheers, mate!

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Be sure to take a peek at musical theater performer, Bailey Sonner’s page. She’s starred in Grease, CATS, and Spring Awakening.

jpeg-2Check out epidemiologist, Osama Berrada born in Montreal, and raised in Ottawa. We wonder if he’s a Senators or Canadien fan…

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Traveling with about.me: Romania

As Diana Doroftei (below), author of The Little Book of Romanian Wisdom tells us, most people associate Romania with Dracula and perfect 10 gymnastic routines. But as the above video shows, there is so much more to this country that birthed the inventor of the fountain pen, insulin, and the modern jet engine. There’s the natural beauty of the county which is prized by many, including the Prince of Wales.

And let’s not forget the people. Have a look at nine we’ve chosen below and search “Romania” on about.me to learn more about this marvelous country that we’re longing to visit in person!

Alexandra G. Meet Alexandra G., a civil engineering student, social entrepreneur and fashionista.

Antonio Eram Antonio Éram has the craziest commute we’ve ever heard of: Romania to California.

Silvia PintilleMeet Silvia Pintilie, interior design studio owner and Ph.D student.

Radu OdangiuA law student, Radu Odangiu is also a founding member of The Sustainable Diplomacy Project with Alexandra G.

Leyla-Denisa ObrejaWe were inspired by Leyla-Denisa Obreja dreams of winning the Nobel Peace Prize and doing some recreational space travel.

Alex GalanApart from being a lawyer, Alex Galan is a family man who is into cooking, photography, and literature.

Diana DorofteiMeet Diana Doroftei, author of The Little Book of Romanian Wisdom.

Alexandru HaidamacAlexandru Haidamac is a young creative who won gold at last year’s Cannes Lions creativity festival.

Raluca Maria G.Meet Raluca Maria G. an aspiring doctor and former model whose sister heads up this post.

Thanks again for coming along for our world-traveling adventure, stay tuned for our next destination! If you have a suggestion of where we should visit next, please tell us about it in our comment section.

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She’s Got the [Visually Creative] Power: USC Student Jordan Caldwell

“Visuals play into my day-to-day life as I am preparing images and digital animations,” said Jordan Caldwell, a student at the University of Southern California.

In the spring, the work that she is doing now will be showcased in an installation about color and music at USC. Do you recognize Jordan from the most recent Students of the Week post where we featured USC?

She signed up for about.me with a goal in mind: to increase her web presence in 2014. Jordan Caldwell about.me 1

“I am always trying to create visuals as much as possible so people can get feel for my eye and my work before ever meeting me,” she said.

Jordan’s main web presence is her photoblog (you can see 3 of her photos just below), but she doesn’t “underestimate the power of Instagram” for establishing herself “visually online.”

“I think the way most of us judge a stranger’s personality online these days is by scrolling through their Instagram photos, whereas it used to be by going through their Facebook. So I’m very conscious of that.”

Car in Porto Grillz WomanInterested in learning more about Jordan and how she uses about.me? Read her answers below and gain insight on how she takes advantage of platform features.

What’s your favorite feature on the platform?

My favorite feature on the platform are the widgets. This way I can link out to other content I publish on the web via WordPress, Twitter, etc. all in one place. I also love the email signatures because as a college student applying to jobs and internships, it allows me to link to my online portfolio every time I email a potential recruiter.

How are you using about.me on other digital mediums (email, WordPress widget, etc.)?

On my WordPress blog, I use the about.me widget in the drop down section of my site so my visitors can get to know more about my professional interests without me putting my resume on my blog.

Advice for people making an about.me profile?

Be yourself! Looking at other people’s profiles may make you feel like yours should look a certain way, but the more original the better. The profiles are super customizable, which is why I love about about.me.

Top 3 favorite about.me pages

Jordan thought our own Paris Rouzati’s profile is “pretty sick,” and also picked Justin Chuan‘s for “his non-photograph background” and also Dave Eric Smith‘s because Jordan likes the way “he nicely showcases his work.”

Paris Rouzatiabout.me’s Director of Outreach, Paris Rouzati

Justin ChuanVisual Designer, Justin Chuan

Dave Eric SmithVoice Actor, Dave Eric Smith

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Thirsty for Adventure, Vegan Food and Fashion: Students of the University of Georgia

For our regularly scheduled Students of the Week, here’s a hand-picked collection of awesomely passionate people from the University of Georgia. You may be able to catch these folks listening to the latest indie band at the 40 Watt Club, eating at Last Resort Grill, or cheering on the Dawgs at Sanford Stadium.

Lauren Roland Check out passionate vegan and exercise and sports science major, Lauren Roland.

Gabriel W. Cuomo We loved Gabriel W. Cuomo‘s page because of his profound bio and background picture representing his thirst for adventure.

Lexi Lindon And how about that YouTube channel of fashionista, Lexi Lindon.

Kyle Southerland Then there’s Kyle Southerland who hopes to someday be a plastic surgeon.

Anna Elizabeth Take a look at  Anna Elizabeth‘s page. Don’t forget to check out her style blog.

James CochranLast, but not least, meet James Cochran: sky diver, Boy Scout and teaching assistant.

Quick Tips:

  • It’s important to give a great first impression through email, so add your profile to your email signature! Here’s how. If you have a Gmail or Yahoo account check out our new signature styles.
  • Did you know that you can add a link to your resume PDF on your about.me profile? If you’re looking for a job, this is an easy and professional way to get potential employers to learn more about you.
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Page Tips: The Creative Lens

Creative types view life as a journey of self-expression. Thus, creative professionals can find it hard to identify with platforms that don’t give their users the opportunity to express themselves visually. Creatives observe everything. Naturally, this is reflected in their professional careers: they pay excruciating attention to detail, ask big questions, and aren’t afraid to take risks. The about.me platform enables creative types to showcase their work without losing touch with their personality.

Brett Henley‘s page is a great example of how creatives can tell their story on our platform, and foster engagement amongst users. Since the last time we checked, it seems like Brett has updated his page a little bit and we can learn from both versions. In this post we’re going to dissect his page so that you too can create a compelling page, whether or not you consider yourself a creative type.

How-To-Create-an-Awesome-about.me-Profile-Brett-Henley

Background Photo
Brett clearly understands the rules of photo composition. When you’re selecting your background photo, try to keep these things in mind:

  • Keep it simple. This is your page, so naturally, you should be in the photo, but try to keep it simple, while still expressing some of your personal style. Imagine a camera crew following you around one day; what is the best image they can capture of you that visually tells your story?
  • Avoid the middle. This allows you to have space for your biography section, without cluttering your page.

Headline + Biography
Remember, you are more than your job title.  Be creative in the way you write about yourself. Oftentimes when asked what we do in our careers we say, “Director of…but really I do X, Y, and Z.” Use this space as an arena to explain that X, Y, and Z, but don’t forget to tell your story not just professionally, but personally, too. On Brett’s page, instead of just writing “Co-Founder and Writer,” he showed his personality by using phrases like “Chief Smasher of B.S.” and “Instigate where needed.”

Whether you’re making a new about.me page, or updating your existing one, take a step back and view it as an empty canvas waiting for your creative expression. As always, if you need help or just want some feedback on your page, feel free to send us a tweet or visit our support page. Don’t forget to visit Brett‘s live page and send him a compliment!

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Staff Picks

Hello everyone! It’s time once again for our Staff to pick their favorite pages of the week. Go ahead and take some time to look at all of the pages below to see how they use their pictures, apps and biographies to display who they are both personally and professionally, customizing their pages to fit their personalities.

As you check out all of this week’s picks, don’t forget to have a look at our header photo, Mimi Guarnero, a graphic design student who loves rainy days and doodling.

Jordan CayabyabSay hello to Jordan Cayabyab (it’s pronounced Kai + Ab + Yab) and he’s a connoisseur of vintage bikes

Audrey Richard-LaurentMeet Audrey Richard-Laurent, a self proclaimed creative ninja, we loved her photo with the Eiffel Tower  in the background.

Christian FallerFinally, meet Christian Faller, a traveler and entrepreneur who is probably still celebrating his country’s World Cup win yesterday.

Have a fantastic week and remember to discover even more great pages on our Staff Picks page.

Staff Picks

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Authors on about.me

As we’re getting into summer and you’re composing your summer book list, we wanted to provide you with some excellent reading material.  With so many authors on about.me ranging in genre from horror novels to books on photography, we have no doubt you’ll find something to add to your list.

The authors shown here use their pages in unique and creative ways with some utilizing a spotlight to show where you can find their books while others add links to their works, audio books or embed videos previewing their novels.

Be sure to explore their pages below or others when you search author on about.me, and don’t forget to check out our post header, Ronald van der Aart.

Karen WalrondMeet Karen Walrond, former engineer and attorney turned photographer & best-selling author.

Nick Bilton Meet Nick Bilton, columnist for the New York Times’ Bits Blog. With its intriguing title we can’t wait to get our hands on his book entitled “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.”

Gloria Roheim McRaeMeet Gloria Roheim McRae a short-hair-rocking boss lady whose book has become a bestseller on Amazon.ca

D.B. GradyMeet David Brown, better known by his pseudonym D.B. Grady.

Raquel CepedaMeet Raquel Cepeda, an author and filmmaker whose upcoming documentary sounds just as fascinating as her novel.

Jared Gulian Meet Jared Gulian, an American expat who lives on an olive farm in New Zealand and don’t forget to read his memoir on how he go there!

Britt Reints Meet Britt Reints, a happiness advocate who spent 10 months RVing around the U.S.

J Alexander GreenwoodMeet J. Alexander Greenwood, a public relations professional and speaker who has authored several mystery/thrillers, short stories and an ebook about Kickstarter!

S Nathan Meet the youngest of our authors, S. Nathan, whose short story called “The Hatter’s Wife” was so compelling it interrupted the writing of this post!

Scott SiglerLast (but not least!) meet thriller novelist Scott Sigler whose photo background makes us a little scared the he really is the future Dark Overlord.

Have suggestions for other cool professions we can feature? Leave us a note about it in the comment section!

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