1 Quick Trick To Make Your Professional Pictures Look Amateur

On a number of traffic sources, and with a variety of niches, amateur pictures perform better than professional ones. However, sometimes it just easier to find professional-looking pictures. I have recently been using this easy trick to make some of my more professional pictures look a little more amateur.

The trick?

Blur your images!

Take a look at a few examples:

I think a few reasons explain why these images perform better:

  1. Less ‘crisp’ = less professional – Professional photography is very high resolution and very clear and crisp. Using images that appear to be amateur can help you relate better with your audience in certain markets.
  2. Makes people wonder – In the blurred picture in the upper left, it’s hard to see their facial features. For dating, this can be a goldmine as people are clicking to see more or see what the people ‘actually’ look like.
  3. Can drive focus to a specific part of the picture – In the picture in the upper right, I blurred the background but did not blur the couple. This brings focus to the couple in the image. Try this on other types of images to draw interest to a specific part!

Remember, amateur images don’t perform better in EVERY niche. Two niches I know for sure this works well on: Dating and mobile.

Go make some money!


Justin Dupre October 20, 2011 at 12:04 am

I’d have to agree that blurred or amateur looking photos really do well on the dating niche.

Jeremy October 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Yep definitely. Basically any niche that is not super “professional” can make use of this idea. Thanks for the comment!

Affiliate Paying October 20, 2011 at 4:33 am

Nice trick. Thanks for the awesome share. :)

Jeremy October 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

No problem man, thanks for the comment. Hopefully it can help you (and others) make more money. :)

Riley October 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Do you have any stats to back this up?

Jeremy October 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Yeah. This and making the people in your ads look like they are in the distance (harder to see) have worked. Not SUPER blurry, but making the resolution appear worse and almost “I wonder what this person REALLY looks like up close” has worked really well.

I also implemented some really amateur looking pictures (off centered, bordered, etc.) and was getting $1 EPCs (dating).

Test it for yourself though :)

TPC October 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

hmmm, Photoshop has tons of filters too. It may be worth testing things like the Pencil Sketch and just making it real subtle.

great post ProfitAddiction

Jeremy October 23, 2011 at 12:21 am

Probably, there are tons of things that can be tested. It’s all about finding the right mix and then scaling.

Thanks for the comment!

iPyxel Creations February 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

This is hard though. Most of the Photoshop filters you can’t make really subtle. Which ones have worked for you?


Jeremy February 7, 2012 at 1:32 am

Honestly for those type of tricks I just use the blur tool – I tend to keep it simple.

PPC Ian October 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Great tip, I’m going to try this out in some of my Facebook campaigns.

Jeremy October 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Glad to hear Ian, let me know how it works for you!

Remember, keep testing various ways of making your ads look amateur and you should start to see some positive results.

WPBounce November 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Most of real profile pictures on POF look like crap. Especially the way POF resizes thumbnails. Never seen so many distorted and unproportional images.
I guess the goal here is to blend in with your ad.

Jeremy November 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Yep, people relate more closely if they get the feeling of dealing with “someone” than a “professional company” in terms of a dating site.

Launch Beast November 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Good Tip! This will definitely help me out on facebook. I wonder if you could blur some images for dating ads that show a little skin, and then get them approved?

Jeremy November 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I’ve tried that and not had much luck, but it was on images that had been disapproved a number of times previously. Definitely worth a shot, but my experience shows it’s a little more locked down now.

Lucas December 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

I like using Lomo-effect in photoshop. On #2 I definitely agree, it adds mystery just right for profile pics. :) Happy Holidays!

Jeremy December 18, 2011 at 2:41 am

Thanks for the comment Lucas. I typically just use blur or any of the other basic tools, and sometimes nothing at all.

Happy Holidays (Merry Christmas) to you too!