The lighting and props can make all the difference when trying to achieve softness in your portraits. The feathers against a youthful face accentuate the softness of the image. I chose a forest background with the sun’s rays peeking through the trees to add that surreal look.
Expressions can play a big role also, slight smiles give the over-all image a peaceful, serene feel. Personally I love profile images, to me they do not look staged, also do facing the camera images, its all about the expression.