Photos in online dating profiles offer a glimpse into who people are, what they are passionate about, how they spend their time and how they like to present themselves to the world.
Unfortunately, many people use less than flattering photos in their online dating profile and they may not even know they’re doing it! Much like a resume, an online dating profile should be polished, well thought-out, succinct and tell a story about oneself. These are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen people make with their online dating photos:
- Not including yourself in photos. Do not use a photo of a pet, travels or artwork as your main image. If you want to show you have a dog, great, but make sure you too are in the photo.
- Using too few or too many photos. Variety is everything, ideally you want to have around 3 to 6 photos that show different aspects of yourself.
- Not labeling photos with a caption. Making people play guess who in your photos is frustrating. Sure group photos make you look like you have friends, but your date doesn’t need to see your whole wolf pack.
- Using old photos. Stick with photos less than 3 years old and that look like you i.e. current haircut, current hair color, current facial hair etc.
- Using artistic photos. Avoid the silhouette photo and the neck down pool side photo. This doesn’t give your potential match anything to go off of.
- Photos that are too small, blurry or taken from a far distance. The quality of your photo is important. It shows you’ve put time and car into capturing some great photos.
- Selfies. Ask a friend or ask a stranger to take that photo of you rather than standing in front of your bathroom mirror flexing.
- Using stiff, staged portraits i.e. headshots or modeling photos. These are often lifeless and make people question if you will look like your photos in real life.
- Photos with sunglasses. Take off the sunglasses so people can actually see how beautiful your eyes are.
- Lack of smiles. Online dating photos should never be too serious. Smiling is extremely attractive. Show off those pearly whites.
When it comes to online dating photos there is a saying: “individuals are only as attractive and inviting as their worst photo.” When deciding what photos to use or how to take better ones, use photos that show a friendly side, be authentic and more than anything – relax.
Think to yourself: Would you want to date the person if he/she had the same photo in their profile? Ask for feedback when in doubt and focus on quality of photos vs volume. Test out a few photos to see how they do for you and update every couple of months!