Top 10 Mistakes People Make With Their Online Dating Photos

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:

How You Can Take a Better Dating Profile Picture

In the age of online dating, a photo says a thousand words and evidently enables singles to quickly and efficiently review a huge pool of potential mates.

Photos can uncover so much about a person beyond just the looks department. Photos tell a story, reveal hobbies, interests, pets and give an inside glimpse into what a person is all about. Before diving into the waters of online dating, I have a few tips that I think will help you select those winning pictures for your very own profile.

The DO’s 

Adventure: Take photos while you’re out and about on an adventure (road-trips, funky joints, colorful backdrops). If you’re travelling with friends, give them your phone to capture candid moments to avoid a million selfies.

Hobbies: Use photos illustrating hobbies and passions: if you surf, play soccer, enjoy painting, be sure to include a photo of you enjoying what it is you love to do every week.

Variety: Show a variety of looks in your photos: a profile with the same expression over  and over won’t give anyone the chance to see more than one side of you. Try to add as much variety into your images as possible – one dressed up for an event, the everyday look, and the outdoorsy look (if that’s your thing). Also, provide a mix of photos that show your whole body and facial features.

Fun: Smile, laugh and be silly – the key here is to show you don’t take yourself too seriously.

Photographer: Hire a photographer, one that specializes in online dating or candid photos, not portraits or modeling photos.

The Don’ts 

Photoshop: I highly advise against photoshopping your photos (skin softening, blemish removal, eye size correction or slimming effects). Usually, it’s quite obvious when a photo has been manipulated which can quickly turn off your potential match; because, at the end of the day, they want to see the real you.

Landscape: Including photos in your profile without you in them (i.e. a view, landscape, just your dog) is a big no no and such a waste of a photo. If you want to include these in your photos, that’s great, but make sure you’re in them.

The Same Old: Repetitive photos that either reveal only one side of your face or only top part of your body.

Head shots: Modeling photos, portraits, Linkedin head shots, boudoir and glamour photos may be a little overboard for your dating profile. Save the boudoir for when you’re in a relationship!

Snapchat Filters: Photos of you being a bunny, a dog, a kitten etc, are highly filtered and aren’t necessarily as cute as you may think. These photos are fun to share within the snapchat app so its best to just keep them there.

Group shots: I’m thrilled you have friends, but it’s going to take me awhile to figure out who you are in the photo. Photos that are not labeled or ones where identity cannot be determined easily, aren’t getting you anywhere.

The Old Photo: Photos that are over 5 + years old and portray a radically different look than your current appearance are not an accurate representation of yourself. If your hair is now red but in your profile it’s black, you may want to update your picture.

Don’t have the money or cannot find an online dating photographer? No problem! There are plenty of solutions and alternatives. Take photos while out with friends, ask strangers to take photos of you while traveling or out at a scenic or interesting location.

Candid photos reveal the most attractive qualities in everyone –  the ability to be silly and make fun of yourself is endearing. In an age where everyone is overly focused on creating the perfect ubiquitous profile, letting your guard down, and showing your quirks can go a long way.