Choosing a photo for your online dating profile

If you’re here then you probably already know that uploading a picture to your online dating profile is a must. Most people won’t even bother looking at your profile without one and many will make snap judgements about you based on the photo you upload.
Unless you’re comfortable and natural in front of a camera and already know your best side, this will have undoubtedly caused you some concern by now. In general, women tend to overdo it, whereas men are notoriously bad at picking unflattering photos. There are, of course exceptions…

Here are some tips for helping you choose the right photo:

  1. The basic makings of a good photo to be used on an online dating site
  2. The photo needs to be a clear headshot that’s well, but flatterlingly lit (no red eye or overly bright light that makes you look pale or highlights any imperfections). Avoid dodgy webcam shots that make your skin look like you have some kind of terrible skin disease.

    Try to smile and look happy, unless that makes you look forced and uncomfortable. Natural shots are best, rather than posed.

  3. Some photos to avoid using in your dating profile
  4. Women – unless you’re on a casual dating site and are specifically looking for sex, don’t show too much skin. Men won’t bother reading enough of your profile to read about how you’re actually looking for love if they see too much cleavage. Sad but true.

    Old photos where you look 10 years younger but nothing like you do today should be left out.

    Professional makeover shots only make people think you look like a dog when you’re without makeup.

    Posed photos where you’re illustrating your hobbies (aka “here I am in my ninja outfit”) will make you look pretentious.

    Pictures that include other people in them.

  5. Taking and selecting photos for your profile
  6. Think natural so try to feel comfortable in front of the camera even if you hate it. The best way is to go somewhere that’s well-lit where you feel comfortable and get someone take lots of photos of you with a digital camera so you can choose the best ones.

    It’s OK to have a professional photographer take the pictures, but not in a studio where they would look posed. You just want someone with a good eye to take photos in a natural setting where you are relaxed and can be yourself.

    Men – it’s best to get a woman to help you pick your pictures, as women are better at telling whether or not a picture is flattering (your mom is probably not the best choice for the job, though!).

If you’re looking for help choosing the right photo to go in your dating profile, I am now offering personal online dating advice, including a photo selection special.

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