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How to Take the Perfect Online Dating Profile Picture

For Melissa, learning is her passion, and helping others gain useful knowledge and learn new practical skills is her goal.

A picture is worth a thousand words—and in online dating, your profile picture could be your first step towards saying "I do."

A picture is worth a thousand words—and in online dating, your profile picture could be your first step towards saying "I do."

Profile Pictures Are Crucial in Online Dating

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in online dating, your profile picture could be your first step towards saying "I do." Your profile picture is the first impression that you will make on your potential boyfriend or girlfriend, so you want it to be stunning, and more importantly, accurate to real life. For the past couple of years, I’ve been doing contract work on the side with an online dating app, and I’ve observed that certain elements of a profile picture have made some clients more successful than others. Finding a good picture to use can be hard, but with these tips, you will be able to slide into those direct messages with the skill of a professional baseball player, rug burn not included!

It can be intimidating to be on the other side of the camera, but you can do it!

It can be intimidating to be on the other side of the camera, but you can do it!

A Warm Smile Is Infectious and Alluring

When people like you, they want to see you at your best: with a warm, happy smile. In a study done in 2012 by scientists at the University of Bern, it was found that smiling can boost your perceived attractiveness, and the happier you look the more attractive you are. Smiling makes you look more approachable and kind, but posing like Zoolander and glaring into the camera can actually turn people off. Researchers at Coffee Meets Bagel found that women fare better tilting their heads while smiling, while men do better keeping their heads straight, so keep that in mind as well.

Let them see your smile, because if you like them they'll be seeing it often.

Let them see your smile, because if you like them they'll be seeing it often.

Put Away The Sunglasses, Corey Hart!

When someone is falling in love at first sight with you, they will want to stare into your eyes passionately. This is hard to do when the object of their affection is wearing sunglasses. It is important to let someone you plan to meet in person see your face in full, so they can easily recognize you if you are meeting in a crowded bar at night, for example. It makes dating safer and also helps people get to know you better. Eyes are the window to the soul. Don't hide one of your best features away!

Don't hide one of your best features behind some sunglasses.

Don't hide one of your best features behind some sunglasses.

Comfortable Clothes Help You Feel More Confident

When choosing what to wear for your profile picture photoshoot, make sure that what you're wearing is comfortable. You don't want to end up with a photo of you tugging at your clothes, or worse, picking a wedgie (Save that for the thirtieth date, or never). Pick a color you know you look good in and emphasize your best features with flattering styles. If you aren't sure what looks good on you, ask your friends and family. Wearing your favorite shirt is a great idea because you feel great when you're wearing something you love, and you will project more confidence and joy. Plus, your significant other will probably see you in that shirt a lot, so you can start getting them used to it! Showing a lot of skin may give the impression you are looking for a casual fling or hookup, so if you are looking for a serious partner you may not want to wear something too revealing. If you are looking for a hookup, however, flaunt those assets! Dress for what you want and in what you love, and you will find somebody that finds you attractive.

Wear something that makes you feel beautiful.

Wear something that makes you feel beautiful.

Show Off Your Passions

Your Tinder matches don't just want to see a pretty face, they want to get to know you! Take pictures of you doing things that you're passionate about, or in places you love going to. If you have a place that you love visiting for vacation, take your shot there! You're obsessed with knitting? Take a shot of you with your favorite yarns! It's best to be upfront about what you like, so you can find someone with similar interests. Similarly, if someone sees something that's a dealbreaker for them (maybe they don't like alcohol, while you are a professional mixologist and love showing off your new brews) then neither of you waste your time and you are able to find someone that fits you better. Being genuine in online dating helps everyone. Present the real you and you will find someone who loves you for who you are.

Use pictures from your favorite hangout or vacation spot, so your matches can get to know what you love.

Use pictures from your favorite hangout or vacation spot, so your matches can get to know what you love.

Don't Use Photos With Multiple People as Your Main Pic

It's fine to have pictures of you hanging out with your friends on your dating profile, but using a picture with your friends as your main picture can cause problems. This is the first picture that someone might see, and you don't want them confusing your friend for you and swiping right because they think your friend is hot (or left because they don't!). You don't want to mislead or confuse someone. Pictures with your ex can also turn potential partners off because they will wonder if you are actually still with them. For your main picture, it's best to stick with a solo pic.

Who is the owner of the dating profile? They won't know!

Who is the owner of the dating profile? They won't know!

Make Sure Your Background Isn't Too Distracting

It's not just the subject of the picture that's important. If something is out of place in your background, or the background stands out too much compared to you, then you should consider using a different picture. For example, the bathroom is probably not the best place for this because of numerable selfie fails where something embarrassing has snuck into the camera's view. It can help to have another person take your picture to capture the right amount of background space, so you are not too close or too far away from the camera. Another important note is that you shouldn't take pictures in front of your car or house, because you risk attracting people who only like you for your possessions. Make sure they are interested in you, not how much money you might make.

Don't let your dog take your spotlight, or your ice cream!

Don't let your dog take your spotlight, or your ice cream!

Use A High-Quality Photo

A high-quality photo is one that isn't blurry, isn't too bright or dark to see your face clearly, isn't too small, is cropped in a way where you are presented as the main focus, and doesn't have any crazy filters applied. Eventually, someone will have to meet you in real life, and they will see you without any digital enhancements. Pick a picture that is recent, with you at your current weight, age, and style, so nobody is misled. Keep it real, and people will be real with you.

Your face should be clearly visible in your profile photo. It's hard to become attracted to a blur!

Your face should be clearly visible in your profile photo. It's hard to become attracted to a blur!

Put Yourself Out There With Confidence!

It can be scary to look for love online. Putting yourself out there for tons of people to see can be intimidating, but taking that step will be totally worth it if you can find a partner you're truly compatible with. Have confidence in yourself and know that there is someone for everyone, and you will find them if you put in the effort and stay positive. Your happiness is worth it.

Take one great picture by yourself, and eventually you can have someone else in your life to take pictures with you! Good luck with your search!

Take one great picture by yourself, and eventually you can have someone else in your life to take pictures with you! Good luck with your search!

© 2020 Melissa Clason

Comments

dashingscorpio from Chicago on October 28, 2020:

Good advice!

I would also add not to use any selfie photos standing front of a mirror. Oftentimes they come across as tacky or look like you're hamming it up. Have someone take photos of you.

You also don't want to use any photos that show your ex's hand or shoulder while cropping the rest of them out.

If you are divorced it's probably a good idea not to use a photo of you wearing a wedding ring.

Avoid using "glamour shots" or photos that look "too professional" because they often come across as being fake or "catfish" profiles whereby someone is using an unknown model's or actor's headshot.

The (main photo) shouldn't be "zany" or overly silly, avoid tight close up photos of body parts such as breast or behind unless you're just looking for a hookup. Fellas should keep on their shirt.

Lastly for safety reasons avoid inadvertently displaying anything in a photo which might reveal where you live or work.

You don't want strangers just showing up uninvited to meet you.

One man's opinion! :)