Secrets to Creating Irresistible Dating Profile Photos

You've heard the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover." Well, you can ignore that bit of advice when it comes to your Internet dating profile! Like it or not, the reality is that we all make some kind of judgment based on looks. And, your dating profile photo should be no exception.

Where do I start!?!
I think I can safely estimate that I've looked at thousands of photos of both men and women and I can tell you that mistakes in online dating profile photos run rampant for both sexes. More profiles get passed over because of poor photos, or worse - no photos. The absence of a photo limits your chances of success by 80% according to site statistics. It conveys untrustworthiness and a lack of sincerity - See Dating Internet Safety.

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DON'T use old pictures. Your online dating profile photos should be current if you expect to start dating. There shouldn't be any surprises when you first meet. There is no polite way to say "you're not what I expected" while trying to hide that disappointed look on your face!

DON'T use photos that are poor in quality. Profile photos should be crisp, clear and well lit. Be sure to use a good digital camera.

DON'T attempt to hide the obvious. Trying to disguise your age, weight or height by using clever photography tricks with angles and lighting will get you in trouble. How do you expect to keep up the facade on your date?

DON'T use a group shot. Exactly which one are you?

DON'T use a full body shot taken so far away one can't distinguish you from the statue you're posing next to.

DON'T use a photo posing with the opposite sex. So what if it's your brother or sister. It raises doubt and uncertainty - photos for online dating should keep the focus on YOU, and you alone.

DON'T post a photo where you cropped someone else out of the picture and chopped off a body part in the process. Or worse you have someone's dismembered arm draped over your shoulder.

A note on Photo Galleries:
DON'T go overboard by posting too many photos to a photo gallery - while this is a great opportunity to reveal different aspects of your life, no one wants to see your entire life history, 20 shots of your trip to New Zealand, or the 10 cutest things your dog has ever done.. I think you're getting the picture.

Guys, this is for you......

DON'T hide your face behind sunglasses and baseball hats. Aaargh! Women hate this. How are you going to get noticed if we can't see your face?

DON'T hide behind a mass of facial hair. Add the sunglasses and the only noticeable feature is your nose. The first features women will notice are your eyes, smile, arms, legs, etc. - not your nose.

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DON'T use the goofiest pose you can think of. Save the silly and playful side of your personality for your photo gallery. And that goes for your shirtless, beefcake shots. 

online dating photo

Gals, this is for you......

DON'T pose with your kids and make them the main focus of your entire profile. Of course you're a proud mother and want to be upfront. But doing this will leave men with the impression that you may not have enough time for them. 

online dating photo

DON'T flaunt how sexy you are this soon in the process. Save this for when the time is right and with the right partner. Poses revealing too much of anything gives a certain impression and you might not get the attention you really want.

online dating profile photo



DO consider your pose. According to a Harvard study of 7000 photos where they analyzed which poses generated the most attention; women who flirt while looking straight at the camera, and men who didn't smile and looked slightly away from the camera, received the most attention. Food for thought - I say a smile, is always inviting.

DO use a good digital camera and take your online dating profile photo in good light. Phone or computer cameras, though convenient, will not do you justice.

DO use a headshot, or a head and shoulders shot, no older than 18 months - 2 years.

DO take as many shots as you need to in order to come up with the best close-up. If your friends don't have the skills to get the lighting or pose right, consider hiring a professional.

NOTE about hiring a professional... I had so many friends take my picture for my online dating photo. They were about as flattering as a toothless grin. So I decided to go with a professional and it was well worth it.

Some also offer a makeup session for an additional fee. Putting on makeup for a photo shoot is quite different than makeup for daily wear so I went for it. I used Look Better Online who have professionals on call all over the country. The photo in my About Me page was taken by a Look Better Online photographer and am very pleased with the result.

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For your photo gallery:
DO include at least one good body shot in your online dating profile photo gallery. Add 2-4 more of your favorite photos showing that you're active, having fun or participating in your favorite cause. The gallery is also where you include your group shot, as well as the one of you hugging Fido or Fluffy.

internet dating photo

Now go put your best face on, wear something flattering and say cheese...

If you have uploaded your online dating profile photos, head over to Writing an Online Dating Profile to complete the process.

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