Anyone who has tried online dating knows how important a good picture is in getting interest and responses on your profile. Really, no matter how great the content of your profile, its the picture that’s really grabbing the attention (or rejection) of everyone who sees it. However, many of us are just completely overwhelmed by the pressure of finding a good profile picture that we put up that 10 year old glamour shot (ack!) or the picture of us with our ex-girlfriend on the beach in Ibiza (poor taste, really, even if you cut her out of the picture or put a big black bar over her face).
Rather than conjuring up the impression that you’re desperate and needy of attention with a wannabe model complex, or a commitment-phobe player who either hasn’t let go of his last relationship, or cares about his past relationships about as much as a sock with a hole in the heel, why not grab a friend, some nice, bright, indirect sunlight, and your digital camera and get to work!
Step One: Consider Your Audience
Before you can come up with a great profile photo, you need to consider who you’re trying to attract. Are you looking:
- for an intimate encounter?
- to date socially?
- to have a long-term romance?
- to attract your soul mate?
- or maybe you just want an ego boost and as much interest as possible for online chatting and phone calls?
…whatever you’re looking for, who is the partner that would fit your bill? Is he/she:
- a sexy player who won’t get emotionally attached?
- a fun and easy going conversationalist?
- a romantic and mushy cuddler?
- or maybe you’re looking for that special someone to role play Star Wars and camp out for 3 weeks in line for the next episode?
Whatever you’re looking for, keep that in mind for step two, because you want to target that market and make sure you’re going to attract the “right” person and not scare them off, or waste your time attracting what you’re not looking for!
Most dating profiles fall into the middle of the road category of dating with the hope of something more with the right person, even when this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. In this case, you’ll want your picture to clearly show your face and at least some of your body type, without being too overtly sexual or conservative.
Step Two: Styling
Once you know who you’re trying to attract and why, you need to make yourself look the part. If you’re looking for physical action, accentuate and style yourself appropriately with sexy and revealing clothing. If you’re going for a long-term partner to have children and live in the suburbs with you, something sporty or stylish but conservative will best fit the bill. Basically, dress for the type of person you’re looking to attract.
The same goes for hair and makeup. We wouldn’t advise wearing full evening make up and false eyelashes for an interview with an accounting firm, so make sure your look is appropriate to what you’re looking to be matched up with.
Consider the colours in your outfit. Try to wear something that suits your skin and hair colour and brings out the colour of your eyes. Best to keep things clean and simple without worrying too much about fussy overdone hairstyles or accessories.
If you’re a woman, a little cleavage can be a good thing to get you noticed, especially if you’re not in your twenties anymore (sad, but statistically true). Cleavage can be classy (Sophia Loren for instance), so don’t think you need to be trampy to get hits on your profile. Rather grab the attention of the guy you want than just a whole bunch of attention for a bunch of guys you don’t!
A picture of you (man or woman) doing something you love can be a much better conversation starter than a sexy skin shot, that just grabs the attention and a flirty quip. It’s all about the audience really. Who are you trying to attract?
For men, if you’ve got a good athletic body, showing some skin can work in your favour, otherwise just wear your regular clothes and be natural, which is more effective than decking yourself out. If you’re in the over 30 crowd, its really just best to keep that shirt on.
Step Three: Set the Scene
We know that plenty of you are going to be too embarrassed or in too much of a hurry to get a friend to help you out with your pictures, so if a friend is really not an option for whatever reason, try to avoid the computer cam shot if you can, especially if you’re a guy. Women can get away with it better if they keep it cute and just a little sexy and they aren’t looking for a serious relationship. The computer cam tends to create a fishbowl effect (yikes!), weird light and shadows, and just an unnatural ick factor that is best avoided, so that infamous bathroom mirror shot could work if you’re looking for fun social dating or hook ups.
If you have the option, your best bet is to set your digital camera on its timer with a tripod if you have to, or ideally take your time and have a friend help you out so you can get a natural shot with some life.
Before you start snapping away, consider your background. If you’re looking for a fun-loving nature buff, hit the woods or the local park. If you want a cooler than you hipster, better head to your local trendy coffee shop. If you’re into the risque, a tasteful bedroom shot might work for you (think Marilyn Monroe). If you’re a middle of the road person looking for someone to meet you half way… well, a candid picture of you having fun in a social situation can bring great results.
For men, adding a dog to your shot can make you appear to be good husband material (warm, friendly, loving). Alternatively, a shot of you doing something interesting spikes the alpha factor. For women, the flirty mirror shot, the bedroom, or outdoors work best.
Step Four: Getting the Shot
Once you’ve set the stage and styled yourself in a way that will attract the type of person and meeting you’re looking for, it’s time to get to clicking! Pierced Porn
First off, make sure the picture is close enough that people can see you! Long shots where you are a spec in the background aren’t going to give people much of a clue of who you are.
For men, try to keep natural in your face and posing. You don’t want to create your very own glamour shot here, and unless you actually are a professional model or intentionally creating a roll-playing scenario, leave that style of shot on your personal computer where it belongs!
Have your friend take as many pictures as possible, as candidly as possible. If you’re doing an outdoorsy vibe, walk in the woods, talk to your friend, look off into the distance, climb a tree, goof around, laugh, smile… the more variety and more candid the pictures, the more likely you are to get an attractive and natural looking shot you’ll be proud to share.
For women, eye contact is best with flirty shots (make love to that camera, baby) and not smiling with eye contact is best avoided, but we’re pretty sure your next expression will be you laughing, so tell your friend to keep on snapping!
Men seem to like their women to be all theirs, so that photo of you partying with your friends, doing something interesting, drinking or cuddling your cat are probably not going to work for you.
For men, women like a little mystery and depth, so non-smiling pictures without eye contact work best, but smiling without eye contact is a close second. This isn’t to say you can’t do something else… but the statistics don’t lie!
- Don’t post pictures of you with kids
- Don’t post a picture of you with your ex
- Don’t post a picture of you very far away as your main picture
- Don’t post a picture that misleads people about who you are (unless you just want online entertainment and never intend to meet anyone in person)
- Don’t NOT post a picture