The old adage, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ holds true to this day, probably even more so given the proliferation of social media platforms. From Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn, the prettier your photo, the more likes you are likely to receive. Needless to say, when it comes to the world of online dating, the first impression you are going to make isn’t by how well spoken you are, or how witty – it’s by your photo alone and your photo only. But hang on, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer just yet. Here are our top 10 tips to choosing the perfect pictures for your dating profile.
Tip 1: Have a variety of photos
Never, ever just upload only 1 photo! Humans are visual creatures, and the more photos you have, the more likely your profile will be successful. An idea mix would be: 1 photo of your face, 1 full body shot, 1 shot with a group of friends, 1 shot of you engaging in an activity you enjoy and 1 shot of you with a pet. Needless to say, ensure that all the photos are clear.
Tip 2: Do not wear a hat
Studies done have shown that we appear less attractive when are wearing a hat, as there are connotations that we are hiding something (a receding hairline or unkempt hair). Profiles with hats are less successful than those, without as people like to see as much of you as possible.
Tip 3: Show off your smile
Researchers have found that a photo with a real, genuine smile attracts people more than a brooding one. A real smile, even with crows’ feet and squinty eyes, is actually an attractive facial expression because it displays true happiness.
Tip 4: Turn the flash off
Professional photographers will tell you this – take advantage of natural lighting (the best is between the hours of 4-6pm) and skip the flash. A camera’s flash can add years to your actual age if you don’t know what you’re doing, and highlight flaws like wrinkles, crumpled clothing and flyaway hair.
Tip 5: Include a black and white snap
It was found that photos with a black and white filter were 106 times more likely to receive a positive response than those in colour. Choose a photo that isn’t colour-dependent, like a close up of your face, and add a filter using your phone camera’s in-built editing function.
Tip 6: No bathroom selfies
This is definitely a turn off – no one is going to Like a photo of you with a urinal reflected in the mirror. Keep your selfie-snapping activities limited to plain backgrounds (less distracting) or in the great outdoors.
Tip 7: Avoid photos with the opposite sex
Is that your current date that’s around your arm? A friend, a cousin, a sibling? It’s hard to tell without context, and you don’t want to put people off by making them have to guess exactly who that man or woman is to you! In a group context, it is fine, but avoid uploading pictures with just you and a member of the opposite sex.
Tip 8: Easy on the filters
Filters exist to make us look better (or quirky, in the case of Snapchat’s popular dog filter), but you’ll want to go easy with filters when it comes to your dating profile. Sure, you might look better, but if you look dramatically different from your photo versus in real life, you can be sure that the date is not going to end well. Let people see the real you instead of “deceiving” them with a filtered version of yourself.
Tip 9: Use recent photos only
Like filters, one of the biggest no-nos of online dating is lying about your appearance, and this includes photos of you from 5 years ago too. Unless you never age or honestly don’t look all that different, stick to photos that are a maximum of 6 months old.
Tip 10: Avoid racy photos
It is true that women who post photos showing cleavage get more response, but are these the type of responses or people you are looking to attract? We advise sticking to a good balance of sexy and restrained, so keep the lacy lingerie and plunging necklines for the bedroom or at least the 5thdate. Men, avoid shirtless selfies as women downright dislike these types of snaps.