Selecting the cute photos to post to your online dating profile may be daunting. As a dating coach, I'm here to report that it's not just you: many of my clients drag their feet about getting perfect photos taken, if they do not already have photos they love.
A photo is worth a 1000 words, they say. But when it comes to your online dating profile, it's worth a lot more. The right photo will catch the eye of the right guy, and that's the whole point of online dating. You don't need to have pictures taken specifically for your profile, but hey, it's not a bad idea.
The online dating world is a competitive one. With 1000000 of profiles scattered across a variety of different networks, making a memorable first impression is critical.
It turns out that having a good profile photo could be what makes the difference between receiving messages and getting passed over for another profile.
1. Get outdoors. A natural, outdoor setting will add oomph to your picture. And now's the time to take advantage of the greenery and blooming flowers of spring.
2. Pick out 2 or three dating outfits. Select outfits that you feel great in. Invest some time choosing the right styles. If you feel fabulous in the outfits you choose, you can automatically look better in the photo. That's because 80 percent of your beauty is how you feel about yourself. So, pick something that makes you look incredibly confident!
3. Avoid deal-breaker clothes. Steer clear of busy patterns, which will add pounds and detract from your figure. I recommend you also avoid baggy clothes, as they don't highlight your shape in a photo. to see what you're 'working with' — and most aren't looking for model-thin women, so no need to be self-conscious if you have feminine curves. It’s a crucial question: What to wear for online dating? No matter your fashion preference, Horne recommends people steer clear of clothes with big patterns and lots of accessories, since all of these can distract viewers from the real subject of the photo: You. So, stick to solid colors that flatter your eye color or complexion, and even if you gravitate toward more neutral tones, take at least one photo in a bright color. “This ‘pops’ you out of the background and can attract more attention on a search page,” says Stricke. And, when it comes to accessories, make sure to pass on sunglasses and hats, no matter how cool you think you look. According to Griffen, these items appear way too often in online pics and don’t exactly up your cool factor, since they can mask so much of your face—the very thing people are dying to see.
4. Stand up or be active. Whatever pose you decide to strike, please do not sit down! You always look your best and thinnest when standing in a full-body shot. If you plan to crop the photo, of course, then sitting is fine. Also, consider posting some shots of you in action — kayaking, biking, playing tennis, etc.
6. Wear makeup and fix your hair. Most men (like most women, by the way) make a snap decision based on the photo. Make an effort to look the best you can behind the lens.
7. Think happy thoughts. Hate having your picture taken? Join the club! Though you're not alone in this discomfort, you must forge ahead anyway if you want to meet your new love. Conjure a happy memory; think about a time when you felt confident or something went your way. Then, when you get in front of the camera, bring up this memory and focus on it. This will work like a charm to ensure your smile doesn't look disingenuous or forced.
8. Bring a friend for support! If you want someone to distract you, take a girlfriend along. This way, she will egg you on, make you laugh and get you in a playful mood. Sometimes, a buddy is just what you need to make what seems like an unpleasant chore a lot more fun.
9. Don't get cold feet! Many clients tell me they have canceled their photo shoot, putting it off again and again. Don't give up! Once you get those pictures taken, you will be relieved and happy with yourself. And better still, you can get started meeting men once you post the pictures. A profile without a photo gets very little action.
10. Show off your smile
Everyone loves a big, warm smile—in fact, Griffen says it’s the first thing people notice when browsing through profiles. “If people see someone not smiling, they jump to a conclusion that they’re negative or trying to hide something, like bad teeth,” he says. However, it doesn’t hurt to experiment and capture a variety of different expressions. Laugh, try a small smile, or do not smile at all. You might be surprised at how some looks are more flattering than others. For inspiration, try this trick from Stricke: Pretend you’re looking across a room at someone you find attractive. You’ll feel—and look—much more flirtatious in your photo.
Above all, feeling comfortable is the key to getting a great photo. Why not ask a good friend to take some photos of you with a digital camera—then you know you’ll be at ease. To get in a more relaxed state of mind, try putting on one of your favorite CDs or having a glass of wine. “Have a conversation with the photographer—that’s what models do to stay looking relaxed rather than stiff,” suggests Horne. “People tend to think portraits are formal affairs, but some of the best come when you’re not even trying.” And don’t call it quits after a few shots. “This is the age of the digital camera—take dozens of photos!” says Stricke. “Many people take only a handful of pictures and then despair that they’re not photogenic. With the right lighting, angles, and some trial and error, you’ll be able to get a photo that represents you well.”