Seriously, do yourself a favor when you create an online dating profile and really understand the difference between a good set of profile pictures and a bad set.
Women: men are visually motivated, I know this is tough to hear but before he reads ANYTHING on your profile (even a single word) he is going to scroll through all your pictures first.
Men: you are at a disadvantage because women tend to take more and better pictures, it is less socially acceptable (just my observation) at events or activities for a man to ask people to take photos of them. I’ve seen men do this and often they seem embarrassed to ask while women openly ask any friendly face to take a picture.
Here is the advice I have after reading a ton of websites and books on the matter. You’ll find this advice replicated lots of other places; I’m not claiming this as original… I have just collected it in one place for your enjoyment.
Men and Women:
- Don’t have pictures with you and a lot of booze and never have more than one
- Don’t have every single photo of you a selfie
- Don’t have sunglasses on in every photo
- Don’t use pictures from so far away no one can recognize you. Some thing with using filters or photo editing.
- You MUST include at least one full length shot.
- Do have 5 pictures; 1 face shot, 1 full body shot, 2 of you doing something you love (1 of which with a group of people), 1 flirty one. This is the best number. NO MORE. Definitely no less.
- Photos must be RECENT. I’m taking 6 months and less.
- No pictures of you in any bathroom. This includes those mirror selfies.
- No flipping off the camera. I don’t care how funny or irreverent you’re being.
- Ideally, have someone else take them for you. Friends are ideal, because they know your best features… but if you’re too embarrassed, just go on Thumbtack or Craigslist and tell them you need pictures for a portfolio and you just need someone with a good eye to help out.
- For the love of gawd, no bathroom mirror abs/arms flexing. NO. Find a reason to “go swimming” at the beach and have someone take a picture of you there. Bathroom mirror shots are terrible and frankly cliche. You want to STAND OUT, not just have another picture like every other dude. I know you think you look really good in that shot, but take the beach picture and the bathroom photo to a female friend you trust and ask her which you should use. You’re welcome.
- If you wear a hat in every picture, you’re not fooling anyone we know you are bald.
- Do not take a selfie from the chin up. EVER. No matter how good looking you are, no one wants an ‘up nostril’ shot. Take your phone in your hand, put your arm out at full distance away from you where you can still see the screen level with your eyes. Ok now go up about 6 inches, slightly bring the shoulder holding the phone to the side of your body so you are “opening up” your arm a little. Stick your chin out slightly, and snap. PRACTICE.
- Don’t take a selfie lying in bed. I know it seems dreamy, but it is not flattering to your face 90% of the time.
- Don’t post pictures of just rolls of money. Classless and we ain’t buying it, we know that is a 20 around a bunch of 1s
- Don’t post that one picture you had from the time you had a beard/mustache if you don’t look that way RIGHT NOW.
- Women generally want to see you doing things they would want to do with you; boating, biking, dancing, somewhere you are dressed up nice. You maybe REALLY into football, dirt bikes and horses but realize that if all your pictures are like that you will attract someone into doing those things. This maybe exactly what you want, but if all your pictures of are male dominated past times you may be narrowing the scope of potential women who would contact you. Use this wisely as a filter mechanism (if you really need a cowgirl, by all means all your pictures should be of you dress as a cowboy), or change up the types of pictures you share to increase your scope.
- For the love of gawd do a background check. Is your dirty messy room in the background? Did you take a picture wearing two different socks? Are there children running around half naked in the background? This is the biggest mistake I see women make.
- Flirt directly toward the camera. Take lots and lots of pictures and discard losers.
- Be aware of the ratio of skin/face you are showing. If your pictures are all leg or boob shots, it isn’t working in your favor like you may think it is
- Pictures with your pets / kids are not profile material. You should keep those for the “getting to know you” picture exchanges after you have had a few chats.
- Picture of you in the car, you know what I mean- those selfies while driving? Cliche and are not flattering- the exception is if you own some really specific car that is part of your personality. Mustang convertible, Jeep, etc.
- I know I said this before, but this goes double for women- you MUST have a full length body shot. Men are visual creatures. I know so many men I’ve heard talk about this – if there is not a body picture they will not bother to talk to a girl or return her messages. Harsh, but I’m glad I learned this. Do you have a friend who always takes great Facebook pictures? Or someone with a teenage girl in their family? Flatter them, tell them they have a great eye for posture and poses and that you would like to have them help you take a good picture.
- You want some ideas of good pictures or poses? Just make sure you follow the rule of 5 above and take pictures of you doing stuff you love. Ideas:
- In a yoga pose
- Hiking outdoors or by a waterfall; overcast rainy days actually make more flattering pictures for your skin and hair so PDX has perfect the perfect combinations of these
- Painting or crafting (if that is your thing)
- Standing next to your bike
- Cooking (only if you’re really into cooking or being a foodie)
- Climbing or repelling
- At an art show or museum
Examples of BAD profile pictures:
This just made me laugh. No other profile photos. What you’re saying here is you believe women only care about money. So imagine the kind of women you will attract if that is what you’re sending out there on your profile.
Ok. We get it. You’re a Cowboy… but I can’t see a dang thing about your face with that hat on.
There is so much happening in this picture that is awful. A mirror selfie, a bad hat, the sax, the bad shorts and the tag line “Can I be loyal to you?” This is a case of someone trying to put everything about themselves in a picture- trying to hard.
We can see you’re at the Cheesecake Factory. Come on, seriously?
And the ladies…
I swear these are real; I grabbed these in about 5 minutes from OkCupid
Flipping off, disturbing chicken head so we can’t see your face, more body skin than face. You’re going to get pretty much one kind of guy with this photo.
In a dressing room, the tag attached, selfie angle down the shirt. Ugh. Terrible. I am 100% sure there are better pictures of you.
This was literally the only profile picture. Can’t see your face, your eyes, no idea anything about you as a person from this.