If a picture is worth a thousand words, on a dating site, it's like ten thousand.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a profile picture is worth at least ten thousand. Profile pictures for online dating sites are a big deal, whether you like it or not. On most sites, it goes beyond just the profile picture. A lot of sites offer an opportunity to post other pictures too. So, for the photo-phobic it can feel like a lot of pressure. The right profile picture will get you noticed. The wrong profile picture will get attention too, but not the kind you want. The good news is this, getting the right profile picture isn’t about looking like a model. In fact shots that look too made up don’t work. Getting the right shot is about presenting yourself in the best light, literally.
So how do you get the right shot or shots??? Let’s start with the don’ts.
1. Do not use any pictures where you have cropped someone out. I know that picture of you and your ex was the best picture of you ever taken, but don’t do it. Even if it’s not your ex, people will assume it is. So, do not crop photos. It’s tacky.
2. Do not use glamour shots. You know the pictures where you go someplace, get all dolled up with hair, makeup, and a boa and for $39.00 they give you photos that actually look nothing like you. Feel free to get that done if you like, but don’t put them on your dating profile. Here’s the deal, guys know that photo doesn’t look like you and when they see that’s the picture you posted, it makes them nervous.
3. Do not use a picture that is older then six months old. My sister just sent me some pictures of me about four years old. I am looking really good, but frankly I don’t look like I do now. Even if you are honest about the picture being dated, viewers are going to be suspicious of about why. Everyone has heard the nightmare tale of getting a first date and not recognizing the person who shows up. Don’t be that person.
Now onto the important stuff. These are the top ten things TO DO with your profile photos.
1. If you can’t afford professional photos that’s ok. Get someone who loves you to take pictures of you. Digital photography is a God send. A professional photographer literally takes hundreds of shots to get a small hand full of winners. With digital photography you can do that too. Take lots, pick carefully, use the best as the actual profile photo.
2. Look great in your photos, but don’t look like someone else. This means, if you’re an outdoor kind of person, formal wear won’t be your best choice. You want the person who’s going to be compatible with you to be attracted to your picture, so make sure the real you shines through.
3. Dress appropriately. Ladies, this means keep the cleavage to a minimum in all your photos posted on your profile. Just assume the person looking at your pictures might show them to their Mama. This does not mean be matronly. It means be classy and sophisticated over flirty and sexy.
4. Consider wearing a little more make up for your pictures then you do in real life. This is not about being dishonest. It’s about taking a good photo and the camera tends to wash people out. So, think evening make-up even if your pictures are taken during the day.
5. Wear your hair down, at least in most of your photos. Men love hair. Don’t pull it back or put it up. Don’t leave them guessing when it comes to what you’re hair looks like.
6. Use your secondary pictures to support things you’ve said in your profile. If you’ve listed hobbies or interests, post some photos of you doing your thing. Use these pictures to paint a picture of a very cool life.
7. Leave kids, cats, and dogs out of your pictures. I know you want to date someone who’s going to be into all of those things. However, they create visual confusion in profile pictures so it’s best to be the star of your own pictorial profile. Don’t share the spot light.
8. Don’t put up photos of other things. If you’ve got a classic car, great! Don’t waste your profile photos highlighting that. Men know what a 1968 Mustang looks like. Mention it in your profile but don’t put up pics. Don’t post your best scenery shots either. We all love the ocean, but you don’t need to put it in your profile.
9. Do include one or two action shots. If you’ve got some pictures of you sailing, cheering at a ball game, or skiing, use them. These are the types of photos that create interest and curiosity. This would be the one place you could break the six month rule, but don’t go older then a couple of years.
10. For the love of God and all things Holy - SMILE!
Lisa Hayes C.Ht. is the author of the book, How to Escape from Relationship Hell. She is also the host of The Relationship RX Show. For more information and resources about marriage and relationships visit www.escapefromrelationshiphell.com or subscribe to her FREE newsletter Relationship RX.