Ready to try online dating? Or worried that your current profile pictures aren’t up to snuff? Here are some tips for putting your best face forward online:
1. Look like you.
You don’t want a potential date using a dated photo, so you shouldn’t either. Make sure the photo looks like you: it’s current, the lighting is good, your personal style is accurately represented.
Don’t upload any photos that are taken too far away. Potential matches want to be able to see you without squinting.
Choose a photo that’s flattering, but not deceptive. (If you recently gained 50 pounds, don’t use an older “skinny” shot. Embrace the present you.)
Be sure to smile — or display pride. According to one study, men are more attracted to women who exhibited happiness in their online photos, whereas women were interested in men who appeared proud: heads up, expanded chest, etc.
And because eyes are the window to the soul, ditch the sunglasses.
2. Don’t settle for one.
Think one photo’s good enough? Think again.
According to 2013 eHarmony stats, “people who uploaded 4 or more photos received the most inquiries (communication) from their matches.”
So be sure to post more than one photo.
3. Mix it up.
If you’re posting more than one photo — something we strongly recommend — make sure the photos differ from one another. Include at least one headshot and one full-body shot. (Without a full-body shot, potential dates might assume you, A, are super-insecure, or, B, have something to hide.)
Include different poses. Consider using an active shot that shows you doing something you love. As a general rule, outdoor shots are a little more interesting than indoor ones, so prove that you do, on occasion, go outside.
4. Include others — or don’t.
There’s some debate in this area. Group shots can be confusing: Which one is you? Is your ex the girl beside you, or is that your sister? While group shots can show you at your candid best — and reveal your humanitarian/family/social side — they can also clutter up your profile. So keep group shots to a minimum, and be sure to still include quality solo photos.
Including a cute pet, however, never hurts.
Don’t use photos in which you’ve cropped out people. Online daters will assume you’re cropping out an ex.
5. Protect yourself.
Avoid using photos that include identifying information. Don’t post photos that reveal the name or location of your home, workplace, or that give away your last name or a family member’s identity.
To really keep it safe on dating websites, use unique photos that you haven’t previously posted online. This will prevent a curious match from doing a reverse image search on your photo which could lead to personal information you’ve posted online elsewhere.