Online Dating: 5 Steps to Improve Your Profile Photo

By | October 1, 2011

Online Dating: 5 Steps to Improve Your Profile Photo

Millions of people use online dating sites to find potential partners. So how do you compete with the masses and make your thumbnail photo stand out from the crowd? Here are five simple steps to make the most of your online dating profile photo:

1/. Help

Ask a friend to help you. Many people make the mistake of using the camera facility on their computer, while others photograph their reflection their reflection in a mirror. Both methods often result in fish-lens distortion of your features or your face being hidden by the camera you’re holding! Ask a relative, friend or work colleague to take a photo of you.

2/. Appearance

Check yourself in a mirror before getting your photo taken. Is your hair okay? If male, have you got a five o’clock shadow that gives a hint of “just released from Joliet”? If female, is your make-up smudged? Also check your posture – is your back straight and are your shoulders down? Do you look confident? People who are hunched or have their shoulders up around their ears are signalling a lack of confidence through their body language.

3/. Outfit

You may virtually live in your favourite tee-shirt, but is it flattering, or just convenient? Bearing in mind that this is the first impression you will make, what do you want to convey to your viewer by your choice of clothing? You can use your style of dress as an opportunity to give the viewer a taste of what your interests are before they read your profile. Sports clothing, fishing gear and evening wear all communicate your interests and lifestyle. Fancy dress can work for or against you – ask a friend for a second opinion before uploading that photo of you in your fairy costume!  Avoid concealing your face as this defeats the purpose of a profile photo. If you have no particular interests that involve dressing up, smart but casual is the safest bet. Wear clean, ironed clothes and check that everything is straight and tucked in immediately before having your photo taken.

4/. Background

The first image of profile photos is thumbnail size. Choosing the right background makes your photo stand out among the hundreds of other tiny images. It is much easier to get a good, clear photo of yourself outside in natural daylight, rather than trying to get the lighting correct for an indoor shot. Consider what can be seen in the background – a pleasant garden, landscape or architectural feature is far more attractive than the surroundings of your messy kitchen. The blue of a wide sky or stretch of water stands out particularly well on a thumbnail image. If indoors, choose a room where the décor is uncluttered and, if possible wear an outfit that contrasts but doesn’t clash with the color behind you. Avoid wearing pale clothing in front of a pale background, or you may disappear altogether.

5/. Say “Cheese!”

A big smile is one of the most attractive assets anyone can display at any time. If ever there was a time for you to smile, it’s in your online dating profile photo. So many people have a headline banner which reads “Relaxed and fun, looking for cheerful partner” only to show a scowling or serious face in the profile photo. This simple oversight completely undermines how you’ve described yourself, and gives the impression that you are anything but a fun person to be with! It also implies that you are unobservant, careless or lying. If you’re shy, or find it difficult to smile on command, simply go back to basics and say “Cheese!” on your photographer’s cue. People can tell a lot about you from your smile, so give it your best.

Finally, remember that you can use your computer to make your photograph lighter or darker, or to crop the size.

Following these simple steps shows prospective partners that you care about how you present yourself to the world. Who will be able to resist your warm smile and attractive appearance?       

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