Online Dating Photos
Online Dating Photos
Beth Roberts and Karin Anderson (Online Dating Coaches) gives expert video advice on: What are some photo 'don'ts' for women only?; What are some photo 'don'ts' for men only?; How can I tell if someone's online dating photos are accurate? and more...
How important is your photo in online dating?
Your online photo is just one of the four keys of online dating, along with your screen name, your profile, and on which dating site you post that profile. I think the photo is the most important, because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. A photo is a must. You're using online dating to screen, and chemistry, what someone looks like, is a big part of whether you want to date them. I wouldn't reply to an ad that didn't post a photo. Not only post a photo in your online dating ad, when you start emailing someone, you want to offer additional photos of yourself so you get additional photos of them. Ask for photos of something they did recently, showing them in an activity that they like to do. Offer one of you first - "Here's me rollerblading last Saturday, do you have a picture of you in the last couple weekends doing something you like to do?" There are two things there: you get to see more shots, more angles, and get a better sense of whether you have chemistry, with the way that they look; and you're also sure that you're going to get recent photos, and you're going to know that the person who shows up on that date looks like you think they look.
What photo should you choose for your online dating ad?
You should take a new photo for your online dating profile. You don't want to use an old photo for a couple of reasons. One is that people always wonder whether the photos are recent. If you have taken a new photo then obviously you can verify it's recent. The second reason is that you need to approach online dating as if it were a job. If you were going to apply for a job, you wouldn't take an old resume you have; you'd think about the job, you'd think about what skill set you have that fit the job, and you'd take that old one and you'd revise it and you'd set it up so that you seem more of a match for that new job. Your online the same for your online dating - think about that, think about what you want to focus on, what you want to highlight, what colors you want to wear, what setting you want to have. You want to think of it like a job, take it seriously, take a new photo. As dating coaches, we once had a client who wanted to post a photo, where she looked fabulous, she had this hot red dress and was lying provocatively on a couch, and it was a great photo, but not for online dating. The reason being that there is no way that she could show up on a date, unless she got there first and was lying provocatively on a couch and wearing that hot red dress, and great makeup, there is no way that she could show up on a date looking like that. We recommend getting a good photo, not the very best but a good photo, so that when you show up on a first date your partner will think, "Ahh," not, "Oh."
What are some photo 'do's' for everyone?
With my Swedish background, I love “dos” that are very simple. So, my top photo “dos” for everybody, are simple and free. You want to have great posture, stand up straight and smile. Doing those two things make everyone look more attractive and about ten pounds lighter. Once you have chosen your photo, ask your friends: "Does this look like me? Is this a good picture of me, not too good, good enough? Should I do something differently?" Bring in your friends and get some advice about online dating photos.
What are some photo 'don'ts' for everyone?
It's important that you take a new photo, but don't take a new photo with other people in the picture. Remember, people who are looking at your ad have no context. They don't know that's your friend, they don't know that's your brother - it could look like a husband, your friend could be cuter than you are, so make sure that the only one they can focus on is you. One of our photo "don'ts" for everyone is to take a new, that's N-E-W, not N-U-D-E, photo; do not take a photo you've had with anyone else in the picture and crop that person out, or crop that baby out that you're holding. You don't have any kids, but it's a picture of you and your niece, but you crop it out because someone's going to see what's been cropped out, and won't know the context. Take a new, N-E-W, not N-U-D-E photo for your online dating profile.
What are some photo 'do's' for women only?
One of our top photo "dos" for women is to think about your audience. We have a lot of clients who have a great photo of themselves, but it's a professional photo so it's done for their real estate ad or their business promotion, and that's great but it's not very sexy. You want to come across in a dating environment, not a professional environment. I'm not suggesting wearing low-cut tops to show all your cleavage, but do think about your audience and what makes you feel sexy and then ask a male friend if they find that sexy or attractive, also.
What are some photo 'don'ts' for women only?
The classic photo don't for women is: don't post a glamour shot. Women love to find a shot of themselves where they look their absolute best and post it online because that's how they like to think of themselves. But, if you're not going to show up on the date looking exactly like that, don't post that photo. Try to post a photo that's a good photo but not a great photo, and then wow them when they meet you.
What are some photo 'do's' for men only?
Photo "dos" for women are to be yourself. Not so much for men when online dating. Men, we don't want to see you being completely comfortable in yourself. Men, we want you to think classic like George Clooney, not comfortable like Larry the Cable Guy.
What are some photo 'don'ts' for men only?
Our number one photo don't for men only: Men, please don't take a picture of yourself leaning against your car. I know you love your car. I'm sure it's great. But women don't find that attractive. You see a lot of men doing that. Also, especially, keep your shirt on, please. Brad Pitt is the exception, but otherwise keep your shirt on, just have a picture of you, and don't be leaning against your car. Unless of course you're leaning against a Rolls Royce, and you're looking for someone superficial through online dating.
Should I use professional photos on my online dating ad?
Generally, we don't recommend that you get a professional photograph taken for your online dating ad because really, what you're looking to represent is the true you and the you that's going to show up on the date; not the perfectly coiffed, famously made up, airbrushed representative of you; the true you. Some people feel more comfortable with professional photos on the online dating profile, and that's fine, but generally, it's not something we recommend. As coaches, we don't recommend getting a professional photograph for your online ad but we do recommend using some of the tricks that professional photographers use. One of the best tricks is to have a picture of yourself outside in the golden hour - that's at sunset. It's a great light that everyone looks fabulous in. Have the sunlight streaming on your face right before sunset. You'll look fabulous.