Did you go to Harvard? Did you go pro after high school? Are you a former pageant queen who speaks 3 languages? Are you an awesome dancer? No one cares, that is, if your profile pictures are lacking or look bad. No one is going to sit and read the novel you wrote about yourself and how interesting you might actually be if they take a look at your pic and decide it's not even worth their time to scroll down because you took it in the deepest darkest shadows imaginable. This isn't like meeting someone for the first time in person where you're kind of forced to sit there and get to know them for at least a little bit, whether you find them physically attractive or not, this is the internet and in case you haven't noticed, the internet is extremely vain. So if you're trying to get some matches, some dates, to get more looks, or more swipes whether you're male or female, here are some tips.
I'm a man, help me with my photos...
First things you want to avoid are selfies, all your photos being professional photos, poorly shot photos, only posting one photo, severely cropped or tight on your face photos, photos where you, who are not a model, are trying wayyyyyy to hard to be a model, or a bunch of shirtless photos of you at the gym. Also ironically, a bunch of smiling only photos.
(At least online) women are looking for a man who does not appear too into himself (taking lots of selfies), they want to know what you look like (stop with the intense cropping), and they want to know with your photos that you are trying to get a good shot, but not, you know, like trying "too hard" (by trying to be the supermodel you are not or the desperation that is felt by the fact that you thought you needed to hire a professional to take all your photos/photoshop them). Women also tend to associate a man with a bunch of smiling photos (prepare to groan) as the Mr. too nice guy or not as masculine.
So what this means is male profiles that tend to get a lot of traffic are ones where on average there are about 5-7 photos. The photos are clear, not blurry, and not taken in poor lighting. A couple of them are outdoors, showing you in full profile doing outdoor stuff or just basically, outdoors. By taking a full body, a girl can see what you look like, knows you probably didn't take the photo so you know at least one other human being, and you tend to appear more masculine. Photos of you hanging out with your family at Christmas work well--shows you probably have a good relationship with them and others. Avoid wearing a suit. It's not a job interview. Overall, you want to showcase photos where you are showing off your hobbies, your social life, and your interests, and some kind of connection with family and friends.
If you're going to do the close up head shot thing, take the photo with you not smiling/not scowling except if you have been told you have resting serial killer face. Photos of you not smiling and looking away to the side as your profile pic tend to peek interest. It's not to say you shouldn't upload a smiling photo or photos, in fact do, but just not as your main photo or try not to make all of your photos smiling. If you must do the abs shot, do one, not 10, not a selfie of your abs in the gym bathroom, or you half lifting up the shirt and trying to look sexy, just do one not so captain obvious abs shot. Posting a casual fun group shot of you out having a good time with friends is good because it shows you're social and have friends, but doing that thing where you crop and we see an arm in the photo around your neck or close to your side makes women think that you are cropping out an ex-girlfriend.
I'm a woman, help me with my photos...
You want to avoid photos taken from really far away, super cropped, photos in poor lighting or blurry, and photos taken from up high (men and women know that most people who take those up above the head shots tend to be hiding their body in some way). Avoid photos with a bunch of dudes in them, avoid showing too much skin or too little (aka if you can see your actual crotch/butt cheeks in the shot or you're wearing a turtle neck), avoid photos where you're looking off to the side or away at something else rather than to the camera or in side profile.
(At least online) men want to see you smile, and more than that, they want to see you flirt with the camera, aka, with them. They associate that with being more feminine, sexy, open, and friendly. Photos of you with your girls out show you're social and like to have fun. Photos of you traveling or doing something outdoorsy show you are open to new ideas and trying new things. A confident photo of you with no make up or photos with more natural looking make-up shows that you aren't trying to hide anything or are insecure or high maintenance. Indoor shots tend to work best for you. A few selfies work, but don't go overboard. Showing some skin, no surprise, works well for you.
Photos that tend to do the best showcase you as a friendly social person with interests other than her "selfies." Photos with an animal, doing something interesting, smiling, flirting, and traveling tend to do really well and get a lot of traffic.