The Best Photos For Your Online Dating Profile

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...

The Best Photos For Your Online Dating Profile

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.


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What Guys Said 12

  • I always tell my clients... the more photos you post the more of a chance someone will find something to disqualify you all together. 4 is my limit. Each photo should show a different side of you. I like one to be a black and white which can be very classy and if you do a selfie... label it "the dreaded selfie" Nice Take!

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  • I have done online dating and agree with most of your advice. However, for older guys, one picture of you in a suit tells ladies that you can be presentable for formal occasions and you aren't one of those guys who grew up in a barn. This is true especially if you are a professional.

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    • I would agree as well. I think its that whole trying too hard thing when you're young and you're done up in a suit, or its intimidating or something. Doesn't bother me, but I've heard from other women, that it just seems like he might be high maintenance or cocky.

    • Yes, the age and professional status put a different spin on it.

  • 3mo

    Or you could be smart and not waste your time with online dating to begin with lol.

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  • 3mo

    i have one which is me singing on stage, looking thug (lol)
    sad to say, i dont score that much with that pic

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  • 3mo

    I finaly found what was my problem on dating apps , nice take.

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    • 3mo

      what kind of pix were you posting?

    • 3mo

      Well most of them selfies with black and white filters holding sigarette and a handgun.

  • 3mo

    The one kind of picture i constantly see popping up that i hate on a girl's profile is her being drunk or with a drink in her hand or clubbing. Those kind of pictures turn me off immediately.

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  • I am a volunteer moderator at the OKCupid dating site. We vote to have profiles deleted daily because so many younger people steal images of famous people and place them on their profile. We use photo identifier software tools to see if images posted are of someone else.

    Stealing images and posting them to your profile is the #1 thing that causes profiles to be removed. Almost all of this is done by younger people.

    It takes some time to create a profile. It takes us moderators a few seconds to have them deleted.

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  • candid ones taken by other people.

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  • As a model though my photos are professionally done and they do involve me trying to look like a model. Is this a problem?

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    • If it's your job/hobby/interest, than it is what it is, but there are plenty of examples of men AND women trying to do all these poses they saw in a magazine and it looks ridiculous. The professional photos thing tends to be a bit of a problem because there is perfect lighting, you took 100 shots to get the one shot, hair/make-up, the perfect set up... I mean tons of people will look great and awesome with all that level of work, which is why I would suggest doing a few candids or pix taken by your friend of you at a party or hanging out or something. Let's people know you're a real person and not a compilation of Photoshop and great lighting.

    • Thats fair enough. It works fine for seeking casual sex but if start looking for a serious relationship maybe ill add some ones as you suggest.

    • I mean if your goal is a sex buddy, then yeah, you can basically project that with your images too, like if it were a woman, she'd post basically mainly scantily clad photos or super flirty, but since there are a range of people... some looking for serious, some looking for casual, I recommend the other suggestions for those looking for something more serious or long term. Good luck to you!

  • I has to be so unclear what we have to do.
    Part of the reason i'm single is the amount of work involved.
    Its also part of the reason a whole 1/3 of the population is single!
    I think some guys sleep around as they think Iv had to put all this effort I might as well take every opportunity I get even if I don't know if it would work out witch in most cases It may not.

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  • My number 1 hate in chicks photos is having too many people in the shot. If it takes more than 5-10 seconds for me to try figure out who you are, I'm moving on.

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    • I hate that too, like who are you? I mean if you have to draw and error or tell me you're the 18th one on the left, why bother with the picture.

    • *an arrow

    • Seems everyone is too concerned about appearing to be in high social demand by having so many people in their picture. With so many people in frame, you can barely make out the person you want to see. Profiles like that make me want to just use them to get to their friends haha

  • I wonder , what made you go anonymous for this take? Lolz

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    • sometimes people get so hung up on this, but I go anon pretty much all the time.

    • That's true really ☺

What Girls Said 5

  • I think in general, for both genders, candid shots in which you're doing something that makes you seem fun and interesting are the way to go. Obviously you want them to be pics you look good in too.

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    • A friend of mine was talking about this a while back, and said that he would recommend actually posting photos where you consider yourself to be like a 7/10 in them. Not you at like a friends wedding with perfect hair/make-up, but just casual and yes candid with maybe a little make-up. This way he said, when you actually meet the person there is somewhere to go from there. You can show up with your A game and really stun vs. there being so mystery or surprise about it. I'm not sure it would work, but could be an interesting experiment.

    • I think he's right about that. Can't tell you how many times my guy friends have come back from a date and been disappointed because the girl was a 10 in photos and pretty underwhelming IRL. And like, had they been expecting a girl on the pretty side of average, they'd have been like ok cool.

  • 3mo

    just dont be naked or waer some crazy things

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  • We need the option to follow takes again!
    This take is really helpful :)

    Please bring it back admins!
    @Fathoms77
    @xHoneyxBeex
    @RedRain
    @Menguc

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  • That running man is hella hot.

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  • Kudos for people who do online dating, it's got it's own pros and cons.

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