Ah yes, profile pictures.
Generally, on a dating site, you have one main image and then a gallery of photos (with about a 10 photo limit). How you utilize these photos is up to you.
My personal advice on photos: The main photo should be SOLELY of you, preferably a headshot. Why? I want to know who I’m looking at (hence- no friends in the picture). A headshot is better because when a user is looking through profiles, they’ll usually only see a thumbnail. You want your image to jump out, so make it a headshot so they can instantly see your SMILING face!
Aside from the default photo, I personally recommend NOT using all the slots available for photos. I don’t really have a reason for this- I just feel that 10 photos is too much, while only having 1-2 photos is just not enough. 5 seems like a good number. Mix up the photos of headshots, full body shots, and “action” shots. Show different sides of your personality! People want to know that you’re already interesting and that they’re going to enjoy spending time with you. If you look dry and boring, no one is going to want to message you.
I know most people would disagree with me, but I’m okay with self shots- as long as not every photo is a self shot. To me, ONE self shot is acceptable (usually your headshot photo). If all your photos are selfies, people are going to think that you have no friends/life and again- not want to message you.
Tips for the photos:
- Make sure that users can tell who you are in the photos. Don’t put up photos of you and your friends- what happens if someone thinks you’re one of your friends? Talk about a disappointing first date experience!
- I don’t care how hard you work at the gym- keep your shirt on.
- No mirror shots.
- UPDATED PHOTOS- seriously! I don’t care if you look the same. And you BETTER be updating if you look different.
- Think about what you like to see in other people’s photos- do the same.
- Show users that you’re fun and interesting! Don’t be robotic.
Today I was lucky enough to join a Twitter chat about profile photos with the fabulous Laurie Davis of eFlirtExpert fame. She had some awesome pointers as well, which I’ll post here for you! These are direct tweets from Laurie, so how exciting for you if you missed the chat!
- 4-6 photos for your profile
- Your pics should showcase the Real-Time You. Make sure you look like the gal or guy who’s going to show up on the date.
- Remember, your photo is just a thumbnail in search results. Close ups help you pop off the page
- Range of outfits in photos
- It’s a good idea for your eyes to be central in at least 2 pics. windows to who you are! (This was a tip from Laurie’s photographer, Michelle!)
- Mirror pics are def the worst! And duck faces.
- Pro shots that don’t look so “pro” are best.
- Catch 22: Oversell yourself in pics = matches may be disappointed in person. Undersell = may not meet the right matches.
- A “good” photo’s definition can vary on niche sites depending upon the crowd. (sites like Farmer’s Only, J-Date, or Christian Singles will be different than Match, eHarmony, or OkCupid…)
- A Univ of Rochester study found that men rate red outfits in women’s profile pics as most attractive. (someone also mentioned that the same goes for women prefering men in blue outfits, but not sure on the source).
- For men, BOLD colors are best. Avoid neutrals which is what every guy wears so you stand out in search.
- No selfies. They are cool for social networks but not for your dating profile. Show your lifestyle
- Every online dater should upload at least a few action shots. It gives a sense of what your lifestyle is like.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Feel free to comment to ask questions about profile pictures!
Also, Laurie’s book Love At First Click is available for preorder now! If you preorder now, she’ll help you pick your profile photos AND you’ll have access to an exclusive video course on online messaging! So check it out!
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