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Picture perfect: How to take the best online dating profile photo

Smile, you're on camera!
Smile, you're on camera!
Sara Altschule

Online dating is already hard enough, don’t make it even harder with the wrong profile picture. You want your photo to show off your best qualities and attract the right kind of person. So if you’re not looking for a Jersey Shore kind of guy, but all of your pictures are of you dancing in the club, you may want to rethink your photo game. Listen up folks for the dos and don’ts of taking a perfect picture.

Show Off The REAL You

Having your profile picture ACTUALLY look like you is important. You don’t want to meet your date for the first time and he or she doesn’t even recognize you. Or worse, you get the dreaded comment, ‘you look so different in person’. Be cautious with editing your photos. We all look better with a beautiful filter, however, you can’t filter what you look like in person. You don’t want to make yourself look like ‘Cindy Crawford,’ when in reality you have more of a ‘Drew Barrymore’ kind of look. Furthermore, try to put up a recent picture of yourself. Yeah, yeah, you might have put on ten pounds, and you want to use that old photo of you looking thinner - but don’t you want to have your potential match love you for the way you look now?

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Your online profile photo is going the be the first thing a person looks at, so you better make it good. You want to have pictures that are going to attract the kind of date you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage, you might not want to have a photo with a red party cup in your hand. But if you are just looking to have fun and party, then bust out those pictures of you taking shots in Tijuana.

Dos & Don’ts

  • The rule of thumb is to have more than one and less than five photos. Think about having one headshot, one full body picture and one that shows off your personality. For example, if you like to hike, show it off in a photo! Or, if you love to travel, show off that picture of you by the Eiffel Tower, rather than just saying the typical “I love to travel” comment.
  • For the love of god, please no selfies. The romance is killed as soon as someone can spot your arm taking your own photo.
  • Always make sure you are the only person in your photos - no side players allowed.

So start snapping those pics, because you are now camera ready.

For more dating tips and relationship advice, check out Sara's blog: www.thedatingdepartment.com