These Are the Photos Your Dating Profile Absolutely Must Have, According to Matchmakers
Save the selfies and group photos with your squad for Instagram.
First photo: Classic Headshot
Most online dating sites only give you a small one-inch square for your main profile picture to lure people onto your page, which is why the perfect headshot is your best option for racking up clicks, likes, and messages.
Nowadays, most people think of selfies when they hear the word “headshots,” but the weird angles often distort your face. (Here are some other mind-blowing facts about selfies you should know.) For the best headshot results, swap out the selfie stick for a best friend or professional photographer to snap the picture for you. The formula for the most desirable headshot is quite simple: look straight into the camera with a nice smile, stand under natural light, style your hair nicely, a groomed face for men and a minimal, natural make-up look for women (that is if you wear make-up), and a simple background like a brick wall.
“Everyone wants someone who is approachable and smiling is the cheapest way to do that,” says Maria Avgitidis, CEO and head matchmaker at Agape Match in New York City. “Looking into the camera shows your ready to go and the eyes are the window into your soul.” Your picture should look like your best friend took it because you don’t want a photo that looks like you’re posing at a cheesy mall portrait studio.
As for picture faux pas, sunglasses, baseball hats, and a stone cold face don’t make you look mysterious. If anything, they make you look hard and unapproachable with a hidden agenda. (Check out these 17 signs that you’re actually the toxic one in the relationship.) “These profiles are one-dimensional,” says Michelle Frankel, founder of NYCity Matchmaking in New York. “No one is finding a reason to go out with someone when they look at other people. But they are finding a reason not to go out with someone.”
Don’t be afraid to use the headshot as an opportunity to embrace who you are. If you have curly hair, let those ringlets run wild or if you wear glasses, throw them on for your picture. A little bit of acceptance and self-love can go a long way in finding true love. (These are the 8 things you should never post about your relationship on Facebook.)
Second Photo: The Full Body Shot
In an era where catfish (people who create fake profiles and steal pictures from other people’s profiles) wreak havoc all over online dating, the full body shot comes in handy.
“Women tend to lie about their age and weight while men tend to lie about their age and height,” says Janis Spindel. founder and matchmaker at Janis Spindel & Carly Spindell Serious Matchmaking in New York City. “If you’re posting body shots, it’s a little harder to lie.”
The full body shot is your chance to flaunt your best attributes like your long legs, toned arms, or the gentle curves of your hips. Your photos should be current and a year old at most. You should be dressed in an outfit that makes you feel like a hundred bucks whether it’s that dashing suit you wore to your best friend’s wedding, the little black dress you wore out for a girls’ night, or your favorite pair of jeans.
“It’s about your attitude,” says Carly Spindel, matchmaker at Janis Spindel & Carly Spindel Serious Matchmaking in New York City. “If you feel great and you have on a great outfit that flatters your body, it exudes confidence and comes through in the photos.” Also, bear in mind that your dating profile was created to showcase you and no one or nothing else. Save the photos of your hot sports car, pets, expensive dinner, and group shots with friends for your social media accounts. Stop posting these 7 kinds of photos on social media!
Third Photo: The Lifestyle Shot
The third photo is your opportunity to give a glimpse into your everyday life. The lifestyle photo should show you in action participating in your favorite activity, hobby, or passion like cheering at a football game and donning your favorite team’s jersey or hiking up a mountain. “It should be a conversation starter,” says Frankel. “You want to give someone a reason to engage with you and ask you a question.” Just make sure the activity doesn’t detract from your looks or hide your face. But a heads up for beach bums, try to steer clear of the bathing suit photos. Sometimes they appear overtly sexual, which may attract the wrong type of person or relationship you’re seeking. “Bikini tops and shirtless pictures attract the wrong kind of men and women,” says Carly Spindel. “I think you can show off your physique with a fitted dress or a nice button-down.” Your dating profile isn’t the only page that says a lot about you as a person, your social media does too.
Fourth Photo: The Bonus Shot
Four is the magic number for images you want to post on your dating profile. The fourth picture is like a freebie that gives you the freedom to post another full body shot or headshot, but show you in a different light. It could be you wearing a casual outfit, a dolled up head shot, or a fun photo of your laughing. All four photos should be crisp with no pixelation to maintain that honest and true consistency of who you are throughout your profile photos. “It’s about marketing yourself,” says Avgitidis, “Make sure you don’t take online dating too seriously. Dating takes courage and everything will fall in place eventually.” These online dating pick-up lines are guaranteed to either get you the date or get ghosted.