I’ve lost count of the times people ask me how to get great online dating photos!
Here’s part 1 of a series of 3 articles that’ll tell you exactly what to do to get great online dating photos-As this article is fairly comprehensive I’ll provide you a list of the subjects that we’ll cover:
1. Age Matters.
2. The Right Image Produces the Right Responses.
3. Clothes Count
4. Glamour Shots, Make-Up and Hair
5. To Smile or Not to Smile?.
6. Body Language.
7. Face Shots, Body Shots and Supporting Photos.
8. Dating Profile No-No’s.
9. Studio or Location?.
10. Two Things You Should Know When Taking Your Own Pictures.
11. The Night Before the Photo Session.
12. Handling Nerves.
13. After the Shoot: When to Retouch?.
You know that looks matter. Of course, personality and character and attitude are vital too.
But those first impressions are hugely important.
That’s especially true when you’re dating online.
Internet dates won’t even look at a profile unless the pictures have won their attention.
You do this yourself. You put so much effort into thinking about what you want from a partner, understanding what you really want and making yourself as friendly, upbeat and interesting as possible… and what do you do when you reach a dating site?
You look first at the pictures.
When you’re browsing the dating search results, the picture is the first thing you see. And if you don’t immediately like what you see, it will be the last you see of that single.
Exactly the same thing is happening to you.
You might have a sparkling personality and interests that match exactly those of the person checking out your picture, but if your photos aren’t as impressive as your character, you won’t get any more than a glance at your page.
That single — maybe your perfect partner — is just going to click on by.
“In an online dating environment, photos are the lifeblood of the system. In real life, do you see people walking around with no faces? Of course not! So, your photo is your ID. It’s the first thing people see before they start reading and digging in for all the juicy details.”
“I cannot say this enough: Men are all about the photos. It hardly matters what you say in your profile. If you’re a knockout, you could describe yourself as an axe murderer and you’ll still hear from men. That’s because they’ll take one look at your photos and not even bother reading what you’ve written. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not by much.”
Dale Koppel, Ph.D. Author of “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating.”
Fortunately, creating wonderful dating photos is easy. It takes thought and a bit of expertise. But there are people who can help you — and that help starts here. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to get the pictures that will attract the partner you’re looking for.
1. Age Matters
Age is a consideration when you’re planning your photos.
In general, you should look relaxed, smiling, comfortable and at ease. You’ll want your photos to portray the kind of easy welcome you’d find if you were meeting someone who had heard great things about you, was looking forward to meeting you and was hoping to make a good impression.
That’s simple enough. But younger daters can get a little more creative.
In 2010, dating site OK Cupid looked at 7,000 different dating photos and tracked the results the different poses produced.
Some of the site’s results were surprising.
While smiling and making eye contact always produced better results for women, men received more messages with unsmiling photos and when they looked away from the camera. (Maybe the pose adds an air of mystery and lets women look without feeling they’re being looked at.) The “MySpace pose,” a flirty, cleavage-rich shot made by holding the camera above your own head, also produced good results for women.
But here’s the kicker.
OK Cupid only looked at singles in big cities aged 18-32. As the subjects aged, the kinds of images that generated the best results changed too:
“For women in their late teens and early twenties, body pictures are the most popular type of shot; outdoor pictures are second. This ordering is reversed by the mid-twenties.”
In other words, people who are young, slim and looking for a casual relationship can take a picture that highlights their shape. Singles who are older and more serious will want to think more about expression, setting and personality.
2. The Right Image Produces the Right Responses
There’s a difference between a photo that generates lots of responses and a photo that generates a life-long relationship.
A photo shouldn’t just show what you look like; it should also show who you are.
For example, if you’re a little edgy and rebellious then a preppy photo will attract responses from people who won’t be great matches. Conversely, nice guys don’t wear ripped tee-shirts and show attitude, even if their female friends swear those are the looks that get responses.
And while cleavage shots might bring women more messages, you know that quantity doesn’t mean quality.
Success in online dating isn’t based on the number of responses alone. The quality of those responses matter. You don’t need to bring in lots of replies; you need to bring in one good one.
3. Clothes Count
What you wear in your dating photo is as important as what you wear on the date.
You should look smart and casual at the same time.
You should show that you clean up well without looking stiff and formal. And remember that casual doesn’t mean a dirty shirt and baggy sweats. Too casual suggests that you don’t care what your partner thinks. That’s not a good message to send to someone you want to bring into a relationship.
Before heading to the shoot, pull together several different outfits in strong, solid colors that look good on you and that flatter you in your profile photos.
As you’re picking your clothes, try to put together more than one look for the profile. A dressy outfit would show you ready for a dinner date and a more laid back outfit would let the viewer imagine walking with you on the beach or sitting under a tree, enjoying a picnic.
Arrive for the photo session in the dressier look; it’s always easier to dress down as the photo session progresses than to try to dress up.
As a general rule, photographers recommend that people avoid busy patterns, prints, stripes, paisley, and elaborate designs. Stick to classic looks that won’t date and choose colors that look good with your skin tone. If you’re not sure what those are, there’s a ton of advice online that will help match shades to skin.
The outfits should be kept on hangers, not folded in a bag, so that they don’t wrinkle for the shoot, and a lint roller always comes in handy for removing those flecks of cat hair.
Finally, (and we might have to break this to you gently) before the shoot, ditch the sunglasses and take off the baseball cap. Here’s what Match.com expert Kimberly Dawn Neumann has to say about those:
“What’s with the sunglasses in photos, people? Don’t know you that the eyes are the window to your soul? You may think that wearing shades in a photo makes you look like a celebrity or adds an element of mystery, but in truth, most online daters see this photo and get frustrated by the inability to see your entire face. And if you’re wearing a baseball cap (this one is especially true for men), unless there is another photo showing what the top of your head looks like, most women will assume that cap is hiding a bald spot.”
Tips for Men:
- A dress shirt will usually work great.
- Wearing a tie and a suit is a bit much. Keep it dressy but casual.
- No Hawaiian shirts! (This also applies to first dates.)
- No t-shirts or tight shirts… unless you have the figure to carry it off.
- Make sure shoes are stylish and clean.
Tips for Women:
- Dress sexy but not skanky. (Even if you like to be a little revealing, it’s low cut or high thigh — never both.)
- Dress comfortably.
- Avoid dress shirts. They look too professional and not enough fun.
- No big or busy patterns.
- Soft, dark V-necks look great.
- Black often works; white hardly ever.
- Wear a strapless, skin color bra that is invisible under outfits.
In the next part of this article I’ll tell you all about makeup, hair and how to look your best and get great dating profile photos.
Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!
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