You’re ready to try online dating. You’ve polished your profile, and your best friend has concluded that you are so attractive that even they would like to date you. It’s come to that time! Somebody online wants to see what you look like. What picture of yourself will you paint when you display one along with your profile?
There are a few guidelines that apply to online dating pictures that you should observe which will improve your profile. These are as follows:
1. Do add at least one picture of yourself to your profile! If you don’t, you’re seriously putting yourself at a disadvantage. Many people search only for people who have uploaded pictures. Still others don’t like the idea of a “blind date,” and won’t go through with a meeting if they haven’t seen what you look like.
2. Remember that you are trying to be a salesperson here; you’re trying to sell yourself. Look at the photographs of other people on the online dating site. Is yours similar? If so, you will not stand out from the crowd! The picture you post should be good quality.
Do yourself a favour and forget the shot that someone took of you when you were at a nightclub last month, cut off just to one side where your ex was still in the picture. There are tons of pictures like this, and they don’t make people want to find out more! Your profile will be more attractive than if you hadn’t posted a picture, probably, but you’re still not going to stand out from the crowd and do yourself justice. Ask yourself what you would want to see if you were a member of the target audience (usually the opposite sex), looking at your profile for the first time, and be critical.
At the very least, have a picture taken of yourself for the express purpose of using with your dating profile. You don’t need to have had it done professionally, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt! I suggest you find yourself someone who has a digital camera (or have them borrow yours) and can take pictures well, and offer them a pint or three to take several pictures of you. Get them to take a fair number of pictures (20 or so), perhaps on different settings, because not all of them may work well, and because you then have a good selection to choose from.
Choose your backdrop carefully! A nice simple approach is to go to a field or a beach when it’s near sunset, and have pictures taken of yourself against this background. The background you choose should show yourself in a romantic or fun setting, and your clothes should be appropriate to that setting.
How about an interesting alternative? If you know somebody who is good with art packages such as Paint Shop Pro, have them paint out the background, and change the picture so that it looks like a spotlight is shining on you!
3. It may be a good idea to try and improve the picture, as is often done of pictures of models in advertising. If you have any obvious, but small, disfigurements, these could be airbrushed out with a painting package. If you can’t do it yourself, you probably know someone who can do it for you. Don’t go overboard with this; make sure the picture still looks like you!
4. Don’t be tempted to lie by posting a picture of George Clooney or Catherine Zeta Jones, unless of course you really are one of those people! The picture must be one of yourself, otherwise when it comes to a face-to-face meeting, the occasion is likely to end before it begins!
5. This tip is not well-known. Add a border to your picture, coloured the same as the hyperlinks on the target site. The reason for this is partly to make your picture stand out, but also because most pictures shown on online dating agency sites are also links to your profile. Your picture will then look like a link, and it increases the chance of it being clicked on. If there is any “outside” to your picture, this should then have the exact same colour as the background of the site. This can be found by using Alt-Print Screen to grab an image of your web browser when on the dating site, then pasting it into an art package, and identifying the colour from there. (Note that some online dating agency sites already supply borders around images; the trick will not work on these.)
6. If you have several pictures of you doing interesting activities and the site permits it, post one picture of you doing each activity in addition to your head-and-shoulders shot. For example, pictures of you skiing while on holiday; pictures showing you braving the rapids in white-water rafting; pictures of you doing your favourite sport. They help to prove that you do the things you say you do in your profile, and they make your profile more interesting!