If you’ve never gotten any direct feedback on your dating profile photos it can be hard to know which photos are working for you and which photos are working against you.
For many people, finding enough good photos of themselves to put together a decent dating profile is a real challenge (if it were easy, professional dating photography wouldn’t be a thing).
This leads a lot of folks to go digging through their camera roll looking for something (anything!) to put on their dating profile. And this is how people end up throwing photos on dating apps that really shouldn’t have made the cut.
Yes, it’s a photo, but is it helping you meet people you'd be excited about dating? No; in fact it may be actively repelling them. I call these types of photos "neg-negative".
But how do you know which photos are a net-negative?
This is a quick and dirty list of the kinds of photos that are most likely working against you on dating apps. If it seems like common sense, it is. I suggest you nix them from your dating profile right away.
Maybe you look older now or have less hair or more hair or are more fit or heavier or bearded or… the point is, you look different now.
People HATE when a first date shows up looking different than they do in photos. You’ve started off by failing to meet expectations (aka violating trust) and if the person is willing to consider a second date with you (they’re probably not), you’re digging out of a hole right from the start.
“But wait!”, you say, “I have some current photos in my profile also!” Okay--so now you’re asking people to try and guess which photos are *current* you? Nah. Making people work before they’ve even met you and sowing doubts about what you actually look like is not good no matter how you slice it.
ONLY USE PHOTOS AS DATING PROFILE PICS THAT LOOK LIKE YOU CURRENTLY LOOK.
Tired, bored, disinterested, unwell, awkward, uncomfortable, pompous, guarded, inauthentic, etc..
Photos that make it onto your dating profile NEED TO BE FLATTERING. They need to show you looking the kinds of ways that are universally attractive: engaged, healthy, well-rested, vivacious, interested, fit, etc..
IF THE ENERGY/ATTITUDE/STATE YOU ARE EXUDING IN A PHOTO IS NOT UNEQUIVOCALLY POSITIVE, DO NOT USE IT ON YOUR DATING PROFILE.
Certain camera angles can be really unflattering, particularly shooting up from below someone and shooting down from above someone. If the angle is severe enough you can even get distortion--if your head or your lower body look too big or too small, you've probably got distortion.
ONLY USE PHOTOS SHOT FROM FLATTERING AND REALISTIC CAMERA ANGLES.
Now, different sources will tell you different things here, like “include a group photo so it shows you have friends”. Lol! IMO, of all the things you are showing and telling on a dating profile “I have friends” just doesn’t seem universally necessary UNLESS you’re super extroverted and run with a tight-knit posse that’s a defining feature of your life, and it's still a hesitant "maybe".
[ this Quora thread about group photos on dating profiles is pretty entertaining ]
Group dating profile photos can be problematic for a number of reasons. DROP A GROUP PHOTO IF:
-- If it’s hard to tell which person is you, nix it (that’s just annoying)
-- If you’re straight, nix any photos of you with attractive members of the opposite sex (think of it like this--if you’re a straight guy hanging out at a bar with a beautiful woman or two, you’re not sending out “I’m available” signals to other women)
-- If you’re a dude, nix any group photos that include other dudes who are equally or more attractive than you (same thing but vice versa for ladies)
Whatever your stance is on masks, a photo of you wearing a mask is wasted real estate.
As we’ve all discovered during the pandemic, you cannot tell what a person looks like when they’re wearing a mask. And let’s be real here--the main purpose of your dating profile photos is to show people what you look like and give them a glimpse into your personality.
Most of the time, mask photos on dating profiles are deeply unsatisfying.
UNLESS YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A SOCIAL/POLITICAL STATEMENT *which you feel is more effectively made specifically as a photo* DON'T WASTE DATING PROFILE PHOTO REAL ESTATE ON A MASK PIC.
Ditch the following photos from your dating profiles:
Alright folks! Hopefully this helps with a little dating profile photo clean-up.
Check out this post on the 4 photos everyone needs in their dating profile.
And if you’ve cleaned up your dating profile and need to fill some gaps with new and improved dating photos--maybe it's time to hire a professional dating photographer!