Dating Magazine > Features > Profile
Creating a Better Online Dating
by Julie-Ann Amos for Online
it comes to online dating, many people have a phobia
about posting their picture for the “world to see.” Yet
the simple fact is that profiles with pictures get
a far bigger and better response than those without.
The quality of response, as well as the quantity, is
both better. According to Match.com, men are 14 times
more likely to look at a female profile with a photo,
women are 8.5 times more likely.
people who really worry about placing a picture online
aren’t worried about strangers seeing
it – they’re worried their friends, family
or someone who knows them will see it and recognize
them. This is a real risk – if that family member
or best friend is also looking online for a date. Otherwise
they’re not likely to be on the website to see
it, are they? So don’t worry so much about being
recognized, as only people also planning or considering
online dating will stumble across it. If you’re
still concerned, join a site where members have to
pay to see pictures. That will give you some more security
because it tends to eliminate anyone who isn’t
Why is a photo so important?
you don’t trust
the Internet enough to list a photo, chances are
that many people won’t
trust it enough to believe a profile without one.
shows you’re serious about looking.
» Your site may give additional benefits or privileges
to members with photos.
people simply don’t reply to people without
a picture. It’s limiting your chances of success
quite dramatically (between 8.5 and 14 times, remember?).
What sort of picture is best?
photo you actually like. Using a picture
you don’t like, however much it appeals to
your friends, only encourages you to make negative
or be apologetic when speaking to people. So you
run the risk of playing down the photo when people
you on it – and that really can turn people
recent picture – at most 18 months
old. If you don’t have one, or have no access
to digital cameras, get a snap taken and get it scanned
a floppy disc for a small fee at a Kinko’s
or similar store. Or invest in getting a nice one
taken – it’ll
be worth it.
use a well-lit, clear facial or head-and-shoulders
picture for your main profile
shot. Not one from
the neck up, which may look as though you’re trying
to hide your body, just a plain and simple head and
shoulders shot. Your legs may be your best feature,
but save them for later. Facial pictures attract
the most genuine interest.
one where you are smiling. This may
seem obvious, but you only need to browse online
to see how many
people don’t realize how much more inviting
a smiling face is.
» Save action and creative shots
for your “more
photos” area. As long as you can
clearly be seen, there’s nothing wrong with using
action (or more creative) photos to compliment
your main profile close-up.
Most services allow you to upload up to 5 or more
additional photos of you. Sometimes a nice action
shot can create
a “talking point” for someone who wants
to get to know you better. One guy had a shot of
him with a monkey, which resulted in many inquiries.
you use action or creative shots be sure that you
can be clearly seen and that the lighting and focus
well done. The shots should be a reflection of
who you are.
What should you avoid?
shots – looking like a model
in your profile may generate lots of responses, but
is likely to disappoint when you actually meet, if
you’ve been made to look glamorous by a good
with other people in them. Not only
is it not nice to have someone’s picture
online without their permission, but at first glance
it looks a
little strange. Is that your brother? Husband? Ex-boyfriend?
Best friend? Which of the two faces belongs to the
profile? It’s plain confusing. Avoid pictures
with anyone else in them. They’re buying in
to the idea of contacting YOU, not joining your family
or social circle!
quality pictures – dark,
light, fuzzy, yellow, blurred, it all speaks volumes
you are looking.
» Hats. Choose
a picture without a hat – and
that especially applies to guys, who seem to have
to want to show off their hat as much as their face!
» Sunglasses – unless
you really do have something to hide.
in face – too
much hair over the face again gives the impression
of someone who has something to hide.
body parts. Stray
arms or hands in the edge of the picture – whose
are they? Is this a picture of you with your ex?
Not exactly the best impression
you can give. Cutting them off or blacking them out
can look just as bad. You’re saying you haven’t
bothered to get another picture taken since the relationship
ended – which doesn’t give a potential
date confidence that you are willing to move on and
meet someone new, does it?
much bare flesh. Yes,
it may get you a lot of attention but how much of
it is serious? Men especially, choose
a photo where you’re wearing a shirt, however
rippling your muscles are! Risqué or sexually
inviting shots are definitely NOT recommended.
don’t wear too much make-up. It can
make it seem as though you’re trying too hard.
Tips for having a picture taken:
something in a flattering color, in a style
likely to attract the type of person you want to meet.
Don’t wear a crisp formal suit if you actually
have three dogs and want to meet a country-lover,
or a denim jacket if you only want to meet a professional
in the beginning part or end of the day is most
flattering, rather than harsh midday sun. Indoors,
consider using an extra lamp to throw some light on
your face for good light.
your hair out of your face, and hold
your chin up – it may feel strange, but
it avoids giving the impression of a double chin,
whether or not you have one. Ladies wear makeup
just a little heavier
than normal so it shows nicely in the picture,
but be careful not to overdo it.
and be warm and welcoming. Try to avoid drunken
grins, nervous smiles, startled looks, giggles or open-mouthed
laughter. These are rarely as attractive as a nice
warm smile. Take as many pictures as necessary to get
one good one you can use.
into the camera. Pictures of you actually looking
at the viewer score far, far higher than those of you
smiling wistfully into the distance.
possible, get someone to take the picture who’s
as similar as possible to the person you want to meet – they
will try to get a flattering shot that looks good to
them which means it’s likely to look good to
your prospective target audience.
sure to relax. If the picture means you get responses
you don’t like, you can change it, just as
you can rewrite the profile. Experiment and see
gets you the best response.
> Perfectmatch.com - The best approach to find the one.
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