In the world of online dating, your photograph is the most crucial part of your profile. If potential matches don’t like your picture, they are not going to bother reading your bio. A psychology study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science has shown that first impressions formed from a photograph will last even after you meet in person. To give yourself the best chance of finding a match make sure you avoid making these ten biggest online dating photo mistakes
1. Only Using Selfies
On seeing a profile filled with selfies, people will jump to conclusions about you. The first is that you are vain. The second is that you don’t have any friends to take pictures for you. Neither is a good message, so go easy on the selfies.
2. Unflattering Photos
While it might seem like an obvious and easy mistake to avoid, you would be amazed at how many people use unflattering pictures of themselves.
The most common mistake is the lighting. For the most part, photographers choose soft light because it hides imperfections. Hard light can highlight the shadow your nose casts on your cheek making it look disproportionate, or it can make your wrinkles look like they are a major feature of your face. Another consideration is direction of light which can shape your face in various ways. Camera angles and distortions are other significant factors to consider.
3. An Inappropriate Background
The background of your picture can say a lot about you, and since this is the first glimpse into your life that a potential suitor has, they are going to be reading into every clue. Potentially problematic settings are the interior of cars, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Pictures taken in these locations can seem lazy, like you were making your profile, realized you need a picture so just took one where you happened to be at the time.
The other pitfall is you may reveal more about yourself than you intended. You don’t want to be putting thoughts about your grooming routine front and center in the minds of the people browsing your profile.
4. The Same Picture Over and Over
These are profiles where the person is in the same pose, has the same expression, even the same accessories in every picture. Make sure you use photos that show you from a variety of angles, so you don’t set off red flags and come across as insecure.
5. Posing with Another Person
Remember why you are posting this picture on your profile. You are trying to find someone to date. Putting up a picture of you with one another person is a little odd. When a potential date views this image, they are going to be wondering who is in the picture with you. Don’t take the focus off yourself.
6. A Cropped Picture
Even if you look amazing in that picture of you and your ex, don’t just crop him out of it and use it anyway. Doing this will leave you with an unattractive tall, thin picture, which screams cropped. According to eharmony, horizontal photos have been shown to perform better on dating sites.
7. Photos with Children
You may want to be upfront about the fact you have children because it will save you a lot of time if it turns out to be a deal breaker for your potential partner. Pictures on your profile are not the way to do it though. Matches are interested in you and ugh, hopefully not your children.
8. Snapchat Filters
You might think you look amazing when you use one of the filters from Snapchat, or maybe you think it is a great way to show you have a sense of humor. The problem is you are essentially wearing a mask in the picture. You are trying to sell yourself, so don’t hide behind the filter
9. Group Pictures
People often choose to put these onto their profiles because they want to demonstrate they are social. The problem is you are showing this picture to someone who has only just ‘met’ you. Most matches won’t want spend much time going through a group photo trying to figure out which one is you. If you must use a group photo, put it towards the end. Ideally, you’ll also want to make sure you are the best looking one.
10. Pictures with Obvious Imperfections
Some examples of this are pictures that are slightly out of focus, contain people with redeye or where the composition doesn’t draw the eye to the right place. When you are selecting your profile pictures, you must be ruthless in your selections. Don’t settle for a picture that is good enough. If you don’t feel great when you look at the photograph, then don’t even consider using it.
Every picture you put on your profile sends a message, so make sure it’s one that you’re proud of.