We all acknowledge the famous saying that "A picture is worth a thousand words", and nowhere is that more relevant than on your online dating profile.
Last week I examined how to write the perfect online dating profile, but what I neglected to mention was your primary photo, or selection of photos you are deciding to include. This article not only looks at what photos to include on your dating profile, but the simplest ways to take these photos.
It cannot be stressed enough that the primary photograph should be of you. Not of you and your friends, you and your dog, you and your car or you and the exboyfriend or girlfriend that you have scribbled out with Photoshop or Paint. Trust me, I've seen a lot of these and they are hilarious! Your primary photograph should only be a picture of you! It's fine to include a photo later on of you with your friends, but unless you are smack-dab in the middle of the photo, tell me which one you are!
There is enough technology in the world these days, that not having access to a camera is a valid excuse. Ideally, this main profile pcture will be a close up of your face. A clear photo of your face, in which your eyes and mouth and personality can shine through. Preferably smiling!
After that, feel free to take photos of you in action doing the things you love to do. Keep YOU as the main subject of the photo though and only select photos that are clear, rotated and resized properly, and have you looking your best. This does not mean naked or in partial stage of undress; this goes for men or women.
If you are unable to take this photo yourself, there is always someone who can. Don't be afraid to ask for help! If you really want to take your photo yourself however, here are a few tips and tricks that will help!
1. Use natural lighting
Try taking a photo outside in the natural light. Try to do this before the sun is at its peak and will cast unflattering dark shadows on your face. On a sunny day, take your photo before noon or after 3 pm or wait for an overcast day.
2. Use a tripod (tripod/timer combination)
Using a tripod that is adjusted to eyelevel will keep both your head in the frame and the camera steady so that your picture comes out as clear as possible. This goes for any camera! If you do not have a tripod, nor a camera with a timer, try and brace the camera against something sturdy (a wall, a railing etc) to take that terrific picture!
3. Wear a complimentary outfit or colour
Odds are, someone at some point will have said, "Wow, I really like that shirt or colour on you!" Take this advice to heart and try taking a photo wearing this outfit or this colour. Dress up for your photo, but still remain true to yourself. Don't dress up more than you would normally, but do make an attempt to look your best. Take off that ballcap, fix your hair, shave your face, brush your teeth and apply makeup if you are a woman. You'd be surprised at how much younger and fresher you look with a little bit of blush.
4. Avoid anything too revealing
For women, try to stay away from cleavage revealing sweaters or miniskirts. Save those for a few dates in with that special someone. Don't advertise ALL your assets upfront. For men, try and keep your shirt on in your profile pictures. Although you are proud of those 6 pack abs you've worked so hard for, putting a shirt over them leaves a little mystery for the woman lucky enough to see them in person. Be a little mysterious and leave something to the imagination.
5. Ask a friend to take the photo
Don't be nervous about asking a friend or coworker to take the photo for you. Try to take more than one photo so you can be selective about what images you like best. Ask someone who makes you feel relaxed and at ease so that your natural attitude comes through in the photos.
6. Don't forget to smile!
Perhaps the most important part of your online dating profile picture is this...smile! Be genuine, happy and approachable. Moody photos are fine if your profile reflects that you are serious. But, if you have touted yourself in your profile as fun and energetic, show it!
Good luck and happy dating!