Why Your Online Dating Profile Photos May Be Hurting Your Chances

March 26, 2013

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I have several friends using eHarmony. Over the past few weeks I had the opportunity to sit with them and look at their matches. What was I the most surprised about? Hundreds of BAD profile photos.

I had completely assumed (wrongly!) that by now people would know all of the dos and don’ts regarding dating profile photos. I have seen so many articles about this topic, and published many myself.bad dating profiles 300x199 Why Your Online Dating Profile Photos May Be Hurting Your Chances

Regardless of whether they should or not, people are going to make judgments based on your photos. So please try and avoid the following…

• No blurry pics, no dark images (where your face is shaded), no oversaturated shots, no flash-induced “demon eyes” or pics of you with your eyes closed (!)

• No costumes! It might be funny to you, but to someone that doesn’t know you, it can just look strange.

• Not so many sunglasses shots! I saw several profiles where people had six photos uploaded, and in five of them, they were wearing shades. If you are trying to show off your favorite place in the world, which happens to be the beach, glasses are cool. But remember, your matches want to see your eyes too.

• No time-stamping, unless it is within the last six months or so. I saw dates on photos from 2009. Not good.

• No party shots. I saw MANY shots of people looking a little toasty, martini glass in hand. One could draw the conclusion that if you put a photo like this in your profile, partying is a big part of your life.

• No photos of you with a member of the opposite sex – without any explanation. Some people posted their main profile photo this way. They did not use the text feature where you can explain who the person was, either. This obviously leads many to wonder…who is this mystery guest? An ex? Your main profile photo should really just be you. Oh, and not you and your BFF, either.

• No images where you have clearly cut out the person next to you, or even better, photoshopped their face out. Yes, I saw both examples. Many times.

datingprofilephototips 300x205 Why Your Online Dating Profile Photos May Be Hurting Your Chances• No self-portraits with your smart phone. Especially in the bathroom or car. Not many people want to see the inside of either.

• No extreme close-ups, or scrunchy face shots, or photos taken as you stick out your tongue. It’s not a good look for most of us.

• No hunting photos, or shots of you holding any sort of weapons. I’ve got one word for this: Scary!

Those were the most common issues I saw. Most of us have pretty decent cameras with us (smart phones), so there is no real good excuse for poor quality images anymore. Just set aside some time with an honest, trusted friend, and take some pics of yourself. A nice headshot or medium shot for your main cover photo — and always include a full-length body shot as well.

It is very hard to convey a big personality through pictures. Sometimes what you intend will be taken the wrong way. Let your dates learn how amazing, funny or unique you are in person.

That said, please put energy and time into your photos, because they are very important.

Here are some additional articles we have done on the subject:

Posting your best cover photo

Terrible profile photos and the women who post them

Terrible profile photos and the men who post them

What have you seen in dating profiles that turned you off?

more blog posts

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