Show Your Best Face - photo tips for online dating services
A picture is worth 1,000 words - or so the saying goes. You probably know by now that if you are using an online dating service, you will get a lot more responses if you place a photo of yourself in the profile that if you do not.
In fact, when using some services, I'll search *first* for those with pics, and if the pickings are slim, I *might* check for those that do not.
I know, its' vain but trust me, in the beginning, I did not put my photo up and had wonderful email and phone conversations with folks, only to mutually exchange pics later on and well, let's just say the emails stopped!
So even if you are shy, feel insecure about your looks or feel that you are the embodiment of Adonis/Aphrodite, below are some general tips to help your first impression on line much more successful.
- Look like you normally do, only better. By this I mean don't choose a "bad hair day" photo, or one that was taken 10 years and 20 pounds ago. You don't want the other person to feel lied to if they ever meet you in person, and didn't know that you stopped exercising in your teens! Do choose the best photo of yourself that you have. Ask a friend to help you pick an attractive one.
- Close up! Try to be the center of the photograph. A face close up is best, but you can have the photographer "angle" the camera to shoot your best feature (actors do it all the time, I even heard that Barbara Streisand can only be photographed from one angle only!).
- Along the same vein, avoid group pictures. Hey, this happened to me in the beginning. I had a wonderful photo where I did look my best but also was surrounded by gorgeous pals. You can guess what happened next right?
- No nudity. Most online services (unless they are the "alternative" and "adult" sites) do not allow nudity in the profile pics (save those for later in private emails - you naughty thing you!). If you are a woman, no need to bare your breasts - but a tight sweater goes a long way. Ditto for men if you have nice upper arm development - a short sleeve close to the body can send a gals' blood racing too! Otherwise, whatever you wear to look your best, is probably the ideal thing to wear for this photo.
- No Photoshop. Technology can create bigger boobs, a smaller nose, brighter teeth all with the magic of a mouse and Adobe Photoshop - but resist the urge. Otherwise, your potential date will see right through your scam.
- Watch your posture. Unless you have severe back problems, sitting or standing up straight in a photo (and in real life) gives you the appearance of more confidence. Your mommy will be proud!
- Be true to thy self. Let your personality shine in the photo by showing you at your happiest/most relaxed - whether it be playing chess, holding a book (its' a great prop if the title gives a hint to your interests/personality), etc. Its' true that most people look great with a full smile, but do use caution. If you hate showing your teeth then don't. But don't have the crazy Jack Nicholson smile in (ala "Joker") - its' just looks crazy! I normally don't respond to too serious photo's where the person looks depressed or like a serial killer. So again, ask a friend to help you choose the nicest pic.
- Have a pro take the shot. I'm telling you this is the best advice. For my thirty (ahem) birth day, I went to a photo studio and told the photographer I wanted a nice online pic. They did a fantastic job! (I need to update it though, it was taken many pounds ago - oops!)
Another thing to keep in mind is that if your picture is too far away, has contact information such as your phone number written on it, doesn't show your face (i.e. just your rock-hard abs or great "ta-ta's", or is obviously digitally altered (the face is Tom Cruise on your body) most online services will reject it.
A funny story:
A friend of mine who is chubby but has a gorgeous face was afraid that she would be rejected if she showed her "real self" in her dating profile. She asked that I help her take a photo, and after a long afternoon, we were both tired and frustrated because she would reject all the nice pics I took.
She was eating some ice cream and it left a "milk mustache" on her face, and I was inspired... I quickly took a shot of her and the picture came out great!
She used it with a caption underneath her profile which said "Got Milk?" Oh boy! She received 100X more emails and "winks" than we ever expected! (Of course the double meaning didn't hurt).