As I scroll through JDate, it’s either the amazing or the horrific profile photos that typically catch my eye. The great ones are clear, in color, featuring an authentic smile and with a genuine look in their eyes. These are the elements that create a good first impression, that illicit a positive response and that lead to someone clicking on your profile. Unfortunately, most people do not have such photos and commit one if not more of the following five photo fails:
Don’t Use A Selfie.
It’s always obvious when you’re using a selfie as a profile photo – don’t think you’re fooling anyone! Whether it’s the telltale arm in the corner of the picture, or your eyes looking slightly askew, or the application of multiple filters creating an unrealistic hue, it’s best to avoid selfies. This includes using your computer’s camera to take a photo. When prospects see that you’ve used a selfie as your profile photo, they’ll likely assume that you’re not taking Internet dating seriously.
Don’t Wear Sunglasses And/Or A Hat.
People want to see what you look like – this is not the time to hide half your face. It doesn’t matter if you absolutely adore your smile and hair-do in the picture; if you’re half covered-up, it’s not a good choice for a main profile photo. Perhaps you can use one shot of yourself in a hat and/or sunglasses photo as a supporting photo, but your profile photo needs to show all of you – especially your eyes. Connections are made through the eyes, so do not cover them up!
Don’t Use A Corporate Headshot.
The stuffy picture in your suit that reminds people of going to work is not what people want to see when scrolling through prospective matches. The dull lighting mixed with the neutral-colored suit and tie is far from enticing.
Don’t Have Other People In The Photo.
JDate will try to figure out which person you are in a group photo and zoom in on you, but any semblance of another person will throw off prospects. They will wonder who the other people are: an ex? A friend? A relative? Keep the focus on you.
Don’t Look Away From The Camera.
Look, I get it; photos where you’re looking at the sunset or ocean or glancing away peacefully can be quite flattering, but they are not ones you want to use for a profile photo. Only seeing one angle of your face does not make for the best first impression. Again, you can use it as a supplemental photo, especially if the image helps to demonstrate part of your personality, like your love for traveling.
The key to picking the perfect profile photo is to show your face straight on and to make sure you actually look like the photo. You don’t want to use a professional photographer; instead, make sure you have friends snap away the next few times you go out. Let them know what your intent is so that they can find good lighting and capture you when you’re enjoying yourself. When your photo shows the real you, you’ll increase your chances of catching that special someone’s eye as they scroll.