Choosing a Dating Picture

girl in frame

If your ultimate goal in online dating is to actually meet someone in person, choosing a dating picture is essential. Just as you might brush your hair, floss your teeth and check the mirror one last time before an evening on the town - your online photo is a representation of you. Make sure it is the best ever with a few tips from us at LoveToKnow Dating.

Picture Importance

Dating site research has demonstrated that by simply posting a picture, it automatically increases the number of responses - even if you are not overly attractive. A photo attached to an online dating profile reduces uncertainty, eases fears and personalizes your ad. Think about your own searching process - don't you always check the personal ads with photos first?Another school of thought on the importance of choosing a dating picture is rejection. If a potential Internet date is overly concerned about appearance - wouldn't you rather them reject you before they meet you, rather than having to take the "oh, that is what you look like" in person?

Picture Taking Tips

The key in accurately displaying your best appearance online is taking the best photograph possible. Ideally, start with a new or recent photo. If you are relatively new to photography, here are some basic photography tips:

  • Lighting is critical for a good photo. Unless you have access to a professional studio, take your picture outside on a bright day, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid shadows.
  • Focus on the face and shoulders.
  • Stand back and zoom on the face. This ensures the picture is clear and sharp.
  • Stand up straight. This will make you look thinner and more confident. Just don't be too rigid!
  • Take an assortment of pictures with different face angles - facing front, side, profile, head up, down, etc.
  • Preview your background. What are you standing in front of? How will it look in the backdrop, and will it create the correct contrast for your face?
  • Make sure you are smiling and feel relaxed and happy. This will help you to look more natural in your picture. Try a fun activity before taking your picture; that carefree glow will shine through the lens.

If you own a digital camera or have a friend with one, it is the easiest way to create a picture for the web. Fear not if you don't have access to a digital camera, as there are other methods to create a picture file for your computer. Some labs will turn your regular camera negatives into digital images, so check around. You can also have an image scanned either with a home scanner, or most photocopy services will scan them for you. Once you have a great digital image, feel free to improve the technical quality of the picture. Adjusting the brightness and cropping are simple with most photo software programs. Simply practice with a variety of versions to find the best one.

When prepping for your picture, don't go overboard. The idea is to get the best version of you, not an entirely different image. If you don't normally wear purple eye shadow, leave it off for your dating picture. If you never leave the house in a tie, why would you want one in your photograph? When you eventually meet face to face, you want your potential date to visualize the real you. There is no need for additional shock in an already uncomfortable situation as a first date.

Professional Services

If this picture taking advice concerns you, it may be worth your money to have a professional portrait done. It is truly the best way to get an outstanding dating picture. Professional photographers are trained in all these skills, plus they have access to the best lighting and equipment. It also might be nice to have a great picture of you for other uses too - like holiday cards or business photos.

Choosing a Dating Picture

So, you have selected a handful of your best pictures, how do you go about actually choosing a dating picture? While analyzing your assortment, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be honest. Choose a recent photo and never use a fake picture. It is certainly okay to touch up a pimple or two but don't change hair color or stretch your picture so you appear thinner. They are going to see the real you eventually anyway!
  • Don't post a picture of someone else, even if you are upfront about it, like a picture of your child. Potential daters simply want to see you.
  • Avoid pictures with other people in them, even if you crop their faces out. There still might be a stray arm or hand that will look odd to the viewer.
  • For your main profile picture, don't add any props, like a car or pet. If you add other pictures to your ad, that would be the time to add these types of things but only if they are truly significant to you.
  • Limit the number of profile pictures to no more than three; any more and you look a little too full of yourself.
Choosing a Dating Picture