The DO’s and DONT’s of your online picture

Posted on June 17, 2011

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As I stated in my last post, including a picture in your online profile is the first and one of the most important things potential dating partners will notice about you. But there are certain guidelines you should keep in mind before you post anything.

DO’s and DONT’s to keep in mind:

-Have someone else take a current picture of you.

Pictures that you take of yourself on your phone rarely look as natural as those taken by someone else. Posting pictures of yourself from the past when you were younger, from when you were heavier or skinnier, or any other misleading pictures are a form of dishonesty. And no matter how charming  you may come across when someone meets you in person, people won’t forget that you sent them a picture of you that wasn’t really you now.

-Make sure the pictures you include in your online profile are flattering.

You want to present yourself in the most positive and attractive light as possible. This does not mean that you should go and have a professional picture taken. Even if you have professional pictures of yourself (because you own your own business or what not), you want your pictures to look natural, not posed or fake.  However, be careful about including pictures that are too natural.

Ladies, this means that pictures of you in sexually suggestive poses or with barely any clothes on sends really only one message, and that’s probably not the message you want to send when you first meet someone. Gentleman, no matter how great your abs are, pictures of you flexing or with your shirt off will lead others to believe that you are arrogant and full of yourself. Better wait to show off those abs until a later time.

-Try to include pictures of you in different areas of your life, doing different things.

This way, people will get a feel for what you really look like. A picture of you looking snazzy in a tux or a nice dress is great and so is a picture of your in everyday clothes as well. Including pictures of you in different activities also gives people a visual of what you like to do.

-Don’t include pictures of you with your ex. 

Even if you photoshop your ex out of the picture, if it’s obvious that you’re including a pic of you with a past significant other, it sends the message that you really aren’t over that person. Or it looks like you’re trying to overcompensate for your recent entry into online dating by proving to others that yes, you’ve had significant others. It just doesn’t look good so don’t do it.

-Don’t include pictures of you with your friends unless…

a) Your friends give you permission to do so and b) it’s obvious who you are and who your friends are. No one likes when people post pictures of them online without asking their permission first. And you certainly don’t want someone getting confused about who they are contacting because all of your pictures have other people in them.

A good rule of thumb is to include about 3-5 pictures in your profile. Any less won’t give people a real sense of who you are and any more will be too distracting.

In my next post, we’ll talk about how to write about yourself and your interests on your online profile to attract the kind of people you’d like to attract.

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Posted in: Online Dating