Meeting online and meeting IRL share fundamental similarities, yet the vast majority of people on the dating apps forget this fact. This is good news for you. If you are thoughtful about how you present yourself online, and follow some of the tips laid out below, you'll easily set yourself apart from the crowd, and get more right swipes from quality matches.
When we meet someone for the first time, our subconscious makes many rapid fire evaluations about that person. Is this a friend or foe? Is s/he open and available? Can I approach him/her? This exact same thing happens when we view photos, or when others view our photos, on dating apps.
YOUR FIRST PHOTO
We have three simple rules for your 1st photo:
- Use a quality headshot, or at least a photo where your face can be seen clearly.
- Real smiles please. Flash those pearly whites, and smile with both your mouth and eyes. A genuine smile is the fastest way to build rapport. Do you frown or make a weird face when you meet someone in real life? No? Then why would you do that online? (Studies do show that men can also get away with a neutral or pensive face, which makes you look a little mysterious, but a great smile never hurts).
- Take off those sunglasses! We can't emphasize this point enough. Yes, the shades make you look cool, but when they cover half your face, including your eyes, the person "meeting you" simply can't get an idea of what you look like and gauge your level of approachability. Eyes are one of the most expressive parts of your face, and you can't make eye contact if your sunglasses are in the way.
A FEW CONVERSATION STARTER PHOTOS
Now that you've captured their interest with the first photo, it's time to show off your interests and personality.
- Are you confident and a leader in your field? Include a photo of you giving a talk or presentation (super attractive!)
- Are you well-traveled and love adventure? Include a photo of you in some faraway locale (but please, no Machu Picchu, that is officially overdone).
- Do you love animals? Are you artistically or musically inclined? Love to cook? Those are all great "activity" photos to feature.
A FULL LENGTH PHOTO
If all you show are close-ups of your face, people are simply going to assume you're hiding the rest of your body for a reason. I've heard complaints of profiles missing this photo from both men and women. Easy fix.
WHAT ABOUT GROUP PHOTOS?
Group photos are effective when used properly. You want to show that you're social and have friends, but nobody likes to play "Where's Waldo?" on these apps. If you choose to include a group shot, make sure 1. you're easy to spot and 2. put it towards the end of your photos, so they already have a good idea of what you look like.
WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
Now, this is perhaps the #1 question we get from our photography clients when they prepare for their photos, and we have a lot to say about it so we'll save it for a later post. The best advice for now is to wear clothes that fit! There's a fine line between looking snappy in a well tailored suit that fits you perfectly and looking homeless in a suit 2 sizes too big and the bottom of your pants are pooling at your ankle.
Be as thoughtful in your online presentation as you are in real life. Include a variety of photos to convey all the many interesting facets of you. Follow these tips to pick your best photos for your profile, and get, set, date!