Your photo can do more than show your face, it can help you sell yourself to your fellow daters. Something in your picture may trigger a conversation or interest in your profile. Your picture should make you feel good about yourself, about others seeing you.
A good profile picture should be a positive representation of yourself. Keep it simple. There shouldn’t be so much going on in the photo that it takes away from you, but it should be unique and include interesting, intriguing details about who you are.
Your photo should be recent and accurate
No matter how slammin’ you may have looked in high school, no matter how cute you were in college, regardless of how much you weighed before your kids were born, unless you are still that age, that weight, that cute, take a new picture. Be proud of who you are. Save yourself embarrassing explanations.
Make your picture more than just you in front of the lens
Compose your photo to show activities you enjoy, interests you have or things you love. This will help you feel more comfortable, which will show on your face and in your body language. If you’re very close to your companion animal, hold your pet (but remember that the animal should not be the center of attention here). If you’re an avid outdoorsman, pose by the water or in the woods; if you backpack, consider wearing or displaying your equipment.
Take time to prepare before you begin
If a room of your house will show in the photo, clean the area. Select your wardrobe carefully. You don’t have to dress up, but choose clean and well-kept clothing. Brush your hair and teeth, shave, and attend to any hygiene issues. You’ll feel better about yourself and it will translate into a better picture.
There is a fine line between sexy and sleazy
If you don’t know where that line falls, think twice about posting a risque photo of yourself. Remember, potentially friends, relatives or employers could see the picture. There is always opportunity in the future to privately share such material if you wish.
Also, save a little mystery for later. We don’t need to see all of your cleavage to appreciate your attractiveness. We don’t need to see your bare chest to know you’re manly.
The basics of a good shot
There should be sufficient lighting so you are clearly visible. Wear a pleasant smile and try to have soft eyes. If you’re nervous, a few deep breaths may help. Don’t cover your face in sunglasses and please, remove any hats. They often cast shadows and hide more than they show and this is about showing you off!
Act relaxed to be relaxed
If possible, have someone else take your photo. This will give you the opportunity to joke around and to get an objective opinion. Your helper can give you feedback about what he or she is seeing in the pictures.
If you aren’t comfortable having someone else take your photo, do the best job you can to make the photo look like more than a shot you took by holding your cell phone at arm’s length. If you have a camera you can set up and trigger remotely or on a timer, use it. If you must use the mirror or extend your arm, try to avoid getting the mirror, the arm or the flash in the shot. If they appear, take the time to crop them out.
Take a number of shots and select the best one. There are many programs available to tweak a photo, edit, add effects and generally touch up a shot if necessary. You may want to ask close friends for their opinion before you post the final choice or take a day or two, come back to the picture and ask yourself if it conveys what you hope to say to a mate.
Webcam photos should be avoided, if possible. They are usually of lower quality and it can be difficult to see detail.
You should be the only person in your photo
This keeps the focus on you and avoids confusion. Plus, the person in the photo with you may prefer not to have their photo shown on a dating site. Especially if it is an ex. You have to consider what the presence of someone else in your photo may say to others.
Definitely leave out any children. This isn’t to hide your personal life (by all means, write them into your description in your profile), but this is a dating site for adults. You don’t want any associations made or predators lurking.
Finally, don’t fret over the process! Try to have fun with it. We all tend to overthink our flaws and underappreciate our beauty. Once you post your picture, you never have to look at it again. If you’re a flirt or social butterfly, your biggest problem may be choosing which of your hundreds of photos to post. Pick just a couple, one good head/face shot and one full body. Tuck the rest into your Flickr or Facebook album. Now, say cheese!
Photo by Violator3 http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=796326