Top 6 Profile Photo Mistakes to Avoid

Singles on Cupid

So, all of your friends and even your grandma have found a special someone online? You’re the only one watching Netflix all alone? Well, now it’s your turn to get lucky with online dating!

But before you ride off into the sunset with your new lover, you need to create a great profile. And every great profile needs great pictures.

Choosing the Right Photos Can Be Tricky

But don’t worry, we’re here to help. To get you started, our friends at Pep Shot have prepared a list of things that you absolutely should NOT do.


1. Flirting away from the camera

The least attractive thing to do in your profile pics is to flirt away from the camera. You should be flirting at your next date, the one who’s looking at your shots right now – not the guy or girl standing slightly off-camera.

Especially for the ladies, flirting directly to the camera actually works very well. A slight tilt of the head, an inviting smile or a gentle pout – all these things are very attractive as long as you focus them at the camera!

In the pub - circa 1965

2. Old pictures

One of the most common mistakes that people make is using out-of-date photos. The simple rule is: if your picture is more than 2 years old, don’t use it. Most of us look different over time. So be honest and use a current image.

After all, you wouldn’t like to be surprised by meeting someone who looks completely different from what you thought either – unless you were expecting a Danny DeVito and got a Ryan Gosling instead!

meet a woman

3. Poor quality photos

This might seem obvious but a reminder never hurts: don’t use blurry or dark photos or picture files that are too small. Your fellow online daters will quickly pass over you and move on to the next person.

Today’s world is visual and people want a stimulating experience. So do everyone a favour and put some effort into your photos. You might even consider booking a photo shoot with a professional dating photographer. The shots will be technically brilliant and will show you at your absolute best.

Fashion beauty portrait of a beautiful girl with curly hair luxuriant

4. Too much Photoshop

It’s fine to enhance your photos a little. You can improve the exposure, get rid of that stray hair or remove the stain on your t-shirt. But make sure you don’t overdo it.

It will be obvious if you use Photoshop too much and potential dates may think you are untrustworthy. Your date should be able to recognise you with ease when you meet face-to-face. Anything else might lead to an ugly first date. Literally.

Cut out your ex

5. Cut out your ex

Don’t cut other people out of your pictures. You might understandably be tempted to because you want to use those gorgeous photos of you. However, there are likely to be little giveaways such as someone’s arm or a bit of their head.

People will quickly assume the other person is your ex. And they’re likely to find it a bit inappropriate and even downright lazy. So, keep your ex out of your online dating profile.

If you have a great picture with friends, don’t crop them out. Just make sure you’re easy to find in the picture (e.g. in the centre) and that you’re not being overshadowed by anyone. Otherwise, stick to solo shots – without orphaned arms or ears, please!

Top 6 Profile Photo Mistakes to Avoid

6. Goofy poses

You might have pictures of yourself poking your tongue out, riding a unicorn, or dressed up as Edward Scissorhands. Sure, they’re hilarious – but it’s probably better to save them for another time.

The internet can be a scary and weird place, so it’s always better to stay on the safe (and sane) side. Keep the crazy on the inside for now!

Some final tips

Whatever you do, stay away from these no-goes. Think about what your potential dates want (and don’t want) to see. Don’t post pics that are too intimate or that might make other people feel uncomfortable. And – this hopefully is not a surprise for you – don’t use photos that reveal a less appealing side of you too early. No one wants to know straight away that you find it impossible to eat a burger without getting sauce all over your face.

Your pictures are the most important element on your online dating profile. They account for more than 90% of what people think. So choose them wisely, show yourself in your best light and get ready for some hot dates!

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