Dating Profile Photo 101 - Tips to Help You Look Your Best

Want to take better dating profile photos and don’t know where to start? We can help! While we work with an expert photographer for each of our matchmaking clients, there are a few “tricks of the trade” that we can share with everyone. Because, well, everyone should have flattering profile pictures!

  1. Take advantage of “free” professionals
    You don’t need to hire a professional photographer to get professional photos - let someone else hire them for you! We’re not suggesting you sneak into an engagement shoot in the park (because that would be awkward!), but do recognize that there are frequently professional photographers at events you attend like weddings and anniversary parties. These people are paid to capture guests having fun and looking lovely, so there’s no harm in asking them to take one of you looking all dolled up. When the bride and groom post those photos on Facebook - voila! Brand new professional photos.

  2. Be aware of good lighting
    Ever catch a glimpse of yourself in a window and think “wow I look great right now”? Chances are, the light is right. Photographers are constantly doing this - evaluating light and how it makes their subjects look, and you can learn this same skill. Be conscious of when the light outside is nice and flattering, and when it is, have a friend snap a pic. It might sound strange, but when the lighting is right, magic happens.

  3. “Swap” Photos With Friends
    Have any other single friends? Sure you do! Offer to take dating profile photos for them in exchange for some of your own. Make a fun day of it - seek out murals or sites in your own city, and go exploring with a camera in hand. When you make an activity out of it, everything can be fun - even the dreaded dating photo profile search. And when your friend finds her perfect match, you’ll be the one she ends up thanking.

  4. Shoot from Above
    Most women know this, but never shoot photos from below. Shooting from an angle above your face is almost always more flattering - avoid that turkey neck or double chin!

  5. Don’t use a flash
    Studies done by dating app companies showed that using a flash can make people appear nearly 7 years older than they are in their photos. Why? It’s just not natural light! Take photos outside in natural light when you can because this will most reflect what it looks like when someone meets you in person, and because no one wants to look older than they do in real life!

  6. Pose like a pro
    Ever wonder why celebrities always look spectacular on the red carpet? Of course they have stylists and makeup artists, but more importantly, they are actually taught how to pose. This ensures every photo they take makes them look fantastic. Stand on a bit of an angle, and put your weight on your back foot - this makes you look slimmer. Tuck in your stomach and have good posture - pretend someone is pulling a string straight up from the tippy top of your head, and your posture will improve right away. For women especially, make sure your arms aren’t squished up against your side - lots of women see their arms in photos and don’t like them, but this is easily preventable with posing. Define your jawline by elongating your neck and pretending you’re looking right over a fence - ever so slightly - this will make your neck look slimmer and more elegant.

  7. As Tyra Banks would say, “Smize”
    Smile with your eyes. People make a lot of judgments by looking at another person’s eyes. It’s noticeable when someone has kind eyes versus when they look conniving or fake. It doesn’t matter what your eye color is, but look right into the camera and give an authentic look. Smiling with your mouth doesn’t hurt either!

  8. Dress Like You Would On a Date
    Wonder what you should wear in your profile photos? Wear what you would wear on a first date. You want to look nice, but not over-dressed. For women, show just a little skin, not ALL the skin. Show a little shoulder, but not cleavage. Show a calf, but not a thigh. Remember the imagery you put out will reflect the messages you get back, so don’t go too provocative unless those are the types of messages you’d like to receive. And for both men and women, don’t wear tank tops unless you absolutely must, and you absolutely have toned arms that you’re proud of.

Wear solid dark colors, not busy patterns, and look generally put together. Remember that your wardrobe is a reflection of your personal brand, so wear what you’d normally wear when you’re dressing to impress.

  1. Avoid the Selfies
    They are never as great as you think they are. Limit yourself to a maximum of one selfie, if you absolutely must. Selfies are never a good way to see how someone really looks because they are naturally distorting the image’s perspective. But if you do take a selfie, use natural, outdoor light, and under no circumstances should your photo be taken in a bathroom or in a car. Do you really want your potential mates to think about you while you’re in the bathroom? Just don’t do it.

  2. Limit the Filters
    With Instagram and Snapchat and all of the editing apps out there, there are many ways to “improve” your photo. However, we don’t recommend using them. Filters can distort what you really look like, and you want someone to recognize you when you meet them in person. Snapchat filters might seem cool and trendy, but they are obscuring the real you.

It sounds cheesy, but the best way to take a good photo is to have your photos reflect what you really look like and who you really are. If you have a bit of a goofy side, let that show. If you have a hobby that is important to you, don’t be afraid to share it. If you have a tiny scar on your forehead, embrace it. Because the person you end up with will too. You’re looking for the person out there who adores you for who you are, because in real life, you won’t have that Valencia filter.

You can reach out to your matchmaker with any questions or advice on photos, or ask us about the webinar we do with Match on choosing your best photos! Log in to your profile or sign up here.