What do you look for in online dating profile photos?

What do you look for in online dating profile photos? Is there anything that stands out to you? Do you prefer solo photos, or photos that show the person with friends or family? Do you like to see photos of vacations they’ve been on or photos of them enjoying their favorite hobby?

I prefer to see mainly solo photos, and I think it’s nice to see a photo or two of the person on vacation or doing something interesting, even if it’s far away – it adds some variety. I also think that there should be some close-up face shots and at least one full-length body shot, for completeness! And the person should be smiling in the majority of the photos.

7 thoughts on “What do you look for in online dating profile photos?

  1. Bonita says:

    [I agree with your feelings on the desirable photos and add no pictures taken by himself in the mirror with his phone. Uber turn off.

  2. theattack says:

    [I’ve never online-dated, but I love to get a little tipsy and go through dudes on my best friend’s Match account. Does that count?

    I yell “NEXT” as soon as I see a cell phone pic, shirtless pic (unless there’s a clear reason for it, like water-skiing), couch potato pic, or an “I’ve been sitting at this desk on Chat Roulette for three hours before I decided to take a webcam shot” pic. The best pictures are ones that other people take for you, usually because they see something happening worth capturing. If you’re sitting in your bean bag chair with your pit-bull and empty cans of Pepsi all around you – probably not even worth taking a picture of. I’m going to think you’re horribly boring and drunkenly click No before my friend can even try to date you.

  3. lilredbmw says:

    [I say, keep it real when it comes to photos. I don’t wear a ton of make-up so I wouldn’t put up a lot of pics with me in full-on make-up mask. I would post pics of me doing what I do: hanging out with family and friends, doing triathlons, hiking, etc. And you know what? If you drink and smoke and act like a total a$$ most of the time, go ahead and post those pics. Raise that red flag early! That way we know to never, ever contact you.

  4. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [Here are what I think should be the “rules” for online dating profile pictures:

    1.) Mandatory minimum of 2 pictures; one headshot and one 3/4 to full body
    2.) All pictures may not be more than 1 year old (unless you have not significantly changed in looks over the passing years).
    2b.) If using older pictures have 1 picture that is current (no more than a few months old)
    2c.) Label picture ages accordingly
    3.) No cell phone pictures (meaning no mirrors and no downward angle looking up at the camera)
    4.) No group shots. Solo pictures preferred. Avoid placing black dots over faces of other people that make it look like they are in witness protection.
    4b.) If a group shot must be used, choose a picture that can be cropped decently. Don’t cut someone in half, or have a phantom arm hanging over your shoulder.
    5.) Use decent sized/resolution pictures. If the image looks pixelated (boxy) don’t use it. We want to see what you look like in real life, not if you were a 16-bit Nintendo creation.

    Personally, I think variety in the kind of pictures you use are best. Headshot. Activity or hobby shot. Posed. Natural.

    For example, when I was online dating there was only 1 picture where I was looking at the camera; that was my “headshot”. I then had a couple shots that were taken of me by someone else while I was working on a project (hobby). Another shot was from another activity (timed race). For me, those images probably gave a better idea about my personality than a lot of what I had written in my profile.

    A few other random thoughts:
    -Ladies: no duck/pouty faces
    -Guys: no shirtless pics showing off the abs/lack of abs
    -Don’t cut off your head
    -Avoid drunk/party pics
    -Don’t hide your face, it makes us think you’re trying to hide something more than that

    Of course, these recommendations only really apply if you are on the site to actually find someone to date. If you are just looking for one-night-stands, booty calls and sex…well…then there really aren’t any rules.

  5. Happy Pants says:

    [No cell phone pics. No mirror shots. Nothing from a webcam unless it’s particularly awesome and you have other pictures, or if it’s a screenshot of a Skype conversation or something of the like.

    I like to see the guy smiling, or at least not scowling—nothing is more off-putting to me than a guy looking like he’s miserable. Just make it genuine.

    Candid shots are great, because they show me not only that you have social skills and hang out with other people (i.e. someone to take the picture), but also that you know how to have a good time.

    A body shot is good. A shirtless picture with your face cut off is bad.

    No pictures of the guy faux-sodomizing anything (it’s amazing how many of these I find).

    Lastly, nothing that looks grainy, and for the love of everything that is holy, no mugshots. Prison time is a dealbreaker for me, and it is definitely a no-go if the first thought I have upon seeing the picture is “I hope he’s gentle after he roofies me.”

  6. Sabrina says:

    [At least one picture without a hat and smiling with teeth showing. I’ve twice gone on dates with guys who were missing one of those photos. One had a mohawk, the other had rotten crooked teeth.

    The bathroom mirror shots are awful… if you don’t have even ONE friend who can snap a photo for you, you have bigger issues.

  7. AKchic says:

    [*laugh* My biggest complaint while trolling the sites to get back into dating after my 2nd divorce: Saying that you’re slim or athletic and then have a damned picture that shows you’re really 45lbs overweight with a beer belly so big it looks like you’re 7-8 months pregnant. The only thing slim is your thinning hair!

    Be honest about your looks, for the love of the deities (major and minor).

    Don’t say on your profile that you “drink occasionally” and have all of your photos with a cheap skunk-beer in hand.

    My biggest pet peeve was people who didn’t actually read my profile. I have kids and have always been up front about it. I even would go as far as saying “if you don’t like kids, please do not contact me”. Sure enough, at least once a week I’d get some guy messaging me who had no interest in having kids. Some weren’t as up front about it and we’d progress to the 1st date and BAM, would mention he hates kids. At that point, it kills the date for a single parent.

    Oh – and for anyone – do NOT post pictures of you with your kids. Yeah, you may think it makes you look like a stable, family-type, but really what it does is invite sex offenders to view your profile, or make people wonder just why it didn’t work with the other parent(s) of said kid(s).

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