Why you should add a photo to your online dating website profile

In December last year I wrote about the importance of adding a photo to your profile.

Online dating is now mainstream and an accepted way of meeting people. So it can be a wasted effort to create a profile (even a well-written one) without at least one photo.

Even if you say you’ll add a photo in a few days, most members won’t hang around. A few will be patient, but generally speaking what you look like is something you should reveal immediately, or just few days after you’ve joined.

There are many reasons for this. We want to see what the person we might message looks like. Attraction is an important part of the first steps in getting to know someone.

Another reason is that we live in a time of instant gratification. People want things now (or pretty soon), and they want to see the face behind that  interesting headline, or the faces of those who meet a search criteria. If there are relevant search results which also have photos, those members will  receive a message or a wink. You won’t. In fact, you may never receive contact even though you initiate it.

The photo you select must be a decent head shot, clear, and showing you in a really positive light. A photo can have a powerful impact on the person viewing it, and so with a good picture you can maximise this opportunity.

Don’t go for a photo showing you from a distance, no matter how much you love that shot. A pic of you at the summit of Helvellyn is impressive and says something about you as a person. But if your face isn’t clear the viewer may decide not to make contact.

Your photo should be in focus. Ideally you should be looking directly at the camera so that you are engaging viewers. It can be a casual shot or a more formal photo.

I’ve read articles with mixed views on whether or not you should smile. I think an image with a great and warm smile can really persuade the person looking at your profile. Having said that, I don’t mind serious photos, and there are some great ones on www.datepositive.net. However, if you choose a more serious shot make sure you don’t look miserable or unfriendly.

Feedback indicates that these are the main turnoffs in profile photos: someone sticking their tongue out; making rude/offensive gestures with hands or arms; sitting posing with pet or child; or head tipped back drinking out of a beer/wine bottle. A photo taken by the subject of his/her reflection in the mirror isn’t popular either.

Datepositive understands the need for privacy, especially with a niche dating website like ours. We offer three settings for photos: they can be seen by everyone; just by Premium members and Favourites; or by your favourites only.  This gives members control over who sees their photo and removes any anxiety about privacy issues.

So if you’re serious about online dating, be serious about your photo too. And if you need any help with privacy options or selecting a photo, we’re here to help.

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