After 15 years of taking pictures of people to use for their Online dating profiles, they still ask me the same exact irritating questions before the photo shoot begins. Some of the most common requests are as follows:
1) Can you make me look thin?
2) Can you make me look 20 years younger?
3) Can you airbrush all of my wrinkles?
4) Can you add hair to my head?
5) Can you make me look like a model?
In my opinion, one of the main reasons for getting your picture taken is so that people will recognize you when they meet you in person. If you chat with someone Online for a period of time and eventually agree to meet, how is it supposed to work out when your profile pictures look absolutely nothing like you?
Based on my own experiences with Online dating, as well as my experience with photographing people for their Online dating profiles, here are 13 tips that I would like to share with you regarding your Online dating profile. (Although these tips are mainly for single women from a single manís perspective, men can probably glean a few things from them, as well.)
1) Add a current picture of yourself to your profile.
By current, I mean a picture that was taken today. If you canít afford to have professional pictures taken, even a selfie will suffice if the lighting is decent. Just be sure to take head shots as well as full length photos with a selfie stick or just hand your phone to a friend and ask him/her to take a few quick pictures of you.
2) Never post a picture of a picture.
The hairstyle and wardrobe from 1979, as well as the flash reflecting off of the print, make it painfully obvious that your picture was taken many years ago and that you donít like any of your current pictures.
3) Never use a group photo as your main profile picture.
How is your prospective future soulmate supposed to figure out which person you are? Avoiding using lots of group pictures, in general, is a good idea.
4) Take a few minutes to answer the basic questions in your profile.
I generally ignore or block women who write me if they havenít bothered to even fill out the most basic information in their profiles. I donít have time to ask each one of them a lot of questions just to find out if we have anything in common. Those things should already be addressed when I read their profiles, such as marital status, smoking habits, drinking habits, number of pets at home, and number of children at home.
5) Never post a picture of yourself that has been digitally altered.
These modifications are usually very obvious. Also, when you meet someone in person and that person sees the real you, those airbrushed wrinkles and extra pounds are going to stand out even more.
6) Donít lie in your profile.
If you are a chain smoker, for example, do not check the non-smoker box in your profile. Believe it or not, Iíve actually seen quite a few profiles of women with nothing but pictures of them smoking while claiming to be non-smokers. Itís absurd. If a woman has no problem lying about something as significant as smoking, it makes me wonder what other things she has lied about and will continue lying about. It also makes me wonder why she is so comfortable with lying, in general.
7) Choose a username that says something both interesting and true about you.
For example, Iíve run across womenís profiles with usernames like SmilesAlways721 or AlwaysSmiling823 and all of their pictures show them with big frowns on their faces. How can anyone take them seriously?
8) Avoid posting multiple Online dating profiles on the same site.
It may sound preposterous but I have actually seen one woman post about a dozen profiles on the same site with slightly different usernames but with the same pictures. It makes her look incredibly desperate.
9) Avoid aerials.
If all of a womanís pictures, especially tight selfie head shots, are taken from way above her head, and she has no full length shots, it seems obvious to me that she is trying to hide her obesity.
10) Avoid hiding.
I have seen way too many women hiding their bodies behind trees, chairs, dogs, and other people in their pictures. The way I see it, if a woman is morbidly obese, she should be honest and open about it in her profile. With all of the millions of single people out there, I would think that at least some of them might be okay with, or even attracted to, big women. I donít see how trying to deceive people, on the other hand, could ever possibly work out.
11) Avoid posting pictures of things that arenít you, especially in your main profile picture.
Too many women make the mistake of making their house, car, dog, or even some other random person their main profile picture. With hundreds of thousands of other Online dating profiles to go through, who has time to sift through pictures of dogs, cars, plants, houses, and other random things to find the one picture of the person who wrote the profile?
12) Avoid posting pictures of yourself that were taken in 1986.
This is related to the first tip that I mentioned. Although it seems outlandish, Iíve actually run across this type of thing quite a few times. One woman, for example, posted pictures of herself that were taken many years previously. After chatting with her Online for several weeks and then on the phone for several more weeks, we agreed to meet for a casual cup of coffee somewhere but I was unable to recognize her when she showed up.
She looked absolutely nothing like her picture. Her long, curly black hair was now very short, straight, and platinum blonde, she had picked up an extra 100 pounds or so, and she had aged about a dozen years. She walked right up to me, though, and introduced herself. Obviously, she recognized me because I actually looked like my picture. I walked out and never talked to her again. The horrible experience was extremely disappointing, irritating, and a total waste of my time.
13) Get your address right.
Too many times, I run across women who claim to live in Houston, TX but after chatting with them I find out that they live in some city hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Obviously, I block them after I discover the lie. If you live in Houston, then put that in your profile. If you live in Austin, however, put that in your profile. That way, nobody has their time wasted. On many dating sites, you can actually enter your exact zip code so that people who live nearby will be more inclined contact you.
I hope these tips help you with your Online dating experience. Please remember to actually answer the questions in your profile, post current, clear pictures of yourself not hiding behind a tree or a dog, and be honest.