Fail to Fab: Online Dating Site Photos

By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie

credit: iwona_kellie (Flickr)Fail: Just the other day, a guy messaged on a dating site. I checked out his profile and he seemed interesting, even though he only had one picture uploaded. After we messaged back and forth a few times I asked if he had any more shots of himself. He did, and promptly sent some over via email. The first photo was clearly from his high school days … 20 years ago. When I asked if he had something more recent, he emailed me a second pic cropped so tightly that you could only see his face — but not like a head shot from the neck up. Literally just his face. Picture fail, #BigTime.

Fab: While it’s true that you shouldn’t approach dating the same way you would a job interview, there are a few basic ideas to keep in mind. Think of your online dating profile as a dating resume; just like you wouldn’t hand a prospective employer something that hasn’t been updated since the early 90s, you shouldn’t show matches a version of yourself that’s from a few decades ago, either. Update your photos, and update them often.

As a general rule, post a few pictures of you in a variety of settings. That way, the person looking at your profile can get an idea of what you really look like. Privacy concerns are totally understandable when you’re online, but lacking photos can send someone a red flag. If your profile has less than four pics posted, be prepared to share from your photo arsenal when asked.

And when sending pictures, send recent ones. Sounds obvious, but it’s something people should be reminded of. You can be cute with baby pictures and your senior portrait after you’ve met and developed a connection. And if it’s necessary to crop, make sure the picture still shows you — all of you.

If you find yourself messaging someone and don’t have a clear image of him or her in your head, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have more visuals. There’s nothing shallow about wanting to know who you’re talking to. It can especially help if you notice something’s off early on … like, say, if someone looks like he or she could be a cast member from the original 90210.

Remember: Your online dating profile is your way of expressing yourself to other online daters. Make sure that everything about it shows the current you in the best possible way.