There are two things that make up your dating profile: Your “About Me” section and the photographs you choose. Statistics show that both are equally important. Take the time and care to get both right.

So, what should you think about when choosing photos:

Ixnay the selfies. Yes, we want to see a clear picture of your face, but we also want to see you in action. We want to see you in a natural setting. Selfies in the bathroom mirror? Double ixnay. You next to your toiletries, not a good look. You next to your toilet? Ew.

That leads into my next tip about being aware of what is in the background of your photo. Sure, it’s a great picture of you, but I can’ help but focus on the mess in you’re standing in or all the empty bottles of booze. Little things can be a turn off, especially with no context. Eliminate all room for assumptions.

Ladies, no boobs or bikinis. Leave some things left to be desired. At least think about the kind of man you want to attract before you do that. And, the same goes for the guys, too. The ladies don’t need to see you shirtless. If a body is all you are looking for, more power to you. But, if you want to find something more meaningful, save the intimate apparel for more romantic moments.

No sunglasses, hats and shots of you way off in the distance. We want to see your face.

Be current. At the very least use photos taken within the past year or two. And, only if they still reflect what you look like today. For instance, if you’ve lost weight, gained weight, lost your hair, changed your hair color, etc. If you don’t you are saying two things: I’m ashamed of who I am (I want to look better) and I’m a liar. Don’t waste your time or your date’s.

Smile! Smile! Smile! Who wants to date someone with a mean face? Raise your hand. No one? No one wants to hang out with an angry person and nothing says angry better than a scowl.

OK, so what to choose: Authenticity. Simply portray what it looks like to be with you. Show that you care about dating by being real, proud of yourself and not trying to show off. 

Many people these days are opting to have professional portrait photos taken. This isn’t necessarily a ‘must do,’ but it can’t hurt. After all, online dating is an investment, especially if you are someone who wants to build a genuine lifelong connection with the right guy or gal. And, if hiring a photographer is something you decide to do, your photos don’t need to be reserved for just dating. You can use them on your LinkedIn profile, your business website, print up some wallet size for your family, etc. They will be well worth your money.

If you think professional photos are too much for you, grab a friend, a smart phone and plan your own photo shoot. Be out and about. Bring a change of clothes so it doesn’t look like it was all one day. Take off the sunglasses. Smile. Show people you are fun to hang out with.

In the end when you decide what pics to post, take a moment to look at them objectively. If you didn’t know the story behind them what would you think? How might you end up being perceived? Be judgy. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

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