Photo Disasters that Sabotage Your Online Dating Success

Even though she is squinting, this photo has character - I like it!

Your photos really makes a difference online. You’d be surprised how easily you can sabotage your results with a poor choice of photos. Or even choosing pictures that have small things wrong with them become glaring issues online.

Here are some common errors people make all the time which you definitely want to avoid

  • Photos with your children (they want to date you, not your kids)
  • Pets if in several photos (one pet photo – OK you seem normal – lots of pet photos makes people wonder)
  • Messy stuff in the background (clean up before you snap the photos! Neatness counts)
  • Cutting someone out of the photo (that’s just tacky so don’t do it)
  • Distance shots (people want to see what you really look like and can’t from a long distance)
  • Sunglasses hide your eyes which really are the window to your soul  (If its just one photo, that’s OK)
  • Head shots only (yes, people want to see your body – the whole body please)
  • Group  shots only (who can figure out which  person you are in the shot if there is only a group shot)
  • Drink in your hand (You’re a social drinker and fun person, but you don’t want to seem like a big drinker right?)
  • Don’t wear the same outfit for different photos – this is tacky!
  • Don’t post landscape shots or vacation photos – this is not your private gallery – try for that

Stop and think for a moment. People read into everything you write and each photo. They literally make stuff up and add meaning even if completely off base. That’s what we do as humans. This is a normal phenomenon. So, given that, you want to take precautions so that your photos show you at your best, without any distractions or elements that polarize viewers.

I’ve had clients who took their own photos by holding the camera out in front of their face. Clients who had laundry hanging behind them on the banister. Clients sitting at a messy dinner table with a wine glass in their hands. At the very least – crop stuff out to clean u[ the photo so you can make a good impression.

Now its time to talk about what works in a photo. You have plenty of options!

  • Show a head shot, full body shot and one other photo – 3 is the minimum and 7 is the max if you don’t want to look narcissistic
  • Please smile. If you aren’t smiling, the photo shouldn’t be on the dating site
  • Stand up! You will always look thinner when standing and heavier sitting
  • Wear solid color clothing or very small patterns that aren’t very noticeable
  • Wear something date-like, something so you look attractive to the opposite sex
  • Have one photo doing an activity or something interesting if possible
  • Take some outside and inside shots so the light is varied
  • Try to get someone to take your photos who will make you laugh and help you relax so you’ll look good
  • Never stand directly underneath a light source – that will cast ugly shadows on your face

So that’s the quick version of  Ronnie’s do’s and don’ts for online dating photographs. If you follow these tips, your photos will most likely look pretty good. And at the very least – they won’t look bad! As your dating coach, I’m hoping I’ve saved you from some glaring errors that could totally sabotage your online dating success.

Photo Credit: Professor Bop


2 responses on “Photo Disasters that Sabotage Your Online Dating Success

  1. "Brian"

    Thanks for posting this on your blog. I’ve been trying online dating for a while now and I’ve seen all of what you described in photos. One woman had three group photos, a shot of her dog, her cat, her grand kids, the Eiffel Tower, a stream somewhere, and one pic of her alone that was too far away and not even sharp. This does not make me want to meet this person, except maybe to offer to take some new pictures for her. (just kidding) Keep up the good work!

  2. Ronnie Post author

    Thanks Brian – “hearing” the words from a man’s mouth might help convince women to think more about the photos they post!

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