Years ago in my 20’s, I remember making new friends and learning about their lives. Sometimes a new friend would show me her high school year book. I always loved looking through the candids, group shots and of course the head shots. To me, personality would come though the photo, not just their physical traits and I enjoyed making guesses about who these people really were and having my friend let me know if I was on target or not. I usually did very well!
I hope you’ll forgive my my bragging, but I thought this made me special. How very WRONG I am about that!
According to an article from Newsweek (which ran 11/10/09) that I just stumbled across, social studies have been conducted on this topic, particularly as it relates to online dating and social networking. Turns out that most folks accurately judged some major personality traits like: political orientation, outgoingness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness, likability, self-esteem, loneliness, and religiosity.
So, I’m not that special. Lots of people do this!
The good news here is – if you have faith in your ability to glean data from photos, you can make accurate assessments about some one’s personality which should be extremely helpful for online dating! The article went on to say that you cannot really fake qualities in your photo – the real you shows through. My bet is this is a simple extension of reading body language, made even easier because people aren’t moving and changing in photos. They remain static allowing for easy study (unless its as photo from Harry Potter movies).
You can read the entire surprising article here.
What does this mean to you? Take good photos! The article was titled, “Making a Digital Impression”. And you don’t get a second chance to make that first impression. So for heaven’s sake, please get some good photos of yourself. If you can’t afford professional shots from something like www.lookbetteronline.com then have a friend or family member take at least 30-40 pictures of you.
And here’s the catch – no editing or viewing after each photo is taken. Just keep clicking photos and get into the swing. Save the editing and your critical review of yourself for after. This will help you obtain better quality photos and feel more comfortable. After 30 photos – what the heck – take another one right? You will start to relax and then your photos will look better – trust me on this! You don’t want people to see “discomfort” in your eyes, you want them to see who you really are right?
What is most important about your photo? Your smile and how you stand. A casual, relaxed stance is best which doens’t mean its OK to slouch.
By the way, if you are hesitating at all about putting up a photo for online dating, let me assure you that you will get 10 times the attention (according to studies) than without. No photo creates suspicion, making people wonder – what are you hiding… Get over it, post a photo and step into the digital world.