Online Dating Photos – Disasters that Sabotage Your Success

online dating photos
Even though she is squinting, this photo has character – I like it!

Online dating photos really impact your opportunities to meet people. A poor choice of pictures can easily sabotage your results. Even choosing pictures that have small things wrong with them can become glaring issues on dating sites.

Common Errors to Avoid with

Online Dating Photos

  • Pictures with your children (men want to date you, not your kids)
  • Too many pet photos (With one you’ll seem normal – lots of pet photos make people wonder)
  • A big mess in the background (clean up before you take the shot! Neatness counts)
  • Cutting someone out of the photo (that’s tacky so don’t do it!)
  • Distance shots (men want to see what you really look like)
  • Sunglasses hide your eyes which really are the window to your soul (If its just one photo of several, that’s OK)
  • Head shots only (yes, men want to see your body – the whole body please)
  • Group  shots make it hard to figure out which person you are
  • A drink in your hand (You’re a social drinker, but you don’t want to seem like a big drinker right?)
  • Wearing the same outfit for several shots (a clear sign of professional photos taken the same day)
  • Lots of landscape or vacation photos – this is not your private gallery – use Facebook for that

Every Picture Tells a Story

Stop and think for a moment. People read into everything you write and each photo you post. Seriously, as humans we interpret and  literally make up stories all the time about what we see. People add meaning even if their thoughts are totally off base.

This is normal. But knowing this, you want to take precautions so your photos show you at your best, without any distractions or elements that lead to story creation.

Make a Good Impression

I’ve had clients who took selfies that were distorted and looked more than odd. 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 up the photo. Your priority is to make a good impression!

Tips for Great Online Dating Photos

  • 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 colored clothing or very small patterns that aren’t noticeable to the camera lens
  • Wear something date-worthy so you look attractive to men
  • Show one photo doing an activity or something interesting if possible
  • Take outside and inside shots so the light is varied
  • Get someone to take your photos who makes you laugh and helps 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 my quick do’s and don’ts for online dating photos. Follow these tips so your photos show off your assets and present you as the desirable woman you truly are.




Photo Credit: Professor Bop





Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Online Dating Photos – Disasters that Sabotage Your Success”

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

  2. Ronnie,
    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!


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